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  1. Brad_V

    Sampo or Apex for Akai 27"?

    AD1600? After reading the subject line, I thought for sure you'd say AD5131. Low-end, even many mid-range players, I doubt 95% of people could tell the difference. DVD players have now reached the level of "even the cheap stuff is good." Other than stay away from Oritron, it's hard to make a bad...
  2. Brad_V

    Direct View TV vs Rear Projection TV

    RPTVs are great. 12 feet is great for just about any size TV under 60". Sounds like a no-brainer to me. An extra 19"... RPTV all the way. Just turn the contrast down and enjoy.
  3. Brad_V

    More questions about the 27" AKAI @ Sam's...

    It's Samsung quality, so, "good but not the best." Which is perfect for when you don't need the best and want to save some cash. Akai's are definitely rebadged Samsungs because it'll say right in the manual about what the "Samsung warranty" covers.
  4. Brad_V

    27" HDTV's

  5. Brad_V

    *** Official "SIGNS" Review Thread

    "Ooo, I'm a big, bad alien who can jump on top of a roof and bust through walls and travel through space and make my ship invisible to the world but I can't get through *a freakin' door*." Ugh. What a clunker of a movie. It would have worked well if it was a) a movie about aliens, or b) a...
  6. Brad_V

    Run Roadrunner through USB or network card?

    TPS seems to work great for me (for a home PC with cable). You just have to make sure not to be too liberal with the "don't ask me anymore" rules when you permit something. For the most part, even when using file-sharing things and the like, once I permanently denied the random ICMP and UDP...
  7. Brad_V

    Run Roadrunner through USB or network card?

    Maybe you guys have already heard of the trick... I'm not a computer tech, so maybe it's not big deal. Beats me. He said as long as you can ping the server, you have a good chance of getting past Zone Alarm (depending on what security measures have been set) by using Windows Explorer or Internet...
  8. Brad_V

    Run Roadrunner through USB or network card?

    I'll ask that guy I mentioned who hacked through Zone Alarm (four different ways I was told) and quote here what he says about it. He and others then went to Black Ice at the time, I think, but reading up on grc.com .... Steve Gibson apparently thinks Black Ice is complete garbage. Anyway...
  9. Brad_V

    Run Roadrunner through USB or network card?

    May as well ask this... how good do you think the various website security tests are? I'm sure a hacker out there somewhere has the knowledge to do anything he wants if he wanted, but it's like any other kind of thief -- the good ones will steal it no matter what, but most aren't smart enough...
  10. Brad_V

    Opinions of Samsung Quality?

    Samsung is more of a budget brand than some of the higher-profile names, but you also can save a good bit of cash with a Samsung over a higher-profile brand and not give up much elsewhere. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Samsung to most people, and even though I don't know who pulls the...
  11. Brad_V

    Run Roadrunner through USB or network card?

    Is there actually a noticeable difference in speed between USB and an ethernet card? Safety concerns aside, how much would the speed be affected, if any? I have Roadrunner, hooked up to USB because I had forgotten this motherboard had built-in ethernet, but I didn't have the driver loaded so I...
  12. Brad_V

    Rear-Wheel drive in Michigan Winters

    I'd still consider it. Once you get around 100k miles, everything is up for grabs anyway whether it might break or not. Used cars can break, no matter the mileage. Maybe something will break, maybe it won't, but $5000 for a '97 Crown Vic that is in great shape other than what the odometer says...
  13. Brad_V

    Michael Mann's comments in EW about Widescreen Programming

    Then I'd say that you, sir, are a rarity, and a breath of fresh air, and probably one of the few widescreen owners out there who isn't a hypocrite when it comes to OAR preference. Anyone can do whatever they want with their TV since it's their TV, but the people who shout, "OAR! OAR!" for...
  14. Brad_V

    HDTV cost

    All of my analog TVs have 700+ lines of resolution -- which doesn't mean anything because they can only display a 480-line signal. All HDTVs have 700+ lines of resolution -- which doesn't mean anything because without a tuner they can only display a 480-line signal. Tuner prices will have...
  15. Brad_V

    HDTV cost

    You can hook a digital tuner up to an analog set right now and get DVD-quality 480i. People have done it for years using digital TV cards in their computers. Tuners are the same deal, just you don't need a computer anymore. So instead of getting a max of 330 lines of resolution through OTA...
  16. Brad_V

    Cheap International Long Distance

    You can get an AT&T phone card from Sam's Club or similar for $20 for 600 minutes. I think the rate doubles for international calls, so instead of 3.9 cents a minute you pay 8 cents or whatever. No monthly fee, either. I and many people I know have canceled long distance altogether on our home...
  17. Brad_V

    Rear-Wheel drive in Michigan Winters

    I'll add to this, but I think he's already going to get the Crown Vic. I'm in a blizzard state, and FWD is better from a start, but from a roll a RWD will stay on track better when you hit snow drifts in the road and all that. A RWD with good tires is plenty good enough to get around in. I...
  18. Brad_V

    Michael Mann's comments in EW about Widescreen Programming

    Most people have 4:3 sets, so why wouldn't he frame for his majority audience? Very few people have widescreen sets. Widescreeners will tout "OAR" all day long for movies, but when it comes to TV they're more than happy to bitch about 4:3 and then stretch it and distort it.
  19. Brad_V

    Analog RPTV with "squeeze"? (Or, any reason to buy an HDTV?)

    I thought I'd toss this out about the "evil" scan lines. My brother, who enjoys his movies but is not a home theater junkie, wanted an RPTV after seeing mine some months back. If he couldn't get one for around a thousand or maybe $1500 max, he wasn't going to get one at all. He picked up a 54"...
  20. Brad_V

    Toshiba RPTV Problem

    My uncle's Zenith does that with the blue. He said the repair guy said it was going to be very expensive. But maybe Toshiba parts are cheaper. From what his would cost, when you can get a new lower-priced set for about $1000, fixing much on even a mildly-old set probably isn't worth it. If...
  21. Brad_V

    HDTV cost

    If you get an analog, at the worst when tuner prices drop, you can then watch everything in 480i dvd quality. It's not HD, but it's up to you how much you want to spend and for what quality. There's no guarantee that anything but the major networks will be broadcasting HD anyway, but everyone...
  22. Brad_V

    Which is a good flat screen TV-Sony,JVC,etc?

    For $1000, you can get a 54" Samsung or similar rear-projection, and that would have a flat screen, too.
  23. Brad_V

    Opinions: Fix old RPTV or buy new?

    Tough call. When you can get a new 54" Samsung analog to replace it for $999, $400 for anything older than five years is iffy. If you like the picture a lot, though, if it's crisp and clear, I'd probably lean towards fixing it.
  24. Brad_V

    Life expectancy of RPTV?

    My brother was looking at one on ebay that is 18 years old. But the guy was being silly on the minimum bid, so he bought a new one from Sam's Club for $999. RPTVs can last a heck of a long time. Newer ones are so cheap and so good, though, that if an older one broke for pretty much any reason...
  25. Brad_V

    Need TV suggestions for a non-videophile friend

    If he doesn't want any bells or whistles, is he going to pay $300+ for a digital tuner anytime in the somewhat-near future? If not, just have him get a 32" of his choice for around $500. By the time he'd go HD, digital TVs should be quite a ways down in price. I see little point in paying...
  26. Brad_V

    Good deal on 61' HDTV from Costco?!?

    Sharps have awesome pictures, as you know. If you're looking for a big 16:9 HD, sounds like a heck of a deal to me. I'd take the Sharp picture over the Toshiba, and the best price I've seen on the 50h81 on closeout is 2k at Sears, and that's 11" smaller.
  27. Brad_V

    Is Home Theater a high-brow hobby?

    Home Theater, like most things, can be considered high-brow if the person acts like a snob about it. There's a few of those running around on this site, so I guess there's your answer.
  28. Brad_V

    I got ripped off by a gym!

    I would think a lawyer would like to get his hands on this case if for nothing else than the media publicity he would get out of it. I'd call some up and see what they say.