Check out out HTPC on a Budget series and join us in building a great HTPC for under $1,000.
Over the next few weeks, we are gonna be working on a special project that we hope you guys will get a kick out of. You see, as gadget enthusiasts, we know that we all love when technology can make our lives easier, or when it is just downright cool. However, recent developments in the economy are going to lead to a tightening of the budget (if it hasn’t already), and we thought we’d try and see if we can build something awesome at a reasonable price. The task? We want to build a great home theater PC (HTPC), made with great parts, for under $1000 USD. You can follow our progress at our HTPC on a Budget page. Or, if you’re too lazy to hit that link, here’s a list of topics:
- Let’s Build a Budget HTPC
- Selecting Our Hardware
- The MSI 7411 Motherboard, and Why It Rocks
- Achieving Great 5.1 or 7.1 Surround Sound
- Driving multimedia content to the HTPC
- The ATI TV Wonder 650
- Laying Out All The Components
- The Final Tally
So, what are the goals of our HTPC project? Well, besides the aforementioned $1,000 limit, we have a few other things we want out of it. First, we want it to remain fairly quiet. After all, this thing is going to be use to watch movies and television. We don’t need any extra fan noise coming from it. Secondly, we want it to put out a high definition signal, with connections that use today’s technology. Ideally, that means it will have an HDMI out port, so we can get both high definition and surround sound out of this thing.
Earlier today during the MacWorld 2009 keynote, Apple announced that the iTunes Store was on the way to completely dropping DRM. As of today, 8,000,000 of the 10,000,000 tracks are now available as DRM-free iTunes Plus tracks, and that even includes music videos. We figured we’d give you a quick look at how you go about upgrading your library of purchased content.
So the first thing you want to do is go to the iTunes Store, and look on the right-hand side. You’ll see “iTunes Plus” as one of the links, with a number next to it. That number represents the number of pieces of content that you have available that can be upgraded. Click on that.
Last month, Apple released their long-awaited and redesigned MacBook Pro notebook, which spurred a bunch of excitement for all gadget lovers out there. The new unibody enclosure is sleek, and Apple even went out of their way to make it easy to upgrade the critical components that live inside the notebook yourself. Behind one door lies the hard drive and battery, both user-replaceable. Remove a few more screws, and you have direct access to your RAM.
Of course, these things are better explained in video than they are in text, which is why we’re here. In this episode of Bleeding Edge TV, we give you a full tutorial on what you need to do to upgrade the RAM in your new MacBook or MacBook Pro. If you are wondering why you’d want to do this, well, just compare the cost of what Apple charges you for 4GB of RAM versus the cost of buying the RAM yourself from a place like Newegg. You’ll save yourself a couple hundred bucks if you have a few minutes to spare.
Check out the tutorial, and let us know how it goes for you if you end up giving it a try.
A quick and simple way to set up fast Time Machine backups on your Mac Pro, or more storage for all those Bleeding Edge episodes you’ve been downloading, is to add in more hard drives. Thankfully, Apple has made the upgrade path to accomplishing this super simple. In this episode, we show you the step-by-step process that is takes to install a new hard drive in your Mac Pro in under 5 minutes. All you need is a Mac Pro, a Philips screwdriver, and a SATA hard drive. Oh, and of course a few minutes of spare time. It really is that easy. Hit up the video for the proof, and let us know what you think.
A big thank you goes out to HP for sponsoring this episode.
In this episode, we show you how to install and upgrade the RAM in your Apple MacBook Pro, in less than five minutes. In case you weren’t aware, the last couple generations of the notebook actually support up to 4GB of RAM. We are still trying to wrap our head around that number, because for a portable, that is insane. Even better, though, is the fact that this is such a cheap upgrade when you look at the very nice boost in performance it’ll net you in return. You can buy 2 2GB RAM chips for your MacBook Pro for just over $100 USD. Again, an easy way to get more performance out of your notebook at an inexpensive price.
Check out the video for the full tutorial. If you need to buy RAM for your MacBook Pro, hit up Crucial for a great deal.
A big thank you goes out to HP for sponsoring this episode.
Now that we know that the iPhone 1.1.3 jailbreak method has been released, we figured it would be good of us to give you a video tutorial showing you how to get it done. After all, you all enjoyed our old-school 1.1.1 jailbreak video, right?
In this video, we provide step-by-step instructions that will help anyone upgrade their iPhone to a jailbreaked version of the 1.1.3 firmware. This should keep you tided over until that pesky SDK is released, right?
By the way, if you are looking for an excellent program to create custom ringtones for your iPhone, check out iPhone RingToneMaker, who sponsored this episode.
When it comes to the SanDisk Sansa TakeTV device, we’ve done an unboxing video and even show you how to set up the TakeTV in your home. In our latest video, we show you how the darn thing works. We have it hooked up already, so now it’s time to put some content on it and fire it up. Do note, the Sansa TakeTV does ship with a couple of sample video clips already on it in case you just want to test your setup.
Once we put some video files on it, we were able to watch some of them on the device - we forgot that the TakeTV doesn’t support high definition video, so those clips failed to play. Other than that, this is really a no brainer. There isn’t even a complicated menu system. You plug the device in to your TV, and you get a list of videos to play. Easy. Check it out, and let us know if there are any other questions we can answer for you guys.
So, a few days ago, we hit you with our TakeTV unboxing video, where we showed you everything that was inside the SanDisk Sansa TakeTV package. Today we wanted to follow it up and show you how you go about setting the thing up, just to prove that it really is as simple as it looks. We hook up the TakeTV device to our Samsing LCD HDTV in under a minute.
Stay tuned - we will have another video up in a couple of days that shows the actual usage of the device - putting videos on it, playing them through the dock, etc.
Apple has locked down the iPhone battery, which means that once it can’t hold a charge, you need to send it in. If you’d rather just buy your own battery and replace it yourself, we’ve got your hookup. Nate and I got together to film this this tutorial, which shows how to replace your iPhone battery. Heck, even if you have decided that you will never open up your iPhone on your own, we think it’s still pretty cool to see the process - so just hit play, okay?
Oh, and just to be sure we’re all clear, we take absolutely no responsibility if you try and replicate what you see in our video and end up bricking or damaging your phone. Okay, happy viewing!
While the release of the newly redesigned aluminum and glass iMac have been fantastic, the fact that they ship with just 1 GB of RAM by default isn’t so exciting. We knew immediately that this called for a RAM upgrade in the iMac, and we were happy to find that installation has gotten easier and easier as new iMac models are released (although there is a particular spot of trouble, which is featured at the end of the video in the outtakes.) In the past, we been both disappointed and delighted with iMac RAM installation. In this episode, we show you how to upgrade the RAM in the new iMac in a step-by-step manner - at a far less expensive price than you would have to pay Apple to do it. Hit the video for the full scoop.
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