Bento Box Bits of everything

11Sep/112

House, new pics

I listed a couple rooms on airbnb - still unsure if I'll agree to rent out a room though. I doubt anyone would apply anyway since it's so far outside Seattle. Perk: listing it comes with a free photography session. My intention with listing it is to show that I'm trust-worthy when I use airbnb myself for traveling. I think the photographer felt there was too much glare coming through so he took HDR photos. Not a fan of the excessive tone-mapping (especially seen on the pic of the chaises).

Great room, another angle (gross tone mapping)

Kitchen

Master Bedroom

Gym

More pics here

5Feb/110

Recap in photos

Video Games Live concert on Jan 22nd. Awesome show. They play video game music with an orchestra and choir accompanied by visuals and some interactive portions. I will definitely go every year to see this.

Had the house professionally "deep" cleaned. Definitely worth every dollar. Can't really justify a monthly cleaning so I'll hire them every 6 months.

Garry came over to help drill cable routing holes in my shelves and dry wall

Shot Brian's HK P2000 SK and his new PS90 with EO Tech laser boresighter. Really fun. I would love to have my own pistol but it's an expensive hobby, especially if I wanted to go to the range often.

17Jan/110

DIY IKEA TV Riser

Needed to raise my TV about 6-8" and did tons of research online and it seems most HT guys make their own out of MDF. Since I'm not very handy, I decided to try to look for an IKEA solution. I got some inspiration from how other people made monitor stands out of shelving and legs so off I went.

I used Ikea's NORRTORP shelving since it is solid pine (the EKBY JÄRPEN was my second choice, but it is MDF), and 6" CAPITA legs. With the shelving and legs, the TV was raised 7", which is perfect for my GT5 set up and for general viewing. The total cost was $70, but the NORRTORP set comes with another shelf so I can use that for another project.

I temporarily fastened a second set of legs in anticipation of getting a new center channel speaker to place under the TV. This way I can rearrange the legs later to make sure the legs don't get in the way.

The next project will be to route the cables cleanly. Here's how it looks now:

16Jan/110

DD, finally

I finally have a proper audio set up. For the longest time I had the TV in the nook and the two speakers off to the sides straddling the fireplace. With prodding and advice from friends I've relocated the TV onto the fireplace (since I don't use it anyway) and also added a center channel since everything is centered now. It was taking me awhile to figure out why my receiver wasn't recognizing the audio source as Dolby Digital even though I knew the PS3 was capable of it. Turns out it's because:

1. Previously I had my TV feeding the receiver through the optical audio-out port. I did it this way because I could plug in multiple consoles to the TV and leave it on one input on the receiver. Turns out that when using audio-out on TVs, it will only output as 2-channel. I think this has to do with anti-piracy measures maybe.
2. PS3 needed to be directly connected to the receiver and also have its settings changed to output to only the optical connection and I had to set settings on it so that it outputs in Dolby Digital and all those other digital audio codecs.

I'm blown away by movies on the 3.1 setup and how only dialog comes through the center channel. Can't believe it's taken me this long to figure it out. Next steps are to route the wires so it's not a mess, find a way to raise the TV 6-8", and figure out how to get digital output from the other consoles.

Living Room Beta configuration

Edit: Wow, reading about Dolby TrueHD and how it's the lossless standard vs the compressed lossy Dolby Digital and Dolby DTS makes my head spin. Apparently Dolby TrueHD audio can only be heard via hdmi-capable receivers since only hdmi can support the bandwidth required. But there's a debate in the audiophile world about whether people can even tell the difference, and how it all depends on the source material anyway. Too cheap to buy a new receiver so I'm sticking with the cheapest option.

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