A high-tech billionaire bought land on the outskirts of town and built a campus for his burgeoning startup.

He preserved the existing drive-in theater, and whimsically architected buildings around it in the likeness of consumer electronic devices.

His highly caffeinated workers were to unwind with classic movies after intense bouts of ping-pong, video games, and coding.

The theater would also be made available to the townspeople (at a low ticket price), to give back to the community, and for authentic local color.


On a Tuesday evening, some yayhoos get an early start: in, on, and around a beat-up ’57 Ford Styleside pickup.

Yay for 6-point beer.

Second arrival: a C++ programmer in his immaculately restored ’85 Dodge Daytona. He positions for the optimal view of the screen.

Sweet ride.

But now coming through the gate: that show-offy VP of something or other with the prime parking slot he’s so proud of.  A real TPS report kind of guy.

Can you believe this jerk paid someone to build him an actual-size replica of Speed Racer’s 2000 “Snake Oiler” car?

Showboat

Of course he takes up two parking places, positioning for the best view of him and his car

Hey, look at me!

Loud hee-hawing. The denizens of the pickup feeling no pain: their “ailments” now being treated with medical marijuana.

Still time to visit the snack bar.

OMG THE SHORT SUBJECT IS A BUNCH OF THE EXEC’S PERSONAL CAT VIDEOS!!!

“Speed Racer” played the same ones at the last big-wig company meeting, and made out like they taught some stupid lesson involving cat-herding.

Didn’t go viral for sure.

Finally, the movie has started, but the Daytona drives out in disgust.

“I want you to transmit Plan R, R for Robert, to the wing.”

Proved to be a poor turnout that evening.

“It’s not fair to condemn the whole program because of one slip-up.”

The Speed Racer exec decides it isn’t worth hanging around to impress the local malletheads.

See ya.

The movie eventually ends with a bang, but the pickup party takes little notice.

Slim Pickens rides the bomb down.

Boom.

Fin.

Come morning…

Is anybody sober enough to get us over to the Waffle House??

The End.


Also see: Tulsa-area Drive-In Theatres

The other side of the diorama.

Starring in this presentation:

The Mohu Curve 50 Indoor Amplified TV Antenna
The Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite 7.0″ 8GB Wi-Fi (Certified Refurbished) Tablet
and Tootsietoy, Hot Wheels, and Johnny Lightning cars that happened to be on hand.

Co-starring:

X10 Audio/Video Sender
Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Special Guest Appearance: Albert

XAV101 Powerline adapter in our office.

As mentioned in a previous post, I use Powerline adapters to connect networked devices (Roku, Blu-ray player, etc.) to the router/modem in our office.

Powerline uses your house wiring to send data packets between devices.

But electrical noise in our theater room’s AC circuits sometimes affects Powerline’s ability to handle the higher bandwidth needed for video.

In particular, an outdoor pond pump on the other side of the theater room wall recently became a major bandwidth killer.

Embarrassingly, a solution to this problem was right under my nose at the time I wrote that post.


XAV2001 Powerline adapter in our den. Different models and brands are able to work together.

I had just set up a new TiVo Roamio OTA in the den (Cutting the TV cable with TiVo Roamio OTA).

I plugged it into a Powerline adapter in the den to be able to get internet from the office via the adapter already there.

The TiVo Roamio requires an internet connection to periodically download program guide data; Powerline is more than adequate for this purpose; wifi can also be used.

Powerline bandwidth has always been fine in the den, being distanced from the electrical pump noise. Evidently, the den<—>office path taken by Powerline through the house wiring is much cleaner.

Months later, I bought a TiVo Mini extender for the kitchen. It needed to be connected to the main TiVo by Ethernet cable.

I plugged one end of a long Ethernet cable into it. The other end was then plugged into a new gigabit switch in the den, as was the mothership TiVo and the Powerline adapter, both via short cables.

A wired Ethernet (or alternatively, MoCA) connection is needed to stream high volumes of broadcast MPEG-2 video data from the TiVo Roamio to a TiVo Mini. It didn’t work quite as consistently with Powerline (nominally equivalent to Ethernet), as I discovered by experiment.

A month after that, I added a TiVo Mini to the theater room, plugging into it another long Ethernet cable that ran back to the den gigabit switch, connecting it with the main TiVo.

Thanks to our house’s layout, both these cables were able to hug the walls without crossing any walkways.

(Any cable coming out of our office would cross walkways and be very lengthy, thus my original need for Powerline.)


Recently, the pump noise bandwidth hit had gotten worse, and I was talking about it with my friend Tim. While doing so, I suddenly realized that my little problem could easily be solved:

Instead of having the long cable from the den plugged directly into the theater Mini, I plugged it into the theater room’s own gigabit switch, along with the Mini and every other network device in there.

That made the higher quality den Ethernet connection available to all devices in the theater room!

Why didn’t I think of it before? Probably I had fixated on making the theater room Powerline connection work before this fortuitous and circuitous bypass opportunity arose. 🙂

This move also cleared up buffering problems with streaming video served from Plex and Emby on the office PC to the theater room.

I now need only two Powerline adapters, one in the office, and one in the den.


Moral of my story? I should pull my head out occasionally, or talk it over with someone knowledgeable for a fresh perspective.

dragons

Don’t sail over the edge!

Back in March 2017, I presented an in-depth report on the risks/rewards of streaming “free” TV shows and movies using a “Kodi box”:

Kodi 3rd-party piracy addons: Here be dragons!

The currents have changed since then, and not in favor of the pirates.

Here is a marine weather report from How To Geek:

Why Your Kodi Box Isn’t Working, and What to Use Instead

In earlier times.

43″ Roku TV replacement

2.5 years ago, we suffered a lightning-pocalypse.

Last month, in a coincidence-pocalypse, I lost a tablet and phone.

Now, a mere mono-pocalypse: our old 2002 36″ tube TV in the den finally gave up the ghost.

But it isn’t really a bad thing.

We got an extra 2.7 years out of it by purchasing an HDMI-to-component video converter to use with our then-new TiVo (Replace the old TV?).

I had worried that the old TV either wouldn’t last much longer, or would last too long, so this is about right.

I also had not looked forward to hauling off the 217 lb. monster.

That problem was solved by buying the replacement at Best Buy.

Best Buy delivered the new one and hauled away the old one for a total of $35. Well worth it!

Our plan to replace all tube TVs with flat screens is now complete.

Except for the 1983 13″ Emerson TV in our workout room.

It is able to display the TiVo’s output with the aid of an X10 video sender/receiver pair.

It’s also completely controllable with the TiVo’s RF remote.

Perfect for limited use and nostalgia.

A 43″ Sharp Roku TV is the replacement.


TiVo channel on Roku TV

DVD/VCR channel on Roku TV

Roku TV displays HDMI inputs (and one composite input) as Roku channels.

So TiVo becomes one of many channels selectable with the Roku remote. If you select it, then pick up the TiVo remote to control it.

If you start with the TiVo remote, you can turn on the TV, then use the Input button to switch to the TiVo “channel”. Perfect.

My own 5-in-1 X10 learning universal remote for the den, which I had outlandishly stretched to be a 7-in-1, just became a 6-in-1, since the Roku and TV merged. The simplification made it easier to use.

My wife uses the separate TiVo and Roku remotes.

The nice thing is that our cord-cutting savings over the last 2.75 years have much more than paid for all of our tube-to-flat-screen upgrades.

I can now put the HDFury Gamer 2 HDMI-to-component video converter on eBay and recover most of its cost.

HDFury Gamer 2

If the thought of losing MSNBC and/or Fox News is stopping you from cutting the cable, here is one way to watch for free.

This way involves running free Plex Server software on your PC, and manually adding Plex channel plugin software for cCloud.

cCloud TV is a free cloud-based social IPTV service.  All IPTV links are submitted by users.

If you set it up right, you can watch these two news channels and more on your phone, tablet, PC, or Roku box.


Caveats:

cCloud has no control over the streams listed there, so there are no guarantees they will work indefinitely, but they are updated periodically. You might occasionally need to look for new links to the streams you like in cCloud.

This is only a high-level set of instructions, so you need to be pretty comfortable with Windows and fooling around with software, but if you succeed, it’s a nice feature to have.


First, sign up at plex.tv. Download and install the free Plex server software on your PC.

Plex offers a number of free “channels”. Check them out, however, note that they are not streams but collections of videos. Well worth trying if you have a yen for some HGTV or Food Network, like my wife does on Saturdays.

However, the Plex channel you want is called cCloud, and it is not available in the Plex repository.

Download cCloud Plex plugin software here: https://github.com/coder-alpha/CcloudTv.bundle

Extract the zip file downloaded from github to the Plex Media Server plugins folder on your PC;

On Windows 7, 8, and 10, the folder is located here:

C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Local\Plex Media Server\Plug-ins

Then restart the Plex server, or reboot.

More about cCloud for Plex here:

https://forums.plex.tv/…/rel-ccloudtv-channel-iptv/p1

cCloud has MSNBC and Fox News streaming links among others (many of them require high bandwidth, but these two do not).

Save bookmarks to them within cCloud.

You can watch them on Plex via your browser.

Or, get the free Plex app on your phone and watch there.

If you have a Roku, add the free Plex channel and click your way to your cCloud bookmarks.