Cable TV is Gone

Yep, cut the cord for television after 14 years with it costing me way too much.  Now, I didn’t get rid of the Internet connection – I really would go nuts…  Just the TV and Phone portion.  Went from $160/month to $60/month.  Now, to subsidize this change, I went out and bought another Apple TV 3 for the main TV and an adapter to go from HDMI to DVI-I.  And it works like a charm.

Now, I have all the services that are on the Apple TV and the ones on my Blue Ray player.  Add in all the AirPlay streaming apps from my iPad and iPhone, and I will never run out of stuff to watch.  This isn’t even touching the huge collection of movies and shows I have in iTunes.

Just Added Surveillance

Yep, just added a surveillance camera to the house.  No, it isn’t a high-tech night vision with 4 channels, but it does watch the high-traffic area of my house.  I added a Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 to my Mac Mini that is in my living room.  It watches the kitchen area, where the door to the garage is located.  Why?  Why not.  Just wanted to see who would be coming by, and to see if I could get something like that together pretty quick.  It uses a piece of software on the Mac called iCamSource to run the server part.  Quick setup, easy configuration, and it even watches specific zones for motion and will take snapshots while motion is detected.  It has an iOS client, iCam, that will send notifications and you can view the camera live on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.  So far, very cool, and so far, it looks like I don’t have a whole lot going on at home when I am not there.  I did see the cleaning lady come through this morning, so I know the motion detection works.  I may even add another Wifi camera if I can find one for less than $100.

A Connected Lifestyle

In the last year, I went from having a decent computer, wannabe media center, work phone only to a top of the line MacBook Pro, iPhone 4s, Apple TV2 and MacMini Media server all connected via AirPlay and LogMeIn Pro.  I still have my iPad, which is also now connected across with everything else.  I have also turned on iTunes Match so I can download all my music to any of my devices at any time.  Now, add that I have all my CDs, my movie DVDs and my TV Show DVDs now ripped into iTunes, I never have to put a DVD back into my DVD player – save for my 4 BluRay DVDs.

Can you say awesome?  And one of the neatest things is letting my iPad sitting on the counter logged into iTunes via Apple Remote and letting the DJ feature on the screen allowing for people to choose what is next, or letting it randomly play whatever.  Yeah, over the top for get-togethers.

Media Center, here I come!

Yep, I was looking to create and have a media center at home that I could pull all my DVDs into and server out to whatever device I wanted.  As I was looking about to how best accomplish this, I checked out small HTPCs and the MacMini.  Now, given my new-found respect for the OSX and full Apple tool-set, I decided to go with the MacMini.  The last time I tried using Windows Media Center, it failed miserably and corrupted a whole group of videos.

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