Monday, November 24, 2003

RS422 over cat5 cable
I cable a lot of TV facilities and the tendency nowadays is to use the ubiquitous cat5 data cable for carrying everything that doesn't require a better grade of cable. RS422 for machine control used to be universally carried on Star Quad cable but now cat5 does the job - here is the pinout I have settled on:

  • I avoid the blue pair because that is often used to analogue voice and if you mis-patched you may wind up terminating a data pair in a low impedance.
  • The brown pair often carries power in POE (Power Over Ethernet) implementations and if you mis-patch the sending switch sees a low impedance and shuts off the current.
  • The orange and green pair carry the Tx and Rx pairs as per ethernet (which expects to see a 110 ohm termination).
That's why I do it thus!

Friday, November 21, 2003

I often have to specify monitors for computer and TV usage - I recently put an Acer AL1731 into a client's facility - best TFT I've ever seen - 17" (1280x1024 native) with SVGA, DVI, Composite video and S-Video inputs. Pristine picture quality and bright. It has a lovely machined aluminium stand and a rubber flap that covers the input sockets (so that it looks like all the cables disappear into it while you can easily add or remove feeds). I got it from Kingmaker who were knocking them out at £329!

Thursday, November 13, 2003

AEC-BOX-1/2/10/20 Stand-Alone LTC/VITC Time Code Reader
This unit allows you to have an application that can't read audio or vertical interval timecode but can drive a VTR down an RS422 connection - typ. Avid ExpressDV etc. The box spoofs a VTR and returns timecode when asked either from it's XLR input or by extracting it from the VITC - an application I've ued it for is logging "live" video (i.e. MediaLog on reality shows).

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Smartphone2000 - good set of SPV downloads.

Monday, November 10, 2003

VirtualDrive emulates your computer's CD/DVD-ROM drive, which enables you to run CD & DVD programs directly from your hard drive without the use of the physical CD/DVD-ROM drive or the actual disc. It spoofs mixed-mode disks (some games won't run unless they can see the audo tracks), and it also emulates most of the copy-protection systems - it means the kids need never spoil another CD!
See it here

Friday, November 07, 2003

I use my SmartPhone to listen to MP3 content every day - music and spoken. My beefs with the Microsoft Media Player are:
1. Takes an age to fire up - I presume it scans my entire 256meg SD card for content every time it runs.
2. It often stutters during playback (doesn't seem bitrate related - 32kbit spoken content or 160kbit music is equally effected),
3. It doesn't save the playback position when you leave the application - half way through an hour long radio programme and you're stuffed!
4. No jog/shuttle within a file (see note 3!)
5. If you receive a 'phone call when listening it quits the application (see note 3 and 4!),
6. No eq.
7. No playlists.
8. It slows the 'phone down so that other functions are unusable while it is running - can't compose emails etc.
PocketMusic suffers none of these inadequacies and is free! get it here.
Oh, it also supports WinAmp skins (hmm - not top of my agenda! I'd rather a command line interface!).
That URL was wrong - now it's right!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

I love technology, particularly in the way it allows better ways to communicate - Instant Messaging, SMS testing etc. gets my juices flowing (oh yeah!) BUT the thing that gets my goat is the cold calls from companies trying to arrange salesmen to call. Nobody I knows appreciates having a call at eight in the evening when you're reading to the kids or getting them into bed. We were averaging one or two calls a night but after registering with the Telephone preference service they have totally stopped!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

A couple of MPEG-1 clips encoded for the SPV telephone:
Dead Parrot sketch
Black Eyed Peas promo

Use this to play them on your SPV, and here is a TMPGEnc tamplate that I've been tweaking for a while.