Hugsies Blog!

November 10, 2013

The 1080p delema of the Xbox One

Filed under: Gaming!, Xbox 360, Xbox One — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 9:21 pm

PCs have been doing HD and better resolutions for decades before “HD” was even a marketing sales gimmick. Microsoft is trying to cram an HTPC (home theater PC), a DVR, skype, and a video game console into one unit, with hardware specs that are well below even a mid-range gaming PC, or even a HTPC that you could get in the $500 price range.

Microsoft is using virtual machines (HyperV) to run all of this stuff in the background all as separate Operating Systems (OS) that its NO WONDER why the resolutions of CoD Ghosts, and other games are running at 900p or 720p.  NOT at the ubiquitous and largely taken-for-granted quality of 1080p, which has been common place for over a decade.

It’s not that the Xbox One hardware isn’t up to snuff to do 1080p at 60fps, assuming all it is doing is running a video game. It’s the other multiple OS running other stuff via HyperV that devs are having to deal with. They only get a slice of the pie of it’s GPU/CPU horsepower, which is whats making developers lower graphics resolutions to maintain a certain frame rate in their games.

Microsoft in their infinite wisdom wants to record a TV show in the background while you play your video game, even though you probably don’t have TV feed hooked up to it (since you already own a DVR). Also CPU cycles are being used as it listens to you via Kinect, while you yell at n00bs and trolls online; just in case you actually give a voice command to the Xbox. There is a “GAME DVR” that records you playing the game in case you wanna record your last epic trick shot, or achievement (which granted thats fucking cool).  Plus there’s online and network traffic, cloud storage, and cloud servers. That’s a LOT of stuff going on that would bog down a high end PC with an eight-core CPU @ 4.5ghz, quad GPUs in SLI, with 64GB of quad channel RAM with a 250GB SSD storage.

That last bit might be exaggerated but I believe you get my point. All of this reminds me of past failures Microsoft had, like Windows Me, and to some extent Windows Vista. It’s typical Microsoft ideologies where they take something that works well, and in its next incarnation try make it do far too much and it ultimately fails, or it won’t meet expectations. All because it’s doing all this extra “crap” that most users have no need for, and it prevents them from doing what users WANT it to do. Microsoft doesn’t care what you want, they know better for your own good!

With all of that said,  I’m still gonna buy an Xbox One over a PS4 since I have no loyalty nor much history with Sony as I’ve had with Xbox over the past decade and a half, not to mention with DOS/Windows PC gaming which spans a better part of 30 years now. Plus I just re-upped my XBL gold membership for another year. 🙂

March 8, 2013

I hate my #comcast DVR

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 7:49 pm

DVRs need to evolve and DOWNLOAD TV shows I want to watch, rather than record shows as they broadcast from the networks. I shouldn’t have to deal with conflicting recording schedules for content that’s already digital.  Since we all pulled the “analog plug” for TV almost FOUR years ago, why are we still “recording” shows instead of downloading them? The whole POINT of a DVR is to watch shows on my own time, and not when it’s airing. Most shows I won’t get the chance to watch for another week anyway. So if it takes longer to download a show rather than record it, so what?

I can already download shows off the internet on demand with out scheduling conflicts. I can download a DOZEN shows at the same time with out conflicts. Who CARES if DishNetwork or Uverse DVRs can record 4+ shows at the same time. the point is we shouldn’t NEED to “record” broadcast shows when they are already in a digital form. I could set up an RSS feed to download my favorite TV shows via Bit Torrent which come with the commercials already edited out.

On top of this my Comcast DVR is not very stable. There’s always a good chance that shows it records won’t play back for whatever reason. NEVER a problem when you DOWNLOAD a show since downloading it always has a built-in check the file isn’t corrupted. But a recording can easily be corrupted and be unplayable part way into the show or it won’t even start and the DVR isn’t even smart enough to skip over those corrupted parts so I can watch.

My biggest gripe with my DVR are the controls. They always lag, they don’t respond to when you press the buttons on the remote. Often times when I fast forward though commercial I smack into the END of the recording, or in odd cases it goes BACK to the start.  Some times i can get it to stop right after the commercial but then it rewinds back like 20 seconds so I’m forced to see the last ad. You can’t fast forward 20 seconds since it just puts you right back where you were when you need to stop it, or goes past two minutes into the next segment of the show.  So damn FRUSTRATING! So I’m constantly doing this DANCE with the remote to get it to play when i want it to. Sometimes i’ll spend more time fucking with the remote to skip over commercials than it would take for the 2 minutes to WATCH the bloody commercials.

I know they can’t put a 30 second button on their DVRs (they used too) but it’s always LAGGING or seemingly freezing up for a few seconds as the show whizzes by and often SPOILING the show’s story as I see something appear, but missed how it came about  because I couldn’t STOP THE STUPID DVR SOON ENOUGH.

Why can’t these DVRs be clever enough to realize that most shows repeat later that same week or even that same DAY?  So if there’s a conflict why can’t it just record the next re-airing of the same episode of the show?  Comcast DVRs are very stupid in regards as to what is a rerun and isn’t.  if it says “repeat” in the show’s description it sees it as a rerun even if it’s the same NEW episode that aired 3 hours ago. So if the description happens to omit that word, it thinks it’s new and it records it… even though it IS indeed a rerun that’s airing on an odd hour that isn’t it’s normal time slot.




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