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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PCI or USB TV Tuner? Which one should you buy?

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Which TV Tuner is better?
Which TV Tuner is cheaper?
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using a USB TV Tuner?
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using a PCI TV Tuner?

Nowadays, many TV Tuners are available in the market. You can purchase it under 100 dollars so its really very cheap compared in the past. You can use it for your personal computer/PC and laptop/notebook. It also comes with 2 different interfaces: these are PCI cards and USB devices. In addition, some Video Cards also function as a TV Tuner. But before you decide on which TV Tuner you would like to buy, please read the text below.

Features, factors and other things you would consider before purchasing or buying a TV Tuner for your computer:

  • Video Recording - record TV shows
  • Time Shift Feature - buffer or record the TV signal by using your Hard Disk
  • watch it in full screen just like a normal TV
  • watch it in small screen (minimized window) to give space for you browser and surf the web
  • FM Tuner
  • Scheduled Recording
  • Image Capture or Screen shot
  • Video Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Video Editing Software
  • Remote Control
  • internal PCI card or external USB card
  • Transmission type of your television: DVB-S, DVB-C, DVB-T
PCI Card Advantage/s:

  • your desk is free of clutter
  • one time installation, close your CPU and thats it
  • cheaper than USB

PCI Card Disadvantage/s:
  • can't use it on your laptop
  • you have to open your CPU again if you plan to use it on another computer
  • bad if your PCI slot is full

USB TV Tuner Advantage/s:
  • good if your PCI slot is full
  • portable, you can watch TV on your laptop or on your PC
  • quicker to install, just plug it in your USB slot

USB TV Tuner Disadvantage/s:
  • some USB TV Tuners are bulky enough to fit in your USB Slots which means you have to detach some of your USB components to make room for the TV Tuner.
I have probably missed something. I am not an expert with TV Tuners but I just want to share my ideas and opinion. So feel free to comment.

Friday, February 13, 2009

How to setup Scheduled Recording using TerraTec Home Cinema Program

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This is a Step by Step Tutorial on how to setup Scheduled Recording using TerraTec Home Cinema Program. The specific model that I used is Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner. But this tutorial may possibly work on other Terratec Cinergy TV Tuners. What I am trying to say is that Terratec have different models of TV Tuners but the Software Program it uses are just the same. I believe the differences might be its features and skin.

1. Open TerraTec Home Cinema program.
2. Click on New or F5.
3. Choose and click on the TV station.
4. Select the recording Mode.
5. Set the Date.
6. Set the Start Time and the End Time.
7. Set the Afterwards Mode. This means what do you want the program to execute after the recording. You can either choose:
  • Close the application
  • Hibernate computer
  • Standby computer
  • Power off the computer
8. Click Save or F5.
9. The next window will just show you the Scheduled recordings. Just Click Exit or F8
10. When the recording starts, your Terratec Home Cinema program should have a Record icon.
Please watch the slide show to better understand these steps.

In my sample screen shots, I set the TV Tuner to do a record on TV Station ProSieben on February 13, 2009. It will start at 10:25 AM and will stop recording at 10:30 AM. After it stops it will close the Terratec Home Cinema Program.

For example if you always want to record the 5 PM to 6 PM news every Monday to Friday and after the recording it will shutdown the computer, just set the Mode to Mon-Fri and the Afterwards option to Power Off.

My Observations
Terratec's Home Cinema Program is not that easy to use if the user is not really into tech stuff. The options, like the New-F5 and Delete-F6, does not look like a button. So ordinary users will not immediately know on what to do next. It should look like more of a button since most users are getting used to it. Displaying text as a clickable item will not tell the user that it is clickable. I hope Terratec will improve their User Interface in their next Software Release.

Enjoy Recording! ^_^

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Exercise and Weight Loss on Wii Fit

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Wii Fit is used in almost 1.5 million homes across the USA. Using Wii Fit is a painless way for people to get healthy. But the problem is that not everybody is using it to its full potential. It seems that people only play the game because it is so popular. After weeks and months of using Wii Fit, people tend to lose interest with the game which means that it is just an exercise hype. To make the story short, Nintendo created and marketed the gadget very wisely and they are not responsible if people use it or not.

"Don't blame Nintendo for people's sloth, observers say. The company has marketed its new cash cow brilliantly, and it's not responsible for whether consumers play the game or not. Nintendo declined to comment for this article, but Wii Fit creator Shigeru Miyamoto has previously gone on record and said that the game is less about people losing weight and more about broadening the videogame market. Still, it seems a little disingenuous for Nintendo to heavily market a fitness tool that's sitting in more than a million American living rooms collecting dust". - Source

People's claims who succesfully used Wii Fit
  • At the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, kids are not participating in physical therapy. With Wii Fit, kids are motivated.
  • An assistant manager at WalMart who uses Wii Fit faithfully for 2 months has lost weight, stopped smoking and feels more energetic.
  • A woman who uses Wii Fit for 6 to 7 days a week loses 40 pounds.
Bottom Line
The benefit you will get from Wii Fit depends on how you use it. Its just like enrolling in a Fitness Program (Wii Fit) and if you are not faithful in participating with it, then absolutely you will not get positive results.

Article Sources:
The Truth about Wii Fit Weight Loss
Wii Fit Backlash

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wi-Fi Detector Shirt by ThinkGeek

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ThinkGeek has developed a cool product for Wi-Fi lovers. It is called the Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. This is very useful especially if you have no phone that detects wi-fi and you want to access the Internet. Instead of turning on your laptop, you just have to look at the glowing bars of your shirt.

"Here at ThinkGeek we're pretty lazy when it comes to technology. We expect our gadgets to do all the busywork while we focus on the high level important tasks like reading blogs. That's why we hate to have to crack open our laptops just to see if there is any wi-fi internet access about... and keychain wi-fi detectors, we would have to actually remove them from our pockets to look at them. But now thanks to the ingenious ThinkGeek robot monkeys you can display the current wi-fi signal strength to yourself and everyone around you with this stylish Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. The glowing bars on the front of the shirt dynamically change as the surrounding wi-fi signal strength fluctuates. Finally you can get the attention you deserve as others bow to you as their reverential wi-fi god, while geeky chicks swoon at your presence. You can thank us later. " - ThinkGeek

Product Features

  • Glowing animated shirt dynamically displays the current wi-fi signal strength.
  • Shows signal strength for 802.11b or 802.11g
  • Black 100% Cotton T-Shirt
  • Animated Decal is Removable (with hook and loop fasteners) for Easy Washing
  • Battery Pack is Concealed in a Small Pocket Sewn Inside the Shirt
  • Runs for hours off three AAA Batteries (not included)

Washing Instructions

  1. Carefully peel animated decal from front of T-Shirt
  2. Unplug ribbon connector behind decal and remove decal
  3. Unplug battery pack and remove it
  4. You can leave the ribbon cable inside the shirt
  5. Machine wash gentle cycle on cold
  6. Hang to dry
    Please Note: If you plug the connector into the battery pack backwards the shirt will not animate properly. It will not damage the shirt. Simply reverse the connector.
The shirt is available on and it costs $19.99. Click here for Customer Action shots.
I love this shirt! ^_^

Monday, February 9, 2009

Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD Problem: Remote Control

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Having problems with your Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner's remote control?

Until now I have experienced problems with my Remote Control. The problem is that the Remote Control will not function when I press any buttons. Volume, Mute, Channel, Record, Stop - every button will not work. Luckily its just a minor problem with a simple workaround or fix.

Workaround or Fix

This particular problem occurs after launching Terratec Home Cinema program. If your remote control is not working, all you have to do is perform these simple steps.

1. In your TaskBar, just right click Terratec Remote Control Editor and click Exit.

2. Launch Terratec Remote Control Editor again and your Remote Control should now work.

I always do these steps whenever my Remote Control is not functioning and the problem will be fixed.

Other Posts:

What is PageRank? Why are Bloggers and Website owners crazy about it?

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What is PageRank?
How will I know the PageRank if a website?
What can I get from PageRank?
How can I embed PageRank on my browser?
How to view a website or webpages PageRank?
How to install Google Toolbar with PageRank?
Which sites checks PageRank?

PageRank - This is one of the most common items that a website displays especially with blogs. Many people are crazy about this because it shows how great their site is. Do you know why PageRank is popular among bloggers and other website owners? Before I tell you what PageRank is let me give you a very long explaination.

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm used by the Google Internet search engine that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of "measuring" its relative importance within the set. The Google Toolbar's PageRank feature displays a visited page's PageRank as a whole number between 0 and 10. The most popular websites have a PageRank of 10. The least have a PageRank of 0.-

In my own understanding, PageRank is what Google uses to determine the web page's importance, relevance and POPULARITY. It is one of the many factors used to ascertain which web pages appear when using Google Search. I believe it is not the only factor Google uses but I also believe that it has the biggest weight of all factors. It matters (especially to bloggers and website owners who blog for money as the main reason) because it is one of the factors that determine a page's rank in the search results. For example, if your website or web page is on the FIRST PAGE on the Google Search result, it means that your website or web page has 100% visibility to the user. There is a very great percentage that users will visit your site. Visitors equals traffic. The more traffic or visitors on your site, the more chances that these visitors will click your ads or join your affiliate programs.

Search engines like Google crawl and index web pages. Don't misunderstood web pages and websites. What I am trying to say here is that PageRank may vary from page to page within a website or blog. Your article about animals may have a PageRank of 4/10 but your article about HOT and SEXY women may have a PageRank of 10/10.

Examples of web pages are:
Examples of websites are:
In simple terms or a simple analogy would be: the Internet is a Tree, a Website is a Trunk and a Web Page is a Leaf.

How to view a website or webpages PageRank?

There are 2 ways to do these: Google Toolbar and PageRank checking sites.

How to install Google Toolbar with PageRank?
Click here. This is NOT A SCAM.hehe And also note that installing Google Toolbar may vary with different browsers. But I am pretty sure you can install it easily, anyways its just an add-on or plug-in.

Which sites checks PageRank?
I am not sure if they return the same result as Google's PageRank Toolbar simply because they are NOT Google. Except if they use Google API (if its open and shared).

As of now, I am not really a big fan about PageRank. Maybe because my sites are still very young. I blog simply because I enjoy doing it (and also because I earn money from it, but just a little ^_^). Furthermore, I blog because I want to share what my experiences, ideas, thoughts and opinions.

I hope you enjoyed reading. ^_^

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

TechMata Disclosure Policy

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This policy is valid from 10 February 2009
  • This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact
  • This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.
  • This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.
  • The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.
  • This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

ASUS Eee PC 1000 review

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The ASUS Eee PC 1000 is the most well equipped netbook. It has the largest screen display of all Eee series and other netbooks (as of the moment and please correct me if I am wrong about this). You can purchase this machine with Windows XP or with Linux operating system (cheaper with Linux).

ASUS Eee PC 1000 Specification:

Display: 10 inches
Processor: Intel® Atom N270 1.60 GHz
Wireless Data Network: 802.11 n
Bluetooth: YES
Memory: 1GB (DDR2)
Hybird Storage: 40GB Solid State Drive
Integrated Camera: 1.3M Pixel
Audio: Hi-definition Audio, Stereo speaker, Digital Array Mic
Battery: Up to 6 hrs
Weight: 1.33 kg
Price: $372 to $614 (depending on the customization and store)

Asus has definitely created an ultra portable and well equipped netbook. The 10 inch display is great considering its portability. The size of the keyboard is much better than the "lesser than 10 inches" netbooks as your fingers will have enough space when typing. With 1.6 GHz processor and 1 GB RAM, you can run almost any application you need with this tiny machine. Keep in mind that this is a netbook, portability, not for gaming. Word processors, spreadsheets and other necessary applications you want to install in this system will not be a problem. Battery is absolutely great. I consider this as the most important thing with netbooks as it is designed for portability. The greater the time it can run, the better. 6 hours of using this machine is more than enough if you are just at home or on the go. If you are a blogger (like me) or even a businessman or a student for that matter, you can still do your work or assignment even when you are on a Restaurant, Bus or a Train. Furthermore, you can't disturb the person sitting beside you as this machine is very small. If only I have extra money, I would definitely by this machine. Maybe next month or next year... T_T

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Google Latitude - Locating Friends on Google Maps

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Google Latitude is now up and running! It allows you to see your friends location (as well as share your location) on Google Maps. You can access it using a mobile phone (but not all) and computer.
Image Courtesy of GoogleImage Courtesy of Google
With this feature, the privacy of the user is at risk since it broadcasts his/her location. But Google managed to counter this problem by letting the users manually choose to turn it ON or OFF. Basically to turn off or disable the service so that the user can't be located. This service is very useful and helpful especially to parents who wish to keep track of their children right from their computer or phones.

Unfortunately this feature is only available to the US and other countries.
Try it yourself! Here is the link: Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Google Internet Bus Project Launches in India

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Google India's Internet Bus Project have just launched in India. The purpose of this project is to educate and to distribute and spread awareness about the Internet to the people. This is a very excellent idea and very helpful to people especially nowadays that the Internet is widely used but still many people are not aware of it.

"The bus is designed to make a simple introduction to the Internet for a new user. With a focus on the four themes of education, information, communication, and entertainment, the Internet Bus will be loaded with useful and informative content in English and Tamil. We'll showcase how the Internet can make everyday life simple through services like search, email, social networking, maps and others. We strongly believe the Internet is a great equalizing force, and this project represents another way Google is directly engaging with people in India." - Google India

Google Internet Bus:

Inside the bus:

Image Courtesy of Google

This project would definitely make people aware on how their lives could be made easier with the use of the Internet. How I wish Google will launch this project to all third world countries especially in my home country. ^_^

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How to Fix Login problems with your Google Mail Account

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Just a while ago I have experienced a problem in logging in to my gmail account. I cannot access my account and the odd thing is that I'm just returned to the login page without any error messages. I thought this was just a loading problem. I tried several logging in to my account several times but still I could not get through. After a couple of minutes in investigating on why this happened, I found a fix.

1. Go to Tools -> Clear Private Data (or type Ctrl+Shift+Del).
2. Check Cache, Cookies and Offline Website Data checkboxes.

3. Click on Clear Private Data Now.

4. Login to your Google Mail account.

Note: I am using Firefox browser. The steps above worked for me but it might not work for you.

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