Warm regards + dire warnings + profound apologies + sincere thanks & gratitude = no regrets!
Greetings and I’m finally here! You will have to be the judge of what that means… to me, it’s another step in my journey, bringing me closer to an idea/revelation I had some time ago. So for me, this is nothing but a win-win situation… (not the Charlie Sheen kind!) You’ll find out who to blame for this soon. How’d I get here? It starts with one word… digital. That took a giant leap with the brilliant (most would argue obvious) idea/revelation I had quite some time ago. Hate to admit it, but only got a PC (as a gift) Christmas 1999… had 6 Gb hard drive, big at the time. Had dial up internet till September 2007. Learned just enough about a computer to realize that more can be better (for a price). I also observed upgrades never cease. It was clear any “build from scratch” computer would out perform and out last a run of the mill, big-box package type computer, (produced by the thousands), and would do so at a competitive price… If you know what you are doing! I knew just enough… enough to be dangerous! I knew what I wanted… my “minimum requirements”. That’s when the nice people at CompUSA came to the rescue. (I hear the groans… they gave me a few too.) But I did end up with a nice new desktop PC, which I still am using to this day. (Although they did the build, I just told them what I wanted.)
Next step on this journey here came from an addiction. Both for me and my wife… photography. (Our ten day honeymoon to Grand Cayman/Orlando Florida…54 rolls of film shot, 38 of them 36 exposure! Addiction is the correct word!) The cost savings of not paying for developing every picture taken, the freedom to shoot as much as you could want to, the ability to “play” with exposure, depth of field, all that fun stuff… not to even mention the digital “magic” (Photoshop) available… slam dunk. Averaging close to 15,000 pictures a year. Hard drive space? Got more than enough. Backed up? Covered… 2nd hard drive in desktop, and for good measure the photo’s are burned to a DVD (at the beginning, CD). But I’m sorry, we aren’t here yet. Few more steps, right this way…
It is hard not to notice how fast things change. New today, obsolete tomorrow. “Future proofing”, (what I want) will soon be joining all the other oxymorons (military intelligence, dope initiative…), of this, I have no doubt. Makes people want to sit on the fence till things “shake themselves out”. In some ways, I too, am guilty of this. (But I have also learned, sitting on fences can make you a pain in the you-know-what.) I mention that now, only because it delayed completing the subsequent steps. That, plus my brilliant flash of insight, that idea/revelation I had that… everything can get connected! But wait, not here yet! Time for another detour…
Long story short? (hey, I’m tryin’!) Lots of research while upgrading fence sitting to an art form. I’m talking professional status here. My stereo system – 24 years old. The TV – 22 years old (did not even have a S-video cable input, but it’s a Trinitron, and the picture is/was still great, even if not HD). It was past time to upgrade, (as I would eventually have to), if I want to realize everything being connected. So I started with the TV, scouring the bowels of the internet for what ever I could find. Serious research time that also allowed the products time to get better, and to include the connectivity I desired. My audio/video quest… now you know the origins of my name! That journey has been long, so very long. I’m talking years. And the photography didn’t slow down. Memory does have limits. Time to throw in a 1Tb USB external drive, exclusively used for photos. And I do get lucky some times. All that research confirming my idea with my occasional brush with of something called N.A.S. It was time. I had to start making this my reality, but where to begin?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, (I have been known to fly by the seat of my pants on occasion.) I really don’t know what I’m doing! I’m just making this up as I go! I do make a good decision on rare occasions too. With my limited knowledge of anything “network” I took the plunge. Didn’t really consider wireless or not… figured “quality” would be best acquired with a wired network. Big breakthrough when I could not find any wired network stuff, did not realized they don’t advertise/sell wired network stuff, you just turn off the wireless. Now the possibilities had grown exponentially… except not much on storage with streaming audio/video, where I knew I would eventually head. Very few products, allot not worth considering due to limitations each had. Did I mention my luck? Literally fell on an unbelievable deal on one of the most impressive and complete pieces of equipment I had read about. The EX495 was at a smoking hot price from an authorized vendor, and HP matched the price. I pulled the trigger. (Four days later, HP had an even better sales price, I called and they gave me a refund for the difference.) I received this bad boy on April 8th… 2010! That’s right, it’s a year old. (You may have guessed by now that I routinely start out kind of slow, but then I fizzle out altogether!)
The thing is, I’ve been on this “A/V Quest”. My research did not stop. Found a router I thought would serve me best at the time (Netgear WNDR 3700), hooked up the server (with an additional 2 Tb drive) and have been backing up my PC since then. I regret to admit that is as far as I have taken it. All that research time in terms of audio/video gear… I desperately wanted to join the big screen/flat panel HD/Blu ray crowds. And I found a constant source of “crack” for this research addiction I had developed. The source of all that high quality “crack” was AVSForums. You know the rest… searched that site one day for my “new toy” and stumbled across “dbone”… sorry Damian, your busted!
So where have I been for the last year? Well, all that research I’ve done has helped me find/purchase the TV I so desperately desired (Sony 52’ Hx 909) just before Halloween. That took most of the (financial) wind out of my quest for audio nirvana I was searching for. Extensive music collection (nothing mp3… yet) But again, this research paid off, and I also picked up a “entrée level” network 7.2 AVR just after Christmas (Onkyo TX-NR 708 complete with Dolby PLIIz and Audessy DSX in a 11.2 speaker set up (heights & wides)). What I’m saying is I have most of the pieces in place finally! What I’m saying is I have a little bit of knowledge, and that can be extremely dangerous for me!
So, like it or not, I am here to….
Warn you – I have so many questions still… some incredibly simple /mundane, but I haven’t figured
them out yet… consider me the village idiot!
Apologize – for taking your valuable time… both in your efforts to make heads and tales from this
long-winded introduction, and for all my future transgressions against anyone here.
Thank you – for all that I will learn/experience/enjoy on this quest I have begun. I promise will get
busy and read everything in this forum (as well as AVSForum’s thread), but that will take
some time… and lead to many more questions I’m sure!
I do want to be able to utilize this piece of technology to it’s full potential. This (for me) usually mean slow, and difficult, and confusing. From what I have seen here over the last year (I have been a lurker too long) I think I’ve come to the right place for help. My appreciation sincere. Betty Davis said “ Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride”… but those can be so much fun, and so intense, it’s worth it! (I love rollercoasters too!) Much more to come, my thanks to all here, and thrilled to finally be a member of this forum.