My friend hellbound asked me for an update on what goodies I decided to get with my tax refund.
1. EyeTV. I am enjoying watching my shows when I want and skipping over the commercials (you can edit commercials out, too, but I haven't tried that yet). It's easy to search for shows and schedule weekly recording and exporting to Apple TV. Now I can get all those good movies on TCM & Fox at 6:30 AM! My goal is to never waste time watching mediocre programming. The only drawbacks are keeping my hard drive from filling up (although the device has a buffer, so it will hold a certain amount of TV until you have room) and that I have to drag the cable all the way over from the living room (I'm sure the nice people at the cable company wouldn't charge me for another outlet that I'd be using for a device that will make them zero dollars instead of buying a DVR from them, right?).
2. Logitech Harmony Remote 676. A similar remote was on my Amazon wishlist, but I didn't expect to get it since it's a bit pricy. But then I saw a story on Lifehacker about a reconditioned one available at Tigerdirect for $46, and I had to jump on it. Since I got that new A/V receiver, I was juggling way too many remotes.
This is the most awesome remote ever. I had given up on my cheapie Philips universal remote because it didn't have specialized buttons that I needed and it wouldn't work on my Apple TV. The Harmony can be programmed so you use one button to perform all the actions needed: Press button for movies=Turn on Tv-->Turn on receiver-->Turn on DVD player. Same for turning off--I used to need 1 minute of time set aside to turn off my TV, my Apple TV, and my reciever before going to work, but now I have 1 more minute to play Bejeweled or go on Flickr. The buttons have a good solid feel and you just program it by opening software on your computer and typing the model number of the device you want to control. No more pointing a remote at it over and over until you get it right! The only drawback is that the software crashes on my computer sometimes.
3. Cheapass Memorex DVD player. Just when I was getting my entertainment system all perfect, my DVD player had to poop out on me. I figured that DVD players are at the level right now where any player will do a decent job, so I just got a cheap one for $40. I'll probably replace it with a Blu-Ray in a year or two when the price goes down.
I'm taking my record player in for repairs this week, so I don't know yet if I'll have to get a new one or a USB turntable. As far as the iPod Touch, I'll probably get one this summer when Apple's supposed to release the 3.0 version. I found this neat site that predicts when you should buy a certain Apple product based on previous release cycles.