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Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:26 am
by Dartman
Well haven't checked in here for a while and what with all the nasty stuff happening wanted to see how everyone here is doing. So far everyone in my family IS OK but several of us got bad colds. I and my sister are off work due to lock down but we just got our stimulus checks and unemployment just started sending out the extra money to tide families over till things open up again so we'll be fine now.

I finally got a decent refund and my beloved Hisense just died a few months ago so I bought a 65" TCL 825 set with the micro led backlight and like a thousand zones just before things got serious here. Paid 1499 on sale after getting a extra 100 off just for asking.
Set seems way bigger and is definitely way brighter, and has better color then the Hisense did. It even puts up a little HDR bug at the right top of the screen when it detects a 4K HDR signal just so you know for sure.
I have to say I contacted Hisense after I realized my 55 wasn't going to come back and within a week they sent out a local tech with all the parts that normally go bad and we pulled it off the wall and he replaced all the boards in it, HOWEVER it didn't come on, the screen had died.
He took his parts back out and scratched up the screen and told me they would contact me about what to do next. Set was just over 3 years old and still under warranty so when they called me they said they would send me a 55H8F set to replace mine and it was delivered about a week later to my door. I gave it to my Mom and it is a huge upgrade for her so everyone is happy.
The new TCL has such nice black levels when the video goes off it goes black like it is turned off and I don't see any blooming around the edges of the light to dark areas. It's almost as good as a OLED set without the burn-in and it gets way brighter when called for.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:26 am
by SithTracy
I have not stopped by here in ages... Was looking at some old bookmarks and decided I would still see if this places was kicking... It is!

We have a TCL/Roku TV, but to be honest, I watch little TV anymore... Sick of the political drama. My kids are older... oldest is a Junior in college with dreams to work for NASA (has interned for them and worked on a project that launched with Blue Origin in December '19; with COVID-19, that is up in the air for this summer). My youngest, a Junior in HS and upset Prom will likely bite the dust.

Wife and I are coming up on 23 years of marriage this June and I am over 50 now. Loaded full of grey hair (that is what two daughters will do to you).

The world went and changed... I don't burn or rip CD's/DVD's/Blu-Rays very often... it's a streaming world. I have NetFlix/Hulu/Disney+/Prime/Spotify... I could not believe the forum I used to mod (cdrinfo) is still there (but looks DoA). I modded at some photography forum some years back and they folded up... Forums struggle I think, though I am in a couple of Guitar builder/player forums as I have taken up playing again after a number of years of stopping. With being locked in, I assembled another telecaster style in the past month.


I hope this quick note finds everyone well and I will make a point to stop in more often and say hi.

All the best,


Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:46 am
by Ian
I've been working from home for five weeks now. Madison wasn't hit as hard with the virus as say Milwaukee, but our county has the second highest number of infections. Even here in my little town, we had at least one person die of it so far. Thankfully, my family hasn't gotten it yet.

Those TCL TV's are pretty nice. We got a 55 inch 5 series TV for my oldest son for his birthday and he really likes it. My wife and I are thinking of spending our stimulus money on one for our living room to replace the 4K Samsung TV we have there.

Social media pretty much killed off forums. I still visit a few for Transformers and RC stuff, but all the youngsters head on over to FB, Instagram, etc.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:37 pm
by Dartman
Well good to see a few regulars still kicking. Been off over a month now because my end of work was slow then the virus hit. Oregon is doing good because we closed up early when Washington started getting the first cases.
You could be on my side as my beard is almost white now seeing how I was born in 58.
The TCL just looks awesome. I spend time looking at 4k and 8k HDR demos and movies on my Plex Server.
Ian you might want to checkout Best Buy and Costco. Last I checked Best Buy still had some 65" TCL 825 sets in stock for 1599. It was the brightest nicest looking one on the wall it was on and my panel is almost perfect. Costco has the Vizio 65 Quantem X occasionally on sale for 899 and I almost bought it as it also looks awesome and gets even brighter than the TCL but I thought overall the TCL looked better plus the tech it uses is better.
My one complaint is the hdmi arc port is picky and looses my cable box after being off all night. I can fix it by changing the hdmi mode on that port and it rescans and finds it again then works fine for the rest of the day. If you decide to get it ask the TV manager if he'll make you a deal as mine knocked another 100 off and delivered it free.
My store also had a Sony 65 Z9f master series set for 1799 which is a uber top end Sony and I always love their color balance and upscaling.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:41 pm
by SithTracy
I hate Farcebook, but it has been a necessary evil, but I am losing even that. My eldest daughter and wife look in on it... remind me when someone has a birthday or there is some interesting news. It's the political BS that gets me... no fact checking... (f)Zuckerberg is a tool in the greed/propaganda machine it has become.

I forgot, Ian, that you were in Madison. Been up that way a few times over the last couple of years... Saw a Joe Bonamassa show at "The Orpheum" a couple years back (photo from that show):

Sadly, went to a funeral up there for one of my daughters best friends sister that died in her dorm at UW (heart gave out... never new she had an issue)... And last May, to get our latest family member from Brown Paws Rescue (another photo - this was the day we brought her home - she's a big girl now at 60lbs):

Generally, we are all doing ok with this COVID stuff... I've been working from home since 2011 so this is nothing new for me (but I have never liked it as you can never get away from work). My network at home is all UniFi and have not had any issues with WFH and bandwith sharing with the kids schooling zoom sessions and google classroom along with my wife streaming netflix/prime shows to the 4K TV in the living room (TCL Roku).

I have not built a new PC in a couple of years (last was an i7700K). Have been thinking about doing a Ryzen build, but may hold off one more year. May invest in a Thinkpad soon to replace my aging MacBook Pro.

Glad to see you guys are still around for sure.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:25 pm
by Ian
One of the reasons why I'm still on Facebook is so that I can see all the dogs coming up to Madison thanks to places like Brown Paws. Half my feed is animal videos at this point. If I had my way, we'd have 20 dogs. The two we do have are kind of annoying now that I'm home with them all day.

How do you like your UniFi gear? I've been thinking about getting their Secure Gateway so that I can setup a permanent link between work and home. Right now I either have to run a VPN client on each machine or route it through my NAS.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:41 pm
by Dartman
The latest one I built out of the parts my buddy gave me was probably early last year. It started as a x79 with a i73820 and I eBay'd a 4960x with a supposedly bad uber top end Asus Rampage IV Black Edition board. Paid 285 shipped for everything and ended up getting the board working stable as well so did pretty well and I have a old but very fast hex core with 32 gig of ram.
My older box runs a I7980 and win7 with 16 gig and I use it to run my HD HomeRun Prime on media center to capture my cable HDTV shows to edit and play later on Plex to the TCL in the front room. I can even make HEVC 4k HDR captures with my LG wh16NS40.
My buddy will probably eventually help me build up some kind of Ryzen as well next time it's safe and he needs help with something.
Been doing easy stuff at work helping the number 2 son do cleanings to wind down towards retirement after being on roofs every day for over 30 years and doing it all and driving a van and running my crew.
Sucks about your daughters friend but that looks like a good dog to share the families time with. I have a Pionus parrot named Dobby and he's a very socialized bird that refuses to bite and has chosen my sister as his true love. He's a flying beaver always into something when he's not begging for treats and getting scritches.
My TCL has Roku too but I prefer Android TV like my Shield has but either works well, plays 4k, and runs Plex perfectly.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:53 pm
by SithTracy
I like UniFi, great WiFi, great switches... the USG, is a bit weak. It serves me well, but a Netgate pfsense device would be a better choice. One frustrating aspect I encountered recently (let me stress, no fault on UniFi) is I switched to a Pixel/Android phone after years of iOS. L2TP/IPsec is broken on Android 10... has been for well over a year. Running a pivpn at the moment to get back home. No idea if Google/Android will get their sh!t together and resolve this. If I had known about this going in, I would have stuck with iOS.

I like the Pixel phone though paired with GoogleFi. Great call service, but not something I would recommend on a non Fi phone (Pixels and some Motorola have the network switching built in). My wife and kids came on with me with iPhones... that experiment lasted not quite a week. Dropped calls for them like crazy as it uses only the T-Mobile network as the phone cant do the strongest tower network switching.

Back to UniFi, I did get a couple of their new Dream Machines for family and I can manage them remotely via the cloud which is nice. My mother-in-law (somewhat local) and my parents in AL have them up and can peer to peer them securely and xfer mkv files to their diskstations running plex. That's a great home router option, but it is still a little buggy. I wish they would release a new, more powerful USG. What I don't like about the Dream Machine line is they force you to use cloud management... I would rather run a cloud key or small linux box and vpn and manage the network, but I feel pretty safe with it.

I've got two dogs myself, Layla (the boxer/pit mix from Brown Paws) and Bailey (cocker spaniel the wife found on a rescue site after my other cocker passed from cancer).

I'm off to bed... gotta work at around 5am and work on a circuit move before business hours. Be happy to answer any questions you have on Ubiquiti.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 8:20 pm
by stix
Hello from Colorado. Doing OK here. Strange new world we are in with the pandemic. So far I don't personally know anyone who has had it or at least known they had it. (knock on wood).

Have more high-quality CD/DVD/BD media than I will ever need - plus occasionally in past years I've bought some locally at bargain prices when people were unloading theirs.

Just about ready to switch over from using an ancient Intel Core i5-650 Clarkdale dual-core on a genuine Intel motherboard (both still running perfectly) with Windows 7, to Window 10 Pro on a new build: ASUS Prime H370-A/CSM motherboard, Intel Core i5-9600, Crucial memory, Crucial MX500 SSD, Western Digital 1TB HDD, LG Blu-Ray drive, Samsung DVD burner, Antec case, Seasonic power supply, etc. Have not wanted Windows 10 for the longest time, but finally going to do it, rather than go to Linux, for now.

Anyone know what to do with a bunch of nice old IDE DVD drives/burners?

best of health to everyone.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 8:55 pm
by Dartman
Leave the 7 box as is in case of disaster and for a backup that can run Windows Media Center without issues. I use my old one with a i7980 and 16 gig to run my HD HomeRun Prime cable HDTV 3 tuner card. Then I edit down the captures with the 10 pro 64 box with 32 gig and a 4960x and play them on the network with Plex. I don't know many people burning disks anymore but you definitely need a modern LG drive for ULHD disks. I still have 3 different burners in each box and still have a BenQ 1655 but I need to swap it out to the 7 box that still supports IDE. Last disks I burned were HD captures to 25 gig blanks and they played fine in my Sony ULHD player. I have to get some DL 50 gig or bigger someday and see if they work. The LG burner I bought supports ripping ULHD disks and can burn them with the right software. I have captured all my 4k HDR disks to folders on the big drives in my box or the external drives and they play perfectly 4k HDR and all.
Been shut down at work so got a decent refund, the stimulus check, and unemployment with the bonus keeping us going fine. Nobody here I know has officially caught it yet but I had a nasty cold or whatever and actually had a low fever for a few days but was only sick a week and been good a while now.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 10:54 pm
by Ian
I'm not sure what to do with my IDE drives either. I'd really like to dig out some of my Plextor's and maybe a BenQ for testing purposes but my motherboards don't have any IDE ports. A few months ago and I went and looked to see if anyone had a multi-bay external USB case but they seem to be impossible to get now.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 11:25 pm
by Dartman
You can probably still get the multi i/o cards that have ide and sata ports on them. I had a nice one years ago but the new boards i have don't support the slots they used anymore. Been thinking about getting one of the nve adapters so I can use the newer ssd cards on my old x79 2011 boards too.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 1:33 am
by stix
Yes, Dartman, I thought I would keep the old rig (ancient Intel Core i5-650 on a genuine Intel motherboard with Windows 7) and maybe hook it up to my TV, since it has an HDMI port.

Ian, I have one of these:

I haven't used it in awhile, but it worked perfectly for me and it was able to properly identify the attached drive and the drive's firmware via device manager.

Re: Hows everyone doing? And I got a new TV again...

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 2:02 am
by Dartman
Ebay should have all kinds of those too but the reviews on that appear very good, few say it has issues and not horribly expensive if you're trying to use a couple of good leftover ide drive or burners.