CONFUSION: TOO MANY FORKS IN THE ROAD

No this is not an article about politics, the Progressives against the party of NO!, both confronted by those apparently drinking something stronger than “tea” that want to blow up, destroy, or whatever to everything governmental. The computer world is beginning to also be a tangle of conflicting paths going in different directions with a mystery goal no one is talking about.

I started following this meandering and increasingly complicated issue because many digital photographers want to make digital slideshows and show them on their TV, or send the slideshow to relatives and friends to show on their TV’s. Initially photographers had to get software to create slide-shows in 1080 resolution video format so they would play with a DVD player through a TV. But since then both Microsoft with Windows 7 and Apple with their Snow Leopard OS 10.6 have basic support. But with Windows you have to download the photo-video software from the Microsoft web site and install it. With Apple to obtain application support you will need to add iLife 09 at a very modest cost, and install it.

In the interim, I suggested just getting an HDMI cable one end to connect to the HD TV set and a DVI plug on the other end that can be connected to a computer, either Mac or PC, and show your computer’s screen image on and HD TV and play slideshows directly from a folder of image files. Apparently few liked that idea, although I spent a little change and tried it and found these easy slide shows are rather spectacular.

Many who have broad-band internet connection use a router that is WiFi so you have a wireless connection to run the internet to any computer anywhere in your home. This fact has been understood and in a 2009 model Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-Ray player WiFi is built into the player, so you can connect your TV to some internet sites like Hulu or NetFlix and get downloaded video content on your TV. Soon to be delivered is a LG Electronics Blu Ray player model LG BD570 with advertised greater support for more internet video sites and purported live video feeds from a computer with WiFi internet connectivity. Even though it is being sold, but I’ve not heard delivered as yet, I am not going to drop close to $300 to find out if it works.

The WiFi Bu-Ray players made me curious if there might be another way to use WiFi to connect a computer to an HD TV. There are several companies, which look like they are European, that have less costly WiFi receiver/sender units with USB connection to a Windows computer and an interface like HDMI for an HD TV. One company is Cable Unlimited Wireless and another Warpia Wireless both with kits between $100 and $150 and available on Amazon.com. I’d give this a go but I don’t have a PC although I do run Windows on one of my Macs.

During the same time-span there has been a hot debate involving the FCC about the proposed Comcast buyout of NBC/MSNBC, that would merge content provision with TV’s largest cable provider. There is much opposition to this kind of extension towards monopoly. But American corporations seem intent on getting bigger and charging ordinary citizens ever more for services. On the other hand the government’s Stimulus Bill has provisions to try to expand the provision of broadband for more people affordably, but maybe that is too European and “socialist” to some, so may not materialize.That could be just as well, in my estimation, as cable TV has more and more channels chalk full of mostly advertising and a little, mindlessly bad entertainment.

So, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I may soon be able to access what I want to watch on my TV over the Internet - but don’t tell my cable provider as they provide connection to my modem supplying my broadband connection!

Of course there is more to this as the slideshow issue illustrated. To me it is unfortunate photographers have to convert a selection of images and program them into a video to be able to show a series of slides on an LCD HD TV. Easier and more effective options should be available. In addition, a more generally supported cross platform interface between TV and computers could make the two better partners in educational and communications functions that could benefit many people. This should be supported rather than hindered purely for corporate profit interests, because much good is gained by these services being more accessible and affordable to a wider part of the population. Some of the help I try to provide my Shutterbug readers could be improved and made more useful to many more to make use of digital computer photography more easily and be more rewarding. I have researched I am sure just a little of this, and I am sure there are others who can contribute additional information, so let’s hear from you, so write me an e-mail at goofotografx@gmail.com

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