Grimm, Suits, Covert Affairs, Hannibal, and Defiance coming to Amazon Prime

Today Amazon.com announced that they have finalized a deal with NBC/Universal for adding more exclusive content to Amazon Prime.

The following are launching today:

  • Grimm – Season 1
  • Suits – Season 1
  • Covert Affairs – Season 1 & 2

Coming later this year:

  • Hannibal

Coming next year:

  • Defiance

They go on to say that Amazon Prime will be the exclusive subscription service for streaming all these hit shows for the next 4 years and that they are adding fan favorites like: Smash; Eureka; Warehouse 13, and Alphas.

While I realize that this is really just an advertisement to get people to sign up for Prime [Which I do not have, nor want], it really struck me that 4 years is a really long time for an exclusivity contract in this day and age. I feel like NBC/Universal is making a mistake. I want Ala carte programing… consumers want ala carte programming. We [the consumers] shouldn’t have to subscribe to multiple services monthly to be able to watch the programming that we want.

Wake up and smell the coffee beg mediacompanies… cable companies are dying. Being able to pick and choose what we’re going to watch when we are going to watch it is the new reality. There will not be one content provider to rule them all, so start working together,

XBMC 12 : Advanced Launcher : Netflix no sound fix

So since I updated to XBMC 12 (Frodo) Netflix hasn’t worked quite right. It would load, it would stream, but it wouldn’t play sound, and well thats a game stopper.

I have sound in XBMC. If I logged over to the desktop I have sound when I open a webbrowser and load youtube.com to play something. But if XBMC is running (either by launching it from the desktop or booting into it) I wouldn’t get any sound when using Advanced Launcher to load Netflix.

So as far as I can tell XBMC is grabbing control of the sound hardware and not playing nice with other applications. So how do I get it to play nice? Well I could probably spend some time to delve into customizing my .asoundrc, I can google the problem some more, or I can revisit the first thread I read

Linux HOW-TO The Complete Linux N00bs’ Guide To Installing ZSNES on XMBCbuntu

Specifically post #52. This sentence got me to thinking, “i solved this by changing my audio output device to HDA Nvidia, HDMI1 in the system settings of xbmc.” Now while I don’t have an NVIDIA card, perhaps changing the audio output device, and leaving the audio pass through device might fix my problem.

You will find this under:
System -> System -> Audio output

Sure enough now when I launch Netflix from XBMC I have sound. Now I can watch House of Cards. 🙂

Upgrading from XBMC 11 (eden) to XBMC 12 (frodo) on XBMCBuntu

With XBMC 12 (Frodo) being released January 29th it was time to think about upgrading my HTPC. Since it’s been a little over the a week since its release I figured if there were any show stoppers I would have read about them over at the XBMC forums, so I figured last night that it was time.

As with any serious upgrade you should always take back ups first. So I utilized rsync to create a back up of my boot drive just in case. Here’s what I did:

rsync -av / /path/to/backupdir --exclude "/path/to/media"

Obviously if you are going to do this you should personalize it for your machine. I didn’t want to backup my media files so the exclude makes sure that doesn’t happen. Once that’s done its time to upgrade. I wanted to make sure that everything was current before I upgraded XMBC so I ran the following:

sudo apt-get update

Next I ran the following command.

sudo apt-get upgrade-dist

About 10 minutes later the whole machine was done upgrading including XBMC. So I rebooted to make sure that it would still boot, and viola XBMC 12!

The first thing that I noticed was a pop up error saying “Error: script failed: randomitems.py”. To get rid of this error delete the script. It has been replace in Frodo by skin.widgets.
source: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=79378&page=34

The script is the script.randomitems folder and while I haven’t deleted yet here’s where it is if you want to.

Under Windows 7:

Go to C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\XBMC\addons

Under XBMCBuntu (and other Linux distros):

/home/tmib/.xbmc/addons

Lastly I should note that if you are using the AEON skin like I do you will encounter this error.

Next is that navigation no longer made noise. Well if navigation noises don’t work I should try playing something so I went into TV Shows it told me that my art needed to be updated and that it would not require any downloading. It should prompt you with a Yes/No to do it now. I chose to do it now. Trying to fire up an Episode was also soundless. To fix this I had to go into System -> System -> Audio Output, scroll down and play with my Audio output Device and Passthrough output Device. You may need to do the same.

Now to get caught up on CSI right? Well sadly no. While watching a video I decided to fire up my web-browser and connect to XBMC wouldn’t you know it, connection timed out. So I went to the box and opened a terminal and ran ifconfig. Huh eth0 isn’t there. Next step I ran:

lshw -C network

The very first line read “*-network UNCLAIMED”. That tells me that the driver isn’t being loaded right and it isn’t claiming the device. Funny thing about the ASUS P8H77-V, it has an Atheros ethernet controller. Ubuntu as well as XBMCBuntu does not have the driver for it, so you have to jump through some hoops. I’m pretty sure that it is actually an AR8161, but I’m not totally sure. Either way though there is an excellent site that covers detailed instructions on how to get it working. The short version is to the compat-wireless drivers. Luckily I still had the package I downloaded last time. Here is a link to where I downloaded the version that I already had 2012-03-12-p. You may want to try a more current version, but this one worked for me in the past.

The article that pointed me in this direction is linked below in case you don’t know how to compile a driver and install it.

AR8161 ethernet using compat-wireless

Hopefully you do not run into the same problems that I did upgrading, but if you do maybe this article will help you figure it out. Good luck!

UPDATE: After writing this I received a pop up notification that read: “Random Items script: Add-on has been marked as broken in the repository. Would you like to disable it on your system? Yes/No”. I selected Yes, and hopefully that means the next time that I start XBMC the error will be gone.

Netflix on XBMCBuntu (Using Wine)

I wrote this awhile ago and forgot to post it. So even though XBMC 12 (Frodo) was released a few days ago I figured that I should finally post it

One of the things that I’ve wanted my HTPC to be able to do for about a year now is run Netflix. Since I’m running Linux (specifically XBMCBuntu) this was really a pipe dream unless I wanted to setup a virtual machine to run it under. Since my boxes hardware is fairly low end with out a dedicated video card I didn’t think that it was much of an option. Then I happened across a blog posting with a ppa for netflix. Victory at last! Here’s the instructions to get netflix running under wine on XBMCBuntu. Enjoy.

Step 1

A. Go to your desktop. I do this by quitting out of XBMC and then logging into XBMCBuntu at the login prompt.

B. Open a command prompt and Run the following commands.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop

C. run netflix-desktop now.

The reason that you are running this after installing it is that it will need to download and install a few additional packages. Once it’s finished log in with your Netflix account, and test playing something. Once your done quit out of netflix by clicking on the big white x in the circle in the upper right. If you dont see it there, thats ok, moving the mouse there will make it appear.

D. Before we close the terminal window we have one more thing to do. In your homedir create a file called “netflix.sh” and paste the following into it:

#!/bin/bash

# turn off screensaver/screenblank
xset s off

# turn off dpms
xset -dpms

# run netflix
/usr/bin/netflix-desktop

# turn on dpms
xset +dpms

# turn on screensaver/screenblank
xset s on

Step 2

A. Log back into XBMC or start XBMC from the start menu.

B. Navigate to Programs, and install Advanced Launcher.

C. Configure Advanced Launcher.

  • Navigate to Programs.
  • Open Advanced Launcher.
  • Open the context menu. (by hitting c)
  • Select Create New Launcher.
  • Select Stand Alone.
  • Select Home Folder.
  • Select the netflix.sh that we created in the last step.
  • Backspace “%ROM%” and click done.
  • The name should already be netflix, so either rename it or click done.
  • Select the platform. It’s my understanding that this shouldn’t matter. I personally selected Linux.
  • click ok. Alternatively you can pick the select the thumb nail path which is what your expected to do.
  • click ok. Alternatively you can pick the select the fan art path which is what your expected to do.

Next highlight the new Netflix entry that you just made and do the following:

  • open the context menu (by hitting C)
  • Select edit launcher
  • Select Advances Modifications
  • Select Toggle XBMC into Windows Mode and enable it.

Step 3

Next we want to add a menu option to XBMC so we don’t have to drill down as much.

  • Add Advanced Launcher to Favorites
  • Go into “Settings” / “Skin” / “Shortcuts/Backdrops”
  • Select “Favorite #”, then “Add Favorite” and select “Advanced Launcher”
  • Activate

source 1: http://www.iheartubuntu.com/2012/11/ppa-for-netflix-desktop-app.html
source 2: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Edit_the_home_screen_skin_files#How_to_add_a_new_button_to_the_Menu
source 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkqQreNpRyg

*** Updated on 03/06/2013 ***
added step 1 part D, and expanded upon step 2 part C

TV Shows cancelled in 2012

Television Shows cancelled in 2012

Here is a list of all the shows that I’ve either followed or watched in the last few years or so that have recently been cancelled.

          Alcatraz (FOX)
Are You There Chelsea? (NBC)
Awake (NBC)
Charlie’s Angels (ABC)
          Chuck (NBC)
CSI:Miami (CBS)
The Closer (TNT)
Eureka (Syfy)
          The Finder (FOX)
House (FOX)
Missing (ABC)
Pan Am (ABC)
          Prime Suspect (NBC)
The River (ABC)
Terra Nova (FOX)
Unforgettable (CBS)
         

At the top of my list of “I’ve sorry to see them go” are The Finder, Alcatraz, and Terra Nova. It seems that the only show FOX has worth watching anymore is Fringe and as previously mentioned even that is only being renewed for a half season next year.

Source: You can see a more complete list located at over at eztv.it

Fringe renewed for final season!

If you are like me, you will be happy to learn that Fringe has been renewed for another season! It’s only a 13 episode season but that’s still fantastic news!

I’ve always hated when TV shows that I like do not get a chance to wrap up the story and just leave the fans hanging. It’s nice to see that finally a show that I like and watch nearly religiously will have a chance to do just that.

source: http://thevoiceoftv.com/news-and-gossip/fringe-renewed/

And in sad news I just read the The Finder and Alcatraz have been cancelled.

G’Kar 2008

me: heh
omg!
thats so awesome

vigilante.angel: Hehe.
My excitement is significantly muted by my lack of fanboydom in Babylon 5.

me: bah! I have all 5 seasons on DVD and have watched them multiple times.

vigilante.angel: You’re a dorkosaurus. King of the dorkosaurs.

me: have you ever watched it? Its good stuff.

vigilante.angel: When one of the other Dorkasaurs kills a noob, they lay the still-warm noobflesh ‘neath your nerdly talons, for you are Dorkosaurus Rex, king of the dorkosaurs, and you get first pick of the kill.

I’m sorry, what were you saying? I was busy being all mockumentary-voicey.

I’m the Doctor, now run for your life!

There is an article over on Slashdot touting the demise of Dr Who after the next season (4) is done. Apparently the article is being run on a UK tabloid site The Sun. Feel free to check it out, but this is by no means official. Fret not until the BBC announces the same thing.

I really wish that stupid garbage like this wouldn’t make it onto slashdot. I have never considered them a rumor site, and publishing this trash just doesn’t help.

source: the sun
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2001320029-2007250185,00.html