Electronics give-away

As I posted in my recent Twitter/Facebook status updates, I’ve finally indulged in a burst of rampant consumerism and purchased a Blu-ray player.  No, I did not buy it on credit!

With the purchase of this new toy, I took the opportunity to remove some electronics from my home theater system. I’m never going to use these items again. I know about Freecycle and whatnot, but I thought I’d offer to give them to my friends first before I gave them to strangers.

All of them come with the original manuals and remote controls.  None of them come with the original packaging.  If you want it, you come to my place and pick it up.

Here’s what I’m giving away:

VCR: A Philips/Magnavox VRA631AT. I’ve played my last videotape, and have no further need for a videotape player/recorder. The last time I used it (about a year ago) it worked just fine.

This comes with a selection of videotapes, mostly Disney films. When you’re through with it, and you give the VCR to an old-folks home or a hospital for sick children, you can give the tapes with it so they’ll have something to watch.

Why would you want a VCR?  I kept mine to copy my old videotapes to my computer.  I used a…

Mac video tuner: An Elgato EyeTV 250. This is a gadget takes a TV signal over standard cable, S-video, or composite video/audio BNC cables and sends it via a USB cable to your computer.  The computer runs software to save the TV signal to a movie file.

Sound complicated?  Let’s get back to the simple explanation: it takes TV and puts it into your computer.  I used it to save my old videotapes.

Some caveats:

–  This is Mac only.  Windows users must find another solution.

– The link I have above is to the EyeTV 250 Plus, but this is the older EyeTV 250.  It can’t handle a digital signal, and all current TV is digital.  On the web site it says that the EyeTV can tune to a specific TV channel for you, but this device won’t do that.  However, you can still feed a signal from your cable box to this gadget, and tell it to record at a certain time; you can still use it as a video recorder.  To do this, your cable box must have the right kind of output cable (S-video or composite video).

– This device requires the EyeTV software.  I will burn a copy of the EyeTV software onto CD for you and give you my serial number.  Once I’ve transferred the software license to you, I will erase my copy from my computer, all nice and legal.  (Besides, without the EyeTV, the software is useless to me anyway.)

Last but not least:

DVD player: An Oppo DV-980H. If you don’t have a DVD player yet, this is an obvious windfall.  But if you do, why would you bother with this one?

This player’s specialty is "upconverting." That means taking the video from a DVD and adjusting it so it looks good on a high-resolution TV screen.

If your TV is a relatively old one (a tube-type screen, or has a resolution of 480p), this DVD player will do nothing special for you.  But if your TV has a resolution of 720p or better, this DVD player is almost certainly better at converting the DVD signal to something that looks good on your screen.  In particular, action movies (with lots of rapid camera moves) or films with lots of small details (nature films) will look better when played on the Oppo DV-980H.

Just to make it clear: all high-resolution TV sets can already do upconverting.  This particular DVD player is simply better at it.  This is a good DVD player if you’ve got a high-resolution TV, or you’re thinking about getting one.

Because I love you, I’ll throw in my home theater tune-up DVD, so you can get the best out of the equipment you’ve got.

Aside: That’s why I didn’t get a Blu-ray player until Oppo came out with one (the Oppo BDP-83).  I wanted to make sure that any new player I got would be at least as good at playing my existing DVD library as my old DVD player. The player came with a tune-up DVD that’s better suited for Blu-ray players and high-def screens, which is why I’m giving away my old 2001-era tune-up DVD.

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  1. wgseligman

    At this point, the VCR and the EyeTV have been claimed. Anyone want the DVD player?

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