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Going 4K, Take 2



Take 1 was for my home office, when I bought a couple 4K monitors for my Mac & work PC.


This time around it's for the family room.  I currently have a 2001 Mitsubishi 65" HDTV.  It's worked well over the years, but started to have a problem with convergence when first turned on.  It used to be a rare occurrence and the picture would snap back into shape fairly quickly, but it's now happening multiple times per week and taking longer to snap back.




The current TV is a huge rear-project unit, so the screen of the new TV will end up about 2 feet further way.  As such, if I stayed with 65" the new TV would be smaller in my field of vision.  So I looked around for 70"+ TVs and decided to go with a 75" VIZIO P-Series Quantum X, it's scheduled to be delivered on Monday.  As luck would have it it's currently on sale for $1300 off! Resulting price of $2199 does sound expensive, though it's less than half what the Mitsubishi cost me back in 2001 (and that's not even accounting for inflation).


On the wall behind my TV is this:




I don't want to mount the TV to the wall on the off chance it hits a wire inside the wall, so I'd been looking around at TV Stands with integrated mounts for a while. I finally found something I like.  Specs I found said it only supported up to a 72" TV, but I suspected it was mostly a weight limit based and that it'd be fine with a larger, newer TV, as they're thinner and lighter than older models.  I contacted Z-Line and they confirmed the specs were based on 150 lbs and that it'd work fine with the 80 lbs VIZIO.  It'll be delivered tomorrow:





The colors don't really go with the rest of the furniture in that room though, so after my success wrapping my center console I'm going to try wrapping the dark woods with a silver-grey vinyl.









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Interesting bit on macOS Catalina:



The Apple TV app for Mac ... And for the first time, 4K2 and Dolby Atmos3–supported movies are available on Mac.


2. 4K, 4K HDR, 4K Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and HDR10 content is available on all Mac models introduced in 2018 or later with 4K-resolution screens.
3. Dolby Atmos is available on Mac notebooks introduced in 2018 or later.


4K and HDR10 support for my iTunes content makes me want to upgrade the Mac mini to Catalina so the shows will look even better on the new TV.


However, one major change with Catalina is it will no longer run 32-bit applications.  To check what's on your system you can do this:

  • 🍎 menu
  • About this Mac
  • System Report
  • Software
  • Applications
  • click 64-bit column to sort




After reviewing the ones running on my Mac mini:

  • Canon IJ Printer Utility - non-issue, no longer own a Canon printer/scanner
  • EyeTV - problem, old DVR software, but has 2455 recordings
  • Futuridium EP - non-issue, old game I've not played in years
  • GarageBand - non-issue, never use it, don't know why it's installed
  • iDentify - non-issue, old video tagging software, I now use Subler
  • Indigo 6/Plugin/Server - problem, Home Automation software that works with my INSTEON switches.  Will need to upgrade to 7.4
  • InkServer  - maybe, have no idea what this is
  • MAME OS X - non-issue, but will be sad to see this go
  • OpenOffice - non-issue, haven't used in years, use 64-bit LibreOffice on my Mac Pro
  • quicklookd32 - maybe, suspect it's related to the <SPACE> to preview file feature
  • SLLauncher - non-issue, Microsoft's defunct Silverlight, I think I'd installed it for a stream service like HBO Go
  • Turbo.264 HD Demo - non-issue, came with EyeTV and I don't use it
  • WingNuts 2 - non-issue, old game - cool spin on the old arcade game Time Pilot.
  • Xbench - non-issue, do development on my Mac Pro, not the mini


I doubt the two maybe's will be an issue, they're both by Apple so I assume would be updated if needed for Catalina.


Indigo's a minor issue, just need to upgrade it.


Can't upgrade EyeTV though, so I'll just need to sit down and watch the shows I'd recorded.  2455 sounds like a lot, but many episodes were recorded multiple times - such as after I watch the Becker episode Another Tricky Day I'll be able to delete 4 recordings.  




This is one feature of EyeTV that I wish HDHomeRun had, it only records an episode once; if it was interrupted for any reason, such as a football game that ran long:




it won't record a later rebroadcast of that episode unless I'd already deleted the prior recording and selected the Record Again option.




I'm not current on most shows though - this episode was recorded a year ago, so I've already missed the rebroadcasts of it.

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Moved the TV over so I can get the area prepped for the new TV stand.  While doing so I knocked over one of the speaker stands and the weighted bottom shattered. The plastic that enclosed the weight material is so brittle it shatters to the touch.














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Probably around the time you finish Robot City 😉  (reply 60 for those who've not see this awesome WIP before).  As it is, I've finally restarted work on the Harmony/Melody Club. Have posted the instructions for Virtual Machine setup for those not on Linux, am now working on the instructions for installing dasm and the ARM compiler.


Looks like my Drobo 8D is another holdup for the Catalina update:


We have noticed an issue with connectivity over Thunderbolt 3 on macOS Catalina 10.15 and are actively working with Apple. For now, we recommend 5D3 customers to use the USB C port, and for Drobo 8D customers to wait on upgrading.


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Yeah, the "no 32bit" is a non-starter for my 27" iMac.  In particular the drivers for my Dell Laser printer / scanner / copier.


For EyeTV I suspect the video files could be played back via VLC or similar - but that's not much value without the metadata.


I learned at one point to try to avoid recording shows which followed sporting events and try to find an alternate timeslot or channel.

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Yep - EyeTV stores all recordings in a single directory. Each is stored as a package with a name in the format of show-episode.eyetv.





Right-click, then Show Package Contents, to view the files inside




Double-click the .mpg to watch it. By coincidence this is one of those recordings with the wrong show recorded, Master Chef instead of Agents of SHIELD, likely due to a sporting event or something.




Easy enough to deal with, and the Indigo update isn't anything major, so my only real holdup is the Drobo 8D.

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TV Stand arrived, box was beat up during shipment. All the parts inside were OK, including the glass shelves, but a couple parts fell out in transit.

I've already contacted Z-Line who said they'd have the replacemetns shipped within 48 hours, and that it'd be 4 days for shipping after that.


So I've delayed the TV's delivery from Monday to Friday.



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The parts arrived Tuesday.  


The vinyl wrap was a bust, didn't work well on the wood.  And I didn't even get around to trying it on the curved pieces, which I suspect would be a hassle.




So I picked up some Krylon and painted them yesterday.  I let them sit overnight and will put the stand together this evening.




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Made some progress during my lunch break.




I still need to vacuum behind it, I used some carpet cleaner this morning and it's still a tad damp.

Next step is the top glass shelf then tighten all the bolts, steps up until now have been hand-tight.

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TVs in place, will take a while to get everything else set up so for now I'm using the built in speakers.





Netflix looks awesome




as does Amazon Prime




Mac mini's outputting 4K with 30 bit color, but at 30 Hz for some reason. Trackpad's pretty laggy too.  Wonder if I need a newer HDMI cable.


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