I was looking for a 23 inch monitor that was HD ready. I was able to pick up an LG monitor Model B233OH for a total of $257.00 including tax at the local Best Buy. I am using it as a media monitor. It was easy to put together, my husband simply snapped the base into the monitor and it was ready to set up.
The first thing I did was to use the HDMI input and connect that to my TiVo Series 3 DVR. I had I connected my Apple TV to the DVI input using a HDMI to DVI adapter I have. This is just a temporary set up until I can pick up an HDMI switcher. Right now I am not sure which one will give me the best value for its price. The next thing I did was to connect the TiVo to a Kenwood receiver I had. The receiver is about eight years old, so the only video connection it has are S Video, and composite video, because of this I decided to use it for audio only. I connected the TiVo to the DVD optical audio input. I used composite cables to connect the Apple TV to the Tape input on the receiver. I plan to pick up another optical audio cable, but for now the composite cables work fine. I then connected the speakers, two rear, two front and one center, with no subwoofer. Obviously, this is not an optimal setup, but it works and it was cheap.
After, having this set up for about three days I am happy with it for the most part. The picture is nice although during the daytime when the sun comes thru the blinds, there can be a problem with glare. This doesn’t last very long though and it depends on what angle you are watching from The sound is good. The biggest problem I have is getting Comcast HD to stay up, when it comes in its great, unfortunately I keep losing the signal. This unfortunately is a problem I can’t solve, other then that I am very happy with my set up. I do have a question for the readers, what HDMI switcher do you recommend and who should I purchase it from. I was looking at Buy.com, are they a good company to buy from? Any other recommendations?
I’ve owned an Iphone since it first came out and have always used the earphones that came with it. If for some reason I can’t find them I use a pair of cheap Sony headphones. I have also tried the Jawbone, but found it uncomfortable. Last week, my Iphone headphone broke, for the second time in less then a year the seal on the ear piece split. This left me with only the Sony headphones, which are ok for listening to music, but they have no mic. I decided it was time to get a good pair of headphones.
I ended up getting Bose In Ear Headphones. They were about $137 with tax at Best Buy. As I said before, I had gotten use to the sound of the Iphone and Sony headphones and thought they were ok. I was wrong. I did a completely unscientific comparison between the Bose and the Sony Headphones and the sound is definitely improved with the Bose. I choose three songs to use as a test, Simple Gifts, with Yo Yo Ma and Alison Krauss, Everything I Do Gonna be Funky, by O’Donel Levy and Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Earl Scruggs. I chose these three songs, because they are so different. Simple Gifts is just vocals and strings. Everything I Do Gonna be Funky has a lot of percussion and base. Finally, Foggy Mountain Breakdown because of its fast moving notes. All these songs were at 256 kbps and had been ripped from a CD into Itunes. The first thing I noticed was that the music was much crisper with the Bose earphones. The base was clear and the treble was not as tinny. This was especially true on the song Everything I Do Gonna be Funky, with the Sony headphones there was a definite background sound sort of like salt being shaken in the background. I didn’t hear that when I had the Bose on, it was much clearer and pristine. I also noticed because I was hearing the music more clearly I didn’t have the urge to turn the volume up.
Do I think the Bose earphones were worth another $110.00 over the Sony or Iphone headphones, that I am not sure of. They do sound better and are much more comfortable. The Bose do come with three sets ear tips; small, medium and large and it is important to chose the right tip for your ears. You may need a different size for each ear. The Bose does have the mic that the Sony headphones do not. However, the mic control only turns Itunes off and on to allow you to take calls, it doesn’t control Itunes itself like the Itunes headphones do. Also they are not noise canceling earphones. I certainly think they were worth more then I paid for either the Iphone or Sony headphones, but $110 more that I am not sure of. I’ll need more time to make a final decision.
This week I received the Snowflake Mic which is made by Blue. It is a USB portable mic, which can be used with the Mac, PC, (not sure of Linux). It is there lowest price model and I got it on sale for 49.00, and so far it was worth it. I have been looking for a desktop mic for awhile. I have head phones with mic attached, but I have never been happy with them. I can never get it to be the right distance from my mouth so I don’t produce the popping noise or its sounds garble. Once in awhile I get it set perfectly, but usually something happens and it gets messed up and I have to try to reset it again. It got to be so irritating that I started to use the internal Macbook microphone instead, which of course sounds even worse. For these reasons I have been on the hunt for a good desktop mic that wasn’t too expensive and was Mac compatible. I have seen microphones in stores, but most of them were for Windows only or were way too expensive. I had heard a lot of good things about microphones made by Blue, from various podcast I listen and watch. I had long ago put the Snowflake on my to buy list, but there always seemed to be something ahead of it. However, when I saw the Snowflake on sale for 49.00 on Amazon, I could not resist purchasing it. I am very glad I did.
It is a very simple looking product, but like most things simple I sure it took a long time to produce it. The mic is a ball that can be swivel 360 degrees in any direction. Its is attached like a elbow to a small box and there is a hole in the box that the mic fits perfectly into for traveling. You can simply pull the mic from its cradle and sit it directly on your desk. Your other option is to pulling out the bottom of the box and removing it. You can then hook the mic directly on the back of your Macbook.
It comes with a usb cord with a mini connection which you attach to the mic and the other end attaches to your computer. That is all there is too it, its ready to be used. I have tried it with Audacity and it sounds great. It is also Skype and Ichat capable. Even if I had to pay full price for it, it would have been worth it. If you are looking for a good mic at a reasonable price I don’t think you can beat it, at least not on a Mac.