"CNET Live: November 13, 2008"
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CNET Live: November 13, 2008
>> Brian Cooley: Okay folks, it's the craziest CNET Live ever.
>> Tom Merritt: Hi. What are you doing here?
>> Brian Cooley: Putting my clothes on, hang on. Okay, so we've had some issues as you can tell.
>> Tom Merritt: What am I doing here?
>> Brian Cooley: We have a problem with some of our technology and unfortunately as you can tell, we're missing some video, some graphics, all the pretty show stuff.
>> Tom Merritt: If you're use to watching CNET Live you didn't see us do our cute little teases of what's coming up like browser -- we've got some browser information...
>> Brian Cooley: That's right.
>> Tom Merritt: ...what your browser's leaking about you.
>> Brian Cooley: I want to tell you about a Blackberry I actually like which is you listen Buzz Out Loud you know that's kind of a turnaround for me. [Laughter]
>> Tom Merritt: But you know our facili-storage [assumed spelling] system isn't cooperating so...
>> Brian Cooley: That's a video system we use.
>> Tom Merritt: We're going commando here. Old school.
>> Brian Cooley: We're going commando. Smoke them if you got them. Call in if you got one.
>> Tom Merritt: Phones still work.
>> Brian Cooley: 888-900-CNET. 888-900-2638. It's me Brian Cooley, him Tom Merritt and of course Brian Tong.
>> Brian Tong: No technical difficulties here guys.
>> Tom Merritt: Hello Brian Tong.
>> Brian Cooley: New TVs with bt [assumed spelling].
>> Tom Merritt: Well you haven't gone down.
>> Brian Cooley: Is what I'm saying.
>> Brian Tong: I'm good. I'm still good.
>> Brian Cooley: He's got the lone wolf backing him up.
>> Tom Merritt: Christine's still on the phone lines. So you can call.
>> Brian Cooley: That's right.
>> Tom Merritt: When the lines are open. Right now the lines are full but as soon as you hear somebody hang up after we've answered their call, get on those phones and dial in. That's your opening to get into the pack.
>> Brian Cooley: So because we're going rough and ready here, let me ask Control Room Live do we go to Crave or not? Yeah, here we go folks. Let's show you a couple of things that we crave.
>> Tom Merritt: Here's some of our favorite things from the Crave blog at Crave.cnet.com starting up with media point set top box. It's actually a -- now we can't see my laptop either, but the media top set top box is a set top box from 2Wire...
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: But it allows you to get broadband HD video onto your TV and they're going to be selling it to TV providers like cable providers.
>> Brian Cooley: Okay, it's a cable head up thing?
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah.
>> Brian Cooley: As opposed to a gadget you'd buy like an Apple TV which is more of an internet download adapter, right?
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah that's right.
>> Brian Cooley: I mean if we're going to categorize it.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, so essentially...
>> Brian Cooley: There it is.
>> Tom Merritt: ...you're going to get internet video and you're going to get it in with the rest of your cable [inaudible].
>> Brian Cooley: [Inaudible] just to add to the rough and ready nature of the show.
>> Tom Merritt: So it's another box.
>> Brian Cooley: I just want to make this really comfortable and casual today.
>> Brian Tong: Cooley, that was not comfortable for me. I actually saw that angle [inaudible].
>> Brian Cooley: Sorry that was aimed your way.
>> Brian Tong: I saw that.
>> Tom Merritt: [Inaudible] set top box.
>> Brian Cooley: Is this for downloading and watching or is this like literally a real time streamer?
>> Tom Merritt: No, it's streaming. Yeah.
>> Brian Cooley: So it's completely replacing the cable set top infrastructure with an IP box.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, it might be [inaudible] or whatever.
>> Brian Cooley: A little bit of course. That's very cool. Okay well if anyone listens to Buzz Out Loud, you know I had a bit of a rant about the BlackBerry Curve this week. I really don't like it. And I don't need your email to tell me how I can fix it because I've already given it back, but I'm looking forward to potentially the BlackBerry Storm. Look at this great interface. We have a great post here from Bonnie Cha who just got some...
>> Tom Merritt: There was a storm brewing.
>> Brian Cooley: A dark and stormy. She says we're going to get this thing: Verizon stores on November 21st. So it's creeping up pretty quickly. It's going to be 199 with a 2 year contract. She was pleasantly surprised by the pricing. Now as Tom pointed out we were talking about this earlier, it does have the sure type keyboard which is 2 characters per key and it's going to predicatively text your way through stuff.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah let me pull that up. [Inaudible] genius has a nice picture of that.
>> Brian Cooley: I'm not sure. Let's check it out.
>> Tom Merritt: There's that keyboard that we're talking about.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah now I'm not sure I like the sure type. We have roundly thumped that so I may be eating my words here.
>> Tom Merritt: I mean why with the touch screen - this is what we were asking on Buzz Out Loud - why with a touch screen do you need to have that sure type keyboard?
>> Brian Cooley: Right.
>> Tom Merritt: Can't you just get every key in?
>> Brian Cooley: A virtual sure type is like what are you doing? Just divvy it up differently. So this is a little bit odd. So, we've got to check that out but we have a good feeling about how this thing is pricing and coming to market. Anyway, that's our take on the BlackBerry Storm for now. Let's get some questions in.
>> Tom Merritt: Alright, last week we helped Mike in New York diagnose a problem with his hard drive not being fully recognized by Windows XP and a lot of you wrote in pointing out that the LBA support registry hacker that we were talking about was too complicated. LBA support did not exist in XP before Service Pack 1 so all Mike needs to do is make sure to download XPSP1, maybe SP2 some people said, and all the other patches that go along with that. And that should help him.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah SP2 is one of those things you want to have on XP so get that done. Okay, let's get to our phone calls. Remember, despite today's technical challenges the phone's working great. Isn't that ironic? 888-900-CNET. 888-900-2638. Let's kick it off with Brian who's been waiting patiently from Plainview, New York. Really, anyone listening to this show has been waiting patiently. Brian, what's your question about the T-Mobile G1?
>> Brian: Hey hi guys.
>> Brian Cooley: Hey Brian.
>> Brian: Alright, my problem yeah like you said is the G1. It keeps saying that it's data connection that it's disconnected. Yeah and...
>> Brian Cooley: What have we heard about this?
>> Tom Merritt: I haven't heard a particular problem like that. That could be a reception issue. It could be T-Mobile in your area and there's not much you can do about that. There's not much T-Mobile can really do about that without a bunch of infrastructure changes.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: However, have you updated Android with the patch that just came out?
>> Brian: Yeah, RC30 I think it is.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, yeah and that wasn't meant to fix a data connection issue. It was meant to fix some security bugs and a few other things. They didn't delineate all the things it fixed, so it may be worth a shot.
>> Brian Cooley: You never know.
>> Tom Merritt: But yeah, I did a little research and I couldn't find anything else about data connection issues so I'm assuming it's just T-Mobile's service in Plainview, New York isn't up to snuff.
>> Brian Cooley: Now...
>> Brian: I'm not sure. I still have cell phone reception. Like I can still place calls and everything.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah, yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: Well your voice is on a different frequency than your data. Those are on 2 different things.
>> Brian: Oh okay.
>> Tom Merritt: So you'll see sometimes the voice will get 5 bars and the data may disappear.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: And vice versa. Sometimes on my phone I'll have the voice disappear but I'll still have data access. So that's why you can sometimes make calls just fine.
>> Brian: Oh alright.
>> Brian Cooley: And are you getting 3G coverage where you are Brian?
>> Brian: Yeah, it normally stays on [inaudible] and if I use it over a certain amount of speed it jumps right to 3G. Yeah.
>> Brian Cooley: Interesting. Okay, because you know that's going to give you some pause there is how solid and how well blanketed is the 3G and when you're going in and out of 3G and dropping down to the more standard network connection, that negotiation may not be happening smoothly. And that may be causing you to fall off. So you've got a lot of things to deal with there but it sounds like just network solidity and coverage.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah there was a lot of problems with the AT&T 3G networks when the iPhones first went on...
>> Brian Cooley: Right.
>> Tom Merritt: ...with the way that the iPhones were accessing 3G...
>> Brian Cooley: Remember that? Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: ...was flooding it so that only a certain number of people could get on.
>> Brian Cooley: [Inaudible]
>> Tom Merritt: It wasn't mapping it well so...
>> Brian Cooley: Maybe that will be also refined in a further patch. Keep and eye out for those. Tommy in Jacksonville, you've got a nightmare scenario trying to make Linux and Vista live together. What's going on?
>> Tommy: Help me.
>> Brian Cooley: [Laughter] That's what we're here for man.
>> Tom Merritt: We'll try.
>> Tommy: Well I've been dual booting [inaudible] Linux and Vista for I don't know, 4 months now. It's been working smoothly. I believe I've been using [inaudible]. Now what I wanted to do is make the Linux partition larger and the [inaudible] smaller because I was running out of space. And so I used GParted the [inaudible]. And so I was presented -- I rebooted and I had blank screen with a blinking cursor.
>> Tom Merritt: Blank screen with a blinking cursor for Vista?
>> Tommy: I don't know. There was no menu like before. There was nothing.
>> Tom Merritt: Okay, so you're not getting grub. You're not getting any kind of boot.
>> Tommy: No I was never using grub. I don't know why. Then I was like "Oh maybe it's grub" right? And I switched -- went back and did some [inaudible] and switched the flag from the boot flag from Vista over to Linux. And then it went to the grub menu just fine.
>> Tom Merritt: Just as a fall back position I have a question. Do you have all your data backed up?
>> Tommy: Not yet. But I mean I've been in Linux and all my data's there.
>> Tom Merritt: Okay, that would be the next thing I do...
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: ...is go in there with Linux and get all that data backed up that you want off that Vista partition because you may have to blow this all out and reinstall. Howtogeek.com has a tutorial on how to properly use GParted to resize partitions for Windows Vista and Linux. But this is starting from scratch and what they say - if we could put this up on the screen actually - what they say is that when you reboot you'll see this Windows boot manager problem which you're not seeing at all and that's what's giving me pause. You're supposed to have a problem when you resize this, but they give you an idea of how you can fix it. So since you're not seeing that at all, I'm going to direct you to a [inaudible] forum posting. I'll put this in the show notes at blog.cnettv.com.
>> Brian Cooley: Bless you for that.
>> Tom Merritt: We had a guy who was in a similar situation and the Vista boot solution that I just showed you wasn't working for him either. He was able to make it work by getting hold of and XP CD and booting off of that and was able to repair the Vista partition from there. So those are the next steps that I would take to see if you can fix that boot issue. And then if none of those work...
>> Brian Cooley: Light a match.
>> Tom Merritt: ...either come back, go to forums.cnet.com and ask around or like Brian just said blow it all out, clean install, start from scratch.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah. Alright Tommy, sorry we didn't have a more definitive answer but there's some good threads on something you can try that maybe you haven't. Okay, quick note to the Control Room: if we could turn off the master intercom because we're hearing everything in our ear and it's really making it hard to hear our callers.
>> Tom Merritt: And take 3.
>> Brian Cooley: Let's move on to Gary who's in New York. He's got a question about MP3 players with streaming stereo Bluetooth. Hello Gary, welcome to CNET Live.
>> Gary: Hey, hi guys.
>> Brian Cooley: How you doing?
>> Gary: I'm looking to get an MP3 player that has 8 gigabytes or more storage and that you can use a wireless Bluetooth headsets with.
>> Brian Cooley: Okay, well here's a good list of the players from - of course that would require that I have access to the screen - but we have a good list on CNET.com in the MP3 section. Jasmine France has a list of 6 top Bluetooth players -- MP3 players that have the Bluetooth 82DP stereo streaming technology. If you go look for MP3 player Bluetooth on the site you'll find it. And they're going to be primarily Samsung units. I see 3 Samsungs, 2 Insignias - that's Best Buys house brand - and an Ibiza. And the one that we like the best looks to be a tie: it looks like the Samsung YP-P2, 8 gig, about 150 bucks I think? And we have a really good feeling on that. Excellent sound. It's got the streaming Bluetooth. But go check that out or if you want to go another way, consider adding a Bluetooth adapter to your player. What kind of player do you have now? Anything?
>> Gary: I have an iPod Classic right now but the battery life isn't [inaudible].
>> Brian Cooley: Okay, and you don't want to bother getting it rebatteried [assumed spelling] or anything like that. It's kind of old. So yeah, look at the Samsung YP-P2, 8 gig, 150 bucks: probably lower on the street. And that's going to give you the built in stereo streaming Bluetooth. That's going to be our best pick. But check out Jasmine's guide over there in our MP3 section like we've got right here...
>> Tom Merritt: I finally found it.
>> Brian Cooley: ...on the screen. It's a little rough and tumble today. Okay, lets get one more call...
>> Tom Merritt: I'm thinking Emmy.
>> Brian Cooley: ...before we take a break. Let's go into Line 4. This is a great classic question about gaming consoles from Nathan in Pennsylvania. Hello Nathan.
>> Nathan: Hey, I just had a quick question about video game systems. And I think Brian Tong might be a good person to ask about this.
>> Brian Cooley: Wow.
>> Brian Tong: He read our minds.
>> Brian Cooley: Sure did.
>> Brian Tong: What's up Nathan?
>> Nathan: PlayStation 3 versus Xbox 360: what would be your pick?
>> Brian Tong: Now it really depends on a few things. So if you're looking for the console that's a little more future-proof - and what I mean by that, it has some of the latest tech that will give it a longer shelf life - the PS3 obviously has the Blu-ray player. I don't know if that's a high priority for you? But on the -- and also the PS3 does have the ability to do online gaming for free where you don't have to pay a yearly service fee. Now on the other hand, the reason why you might look at the Xbox 360 is some of those exclusive titles that it does have like you know Halo 3. BioShot came out a year before it came out on the PS3. And I tend to gravitate towards the Xbox 360 exclusive titles versus the PS3. I do have both consoles now and the other point on the Xbox 360 is that it's Xbox Live Service, even though you have to pay for it you know once a year -- it's like about it's like buying a game per year. It still has the best community, a lot of features and add-ons that I really enjoy. So those are kind of the main talking points between the consoles. They're both great for gaming but those are some of the things I would look at to decide which one you would like to go for.
>> Nathan: Yeah and the PS3 also includes WiFi too, doesn't it?
>> Brian Tong: Yeah, yeah it does have the WiFi built into it. You see you're better than that on me. I like to have mine hard wired even though some people are like why. Just because when I play online, I don't want to have any -- I try to reduce as many latency issues as possible so I get the best online connection so I can kick everybody's butt.
>> Brian Cooley: [Laughter] Alright Nathan.
>> Brian Tong: Hope that helps Nathan.
>> Brian Cooley: What's the point if you're not doing that? Right on. Okay, Nathan thanks for the call there. Let's go to Michael in Niagara Falls. Hey real quick.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, Michael.
>> Brian Cooley: He has a question -- he has a solution I should say to one of the questions we just had. Hey Nathan -- Michael I should say. Welcome to the show. What can you help us out with here?
>> Michael: Hi guys. Actually I was on last week with you.
>> Tom Merritt: You're that Michael.
>> Michael: [Inaudible] a question about the hard drive.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah.
>> Michael: And the threads and the things that you posted in the show notes were very helpful and actually between that and just tinkering around a little further helped me figure out what the issue was. Looking at all those bulletins in the threads it was pointing to a Windows 2000 issue seeing you know all the bytes on the drive. And it got me thinking okay: I looked at my XP disk and I found out it was one of the original releases of XP Pro sans Service Pack 1, 2 or 3.
>> Brian Cooley: Okay.
>> Tom Merritt: So SP1 worked for you then?
>> Michael: So yeah once -- what I did is I found another disk that I had laying around the house for another machine. I was able to get the drive formatted properly with the partition, went back with the original disk for that machine, got it going, did the Service Pack and all the updates including the registry...
>> Brian Cooley: And Michael do you know if it just required SP1 or SP2? Did you check after SP1 to see if your drive was getting fully recognized?
>> Michael: Actually I did the registry key right away so...
>> Tom Merritt: Okay.
>> Michael: ...it recognized the data drive.
>> Brian Cooley: Okay, but SP1 it sounds like definitely did get that done and that's great proof from Michael there in Niagara Falls that that is the solution to you folks who can't see all your drive space under a very early release of XP. If you've got a dusty old install sitting around...
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah.
>> Brian Cooley: ...that's why you're not seeing it.
>> Tom Merritt: Thanks for checking back in Michael. We appreciate it.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah, we appreciate that. Let's plow through to Brent in Salt Lake City. He's got a question near and dear to my heart because it can be so hard to do, but I think I have an answer for him. Hey Brent, welcome to CNET Live: the lean and mean edition. What can we do for you?
>> Brent: Okay, I have a -- I think it's a Series 2 RCA 40 hour TiVo with Direct TV.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah.
>> Brent: Okay, silver one. You probably know what I'm talking about. Now what I'm trying to do is I'm going to put a new hard drive in it. [Inaudible] new hard drive: just try to [inaudible] the old hard drive into the new hard drive and I'm trying to find some free software or how to do it online you know, video or something like that that will kind of cushion the way.
>> Brian Cooley: I've got a place for you to go. The most exhaustive and amazing resource on this is over at -- it's called the Hinsdale Guide. Everyone knows it as that. It's over at Newreleasesvideo.com. That's where I find it anyway. And this is the master guide on how to upgrade TiVo's, copy data from an old TiVo to an upgrade drive, you name it. It's an exhaustive guide that can be a little dense, but if you scroll down you're going to find directions for doing an upgrade where you copy your old data over. It may take some time. You're going to have to go download something called the MFS Tools Desktop and that's going to be the software you're going to use to -- I think you basically you do an image from the old drive to the new. I could be wrong there, but I think it's an imaging process as opposed to a copying process. I've never actually done it. I've always decided it's not necessarily worth the effort. I just go blank and put a fresh drive in.
>> Tom Merritt: Not worth the effort? But you've got all your shows.
>> Brian Cooley: All those shows. Yeah, and every night again and again in cable. I'll catch them again.
>> Tom Merritt: [Inaudible]
>> Brian Cooley: That's right so anyway go to this review. I'll put it in the show notes. Tom has got the link. He's going to post it in the notes after the show. And yeah MFS Tools is the software that you want: Boot CD. They have a couple versions depending on your TiVo. You're on a Series 2 so they've got a version for that. And you will be set to go. It takes a little bit of time and you'll be moving drives around in and out of a donor machine if you will: a PC to make the copy. So it's a little bit under the hood but it's you know -- for you I don't think it's going to be difficult.
>> Tom Merritt: There's some folks who are out there who were doing this for the Direct TV DVRs, Comcast DVRs even though you shouldn't do it with those because you don't own them usually.
>> Brian Cooley: Oh that's right.
>> Tom Merritt: But anything you do own you can do this with. And I'll dig up a link. There's a service that also will do this for you.
>> Brian Cooley: There is.
>> Tom Merritt: It's like I don't want to mess with this. There's a place that will sell you...
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah Weaknees.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, Weaknees. That's it.
>> Brian Cooley: Weaknees is great. I've used their install kits. So if you want to make this easier you know they've got a kit that makes it simpler and it has some mounting rails if you want to double up your drives. There's a lot of good resources on this. Let's check in on a couple TV questions here. Trevor in Queens has an interesting one that is slicing the TV question a little different way. He Trevor, welcome to CNET Live.
>> Trevor: Yeah, I'm trying to find a TV for less than 350 dollars and I want it to be at least 20 inches.
>> Brian Cooley: Okay, at least 20, under 350 bucks. Well I'm just going to go right to our ratings of this and I've got to tell you, in that price class we don't do a lot of reviews because those tend to be what we call - you know - casual or bedroom sets. They're not your typical home theater set, but the sets you're going to want to look for -- if you shop aggressively, you're going to find some decent 32 inch high def TVs. We really like the ones from Visio for example. I don't know if you're going to quite crack 350, but you might. This is one of those things where you're going to want to keep an eye on Costco and those kind of guys and see what blows in week to week. They may get -- and I wouldn't be afraid of the second tier brands by the way. So, Magnavox, Olivia, Westinghouse: that's where you're going to want to look for this. Don't go try and find a you know a Samsung or a Sharp Aquos for that price and you know up in the high 20 or maybe low 30 inch size, but feel free to shop the second tier guides.
>> Tom Merritt: There's a Toshiba 20 inch that we have not reviewed...
>> Brian Cooley: Right.
>> Tom Merritt: ...for 325 bucks. That's the best I can find.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah, and that's a -- is that a 20 inch?
>> Tom Merritt: That's a 20 inch.
>> Brian Cooley: HLK86?
>> Tom Merritt: Exactly 20 inches. Now there's one at 349 that's a 23 inch if he wants to go for 50 more bucks, 3 more inches.
>> Brian Cooley: Yep so -- but I think if you shop, you're going to find specials this time of year, and this year you bet you're going to find specials, so look around at places like the big box warehouse stores but don't be afraid of the second tiers.
>> Tom Merritt: The in store brands like Insignia from Best Buy for instance, a lot of times you can find those on specials.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: You can get a 32 inch for down around 400 dollars. You might be able to find the smaller versions of those down closer to 20 inches for less as well.
>> Brian Cooley: Yep, just shop around and look for scratch and dent models too on the shelves or [inaudible].
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, open box, anything like that.
>> Brian Cooley: That's where you're going to make that price happen.
>> Tom Merritt: And honestly, you know where you can actually find what you're looking for is Craig's List or EBay.
>> Brian Cooley: Right.
>> Tom Merritt: But just be careful that you're buying it from a reputable seller. You will be able to find it though.
>> Brian Cooley: Or I can email you Brian Tong's address. You can bust into his place later on while he's here, and you can get a 42 inch that is really hot for I'm thinking nothing?
>> Brian Tong: B. Cooley, you're going to get larger than a 42 inch. Don't give him my address.
>> Brian Cooley: [Laughter] I like that. Now that's the kind of comeback we have him here for. Let's get up to Anthony...
>> Tom Merritt: Buymytronics.com might be another place because they specialize...
>> Brian Cooley: Who?
>> Tom Merritt: Buymytronics.com. They don't do television.
>> Brian Cooley: And Refurb Depot: they only sell refurbs. They'll have good -- we could go on this all day. Okay, Anthony in Pennsylvania: digital converter box is staying on the TV theme. Hello Anthony, welcome to the show.
>> Anthony: Hey how are you guys doing?
>> Brian Cooley: Good, what can we do for you?
>> Anthony: I was wondering which converter boxes do you recommend?
>> Tom Merritt: The Dish Network TR40 seems to be out in New York have tested through them. I throw a link in the show notes of all the reviews that they've done, but they gave that one 3 and a half stars out of 5. It may not sound great, but that's actually high praise for them because they're...
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: ...they're pretty hard on this stuff. RCA had the DTA800 is the other one that they liked. The rest of them, 2 or 3 stars. Really not that much difference between these. These all take the converter box coupon: the 40 dollars off. They all will do the job respectively because this is a government regulated program here so they have to have certain minimum functions. But like the TR40 actually is -- has got a good electronic program guide built in that you don't have to pay anything to subscribe to. We found it pretty useable. You get some good quality video and a nice electronic program guide from the RCA as well. They're some extras about those which is why we like them. And I -- you know, they're all under 100 bucks.
>> Brian Cooley: Now there's not a whole lot to as Tom mentions to differentiate these. We're not going to look at big differences in quality of the output. In fact if you look at these guys and turn them around backwards and look at the back plane, it's like they're all the same product with a little different firmware because the jacks are all in the same place. You can tell it's the same motherboard put in a different case, a little different firmware to give you a good EPG or not. And also you know, you might want to look to see which one has the best remote control. That's one of the differentiators. If you're not going to want to unify that into a unified remote, you want to get a good remote. And some of these have better ones than others because...
>> Tom Merritt: And look for things like analog pass thru if you want to continue to use your VCR with it...
>> Brian Cooley: Right, good point.
>> Tom Merritt: If you've still got an old analog TV you might have an analog VHS player too.
>> Brian Cooley: Okay, let's get one last call in here to talk about another great TV question and this is a classic in this day and age. Lynne is in Tennessee. Hello Lynne, welcome to CNET Live.
>> Lynne: Hey guys, how you doing?
>> Brian Cooley: Doing good.
>> Tom Merritt: Doing well.
>> Lynne: Just need that explanation again and I know that you gave it before. On that plasma and the LCD...
>> Brian Cooley: Oh yeah. This is a classic question that keeps bedeviling people. Here's the basic difference. The LCD of course is what's on your computer screen. That is a crystal panel with a fluorescent light behind it and that's how you get the image and the color comes from the crystals changing their angle like a prism. A plasma is a similar screen. It's got the same little dots but they're made up of little tiny basically neon tubes that glow in different colors - red, green, blue basically - and so they emanate their own light. The difference is a plasma, when those pixels are off they're off and they get totally black or very close to it. And LCD, the light is always on behind it so the black is never usually as black: a little bit up into dark, dark gray. That's always been the classic gripe. On the other hand, if you're looking at a set that's 42 inches or smaller, you're probably talking about an LCD just on price. They do those better on LCD. If you're looking...
>> Tom Merritt: I don't know. Panasonic 42 inch plasma just hit 700 dollars.
>> Brian Cooley: Well that is cheap.
>> Tom Merritt: That's pretty cheap.
>> Brian Cooley: Alright, so let's say below 42.
>> Tom Merritt: And that's the thing that the New York guys are saying is like the price difference between LCD and plasma just keeps narrowing and keeps narrowing.
>> Brian Cooley: And the quality difference.
>> Tom Merritt: And the power consumption which was the other disadvantage of plasma is almost nothing now.
>> Brian Cooley: And the pixel quality is almost nothing now.
>> Tom Merritt: If you can find it, the plasma is definitely the better choice these days.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah, plasma's considered sexier technology.
>> Tom Merritt: [Inaudible] price difference.
>> Brian Cooley: But a crappy plasma compared to an outstanding LCD you know, you want to get the outstanding LCD but all else being equal, the plasma tends to be the video files choice, but in economic reality plasma owns the big set space. You're not going to get a 56 inch LCD I don't think that's going to compete on quality and price with a plasma. Just not going to happen. Plasma owns the big stuff. They compete in the middle. And LCD owns everything from 32 on down. Alright, so that's kind of one way to look at it.
>> Lynne: You like the Visio's or something like that?
>> Brian Cooley: We like Visio. We've always liked their stuff. For a second tier, good but not perfect television they're outstanding. We've always -- they kind of really wrote the book on second tier brands. And by the way, that's all I own are second tier TVs. I have none of the major brands. I think they're all great. So thanks for the call Lynne.
>> Tom Merritt: Alright, time for Best of the Web. We're looking at Browser Spy today. >> Brian Cooley: Sounds creepy.
>> Tom Merritt: Browserspy.dk.
>> Brian Cooley: Yep.
>> Tom Merritt: And what this website does - I believe I may have found this on Userfriendly.org's link of the day, so I wanted to give them props for that - but basically what it does is you go over into this left side nav over here. Let me pull that over. And it tells you what your browser is reporting about you in all these different categories.
>> Brian Cooley: I love slash hate this.
>> Tom Merritt: How much bandwidth? What your browser you're using? I mean obviously they know because that's how they can detect if you're using IE.
>> Brian Cooley: CPU?
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah like CPU, fonts...
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: This is one that kind of gets you: Geo location.
>> Brian Cooley: Where am I?
>> Tom Merritt: Let's [inaudible] on that. It knows with a Google map where I am in San Francisco and can buy my IP address, make a guess on approximately where I am, latitude and longitude wise.
>> Brian Cooley: That's amazing. That's amazing.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah.
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah. And that's one of the most you know...
>> Tom Merritt: I mean it's not 100 percent accurate...
>> Brian Cooley: No.
>> Tom Merritt: ...but if you've ever wondered like how do they know I'm not in the UK. I'm trying to get to that BBC video player and it knows I'm in the United States and blocks me or vice versa. This how they do it. They look at that range of IP addresses and now I -- yep, those IP addresses are right there.
>> Brian Cooley: This is a great little portal and I like that. And it's just a site. It's not a service. You just go to the page.
>> Tom Merritt: And that's just one thing. I mean if you go through all these other things it will tell you whether you Ajax support, it will tell you what version of Adobe Reader you're running...
>> Brian Cooley: It's also good for web developers who are trying to dial their site in: use different browsers on their machine and see how they are being viewed coming into their server.
>> Tom Merritt: Yep absolutely.
>> Brian Cooley: Okay, alright folks. That was our wild and wooly show for this week. Thank you for sweating it out with us here with some technical issues in a few of our usual pretty elements: not in there. But hey the content was just as good.
>> Tom Merritt: What are you talking about?
>> Brian Cooley: If not better.
>> Tom Merritt: Me and Brian Tong were here.
>> Brian Tong: It was a perfect show.
>> Brian Cooley: I opened the door to that one. Hey by the way, when we come back next week I'll be fresh off a plane with news and cool cars for you from the L.A. Auto Show. We'll just be back with brand new video from that show which is becoming one of the big ones in the U.S. So that's coming up on next week's show.
>> Tom Merritt: The following week is Thanksgiving so CNET Live on Thursday of next week because it's a holiday here in the United States, but the day after is traditionally called Black Friday in the United States. But we might change that in the current economic climate and call it "fun shopping Friday." But anyway, we'll be here all day Friday for CNET's 4th Annual Holiday Help Desk - the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. - our 10 hour live marathon Friday November 28th. We'll take your calls. We'll take your webcam questions. You don't have to just record them and send them to CNET Live at Cnet.com which you can still do, but we'll actually take you on a webcam live on the show and give away prizes. We'll have more details on what those prizes are and more other details on the show next week. Meantime keep sending links to your video questions to CNET Live at Cnet.com. And next week we'll be able to play them.
>> Brian Cooley: Okay, remember we'll be back with you next week and the phones are going to open as usual at 12:30 Pacific ahead of the show, and the show goes live at 1 PM Pacific.
>> Tom Merritt: But 4 PM eastern.
>> Brian Cooley: And...
>> Brian Tong: You know what 11 AM Hawaiian.
>> Brian Cooley: That's what I'm talking about.
>> Brian Tong: You like that?
>> Brian Cooley: Yeah, we're going to break into your house. We'll [inaudible] if you like that. Alright, thanks everybody. We'll see you next week.