Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Star Trek TOS on HD

I have some free evenings this week, and a backlog of Netflix movies, so I finally got around to watching some of them. Last night I watched one of the Star Trek discs. As a big fan of this series as a kid I was very pleased with what CBS has produced for HD DVD. Not only have they cleaned up the video and CGI, but the PiP was awesome! I turned on the Starfleet control option which automatically put additional information on the screen at appropriate spots. The commentary was very educational and fun. I really hope to pick up this box set if there is a fire sale on HD DVD discs.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Death of HD DVD

A very sad day indeed. Warner Bros decided they would no longer back HD DVD as of May -08, essentially killing the format. Since this is my favorite studio, it means that HD DVD is no longer of use to me. I will be returning my XA2 and use the A1 for playback of my HD DVD discs and my Oppo 971 for SD. I guess on the bright side of things I will save money by renting HD DVD and buying SD media.

In my opinion this is a setback to HDM, as the Blu ray spec's are not completed, and the MSRP on the media and players are well above what I am willing to pay. Perhaps in the coming year the the Blu crew will get their act together, put out a 2.0 player, drop the price of their media, and start putting bonus material on the discs. I will not be putting a gaming machine (PS3) in my rack!

Now let's bow our heads for a moment of silence......

New Fan Arrives

I received the new Adda fan and replaced the original Delta fan that was inside the XA2. The replacement was not as easy, nor was the reduction in noise as dramatic as I had hoped. I was unable to locate a 2-pin connector that was the right size, and the mounting holes were larger in diameter than the original fan. To resolve the connector issue, I cut the connector and a short length of wire from an old ATI video card and spliced it onto the fan leads. Fairly simple and straightforward with the right tools. I used #6 nuts and bolts to fasten the new fan to the chassis and placed a grommet between the back of the fan and the player chassis. I then powered up the player and noticed that the whine of the old fan was gone, but there was still too much air movement noise. I am going to try a few other methods of mounting the fan to see if I can further reduce the noise.

My initial thoughts are that the punched grid in the rear of the chassis is too small and that is leading to backpressure on the fan. Adding the grommet may also have increased the back pressure, so I am going to try flush mounting it. A better solution would be to replace the 50mm fan with a 60 mm fan, cut a larger exhaust port in the rear of the chassis and add a wire grid. I do not plan on doing this until the warranty has expired.

A couple pictures of the new fan and exhaust port: