One thing that has been missing from our digital lifestyle here at home is an easy way of getting the digital stuff that we have taken and downloaded on the computers and get it displayed/played on the TV.
I had previously considered getting a Windows Media Centre Extender device, but the price as well as being locked into a Microsoft program for this purpose had pretty much turned me off that idea.
So this past weekend, in treating myself to an early birthday present, i bought a cheaper 'media player' device, the Mediagate MG-450HD (pictured) as well as a 320GB drive to go in it. It pretty much does everything: it can wirelessly connect and stream over a network, plays pretty much all video formats (except for H264), plays MP3s and photos, and can play off USB-attached devices.
It is slightly on the dodgy side though: setting it up to use HDMI was a big pain, and over an afternoon i discovered by myself that it didn't like a wireless WPA key that was any longer than 20 characters, and of course the prompts and dialogues are in very poorly written English (typical Asian technology poor translating). Also there are a few features missing that I would like, e.g. being able to copy files off USB-attached devices onto the local disk, and also an improvement in transferring files over the wireless connection (i get speeds anywhere between 150 and 750KB/s).
Anywho, it fulfils it's purpose and hopefully those deficiencies will be rectified in future firmware updates.
Moving along: after dragging Des to many 'guy' movies over the past 12 months, on Sunday I was dragged along to seeing my first 'chick flick' in quite a while. We saw 27 Dresses, which pretty much fulfilled every stereotype that the genre inspires, even down to the 'getting changed into different outfits to some upbeat music' montage. It wasn't terrible, but i can only really remember one moment in the movie in which i laughed out loud (and man is it weird typing that out in words... lol. That's better).