Anyone have contacts with TVTonic?

One of their users emailed us to comment on our video quality… essentially pointing out that it sucked when viewed through their TV using TV Tonic. Well I was puzzled because, while we don’t ship out DVD quality video, our high quality download is quite good for a podcast. Turns out though, after installing TV Tonic and picking out of their catalog, that the feed they have in their system is our 512kbps WMV feed… which is certainly not the best quality around, around 430kbps for video and 320×240… fine for display on our site, but not the hottest around… instead they should be using our WMV (high quality) feed (2500 kbps, 640 x 480), but I have no idea how to tell them about it. I’ve emailed their support address, but didn’t ever hear back from them….

New Xbox Dad column: My take on the Bee Movie Game

If you or your kids are all excited about the upcoming Bee Movie with Jerry Seinfeld, then you should definitely check out my latest article on Along with the movie, an Xbox 360 game is also on its way…. and a demo is already up on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Not the most representative demo (more on that in the article!), but still fun and the game promises even more.

Custom Armor Configurations in Halo 3

In Halo 3 multi-player you can customize your SPARTAN or Elite’s armor, with different variations unlocked by various achievements/activities in game (including one that can only be unlocked by being a Bungie employee). You can find out more about the different variations here, but it turns out that your profile on knows what choices you’ve made and displays your current armor configuration on the web site.

If you go to the Halo 3 Model Generator though, created by a community member, you can find the picture of any particular gamer you’d like (including yourself, which is how I found my picture, below) or create a custom image to plan out your own armor customizations.

What I’d really like to create is a live URL, one like /getpicture.ashx?GamerTag=Festive+Turkey, so that I could put my picture on my site and have it automatically update as I change my armor configuration in the game… hopefully ending up like this

The code for my blog site is now available on

For anyone who is interested in using the code behind this site for their own blog, or who just finds reading code to be a fun pastime, you can go to to check it out. Of course, there are other blog engines up there, including blog engine .NET (which appears to be very highly supported and recommended by many folks), if you are in the market for some free blogging code.

Xbox 360 Arcade System announced

packagearcadeConsole For the price of $280, you can now get a new edition of the Xbox 360 console. This one is similar to the original core system, but with HDMI output, a 256mb memory card (so you can play and save your games right out of the box), a wireless controller, and five full arcade games. Perfect if you are more of a casual gamer or if:

  • you have an existing 360 with a hard drive and would like one with a HDMI output
  • you need a DVD player and/or a Media Center Extender (play all your Zune and Windows Media Center or Windows Media Player content in the living room!

For that price, you can pick up this system instead of a DVD player with HDMI out and you get the network connectivity and media streaming features along with an amazing system for playing a ton of great games. Sure the name says Arcade, but you can fire up Halo 3, Gears of War or Lego Star Wars II…

Crazy stuff, and perfect for you family focused Xbox gamers… and perhaps soon to be a second 360 for my house, since I now have a TV with HDMI in and nothing to hook into it… and it would be great to have the ability to play my music, TV and movies on our second TV as well…

More info on

We added a Silverlight player to Channel 8 today

We used a modified version of one of the templates that ships with Expression Media Encoder as our player… and channel 8 has become the first of our sites (which include Channel 9, Channel 10, and more) to have a Silverlight video player on them. And, below here, you can see that player embedded into this blog post…

Note that I had to remove the ‘scrubbing bar’ due to some odd bug around releasing the mouse after scrubbing was completed… but we’ll figure that out and get it back in as soon as we can. Check out the video above back in its home on C9…. check out the video from above on on Channel 8, and build your own player using those templates!