Category Archives: Entertainment

Music, Movies and other Fun Stuff

Oculus Rift price drop creates unprecedented value over HTC Vive

Oculus announced an unprecedented $200 price drop on the purchase of the Rift headset and Touch controllers. This presents a great opportunity for consumers interested in buying into Virtual Reality without taking out a second mortgage. But what does this price difference to do the perception of value and quality between the VR options. Often, a lower cost version of a technology represents a cheaper implementation. But is that the case with the Rift?

The technical specifications that matter to VR are identical for both platforms. Resolution, field of view, and now with Oculus’ 3 sensor configuration roomscale VR is also available for both. Additionally, the Oculus Rift can use most if not all titles available for the HTC Vive. However, Vive users may be locked out of some of the Rift’s high quality, exclusive content. Additionally, the Rift’s lighter weight is another advantage over the Vive.

The Rift’s home menu, store and game navigation system called Oculus Home.

This results in a more affordable VR platform that may be better in some ways. Which is the opposite of what the price/quality appearance is to the uninitiated.

If potential VR consumers recognize this value gap favoring the Rift, Oculus is in for a sales boost that could put a dent in HTC’s market share. Conversely, if the price difference appears to the consumer as a ‘you get what you pay for’ warning, as HTC appears to be betting on, this could backfire for Oculus.

Oculus Rift DK2 Unboxing

The DK2 has arrived! Just 24 hours after it shipped it was on my doorstep. It probably helps that I’m in Southern California less than 3 hours drive from where it shipped from, Ontario, CA.

This is just a preliminary post, but here are my unboxing photos. I have since installed it and used it. My initial impression is, I can’t wait until the existing software supports this thing!

My favorite 3 new features are: 1) The higher resolution display, 2) The motion tracking, and 3) The display driver that feeds the video directly to the rift without extending or mirroring your desktop. I was hoping this would come someday, and it has.








The Oculus Rift DK2 is coming!

I never thought I’d be happier to see a text from my bank alerting me a purchase was made on my debit card! I also just received, minutes ago, confirmation from Oculus that they charged the remaining balance and the Oculus Rift DK2 is about to ship!

With higher resolution, motion tracking, and a built in latency tester, my team can’t wait to continue developing for the Rift.

By the way, if I sound like an over-excited child on Christmas Eve, you’re spot on!

Time Warner & CBS Blackout : Again Consumers Hurt by Cable Company aka Middle Man

Time Warner Cable has recently blacked out the CBS network in some of its Cable TV markets. CBS, in turn, blocks streaming videos of blacked out TV shows for Time Warner Cable Internet subscribers. Time Warner continues to collect full, monthly fees from its subscribers while the channel lineup is now hobbled. While CBS continues to collect full advertising revenue. So who gets hurt? The consumer. Paying full price and getting less and less.

What’s happening? This doesn’t seem right.

In the day of high speed internet and digital home theater systems with Internet enabled TVs, set top boxes and game consoles, why can’t we get on demand, a la cart content? Because your local cable provider has the content providers (networks such as NBC, CBS, HBO, CNN, etc) wrapped up in non-compete deals, even if just implicit. Leaving the consumers with little choice but to buy “channel packages” from the Cable Providers. Hundreds of worthless channels simply because you want the local stations, History Channel and HBO (like me).

What can we do about it? DROP YOUR CABLE SUBSCRIPTIONS.

Recently, the CEO of HBO ‘publicly considered’ offering HBO as a standalone subscription service. YAY! This sounds great. I’d pay $10-$15 per month for this. Unfortunately, he decided not to. Maybe it doesn’t make good business sense to give more customers what they want.

Thankfully, more and more consumers are becoming “cord cutters” and getting rid of cable. Hopefully, we can get even more consumers to follow until all your cable company provides is a nice, fast, reliable Internet connection. On top of which you watch TV and make/recieve phone calls.

This technology has been available for years. The content distribution networks are in place. Now, it’s up to the consumers to stop paying the “middle man.”

By the way, CBS is not innocent in all of this. They’re equally greedy. By the way, why does Time Warner have to pay CBS when you can get an antenna and watch it for free? Because when there’s a middle man everyone wants to make money from their business model…that is now antiquated and getting in the way of progress.

Prometheus…Visually Stunning…Storyline, Not So Much

Ridley Scott is one of my favorite directors, and I was truly excited to see his latest space thriller, “Prometheus.” As usual, Scott never ceases to wow the audience with visuals and suspense. However that’s about all there was to appreciate, aside from a story that started out interesting and ended up…well, it just ended up.

When Scott’s now classic space-horror, “Alien,” was released in 1979 it was an original. Movie-goers had never seen such a spectacle on the screen. The story didn’t need to have depth as the rest of the thrills were enough to carry the film and leave viewers stunned.

In the days of Avatar, Gladiator and even Jurassic Park, however, the audience has ‘seen-it-all’ and viewers demand more depth to the story. It seems that once the horror aspect of the film began, the story ended. Special effects are great, but they’re common enough that the story needs to be satisfying. Visual effects are to support the story, not to be the story.

Without giving anything away, I can only call this film a modern-day “Alien Redux.” I also saw “Prometheus” in 3D, and the visuals were all the better for it. Unfortunately, the 3rd dimension wasn’t enough to justify the relatively empty storyline.