Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Quick Update/Question For My Viewers

Okay, so I just wanted to let you guys know that new episodes are coming very, very soon, probably by the end of this or next week. However, I can't say absolutely certainly when the videos will be released. Why? Well, read on and I'll tell you.

You see, I am having some SERIOUS trouble with my recording hardware recently. I'm not quite sure if I'll be able to explain what's going on, but I'll give it a shot. You see for SD quality games, I usually use a DVD recorder to record gameplay and, at least so far, it's been working flawlessly. The problems begin when it comes to HD capable games (on for instance the PS3 or Xbox 360). For those type of games, I usually use a little device called a Hauppauge HD PVR. This is a devise that connects to a computer and is capable of recording footage in full HD (so-called 1080i). When I first got it and started using it, it worked flawlessly, even with full HD games. However, for some reason, it has recently been acting up quite a bit.

You see, my computer is, to put it mildly, A HUGE PIECE OF SHIT! It's fairly old and as such, it doesn't exactly have the best specifications. It does usually work okay enough for regular tasks, but for more processor/ram heavy tasks, it can have some serious trouble running it. I am fully aware that this is probably the main cause of my recent problems, but then again, everything did work fine before.

So, anyway, exactly what is the problem, you may ask. Well, whenever I start a recording, everything seems to work fine. The program starts up nicely, the preview looks good and everything seems to run as it should. However, when I stop the recording, everything goes to hell! If I'm lucky, the computer will seem to be working for a bit, but after a while (or usually as soon as I press the stop button), the computer completely freezes, forcing me to do a so-called "hard-restart" of my computer. Sometimes, the recording is still intact after this, but most of the time, it's either corrupted or not recorded at all. This, of course, causes me to have to re-record, sometimes several times, before I actually have a usable recording. It goes without saying, but this, of course, causes the recording process to take MUCH more time than intended. I'm not quite sure how to fix this, but I have a few ideas and that's where you guys come in.

Although I will ultimately have to figure this out myself, I thought maybe you guys could help me figure out what to do. As I said, I do have some ideas, but maybe some of you guys have some better ideas, maybe you know how to fix my problem or maybe you just want to let me know what you think I should do. Either way, I would really appreciate any and all feedback/help/suggestions on the matter as it will probably help me to decide what to do. I want you to tell me absolutely ANY ideas you may have, no matter how simple, difficult, confusing, obvious and/or stupid you might think it is. Everything, I repeat EVERYTHING will help me and be GREATLY appreciated.

With that said, though, I thought I would tell you a few ideas I have to get the idea-ball rolling and to check with you if you think any of them will work. So, without any further delays, let me present my ideas.

IDEA #1:

Considering all the problems I have with the stupid Hauppauge HD PVR, maybe I should just not bother with it. I mean, as I said, I do have a DVD recorder I use as well so maybe I should just use that for everything. Now, the problem with this solution would, obviously, be that I would only be able to record in SD quality. I am fairly certain that the recordings would still be more than usable, and the final episodes would still be rendered in full HD since the camera I use for recording the live-action segments of me is a full HD camera. I'm not sure if the program I use to edit/render episodes will upscale the gameplay recordings in any way, but as I said, maybe recording it in SD won't be a problem at all. I know it won't be for older stuff, but with newer, HD capable games, it would of course be better to record in HD, but I don't know...

IDEA #2:

Seeing as any and all recordings I do with my DVD recorder always turns out great, maybe I should just stop recording/using newer games in my videos. I'm not really sure how much of a problem this would be, as I sort of prefer to do older games anyway, but I do like to talk about newer games once in a while as well. This solution would depend more on you're feedback as well since I would really hate to stop doing reviews/videos of stuff you would like to see, so if you would still like to see newer games once in while, be sure to let me know. I guess I could also just stop doing newer stuff until I can get a new computer, but I'm not quite sure how long that will be. I'm just not sure...

IDEA #3:

Another solution, I guess, would be to just keep trying. I mean, it does usually work eventually, so technically it might be worth it. Yes, it will probably take me much longer and be a bit more of a pain in the ass, but I will at least still have HD recordings. I guess I would say that this is the least likely solution, but I might end up going for it anyway, as it is really frustrating to own a machine that is supposed to be able to record in full HD and not actually be able to use it. I guess this is the worst of my ideas overall, though, but then again, maybe not...

IDEA #4:

Maybe I could keep looking for some better hardware. I mean, maybe there is something better than the Hauppauge out there that is actually affordable. Of course, if I am going to get something else, it has to be something capable of recording HD footage from either component or HDMI and it would be brilliant if it was a set-top machine (I think that's what you'd call it), meaning something like a DVD recorder that can record HD footage without the need for a computer. I haven't seen anything that matches these criteria myself, but maybe some of you guys have, in which case, let me know! I guess this might not be the best idea in the world either as I may never be able to find anything decent that is also affordable. I guess I'll have to see...

Other than that, I don't really have any more ideas right now, so any help you have to offer would be very, VERY much appreciated. I don't want you to feel like you absolutely HAVE to give me any feedback, but it would be nice to at least get your opinions of my ideas if you don't have any additional ones of your own. I will also work on and realease the new episodes no matter what I end up doing, but depending on which solution I go for/how much more trouble I run into, it might take longer than I hope for.

In any case, I really hope as many of you as possible can give me some input on this and help me figure out what to do. The more you help me, the sooner the episodes will be released, so keep that in mind as a possible motivator. As always, I thank you all again for any and all support and I hope you all check back regularly for more updates.

7 comments:

  1. Hey Gisle, Mu here.
    Sorry to hear about your technical issues. I wouldn't consider myself technically proficient or knowledgable about computers anymore but I do have a working knowledge of your recording equipment because I recently bought a set-up similar to yours using the Hauppauage HDPVR. I'd love to help out in any way I can but I have a few questions first:
    1. What are the specifications of your PC? Considering that the HDPVR worked before but doesn't work now it may seem unlikely that your PC hardware is at fault but I'd like to help you rule it out as a possibility anyway.
    2. Have you updated the drivers on your PC? Specifically, the drivers for your HDPVR? You said your PC had no problem working with the HDPVR before but now it's having issues. Based on that fact, I'm fairly certain it has nothing to do with either your computer hardware or recording equipment. I found a forum post of somebody having a similar issue to you which he solved by updating all of the drivers on his computer, specifically the ones to do with his HDPVR and TotalMediaExtreme. Also, I'm sure you've probably done this already but reinstall the software that came with your HDPVR.

    See if that solves anything and if it doesn't, I'll help you investigate it further. :D

    My opinion personally, not to impose it on you in ANY way by the way, but I truly believe that you should review newer games and perhaps bring attention to some older games that people may not have heard of or games from your past that you either enjoyed or hated every now and again. Perhaps if you have some down-time where you can't afford to buy a new ps3 game to review, that's when you should be resorting to using emulators to review old games. Too many people review old games and to be honest, they're so easy to critique I just don't see the fun in it. I personally laugh when the jokes aren't as obvious or on the nose, so to speak, but that is just my opinion.

    Oh, and I'd really like to bring this device to your attention. :D http://www.avermedia.com/avertv/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=556 If you do resort to Solution#4, I think it might be worth investigating this because it records without the use of a PC and is affordable, as far as HD recording devices go anyway. I'm sure the quality probably won't be as good as your current recording device but it's worth looking into none-the-less. Anyway, hope I have been of some help.

    ~Mu

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    1. Hey, Mu!

      Thank you for your feedback!

      As far as the specifications of my computer and the drivers and such, let me assure you that the problem definitely isn't with the drivers. They have been uninstalled, reinstalled, downgraded, upgraded and everything in between; nothing works! If anything, the problem has to be with my computer. I'm too lazy to bother finding out all the specifications of it now, but sufficed to say that they're well below average. It's a fairly old laptop that I've taken off my brothers hands after my previous computer broke. As stated, it's a piece of crap, but I can get it to work with most things I need it for, except the Hauppauge, for some reason. I appreciate your suggestions, but unfortunately, I've already tried them to no avail.

      When it comes to your opinions regarding whether or not I should review newer games, I really appreciate that as well. I'm not quite sure I will be doing my reviews in that way, though. That is to say, I'm fairly certain I will keep doing reviews of older stuff as well, but I will definitely consider doing more of the newer stuff. The reason I would like to do older stuff is both because it's easier in terms of recording, but also and more importantly because I think it's more appropriate for me.

      I may, of course, be completely wrong here, but the thing is that I do tend to play more older games than newer ones. It's not that I have anything against newer games or that I never play them, but I do tend to prefer older or so-called retro-games. That's probably at least partially down to nostalgia but I don't know, older games just tend to appeal to me more. As I said, I have absolutely nothing against newer games and it does of course depend a lot on the individual games themselves, but in general, I would definitely consider myself to be more of a retro-gamer than anything else. Therefore, I personally feel that I will probably have more to say or more accurate views to give about older games. That doesn't mean that I won't be able to give an opinion on newer games as well, but I just feel that I may not necessarily have as much to say about them. Also, since I don't really have a steady income right now, I'm not always in a position to purchase new games at a steady rate anyway. Oh, I can buy a new game once in while, but it may not be often enough to focus my reviews on them. I do have an idea as to how I could regularly review some newer games without it costing me a lot, but it might not work out so I wouldn't hold my breath for it. I don't know, maybe I'm much better off doing mostly newer games as you say, so I'll definitely consider it, but please don't expect me to stop doing reviews of older games. I promise that I whatever I end up doing, I will do my best to make my videos entertaining no matter what!

      In closing, I would also like to thank you a lot for bringing that device to my attention. I think there's a BIG possibility that I'll be getting one of those eventually. Exactly when I might get it, I'm not quite certain of, but I'm almost positive that I will eventually get it, unless someone else convinces me otherwise or finds an even better device before I can get it. Thank you so much for the tip, though! It's very much appreciated!

      Wow, this reply turned out to be a bit longer than intended. Appologies for that, but I hope I at least answered your questions and opinions. Thanks, again for your feedback and please, keep it coming and keep checking the site for updates!

      Sincerely
      That Geeky Gamer aka Gisle

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    2. Hey Gisle, it's me again.
      Wanted to respond sooner but I've been a tad busy recently working on my own content. :D
      So you've already exhausted those possibilities? A pity but I figured you had already. I did do a little more research into your problem after you replied to my original comment but from what I remember, it turned up similar results as before. I will continue to research it when I can but if your computer hardware is as dated as you say it is, then I guess there's not alot more I can do. I do find it peculiar that it worked before but doesn't now.. Could you give me any more detailed information than you already have? Like for example, your exact specifications?

      I'm glad you appreciate opinion. If there is one thing that I have that is plentiful enough for me to give out freely, it is opinion. lol Although as I said, I never intended to impose it upon you or make you feel that I'm asking you to change in anyway. Obviously, I have had to think alot about this recently because I'm starting my own channel and I just wanted to share my thoughts with you on this, mostly because I want to see your channel achieve some of the popularity it deserves. Seeing how popular your Family Guy review was on UnscriptedGamer, you can only surmise that you stand to benefit from reviewing newer (or atleast in this case more popular) games if for nothing else, atleast to draw attention to your retro-game reviews/channel. I think you know what I'm trying to say and I'm sure I never had to bring that to your attention anyway, so sorry for making an obvious suggestion. ;D

      In any case, that's perfectly understandable. I can't afford newer games very often either, infact I am more than certain that I will have to resort to reviewing older ps3/ps2/ps1/DreamCast games or use emulators in order to maintain a steady flow of content on my channel. And as Hannaquin said before me today, doing retro games is perfectly fine and could be original based upon the choices of which games you review. I just don't like it when people rely upon how flawed/bad the game is to dictate the quality of the video like for example, when the Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed the Bible games. Not to say that part and parcel of making funny video reviews is the choice of an appropriate game but cherry-picking terrible games to ridicule is in my opinion, the sign of somebody who isn't witty/clever enough to pick up on and make fun of more subtle flaws in normal video games. That's just my opinion of course and so far, I've enjoyed all of your videos and find you to be a very astute reviewer. The contrast of your review of Zelda 2 against the Angry Video Game Nerd's is a good example of that.

      I'm glad I pointed you toward something which might help you out by the way. I'd have preferred it if I could've fixed your problem because I know how tough it is to save for this expensive equipment. But who knows, we may fix your problem yet. If I had to make any suggestion about what you should do in the future though, I'd say invest in a desktop PC rather than another capture box. If you build one yourself (and it's relatively easy to do) it's alot cheaper than buying one ready made and then you can use your current Hauppauage and you'll have a semi-decent computer as opposed to maybe selling your Hauppauage to buy this capture box. I think the Hauppauage offers alot better quality compared to the one I recommended, from what I've read.


      Really sorry about how long this comment was, if you read all the way through, thank you for bothering to.

      ~Mu

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  2. I can't comment much on the technical issues that you are having, other than to say I hope you manage to sort things out soon. I agree that making videos based on the latest releases is a good idea. To pull in viewers ideally you should be going for a healthy mix of the newest games, and some older ones. But if it's easier for you in the meantime to continue making videos based on some older games and you enjoy it, then that is better than nothing.

    I'd say just be careful about what older games you choose for reviews. Personally I really enjoyed Gitaroo Man, Alex Kid, Crash Bash, and Tekken. The Zelda review was good too, but everyone attempts to review NES classics. There are lots of really good (and bad) games from different console generations, but sadly most people overlook them for the sake of doing Nintendo games. =/

    Anyway, good luck with things!

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    1. Thank you for your comments!

      I will, as stated, definitely consider making more/focusing on newer releases, but I do feel that I will have trouble doing so regularly, at least right now. I will, of course, try to think about which older games I review since, as you say, a lot of people do choose to review NES games. That not to say that I believe that necessarily means that I can't or won't review NES games as well, but I also believe that there are plenty of other games for plenty of other consoles that will be just as good, if not better for me to review.

      Either way, I hope you still check out my videos when they get released and that you continue to give me any and all feedback you have!

      -Gisle aka That Geeky Gamer

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  3. I really hope this blog hasn't been abandoned. I really enjoy these videos.

    Hope you come back soon TGG!

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    1. Hi, Luke!

      Don't worry, this blog will go on! I've been having a few problems that I needed to sort out and I've also been thinking about the format of the show. I think I have sorted most of it out now and I am currently working on new episodes, but I can't say for certain when they'll be released. It might still be a little while, but after the next release, new videos should start appearing a bit more often. I won't reveal exactly what the next update will be yet, but I can tell you that it's going to be a pretty big update, which is why it might take a little while to complete.

      In any case, you don't need to worry about this blog being abandoned, at least not yet. I do apologize for the long wait, but hopefully, the next update will make up for some of it. I'm glad to hear that you enjoy my videos and I hope that you'll continue checking in on the site regularly. Thank you for your support!

      -Gisle aka That Geeky Gamer

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