Cord Cutting: VLC Remote Control for Your Smartphone

More and more we’re connecting a laptop to the TV to watch video with VLC Media Player. The lack of a remote control was a nuisance. There are some USB-based remote controls with trackballs and keyboards for 30 or 40 bucks, but I found a remote control app called VLC Remote.

To use the app, run the setup software on any computer you want to be able to control. VLC Remote autodetects computers on the network running VLC and the helper program.

The app runs on Android, iOS and WebOS. I’m using the iOS version and it works great. I’m using the free version, which has volume control and basic controls for start, stop, pause, fast forward and rewind. The only small hassle is having to use the laptop to open the video file. Since I connect the laptop every time I want to watch video it’s no big deal. If I had a dedicated computer connected to the entertainment center I’d buy the the paid version, which has file browsing and some other geegaws like a graphic equalizer.

Cordcutting – Watch Downtown Abbey Free

Amazon Prime members can watch Season 1 and Season 2 in HD for free. Season 3 is available at

Via Instapundit.

Netflix Reviews You Can Use: Crackling Fireplace Video

Thanks, Arlene!

George Ford has done it again! A cinematic masterpiece that can not be missed! Five stars.

The ending will shock you to your core ! Warning this could offend others so brace yourself for the movie of a life time . You will cry and cheer !!

This is a great movie. I especially love the part at around 55:57 where the log on the right shifts slightly.

Sadly this is the edited US version with all swearing and nudity removed, and not the full 90 minute DVD release available in European and Asian territories. Anyone looking for the full experience will have to go elsewhere.

I liked this video much better than “This is a Test of the Emergency Broadcast System”, and almost as much as “Test Pattern at 3AM”.

This adaptation was okay, but not as good as the 1959 original. I’m not sure whose idea it was to replace Audrey Hepburn with Samuel L. Jackson, but that may have been one of the more brilliant casting choices of this film.

The book was better.

Got Netflix or Amazon Prime?

Watch it free.

Fireplace for your Home presents Crackling Fireplace

Fireplace for your Home presents Crackling Fireplace with Music

Fireplace for your Home Christmas Music edition

Fireplace for your Home Romance Edition

Evening Crackling Campfire with Music – presented by Fireplace for your Home

Cord Cutting: The Centurion

The Centurion popped up on my Netflix scroll. I like Michael Fassbender and Dominic West and stories about Rome, so it seemed like a good bet.

It’s the story of the lost ninth legion and their battle with the Picts of north Brittania, told mostly from the point of view of Fassbender’s character. The Romans and the Picts take turns trading roles as heroes and villains, hunter and hunted.

It isn’t a great movie. The budget was obviously small and the person who directed the battle scenes wasn’t especially gifted. He also really, really likes chopping off people’s heads. Seriously, if there’s ever a decapitation serial killer in his town the police might want to talk to that guy.

Sometimes The Centurion feels like it’s just moving from one fight to another, but that’s a good thing if you’re in the mood for an action flick. Worth seeing if you like anything Roman and especially if you like Michael Fassbender’s acting.

Cord Cutting: More Americans Dropping Pay TV

Cable TV Continues Slow Death, Losing 400,000 Customers This Year

Hat tip to Insty.

P.S. When we turned off cable, we only lost the higher-numbered digital channels. We still have the lower analog channels up through 70 or so. Someone told us that’s because we have Internet through Charter and they can’t turn off the lower channels without turning off the Internet. Our total bill with tax for Internet and phone is only 60 dollars. Add the eight dollars for Netflix and we’re still under $70 a month for Internet, phone, and video.

Cord Cutting – Breaking Bad

After we cancelled cable we decided to see what all the fuss was about with AMC’s Breaking Bad. Netflix had the first three seasons, so my wife and I dove in. Now it’s one of my top 5 TV shows.

The fifth and final season started yesterday. Just before last night’s episode I got an email from Netflix announcing that Breaking Bad season 4 is available on Netflix.

P.S. We cancelled cable and with typical cable company efficiency they turned off the digital cable but not the analog cable channels, so we’re still currently getting AMC. We’re enjoying it while it lasts.

P.P.S. If you’ve never read What Alan’s Watching, check out his wrapup of last night’s season premier.

Cord Cutting: 500 Free Movies Online

Cool stuff. 500 movies you can watch for free over the Internet. Watch them on your TV if your computer has an HDMI out or your TV has a PC/VGA input.

Some of the them are art house stuff or older films, though I like some of that stuff. Then there are movies you wouldn’t expect, like Sid and NancyA Fistful of Dollars, and Yellow Submarine.

BTW, Yellow Submarine is on YouTube. The related links are to a bunch of full-length Beatles albums. %#&!ing copyright. How does it work?

  • 1984Free – George Orwell’s classic novel adapted to film by the BBC. (1954)
  • A Fistful of DollarsFree – Classic spaghetti western directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood. (1964)
  • Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life Free – Oscar-winning short film that combines Kafka’s Metamorphosis with Capr’s It’s a Wonderful Life. (1993)
  • Impressions de la haute MongolieFree – Surrealist false documentary directed by Salvador Dalo and Jose Montes-Baquer, starring Salvador Dali himself. (1976)
  • MetropolisFree -Fritz Lang’s silent sci-fi classic. The shorter version. (1927)
  • Monty Python’s And Now For Something Completely DifferentFree -A collection of Monty Python’s best sketches from the first two seasons of their TV show (1971)
  • My Best Friend’s BirthdayFree – First film directed by Quentin Tarantino. Some good rockabilly fun. (1987)
  • Plan 9 from Outer SpaceFree – An Ed Wood classic. Considered one of the worst films ever made. (1959)
  • Reefer MadnessFree – A drug film for the ages. (1936)
  • Sid and NancyFree – The Sex Pistols revisited. With Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb. (1986)
  • SlackerFree – Richard Linklater’s Gen-X, generation defining indie film. (1991)
  • The AlphabetFree – David Lynch’s early short film. (1968)
  • The AmputeeFree – A short film made by David Lynch for the American Film Institute while Eraserhead was in financial limbo. (1974)
  • The GeneralFree – Orson Welles said that Buster Keaton’s The General is “the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made. Alternate version here (1926)
  • The Great Dictator Free – Charlie Chaplin loathed fascism and personally resented Adolf Hitler’s expropriation of The Tramp’s famous toothbrush moustache. He took his revenge with this hilarious and formally inventive film, released one year before America’s entry into World War II. (1940)
  • The Last Man on EarthFree – Post apocalyptic horror film starring Vincent Price and based on Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend. (1964)
  • The Little Shop of HorrorsFree – Directed by Roger Corman with Jack Nicholson. (1960)
  • The Skin Game Free – 1931 Hitchcock film based on a play by John Galsworthy recounts the tragic tale of a family feud. (1931)
  • The Snows of KilimanjaroFree – Based on Hemingway’s classic novel set in Africa. Stars Gregory Peck. (1952)
  • Waiting for Godot Free – Excellent adaptation stars Barry McGovern as Vladimir, Johnny Murphy as Estragon, Alan Stanford as Pozzo and Stephen Brennan as Lucky. (2001)
  • War & PeaceFree -Soviet director Sergei Bondarchuk turns Tolstoy’s great novel into what Roger Ebert calls the definitive epic of all time. Won Academy Award – Best Foreign Language Film in 1969. (1965-1967)
  • Yellow SubmarineFree – The animated feature film based on the music of The Beatles. (1968)

Hat tip to Maetenloch.