The ZapperBox M1 ATSC 3 Tuner is a Minimally Viable Product

In my latest review I look at the ZapperBox M1, a device designed to tune the new ATSC 3 signals in the United States.

The ZapperBox M1 is a great example of a “minimally viable product.” It’s an ATSC 3 tuner box that currently just tunes live TV, but with future firmware updates it will eventually gain DVR capabilities along with in-home streaming to other TV devices.

The ZapperBox M1 is available in two models: a single tuner unit priced at $249 and a dual tuner unit at $279. The dual tuner unit will allow you to record something while you watch something else live or record two shows simultaneously once the DVR functionality is implemented. It also has a Micro SD card slot and USB ports for external storage devices that will be required for that future DVR functionality.

The initial DVR release, due out by July 4th weekend, will allow you to schedule recordings, but won’t do recurring recordings or season passes. Those features will be added in subsequent releases. There will be an annual fee of $30 for the DVR service, which covers the cost of the channel guide data.

The device is simple to use and set up. It connects to a TV via its HDMI port and boots right up to live television. It has a YouTube app installed, but no other apps are installed nor is there a way to add any.

The ZapperBox M1 works with both ATSC 3 and ATSC 1 signals. It has a nice old-school channel flipping capability, allowing you to quickly go through the channels by pushing up and down on the remote. It also has the ability to filter out channels, so you can customize your viewing experience to favorites, remove duplicates, or have it focus only on the ATSC 3 Nextgen signals.

One of the complexities of ATSC 3 broadcasts is the Dolby AC4 audio format, which many TVs do not support. The ZapperBox M1 handles this by doing all the audio down-mixing in hardware, ensuring compatibility with all TVs.

Another issue is that many broadcasters are beginning to encrypt their content with DRM. The ZapperBox M1 does not currently decrypt this content, but it will in the future once it goes through an approval process. The makers of the box say that they have DRM decryption working with DRM broadcasts at their lab in Tampa, FL.

For regions like mine where all of the local ATSC 3 stations live on the same broadcast frequency, the ZapperBox M1 might be worth considering vs. buying a new set with an ATSC 3 Tuner built in. The set up process took less than 10 minutes and it performs its single task of watching live television quite well. But it is quite expensive for its limited feature set at the moment.

Check out all of my ATSC 3 content here!

MoCA : Extending Your Home Network Using Cable TV Wiring

In my latest video I revisit MoCA, a technology that allows you to extend your home computer network using your existing cable TV wiring. I made this video because I’m still getting a lot of questions about the underlying network topology and I didn’t really have anything that showed it all working top to bottom in a single piece.

MoCA offers impressive performance with latency and bandwidth comparable to an Ethernet connection. The latest version, MoCA 2.5, supports data transfers up to 2.5 gigabits per second. While Ethernet is always preferable MoCA is really the next best thing if rewiring your home is not feasible.

MoCA devices, such as those from Translite and GoCoax use the same wire as your Internet and TV service but work on different frequencies. This allows MoCA to co-exist with your existing services – but they also work in the homes of cord cutters with “dark coax” that is no longer connected to the outside utility pole.

These devices are easy to install: plug one box into a coax connection and a free Ethernet LAN port on your router, and then plug a second box into any other coax outlet in your home. In most cases the two boxes will find each other and “bridge” your ethernet network to the coax. Simply plug in an Ethernet device to the remote MoCA boxes and you’ll be able to reach any device on your local network or the Internet.

It’s important to be mindful of the use of splitters. While necessary for running a coax network throughout your home, they can be problematic for MoCA due to power reduction and frequency limitations. To ensure optimal performance, use splitters that are MoCA compatible. You’ll find many of them on Amazon (affiliate link).

MoCA is a standard, so devices from different manufacturers can communicate with each other. It’s also backwards compatible, so older devices running slower versions of MoCA can still communicate with the new ones.

MoCA is a great way to extend your network without running Ethernet cables everywhere. It offers minimal latency and impressive performance, making it a viable solution for most home use cases.

You can see all of my MoCA content here!

HP’s Enormous E45c G5 DQHD Monitor: A Dual Display in One

In my latest review I explored the HP E45c G5 DQHD (affiliate link), a super-wide monitor that could practically double as an aircraft carrier !

This dual Quad HD curved monitor essentially combines two 24-inch Quad HD displays into one, resulting in a massive 32:9 aspect ratio. This monitor is particularly useful for those who need a lot of information in front of them at once or are currently in a two-display situation.

Priced at around $1,100, this monitor is marketed more towards business and commercial use. It runs at a 5120 by 1440 resolution, 400 nits of brightness, covers 99% of sRGB and has a maximum 165 hertz refresh rate when a single device is connected. In its virtual display modes the max refresh rate is 60 Hertz for each half of the display.

The back houses two USB Type-C inputs, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI, allowing four different devices to be attached. The USB Type-C port can power a laptop while also providing display output and connects the monitor’s four USB ports and a gigabit Ethernet port.

The monitor comes with a stand that provides some degree of movement, allowing you to adjust the display to your preferred angle. However, due to the VA panel, the viewing angles are a bit more narrow so be sure to position yourself in the center “sweet spot” for the most consistent quality edge-to-edge.

The E45c G5 DQHD offers several interesting features. One of these is the Device Bridge, a seamless integration feature that allows two computers to share the display with a single keyboard and mouse. It automatically shifts control over whenever the mouse pointer from one computer is moved to the other. You can also transfer files back and forth between the two devices with a simple drag and drop. This feature currently only works on Windows and Mac and requires software to run in the background on each machine.

Picture on Picture mode is a good alternative to the Device Bridge mode as it works with any computer but lacks the seamless transition from one to the other. This mode has a built-in KVM function, allowing you to switch control between the two devices by hitting the control key twice on the keyboard.

There is also Virtual Display mode, which allows the display to appear as two distinct 1440p displays to the computer it’s plugged into. This feature only works on PCs that have support for DisplayPort MST. Macs do not support this, but if your Mac supports dual displays, you can use a DisplayPort or HDMI cable in addition to the USB-C to drive both halves. I demo that feature in this YouTube short.

The monitor has built-in stereo speakers that provide decent audio quality. However, there is no audio output jack, so if you want to connect speakers, you’ll have to connect them to the computer directly or use a USB audio interface.

While not designed specifically for gaming, the E45c G5 DQHD can provide a fun gaming experience with its wide aspect ratio if your game supports it. The response rate on the display is three milliseconds, which means you may see some motion blur. It does support AMD Freesync for compatible GPUs.

Overall, the HP E45c G5 DQHD is a feature packed super-wide for business users who need a wide aspect ratio or want to work with two displays simultaneously without a bezel in between. It offers a lot of utility and flexibility, making it a solid choice for those who need a lot of screen real estate.

Return of the Jedi Released 40 Years Ago Today

40 years ago today my Mom picked me up early from school (I was in first grade) and we went down to our local duplex theater to catch Return of the Jedi.

I was so excited, especially as the news that morning was showing previews. I remember seeing the speeder bike scene on Good Morning America or the Today show. I consumed every bit of info I could about the movie before it came out – Time Magazine had a great special issue all about it that I’m sure I have around somewhere.

I loved every minute of that movie and still do. It was awesome seeing it with a packed theater of folks also seeing it for the first time. There was so much energy in that theater and quite a reaction when Vader dispatched the emporer! When we left there was a line of teenagers all the way down Main Street waiting to get into the next showing. It was nuts.

Ever since then I’ve taken my Mom to each new Star Wars release to keep the tradition alive.

The 8bitdo Ultimate C is a Great Budget Game Controller

When I was a kid first party game controllers were pricey so many of us had third party “little brother” controllers that were cheap in price and quality. This of course was the controller a younger sibling would often get stuck with.

These days things are looking a lot better for younger siblings thanks to controllers like the 8bitdo Ultimate C which is the subject of my latest video.

This controller, while lacking some of the more advanced features of its pricier counterparts, offers a lot of value for gamers on a budget. It’s well-constructed, compatible with Windows PCs and most other devices that support X-input and direct input. Unlike the other 8bitdo controllers it does not work with the Nintendo Switch or with iPads and iPhones.

The Ultimate C comes in two versions: a wired version at $20 and a wireless version that costs $10 more. The wired version, which comes in a pastel purple or green, has a built-in cable that provides about six feet of length. The wireless version has a proprietary 2.4 gigahertz dongle and doesn’t support Bluetooth.

Despite being a budget controller, the Ultimate C doesn’t compromise on build quality. It has a solid feel, with high-quality plastic and a nice texture on the back for a good grip. The analog sticks and buttons are responsive, and the controller features an excellent Nintendo style D-pad modeled after some of the retro controllers that 8BitDo also manufactures.

One drawback I noticed was the dead zones on the sticks, which require a bit of movement to work through. A button combination that disables the deadzone doesn’t seem to make much of a difference either. The controller also lacks customization software, but it does offer a turbo feature that can be enabled on each of the buttons.

In terms of input lag, the Ultimate C performed on par with a wired Xbox controller when tested on the same PC.

Overall, this controller is a great value for casual gamers or as a secondary controller. It works well with a variety of devices, including Raspberry Pis, MiSTer FPGA kits, PCs, and even Macs running games or emulators.

You can see more 8bitdo reviews here on my YouTube channel.

ChatGPT Saves Me Time by Converting YouTube Transcripts to Blog Posts

I’ve been around for awhile in the tech media space so I’m always weary when the next new “shiny object” emerges on the scene. Google Glass, VR, crypto and NFTs were mega hyped by influencers only to fall way short when it came to mass consumer adoption.

Over the last several months the chattering influencer class has shifted focus almost entirely to artificial intelligence (AI) driven by the very rapid advancements in Large Language Model (LLM) chatbots like ChatGPT. I haven’t heard a peep about NFTs in months!

I approached this new technology with a healthy degree of skepticism. While it certainly has a “gee whiz” factor to it could it actually have some real utility in my day-to-day life?

I decided to pony up the $20 monthly subscription fee for ChatGPT Plus to see if it could save me some time and make my workflow more efficient. And surprisingly – it did. You can learn more in my latest video.

I’ve been using ChatGPT to help write these blog posts based on the transcripts of my YouTube videos for the last month or two. Last week ChatGPT became even more useful through the introduction of plugins that allow ChatGPT to perform tasks that go beyond its pre-existing knowledge cutoff of September, 2021.

One of the plugins I’ve been using is VoxScript, which can pull down full video transcripts from YouTube which the ChatGPT can use to produce summaries for this blog and my email newsletter.

Here’s how it works: I provide ChatGPT with the URL of my YouTube video and ask it to write a summary in the first person in a journalistic, neutral language style. ChatGPT uses VoxScript to pull down the full transcript from the video and starts writing the summary. The result is usually a well-written summary that captures the key points of the video, saving me about 30 minutes to an hour of writing time.

The AI does an impressive job of interpreting the automatically generated YouTube transcripts, even correcting inaccuracies and presenting the information in a coherent manner.

Of course, it’s not perfect, and I do have to tweak some parts to ensure it aligns with my voice and style. But overall, it can generate anywhere from 75-90% of the post depending on what the topic is. This post, for example, needed a little more work done to it by yours truly but the framework it provided was a great time saver.

As AI technology continues to evolve, I’m excited to see how it can further enhance productivity and efficiency in various fields. And AI is more than just chatbots. For example Tesla’s full self driving system is an artificial intelligence neural network running locally on their cars trained to drive a car.

As always, I’m interested in hearing about your experiences with AI. If you’ve found a practical use for AI that has improved your workflow definitely head over to YouTube and share your experiences in the comments section of the video.

My College Dorm Tech Circa 1998

25 years ago I was just finishing up my senior year of college. I was just as much a nerd then as I am today so of course I had quite a bit of tech in my on-campus apartment. I recently found an old video from that time with some of the gear visible. Check it out:

The PC

The PC pictured began its journey as a Pentium 166, assembled with parts procured from local computer fairs. It was the first PC I built myself. By the time I graduated, the PC had undergone an upgrade to a Pentium 233 MMX that was just a simple CPU swap.

My PC was pretty decked out – it had a Creative Labs Voodoo2 GPU which was lightyears beyond what game consoles could do at the time. This is when the PC really started to prove itself as a gaming platform with Quake II and many other games really pushing the graphical hardware available at the time.

You’ll notice on the front of the case that I had both a 3.5″ floppy drive and an IDE Zip drive. Thanks to its IDE interface the Zip drive ran much faster than than the external parallel version that was more widely used at the time. I recall that this particular zip drive required a version of Windows 95 that was only sold with OEM computers which took a little bit of work to acquire!

The CD-ROM drive was actually one of the first DVD drives available for PCs also from Creative Labs. The drive came bundled with an interface card that included an MPEG 2 decoder for watching DVD movies. It also came with a custom version of Wing Commander IV which had DVD quality cut scenes that were a major step up from the regular DOS version.

My video also caught the computer’s screen running Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 4 and Winamp that was playing some tunes while my girlfriend was reading her email.

Earlier that year I discovered the wonder of MP3s. The fact that such a small file could produce such high fidelity sound was nothing short of miraculous. Remember, this was a time when storing uncompressed CD wav files on a hard drive was an impractical endeavor due to file sizes and high storage costs. The advent of MP3s represented a significant leap in music technology, enabling us to enjoy our favorite tunes without worrying about running out of disk space.

That year my campus rolled out a residential ethernet network for all of the on-campus housing. That gave us a direct pipe into the University’s T1 line running at a whopping 1.5 megabits per second. It was a huge step up from the dialup modems we were using up until that point. Transitioning back to dialup after graduation was a major bummer – it would be another three years before DSL service was available at my house.

It was scary too because there were zero security safeguards with many student computers openly exposed to others on campus and the rest of the Internet for that matter. Personal firewalls were still a long ways off.

My Cell Phone

1998 was also the year that saw the introduction of digital cellular phones. I owned a Qualcomm QCP-820 phone that operated on Bell Atlantic’s CDMA network. Fun fact: Bell Atlantic later became Verizon. The QCP-820 was a dual band phone meaning it could operate in digital or analog mode. Digital coverage was few and far between when I first got the phone. But when I was lucky enough to find myself in a digital zone the quality of the call was substantially better.

Here’s another shot of the phone next to the iconic solo cup design of the late 90’s:

The Living Room

Despite the PC Powerhouse in my bedroom we still had a few game consoles on hand which were more fun for local multiplayer games. At this point in 1998 the Sony Playstation had become the dominant home video game console. You can see it sharing space with our VHS VCR that we used as our DVR to record our favorite shows when we were out and about and of course for Blockbuster rentals.

Also on hand, but sadly less frequently used, was my Sega Genesis (the very same one you’ll see on my YouTube set!) along with the Sega 32X attached. A year earlier the 32X add on was discontinued and liquidated so I picked it up for only about $30. The Genesis underneath was purchased in 1989 right when it came out and was almost 9 years old when this video was taken.

Concluding Thoughts

What’s remarkable is how many technologies came to be in the short span of time between my freshmen and senior year (1994-1998). Today’s technology is certainly better than it was back then but what we have today has mostly evolved from all of this 90’s innovation.

Lenovo Flex 3i Chromebook 12.2 Review

My latest review takes a look at the new Lenovo Flex 3i Chromebook. You can see it here. It offers a 2-in-1 design so it can work as both a laptop and a tablet – but there is no pen support available.

The Flex 3i Chromebook is competitively priced, starting at around $349 at Best Buy (compensated affilate link), making it a good option for those in the tablet market. The model I reviewed was the entry-level version, equipped with an Intel N100 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage.

One of the standout features of this Chromebook is its 12.2-inch 1920×1200 IPS display. With a brightness level of about 300 nits, the touchscreen display is great for the price point. The device is lightweight, weighing in at 2.76 pounds, and although it’s made of plastic, it has a solid feel and nice texture.

The Flex 3i Chromebook comes with a 720p webcam, a good keyboard and a very responsive trackpad. It has stereo speakers and a good selection of ports, including two USB-A ports, a full service USB-C port, a headphone/microphone jack, a Micro SD card slot, and an HDMI port. It’s possible to drive two independent 4k 60hz displays using the HDMI port and the USB-C port.

In terms of performance, the Flex 3i Chromebook is impressive. Web browsing is snappy, and it handles Android apps well. It can even support game streaming and run many casual Android games smoothly.

Battery life is decent, with the device lasting between 8 to 10 hours in my testing. Another advantage is that it’s completely silent and fanless, thanks to its power-efficient Intel chip.

The Flex 3i Chromebook also supports Linux applications, allowing you to run command line software and GUI applications like LibreOffice. However, the device’s limited storage and 4GB of RAM might be a constraint for some users.

All Chromebooks come with a fixed expiration date for updates and for this model it’s June of 2031. That date applies irrespective of when the Chromebook was purchased.

All in the Lenovo Flex 3i Chromebook is a great device that offers quite a bit for its price point.

Broadcasters Roll Out Restrictive DRM Encryption on ATSC 3.0 Broadcasts

In my latest video I discuss the concerning trend of broadcasters introducing encryption and Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ATSC 3 broadcasts in the United States. This move, while seemingly about preventing piracy and illegal re-transmission of signals, could significantly limit consumers’ ability to consume content in the way they want.

While consumers can watch ATSC 3 content live on next-gen certified televisions, they may face restrictions when trying to use apps like Plex or Channels for DVR recordings or outside-the-home viewing. There’s also the looming question of whether an Internet connection might be required to watch broadcast TV in the future.

I suspect that the motivation behind this move is largely to protect their re-transmission fee revenue broadcasters collected on a per-subscriber basis from cable companies and streaming services. Some estimates have it as high as $15 billion annually.

However, this shift towards DRM and encryption raises several questions and concerns. One of the most pressing is whether broadcasters could eventually charge consumers to watch what should be free television. While broadcasters are barred from doing so by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), I wouldn’t be surprised to see some broadcasters lobbying the FCC to allow it.

Another concern is the future of free TV content. As networks transition into streaming services, there’s a risk that high-quality content may become exclusive to paid streaming, leaving only local news and less desirable content for free broadcast TV. We’re already seeing examples of NBC, through Peacock and CBS, through Paramount+ offering content exclusive to those streaming apps that are not available on broadcast.

Given these concerns, I believe it’s crucial for consumers to voice their objections to the introduction of DRM in ATSC 3 broadcasts. I recommend reaching out to your senators and representatives, particularly those who have shown interest in accelerating the rollout of the ATSC 3 standard, to bring this issue to their attention.

Since this video was uploaded I heard from a bunch of viewers who were recently impacted by this change. Here’s what Matthew Mello sent to me on Twitter this morning:

Here the Comcast owned affiliate encrypts their ATSC 3 over the air signal making it more difficult to tune for free. If you want to DVR content or watch on a phone you’ll have to subscribe to cable to get those features – with Comcast picking up subscription AND retransmission fees.

There’s a reason the FCC used to limit media ownership in a market!

As a consumer and a tech enthusiast, I’m keeping a close eye on these developments. If DRM gets activated where I live I’ll be sure to share my experiences and continue to advocate for consumer rights in the broadcasting industry. Until then, I encourage everyone to stay informed and take action to protect our access to free over-the-air TV.

I Preordered a ROG Ally

I pre-ordered an Asus ROG Ally (compensated affiliate link), the new Asus gaming handheld today from Best Buy.

This looks to be a device targeting the Steam Deck and differentiating itself by running Windows and not Linux. For those subscribed to the Game Pass PC or Ultimate Edition, the Windows 11 powered Asus handheld will make it a lot easier to access PC game downloads vs. Valve’s device.

The Ally is slightly more powerful vs. the Steam Deck but I don’t think the performance differences will be significant enough to designate it a “Steam Deck Killer.”

That said, the Ally may have some legs given their retail distribution strategy and marketing push. It’s exclusive to Best Buy stores upon its initial release meaning it will be available for hands-on demonstrations at hundreds of retail outlets throughout North America. This will undoubtedly drive some consumer interest that many of the lesser known brands can’t afford to do from a marketing perspective.

I’m sure Microsoft will give it a marketing boost too as it runs Windows and is a great solution for portable Gamepass downloads. In fact my friend and Xbox community manager Larry Hyrb (aka Major Nelson) got an early unit for an unboxing on his podcast.

But if pre-orders are any indication it’ll take some time to build up consumer awareness and interest. Pre-orders began on May 11 here in the US and units are still available on release day both for shipping and local store pickups at Best Buy. By comparison I had to wait months for my Steam Deck!

I’ll have more on this once my unit arrives next month. Stay tuned!

Tailscale is the Easiest Way to Implement a Personal VPN

My latest video takes a look at Tailscale – a personal and enterprise VPN solution that is the easiest solution I’ve come across in quite some time. You’ll see me set it up and demonstrate a few real-world examples of it in use.

I made this video in the hopes that it will get more casual users to lock down their home network security. There are far too many exploits in the wild now that look for devices like Network Attached Storage devices that are exposed to the public Internet. Locking those devices behind a router or firewall keeps them safely hidden and solutions like Tailscale help with accessing them from the outside securely.

Tailscale is based on the open source WireGuard VPN protocol to establish encrypted connections, but it completely eliminates the friction involved with setting up such a secure connection.

It utilizes a mesh networking approach, where devices authenticate with a central server and then establish direct encrypted connections with each other. This allows devices within the mesh network to communicate securely, even across different networks or firewalls.

One of the key advantages of Tailscale is its ease of use. It provides a user-friendly interface and supports a variety of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android and even NAS devices like Synology and QNAP. It integrates with existing identity providers, such as Google, Microsoft or Apple for authentication, making it convenient for organizations to manage access to their networks. Tailscale’s free tier was recently expanded to allow up to 100 devices per account.

It allows users to access resources as if they were on the same local network, even if they are physically located elsewhere. This can be useful for accessing files, services, or applications that are typically restricted to specific networks.

Each device gets its own Tailscale IP address that will only be accessible to other computers in your Tailscale network. It’s also super easy to share devices outside your personal network with others which I demo in the video.

Certainly for those technically inclined running your own VPN server is the ideal solution. But for many a turn-key solution is what’s needed and that’s what I like about Tailscale’s solution.

Plex Amp Sonic Sage Adds ChatGPT AI Music Recommendations

In my latest video I dive into the world of AI-powered music discovery with the Plex Amp player and its new “Sonic Sage” feature. Sonic Sage uses ChatGPT to deliver playlist recommendations.

Here’s how it works: Sonic Sage interfaces with OpenAI’s GPT model. To get it running, you’ll need an API key from the OpenAI platform. There is a small cost for using this key but I’ve found it to be minimal. So far I’ve only racked up about 5 cents of cost for well over 20 queries.

Once you’ve enabled Sonic Sage, it lives right inside the search icon on your Plex Amp app. ChatGPT uses your queries to generate music recommendations. You can ask it for anything, from general genres to very specific prompts. For example, you could ask for “high energy, lesser-known female rockers from the last 20 years”, and Sonic Sage will whip up a playlist to match.

The AI’s recommendations are based on how you word your prompts. While it’s not perfect at always getting things right, it does a pretty solid job of delivering great music to match what you’re looking for. The only drawback I’ve noticed so far is that these AI-generated playlists can’t be saved, but I’m sure this could change in the future.

This feature works best with a very large personal library or with Tidal, a subscription music service that integrates with Plex and Plex Amp. Tidal costs $8.99 a month if you subscribe through Plex and delivers all of its music as CD quality lossless FLAC audio. I covered the Tidal integration in a previous video.

In my view, Sonic Sage adds an interesting new dimension to Plex Amp’s already awesome music discovery capabilities.

Lenovo Legion Y32p-30 4k 31.5″ Gaming Monitor Review

Price at only $749, The Lenovo Legion Y32p-30 is a gaming monitor that packs quite a punch for its price point. You can see it in action in my latest review.

The Y32p-30 is a 31.5″ IPS display with 4K resolution, a refresh rate of up to 144 Hertz, and support for variable refresh rates with compatibility for Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Freesync. To maximize these features, particularly the 144 Hertz refresh rate, it’s crucial to have an HDMI 2.1 cable for HDMI devices like game consoles.

The monitor is well-equipped in terms of connectivity, boasting four video inputs: two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and a USB Type-C port. Notably, the USB Type-C port can deliver video to the display and power a laptop simultaneously, providing up to 75 watts of power over the USB Type-C connection. While this is not enough power for gaming laptop it is sufficient for most ultrabook style laptops.

There are two USB-A ports on the side of the display for connecting peripherals along with a headphone/microphone jack. Notably the monitor has a built in KVM function that allows for the active USB connection to be mapped to the display input. So it’s possible for one PC to be connected through the USB-C port and another connected through the monitor’s USB-B port.

The Y-32P30 offers impressive display quality with a 1000:1 contrast ratio. However, its brightness level peaks at 400 nits, which may not be sufficient for HDR content production or consumption. The color coverage is 99% of sRGB and 90% of DCI-P3, which may not meet the needs of professionals requiring highly accurate color representation.

But the Legion Y-32P30 is designed as a gaming monitor. It has a super-fast response rate of 0.5 milliseconds, and the motion blur is practically nonexistent, even during fast-paced gaming. The input lag on the display is the best I’ve ever tested, providing an optimal gaming experience.

The monitor comes with a sturdy base, providing stability and a good range of motion for height and angle adjustments. While it has built-in stereo speakers, they leave a bit to be desired in terms of sound quality.

In conclusion, the Lenovo Legion Y32p-30 may not be the best choice for creatives requiring top-tier color accuracy and brightness levels. However, for gamers, it offers exceptional value, combining a large display, high refresh rate, low input lag, and an array of convenient features that enhance the gaming experience.

Switchbot Hub 2 Review

In my latest video, I explored various smart home products from Switchbot, a company that has been filling gaps left by other manufacturers in the market especially when it comes to automating light switches and curtain rods.

They recently introduced a new Hub device called the Hub 2, which interfaces their smart home products with the internet and popular home platforms like Google and Amazon. In the video I demo it working with their “bot” that can turn any rocker or button switch into a smart one.

The Hub 2 also controls air conditioners or split systems over infrared, has built-in humidity and temperature sensors, and can control TVs or other devices that use infrared remote controls.

One area that could use improvement is the Matter support on the Hub 2. While it supports this new open source standard I could not get it to connect with my Homekit environment as advertised.

Even if I could get it working, Matter support is limited to just their curtain motors at the moment. I found the open source Homebridge application to be a better solution for bridging Homekit connections as it works with all Switchbot and IR devices through the Hub 2.

Matter issues aside the Switchbot Hub 2 offers a wide range of features and is a great way to connect their innovative smarthome products with automation platforms and the Internet.

A Follow-up on the Facebook Class Action Suit

In a follow-up video discussing the Facebook privacy lawsuit, I addressed several questions from viewers about my decision to opt out of the suit. You can see the update video here.

In the new video I emphasized that my choice is grounded in the principle of taking a stand against abuse from corporations and lawyers.

To illustrate my point, I compared the current privacy lawsuit to a previous lawsuit against Facebook regarding facial recognition. In that case, Judge James Donato of California pushed for a better settlement that was 3 times higher than what was originally negotiated, resulting in increased payouts for affected consumers, less money to the lawyers and a narrower scope of immunity for Facebook.

In other words, “we the people” still have some power to influence decisions that lead to better outcomes. But we have to choose to exercise that power and unfortunately too many don’t.

In the video I shed light on the phenomenon of “no action bias,” which refers to people’s preference to do nothing over something. This, I believe, often leads to consumers accepting unfavorable situations. I use an example of my local power company Eversource doubling electric supply rates and how 82% of consumers opted to pay more vs. filling out a simple form to pick a lower cost supplier.

I urge all consumers to be proactive in taking principled stands against corporate and legal abuse. It is only through our collective efforts that we can make a real difference and hold corporations and lawyers accountable for their actions.

HP Dragonfly Pro Review

The new HP Dragonfly Pro is the subject of my latest laptop review.

The Dragonfly Pro is a Windows-based laptop aimed at meeting the needs of freelancers and independent contractors. With a starting price of $1,399, the device is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7 7736U processor and has a power system designed jointly with AMD to boost the system’s responsiveness while preserving battery life.

The base model comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, with options for a 32GB RAM and 1TB storage configuration. The system is not upgradeable as all components are soldered on the mainboard.

The Dragonfly Pro features a 14-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920×1200 and a 16:10 aspect ratio, suitable for document editing tasks. Weighing in at hefty 3.53 pounds (1.6 kilograms), the laptop’s recycled aluminum construction provides durability.

The backlit keyboard on the Dragonfly Pro has well-spaced keys and adequate key travel, contributing to a comfortable typing experience. The haptic trackpad is responsive and can be adjusted according to user preference. For video conferencing, the laptop comes with a 1440p webcam.

The sound quality on the Dragonfly Pro is clear, but it lacks a headphone jack and card reader. The laptop offers two USB 4 ports providing compatibility with external GPUs and Thunderbolt 3 devices. Those two ports are on the left side of the unit and a single (slower) USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port is on the righthand side.

Battery life is decent for a Windows laptop and thanks to the hardware based power management system does not require a settings change to maximize longevity. The system is tuned to deliver performance when necessary and dial it back when not needed. It’ll easily get through a workday provided the user sticks to the basics.

In terms of performance, the Dragonfly Pro is capable of handling web browsing, media consumption, and basic office tasks easily delivering some of the snappiness promised in the marketing. It can also manage video editing and casual gaming, delivering average frame rates on popular titles such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Fortnite.

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Overall, the HP Dragonfly Pro offers a range of features and performance at a competitive price point, making it a potential option for freelancers and independent professionals in the market for a new work laptop.