Winging it in Buffalo

Over the holidays, we made our annual pilgrimage to Buffalo New York to visit Huguette's sister Camille and her spouse, Babs. While this is always a time to share in the fun, food and conversation of the holiday season, it is also an annual opportunity to assess the state of their home technology platform and make any needed upgrades.

This year was no exception, although even I was surprised by the number of projects we ended up taking on during the 9-day visit. What started out as a fairly simple plan to update their Apple TV box to the latest version turned into a significantly more expansive (and expensive) upgrade of most all things digital in their household - some hardware related and some software. (For more on what the new Apple TV 4 has to offer, see my "TV and Home Theater" blog on the subject.)

As I set about replacing Cam's and Babs' older Apple TV with the newest model (which they had picked up at RadioShack for $30 off as part of a pre-Christmas sale), I discovered that their existing 50" wall-mounted flat screen TV, which came with the house they bought last year, was 8 or 9 years old and only capable of 720p resolution - and, alas, no longer up to the task of handling the higher resolution images typical of today's video content.

So we talked about TV's a bit and they decided to pay a visit BestBuy to look at the current line of UHD 4K models on display ("UHD 4K" meaning Ultra High Definition with 4,096 horizontal lines of resolution), which is the emerging format vying to become the next standard to ultimately replace the popular 1080p HDTV standard.  Shortly, I'll do a "TV and Home Theater" blog entry describing their TV choice.

As we talked further about what viewing delights awaited them with the pairing the new (Sony) TV and Apple TV 4, we ventured into the arena of viewing her home videos and photos via a network connection between her Apple TV and her desktop Mac.  This inevitably led to a decision to replace her 8-year old iMac in order to provide the needed space and processing power to consolidate her many home videos and 30,000+ photos currently scattered among multiple Macs and mobile devices.  Of course, the journey didn't end there either, as we discovered other TV, computer and mobile surprises awaiting for me at every turn.  Tune in soon to my other blogs for posts containing the play-by-play for each of these "holiday" projects.