On Planet Debian and the Code of Conduct

I am not going to talk about Norbert Preining's continuous ranting against Debian's Code of Conduct. Suffice to say that it annoys me, and that I think he is wrong.

I am, however going to mention that contrary to his statements (penultimate paragraph), yes, the Code of Conduct is supposed to apply to Planet Debian as well. Its introductory paragraph states:

The Debian Project, the producers of the Debian system, have adopted a code of conduct for participants to its mailinglists, IRC channels and other modes of communication within the project.

Note the "other modes of communication within the project" bit. Planet Debian is planet.debian.org. If your blog is aggregated there, you are communicating within the project.

At least that's my interpretation of it.

Adventures with modern electronics

I got me a new television last wednesday. The previous one was still functional, but with its 20 inch display it was (by today's standards) a very small one. In itself that wasn't an issue, but combined with my rather large movie collection and the 5.1 surround set that I bought a few years ago, my living room was starting to look slightly ridiculous. The new TV is a Panasonic 40" UHD ("4K") 3D-capable so-called smart thing. Unfortunately, all did not go well.

When I initially hooked it up, I found it confusingly difficult to figure out how to make it display something useful from the HDMI input rather than from the (not yet connected) broadcast cable. This eventually turned out to be due to the fact that the HDMI input was not selectable by a button marked "AUX" or similar, but by a button marked with some pictogram on a location near the teletext controls, which was pretty much the last place I'd look for such a thing.

After crossing that bridge, I popped in the correct film for that particular day and started watching it. The first thing I noticed, however, was that something was odd with the audio. It turned out that the TV as well as the 5.1 amplifier support the CEC protocol, which allows the TV to control some functionality of the A/V receiver. Unfortunately, the defaults were set in the TV to route audio to the TV's speakers, rather than to the 5.1 amp. This was obviously wrong, and it took me well over an hour to figure out why that was happening, and how I could fix it. My first solution at that time was to disable CEC on the amplifier, so that I could override where the audio would go there. Unfortunately, that caused the audio and video to go out of sync; not very pleasant. In addition, the audio would drop out every twenty seconds or so, which if you're trying to watch a movie is horribly annoying, and eventually I popped the DVD into a machine with analog 5.1 audio and component HD video outputs; not the best quality, but at least I could stop getting annoyed about it.

Over the next few days, I managed to get the setup working better and better:

  • The audio dropping was caused by an older HDMI cable being used. I didn't know this, but apparently there are several versions of HDMI wiring, and if an older cable is used then the amount of data that can be passed over the line is not as high. Since my older TV didn't do 1080p (only 1080i) I didn't notice this before getting the new set, but changing out some of the HDMI cables fixed that issue.
  • After searching the settings a bit, I found that the TV does have a setting for making it route audio to the 5.1 amp, so I'm back to using CEC, which has several advantages.
  • The hardcoding of one particular type of video to one particular input in the 5.1 amp that I complained about in that other post does seem to have at least some merit: it turns out that this is part of the CEC as well, and so when I change from HDMI input to broadcast data, the TV will automatically switch the amp's input to the "TV" input, too. That's pretty cool, even though I had to buy yet another cable (this time a TOSLINK one) to make it work well.

There's just on thing remaining: when I go into the channel list and try to move some channels around, the TV has the audacity to tell me that it's "not allowed". I mean, I paid for it, so I get to say what's allowed, not you, thankyouverymuch. Anyway, I'm sure I'll figure that out eventually.

The TV also has some 3D capability, but unfortunately it's one of those that require active 3D glasses, so the set that I bought at the movie theatre a while ago won't work. So after spending several tens of euros on extra cabling, I'll have to spend even more on a set of 3D glasses. They'll probably be brand-specific, too. Ah well.

It's a bit odd, in my opinion, that it takes me almost a week to get all that stuff to properly work. Ten years ago, the old TV had some connections, a remote, and that was it; you hook it up and you're done. Not anymore.