Tag: TV

By November 16, 2013 Read More →

3 Ways to Make Your Flat Screen TV a Smart TV – on a Budget

Smart TVThe jump from flat-screen TV to Smart TV doesn’t have to be a big one – and you don’t have to bust your budget to get it done.

Mine’s a modest 22-inch Samsung, but I’ve managed to transform it into a smart TV. I had to. So underwhelmed with regular television – and so enamored with everything else to see on a big screen (movies, video clips, the Internet) – I was determined to make my lounge-chair time even better.

My TV wasn’t going to get into Harvard before I began to tinker, let’s just say that.

Here’s what I tried to plug into it to boost the IQ of my big screen.

 

1.     Personal Computer Free, if you have the PC already

That PC you still have around? Put it to work with your TV. My Samsung has a VGA entry port that can connect to my TV. I had to buy the right cord for the job. My PC is still pretty fast, so I’m able to watch movies and let the kids play video games when it’s connected to the TV.

The power bill’s a bit of a problem, though.

How smart?: This would work better with a Macbook Air or some such device out of my price range.

 

2.     Google Chromecast $35

Chromecast dongle

A dumb TV is a smart TV just waiting to happen. Chromecast, a dongle that lets you stream media, can also show anything open in a Google Chrome browser. Google’s app-to-TV dongle supports six apps overall, including Google Play Movies &TV; Google Play Music; Hulu Plus; Netflix; Pandora; and YouTube.

 With Google’s support, Chromecast has the potential for more apps and features by name alone.

How smart?: The price is about a third of that of similar products such as Apple TV, Plair or Roku. I’d say that’s pretty smart.

 

3.     Xbox $250 (Xbox 360 console with Kinect)

100 1176

All you need is the SmartGlass app (if you have the Xbox and an Android, iOS or Windows smartphone.) Your enabled device becomes a second screen, allowing you to watch movies and browse the web.

Get relevant immersive details while you watch a game, movie or TV show. You’ll need an Xbox Live membership to download a lot of apps, such as HBOGO and Netflix.

How smart?: The app’s amazing – and can provide real-time strategy while you play online games.

 

In our case, we had the PC and Xbox, which wiped out the need for a trip to the store. The Xbox by far provided the best option for everyone involved, but Google Chromecast holds the best potential. Both Chromecast and Xbox worked best when we upgraded to fiber-optic Internet.

Dropping $1,000 on a smart TV is just not very smart.

By October 20, 2013 Read More →

Google Chromecast Unboxing and Setup

google chromecastGoogle have yet to officially announce a date for the UK launch of the Google Chromecast however there has been the odd occasion Amazon have been able to deliver the Chromecast around the world if only for short periods of time. I managed to pick one up and here is the unboxing and basic operations. I must have spent about an hour trying to get this to work, the unboxing video is more of a highlights video if anything.

Google’s Chromecast is a simple way of streaming web video to the big screen thanks to being easier to use and slicker than your existing smart TV, set-top box or games console.

The HDMI dongle has already launched in the US, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Google has promised it will launch in ‘other countries’ soon, but as of yet, there’s no news on its exact price in the UK or when it will actually launch.

Update: I have tried the Chromecast on various televsions around the house and on both main wireless networks and the problem is still evident. I will have to do some reading and maybe one day it will work…

By August 23, 2013 Read More →

Sky NOW TV Box Review

Sky NOW TV BoxSky TV is the most popular satellite TV service in the UK to date, Virgin Media can’t touch Sky for channels and services so for this reason you might ask ‘why the heck release NOW TV then?!’ well to be completely honest with you i felt exactly the same when i first heard about the streaming service but it then dawned on me.a lot of people might not be able to afford any of the Sky TV packages.

So for that reason alone the Sky NOW TV box represents insane value for money because at £9.99 delivered you gain access to Sky’s entire catalogue of Sky Movies and also access to all of the Sky sports channels, plus BBC iPlayer, Sky News, BBC News and Demand 5. There is one downside to this though, none of it is free as well, this is Sky after all! You get a free trial for 30 days of Sky Movies and in my particular box i received a free 1 day Sky Sports Pass which will last 24 hours. Otherwise to gain access to both Sky Movies and Sky Sports it will cost you (after the 30 days trial) £8.99 for 3 months and then £15.99 thereafter for just the Movies package, to get Sky Sports too it is a whopping £9.99 per day! This would be ok as a once a month thing but for Sports fans its a shocking deal!

That’s the pricing details out of the way so lets talk about the box for a bit then i will tell you about the viewing quality.

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