By

Android on Plair 2 HDMI wireless streaming dongle

Plair beat Google to the punch with its wireless streaming HDMI dongle that was announced at last year’s CES, but had the wind sucked from it sails with the arrival of Chromecast. So, the company went back to the lab and today, it’s ready to reveal Plair 2, a dongle that looks the same as the original, but comes running a customized version of Android. That means instead of simply being a conduit for streaming video from the cloud, it runs most any app found on Google Play on your TV. It works via an Android companion app (for devices running version 4.3 or iOS 5 and up) that lets you connect the dongle to your home WiFi network and acts as a remote control for the device after setup’s complete. Oh, and with the added functionality comes a sizable drop in price — while the original Plair cost $99, this new version costs just $49.

Setting up Plair 2 is a simple affair. Just like the Chromecast, you simply stick the dongle into an HDMI port on your TV, plug in the microUSB power cord, then load up the companion app. The app prompts you to log the dongle into your home network, then switches to remote mode once your done — it takes no more than a minute or two. After that, your TV will load up Plair’s home screen, which displays a row of apps onscreen in a cover flow fashion. Navigation via the companion app’s accomplished via swipes and taps or a virtualized touchpad and cursor. Once you’ve chosen your content portal, the tablet version of that app is displayed onscreen, and you make your selections with the cursor.

While the remote app is a good idea in theory, we found using it to be a bit difficult. Swipes failed to register regularly, and scrolling up and down was often a dicey affair — scrolling down usually worked, but we often had to lift our finger off the screen and try multiple times to get it to scroll up. Additionally, while video quality is largely comparable to what you’ll see via Chromecast, buffering takes a bit longer, and we had playback issues during our brief testing with Plair 2. Hulu Plus and Netflix froze on us several times when trying to load content, and playback on Comcast’s Xfinity app froze a couple times as well. We also played a bit of Angry Birds on the device, and found the experience enjoyable. Control via the companion app worked well, and we experienced none of the issues we had when streaming video.

In short, while the Plair 2 costs $14 more than Chromecast, it also offers a lot more functionality. The ability to run any Android app or game is really handy, and well worth the additional cash outlay. In general, the fact of the matter is that Chromecast is less expensive, currently streams video better than Plair does and its native app control paradigm is superior to Plair’s proprietary remote. However, the ability to play games and run Android apps on the TV is valuable, and the company tells us that it’s working on improving the user experience. That’s good, because improvement’s needed if it hopes to carve out some market space alongside Google’s offering.

 

 

By

Top 4K TVs Compared

Both Netflix and Amazon stream in 4K. Cameras like the Sony a7S and the Panasonic Lumix GH4 can shoot in 4K. Even smartphones have been getting in on the act, with handsets like the LG G Pro 2 and Sony Xperia Z2 capable of recording 4K video. So with the amount of 4K content available increasing every day, you may have been thinking about buying a 4K set so you too can bask in the glow of 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. But 4K sets don’t come cheap, and you’re going to want to do a bit of research before dropping that much cash. While we don’t really review televisions here at Engadget, we’ve done the next best thing, compiling the opinions of trusted critics from across the web. Which set offers you the most bang for your buck? Do bells and whistles like a curved screen make a difference? Check out a few members of the 4K Class of 2014 below.

Panasonic Life+Screen AX800

At first blush, the Panasonic AX800 series has a lot going for it. It’s a nice-looking set that PC Mag says is “minimalist and unique,” suited for both TV stands and entertainment centers. Turn it on, and the picture is equally impressive, delivering what AVForums calls “rich textures and nuanced lighting,” while Reviewed.com thinks this LCD could stand toe to toe with a good plasma set, due to its “good black levels, accurate colors and reliable screen uniformity.” But if you’re looking to sit down and enjoy some House of Cards in beautiful 4K, you’ll be disappointed — Netflix on the AX800 is limited to 1080p (and lower). Given the relative scarcity of commercial 4K content, the inability to watch a major provider like Netflix is a big ding on an otherwise stellar UHD set.

Price: $2,300 and up

Samsung U9000

Walk into a room and the first thing you’ll notice about the Samsung U9000 is its curved screen, which CNET says adds a “unique, futuristic look” to a set that is overall “drop-dead gorgeous.” It says the picture is equally stunning, offering “deep black levels, accurate color and great bright-room viewing qualities.” But what about that curve? Though it’s meant to create a feeling of depth and immersion, CNET found it “didn’t have any major effect on the picture aside from reducing reflections somewhat,” and Reviewed.com found it actually made some reflections worse, such that “lamps and lights are occasionally stretched across the entire arc of the screen.” It’s worth noting that the U9000 also includes an improved Smart Hub experience, but you can also find other Samsung sets that are a lot cheaper (and less curvy).

Price: $3,297 and up

Samsung U8550

The Samsung U8550 is a set that eschews the curved screen of its high-end sibling U9000 in favor of “trim bezels and a very narrow panel” that Reviewed.com says “lend this television a modern air.” The picture also does it credit, with LCD TV Buying Guide complimenting its “brilliant images in 4K,” while Sound+Vision was impressed with the “crisp detail and the clean, smooth clarity” of its upconversions. As on the U9000, the Smart Hub has been upgraded with “subtle improvements” that “hit the mark” according to LCD TV Buying Guide, and Reviewed.com says it provides “all of the streaming content and web-browsing functions you’d expect for the price.” And that’s a price that undercuts the competition by $1,000, leaving you some extra cash for an awesome sound or gaming system on the side.

Price: $1,597 and up

Sony X900B

At first glance, it’s clear that the Sony X900B is very different from other UHD sets, and even many regular ol’ HDTVs, due to its huge set of front-facing speakers. The sacrifice of a slim bezel is well worth it, though, as What Hi-Fi compliments its “rich, open and detailed sound quality,” while CNET calls it the “best sound of any TV we’ve heard, bar none.” The picture is also up to the challenge, offering quality that HDTVTest calls “spectacular” and CNET says is the “best picture quality of any 4K TV we’ve tested so far.” Sure, the X900B isn’t as cheap as some other sets, but unlike the AX800, it supports Netflix and, with those massive speakers flanking the screen, you won’t need to fork out the extra dough for a quality sound system.

Price: $2,998 and up

By

Virgin Media makeover its TiVo UI

If you were one of Virgin Media’s early TiVo adopters, you won’t have noticed the user interface change much over the last four years. Well, Virgin’s decided it’s high time for a significant redesign, and it’ll begin hitting several thousand set-top boxes next week, with a wider rollout starting late October. We were treated to a preview of the update today, and the visual differences are immediately obvious. The red background has been ousted by a new “plum” colour (that’s purple, to you and me), and is joined by a new font and minimalist logo that’s part of Virgin Media’s ongoing rebrand. The whole menu system is displayed in a higher-resolution than before, too, but it’s not just a reskin, and should be quicker and slicker to navigate.

The visual refresh is accompanied by new features, which Virgin tells us are a reaction to how customers usage has changed over time. Most of these are changes to the menu tree. The layout is more or less the same, though, with a picture-in-picture of the current channel top right, and the contextual recommendation panel alongside it. This pane is still a work in progress, mind, so it looks kinda funky in the preview build. Basically, the idea behind the new menu system is to make everything accessible in fewer “clicks,” which is why catch-up and on-demand categories now have their own spots at the highest level of the tree.

The “What to Watch Now” section is a brand new way of finding what’s hot, and uses a similar “intelligent” algorithm already at work in the general search feature. It serves up recommendations based on a combo of your viewing habits and what’s popular with other Virgin viewers at the time. Right now, it only scans live TV, but will grow to include on-demand services in the future. “Suggestions,” a similar feature that pre-records content based on what you already watch, used to be buried within the general list of recordings, but now has its own spot in the menu for quicker access. Another revamp to the “My Shows & Recordings” section is a new list dedicated to partially watched programs, making it easy to find that episode of Sherlock you couldn’t stay awake to finish last night. Recommendations are getting increasingly more attention from various content providers, and they’re a big part of Sky’s recently updated program guide.

There are some behind the scenes changes to Virgin’s TiVo platform that may not be immediately obvious, too, including HTML5 support for newer apps. An extra app store, courtesy of Opera, will also be added to set-top boxes some time in early 2015, and will include video portals like Vimeo and TED talks that are currently inaccessible. Finally, a setup guide has been added for those wanting to take advantage of the upcoming “self-install” option for new or upgrading subscribers. This means if you’re comfortable plugging in a few cables and following an on-screen setup guide, you can dodge the installation fee.

To bring them in line with the new TiVo UI, Virgin’s TV Anywhere apps will receive a complimentary plum makeover, too. The iOS version is almost ready to go, and might even be updated before the UI refresh hits set-top boxes, but the Android app is still a few months from completion, as it’s being rebuilt from scratch. As mentioned previously, the TiVo update will start popping up for the majority of subscribers in late October, but with a couple million boxes across the UK to push it to, you might not see it until late December — so don’t worry if you’re still looking at a sea of red in several weeks’ time.

By

XO Digital Optical Cable Metre Premium Install Series for PS3, XBOX One, PS4, Sky HD, LCD, LED, Plasma, Blu-ray, Home Cinema Systems, AV Amps

XO Digital Optical Cable Premium Install Series – suitable for PS3, PS4, XBOX One, Virgin HD, Sky HD, LCD, LED, Plasma, Blu-ray, Home Cinema Systems and AV Amps.The Premium Install Series is perfect for low range to high end Surround Sound, LCD, LED, Plasma TVs compatible 24K Gold Plated tips with TosLink fittings (square shaped plug) Optimise audio transfer, High Quality Digital Surround Sound

XO Digital Optical Premium Install Series Cable is designed specifically for today’s hi-performance home entertainment products. TosLink and EIA-J compatible and delivers highly accurate digital information. Constructed from a High Grade Light Conductive Core and insulated by a non-reflective black PVC dielectric, to help reduces jitters and improve resolution.

By

12m HDMI Cable incorporates a special stress relief (SR) mechanism

 Ivuna Advanced High Speed 12m HDMI Cable with Ethernet is 12 Meters  in length. This HDMI cable delivers Up to 4k 2k resolution. Enables home theater owners with advanced AV sources and displays to achieve the same high resolution picture definition as that of commercial digital cinemas. A re-engineered profile allows the Ivuna to fit into tight conduits, while our signature grip has been added for quick and easy insertion and release. Maestro 12m / 12m HDMI Cable with Ethernet CL3 (Version 1.4, Sky HD, Virgin HD, 3D Ready with Audio Return and Ethernet Channel) – 1.4a Version, 21.6 Gbps.

HD components with refresh rates of 480 Hz to 640 Hz yet compatible with slower refresh rates for the smoothest, most fluid video. The highly advanced design of this 12m HDMI Cable  incorporates a special stress relief (SR) mechanism that permits the cable to bend with minimum stress on the HDMI port when connected horizontally or vertically. This brand new series is structured to the highest standard with exclusive technology and construction for precise, high bandwidth signal transfer.

 

Specifications

  • Length: 12m HDMI Cable
  • It is 24K Gold-plated Connector Plug Contacts
  • 3D Ready with Ethernet and Audio Channel
  • Speed: High-Speed with Ethernet (Cat 2)

By

The XO 3×1 Auto Mini HDMI Switch has the key-press-switching functions and also the IR remote control and intelligent function

The XO 3×1 Auto Mini HDMI Switch has the key-press-switching functions and also the IR remote control and intelligent function. This means once the power supply of the source input is switched on, the switcher will respond automatically. SMART AUTO-SWITCH technology means the display will automatically change to the source in use or last powered so there is no need for an extra remote control to clutter up your system like many older technology switchers. Just hook up all your AV kit with quality Cablesson HDMI cables, stash the switch box out of the way and continue to use your existing remote control set up as usual. This XO 3×1 Auto Mini HDMI Switch will route the High Definition Video signal and digital audio from anyone of the sources to your High Definition display unit. The XO 3×1 Auto Mini HDMI Switch is compatible with HD-DVDs, SKYHD, VIRGIN V+HD, PS3 and XBOX 360, Blu-ray Players.

The XO 3×1 Auto Mini HDMI Switch has  intelligent function Just hook up all your AV kit with quality Cablesson HDMI cables and Supports HDTV resolutions: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p and 1440p Deep colour capable.Compatible with Blu Ray DVD Players, Sky HD, PS3 XBox 360< Freesat HD, Virgin HD and many more. The XO 3×1 Auto Mini HDMI Switch is compatible with HD-DVDs, SKYHD, VIRGIN V+HD, PS3 and XBOX 360, Blu-ray Players.

Specifications

  • Version 1.3
  • Deep Colour/ XV Colour supported
  • Multifunctional Switching: Intelligent or Mechanical
  • IR Extender Receiver (Included)
  • IR Remote (Included)
  • Supports video resolution 1080p
  • Supports 250MHz/2.5Gbps per Channel (7.5Gbps all channel) bandwidth
  • Supports 12bit per channel (36bits all Channels)
  • HDCP Compliant
  • Supports uncompressed audio such as LPCM
  • Supports compressed audio such as DTS Digital, Dolby Digital (Including DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD)

By

Bidirectional IP channel also ETHERNET Signal Mackuna HDMI Cable

The Mackuna 2m hdmi cable range has been optimized not only in its design but it is mainly conceived to marry the philosophy of apple users, sporting a crisp white design and many market leading innovations. Enables home theater owners with advanced AV sources and displays to achieve the same high resolution picture definition as that of commercial digital cinemas. This Mackuna 2m have been 3D TV Support, the 1.4 range of HDMI cables supports dual Stream 3D, allowing you to watch 3D content of any legacy or current generation. Finally the ability to a range of resolutions, comfortably exceeding todays market expectations, supporting display resolutions of up to 4k/2k Look and feel The Specific optimization for the Apple user begins with our cables being now manufactured in an alluring white colour, with patented rubber grips for an ergonomically comfortable connection and disconnection. The mackuna cable  is produced offering HIGH SPEED Data for Video and through the use of a Bidirectional IP channel also ETHERNET Signal, thus enabling you to use just one cable to carry Audio, Video and Data signals.Cablesson  is proud to announce its newest range of HDMI cables, the MacKuna™, a range of products especially designed to fit the MAC users market. Apple products have been resilient to the adoption of the new HDMI/Blue ray standards, and have been backing the DisplayPort format. Whilst also providing display port cables and adapters we chose to create a range of HDMI products for those who do not with to compromise their HIGH DEFINITION experience by producing cables and adapters that allow Any Hdmi device to be connected to an Apple device through the use of our own Cablesson MacKuna Mini DisplayPort to Hdmi adapter.  Innovations to give you more options One more of our very own innovations is the inclusion of a Stress relief system, where by the cable hood is designed with a flexible neck so as to permit users to bend up to and beyond 90 degrees. Cable gauge, First Indication of quality To reinforce the quality of the products, all cables in the MacKuna range, starting from the 0.5m / 0.5metre all the way to the 5m/ 5 metres.the Cablesson MacKuna 2m / 2 metres High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet (Sky HD, Virgin HD, 1.4, 1.4a, 3D Ready with Audio Return and Ethernet Channel) comes widely respected and is always a regular choice with lots of people. Cablesson have included some nice touches and this results in good value for money.

By

MacKuna High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet (3D Ready) with Apple products have been resilient to the adoption of the new HDMI/Blue ray standards

HDMI cables, the MacKuna 1m a range of products especially designed to fit the MAC users market. The Specific optimization for the Apple user begins with our hdmi cables being now manufactured in an alluring white colour, with patented rubber grips for an ergonomically comfortable connection and disconnection. Integrators working with HDMI in commercial A/V face essentially the same challenges as residential custom installers – maintaining signal integrity, ensuring compatibility between devices, and working with HDCP. The Mackuna 1m HDMI Cable takes advantage of the new and improved function of the 1.4 specification, including Ethernet Channel which will allow your HD equipment to connect directly to the Internet without addition cables. 3D TV Support, the 1.4 range of HDMI cables supports dual Stream 3D, allowing you to watch 3D content of any legacy or current generation. Finally the ability to a range of resolutions, comfortably exceeding todays market expectations, supporting display resolutions of up to 4k/2k Look and feel The Specific optimization for the Apple user begins with our cables being now manufactured in an alluring white colour, with patented rubber grips for an ergonomically comfortable connection and disconnection. Innovations to give you more options One more of our very own innovations is the inclusion of a Stress relief system, whereby the cable hood is designed with a flexible neck so as to permit users to bend up to and beyond 90 degrees. To reinforce the quality of the products, all cables in the MacKuna range, starting from the 0.5m / 0.5metre all the way to the 5m/ 5 metres are all built using a wire gauge of 28 AWG, often used only in higher end cables with longer distance. Cable gauge, First Indication of quality To reinforce the quality of the products, all cables in the  MacKuna range, starting from the 0.5m / 0.5metre all the way to the 20m/20 metres. The Cables Unlimited High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet, 3D, 4K and Audio Return Channels meets the latest HDMI standard. The HDMI Ethernet Channel adds high speed networking to an HDMI link to allow users to take full advantage of their IP-enabled device without a separate Ethernet cable.The mackuna 1m High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet is a superb high quality cable ideal for use with Sky HD PS3 Blu-Ray HDTV and home cinema installations. It provides premium quality cable construction at an affordable price and features 24K gold plated contacts for optimum conductive ability and resistance to tarnishing and corrosion.

This hdmi cable is also UL Certified which means it meets the highest safety standards & regulations set by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) — a U.S. privately owned and operated, independent, third party product safety testing and certification organization.

Key Features:
  • Length: 1 Metres / 1m HDMI Cable
  • Silver plated Copper with Nitrogen gas-injected dielectric with quad-shielding for maximum signal strength.
  • Delivers Up to 2160p Digital HDTV
  • Backward compatible 720p, 1080i, 1080p.
  • Male to Male Connection
  • 24K Gold-plated Connector Plug Contacts
  • Mylar Backed Foil
  • 3D, Ethernet Ready
  • HDMI 1.4 increases its single-link bandwidth from 165MHz (4.95 gigabits per second) to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps) to support the demands of future high definition display devices, such as higher resolutions, Deep Colour and high frame rates.

By

Absolutely zero data loss will occur through the use of this Cable

Cablesson  Maestro  9 Metre / 9m HDMI Cables are produced to provide pure digital signals without distortion or loss in signal. They are made with Mylar foil to provide the best insulation possible. Don’t settle for less when selecting your HDMI cables. The Maestro  9 m revision for HDMI doubles the bandwidth of the original and has opened the door for a host of potential new advancements in Home Theater Audio/Video performance.  Nitrogen gas-injected dielectric with quad-shielding for maximum signal strength. HDMI 1.4 increases its single-link bandwidth from 165MHz (4.95 gigabits per second) to 340 MHz (15.8 Gbps) to support the demands of future high definition display devices, such as higher resolutions, Deep Color and high frame rates. Maestro 9m / 9 metres High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet (Version 1.4a Compatible With 1.3c, 1.3b, 1.3, 1080p, Ps3, Xbox 360, Sky HD, Virgin HD, FreeVIEW, FreeSAT, FULL HD LCD, Plasma & LED TV’s & Also Supports 3D TVS).

With the HDMI standard continuing to grow in the marketplace with now over 850 adopters worldwide, growing adoption of the  HDMI specification by both consumer electronics and PC manufacturers further strengthens its position as the worldwide standard  for high-definition digital connectivity. Cablesson is proud to add the NEW Cablesson Maestro 9m  HDMI cable to our product range.  We are one of the first company in the world to introduce the NEW HDMI 1.4 cable  to our consumers. The Maestro 9m HDMI cable  is CL3 rated for in wall installation and will future proof your High Definition setup.

Absolutely zero data loss will occur through the use of this Cable. It can be used with high specification HDMI (V.1.4 with Deep Colour) devices/cables with no risk of reduced performance.

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline