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Living Room Digitalization

I had no idea what kind of title I would choose for this post, but I just wanted to write about some purchases I made today. There are already digital devices in my living room, but blog post title “Living Room Digitization” probably fits when you upgrade or get some new devices. When I want to do things in the internet, I use my desktop PC most of the time but there are a couple of situations where I just don’t like the fact that I have to sit in front of the computer. I mentioned one situation yesterday in this post. I wanted that my TV gets internet and streaming features (screen casting, Netflix, YouTube and so on). Today I purchased the Google Chromecast Stick and it should do the job.

Then there are a couple of other situations where I don’t like to start my PC. I sometimes like to read news sites, communities and of course also blogs, and if I am in the mood to do this on the PC, that’s fine. However, there are situations where I would prefer a tablet that I can use anywhere in my apartment even on the couch. I found more than ten reason why I would want a tablet. My smartphone has a place, and my desktop PC definitely too, but a tablet is in my opinion very useful too, I was just always to greedy to spend money on it. Today I found a decent deal in a local store and just grabbed the Samsung Galaxy Tab A10.1 and I am quite happy with the purchase.

I definitely won’t use my new tablet to write blog posts unless I plan to share just photos or if the posts are extremely short. I find it totally stupid to think that a tablet is the primary device to craft text content (No thanks WordPress developers). But sometimes when I already sat a long time in front of the computer and if I am still in the mood to read blogs or other sites, a tablet will be certainly handy, which means I can be better connected with the other bloggers. Together with Google Chromecast I will also use it as remote control for my TV with Netflix, YouTube and so on. Further, I will sometimes attach the tablet to my camera tripod or to the hot-shoe mount of my camera with an adapter because it would make my life easier when I want to record myself playing guitar and stuff like that. In other words, it will also be used as a DSLR monitor. And then I will also use it to document ideas, appointments and other general use cases.

On a sidenote, I generally had a good day today. I took my 14 years old cousin with me on the shopping tour because she wanted to look for clothes and necklaces. We went into the tech store and some fashion shops. I was a bit amazed as we have something in common, she went straight into the shops and she knew exactly what she wanted. That’s pretty much me, I barely go shopping to find ideas where to spend money, I go shopping when I am absolutely sure what I need. That means we had a lot of time to just sit down in the large mall, because it’s very beautiful there with fountain and other beautiful decor. We talked a bit and eventually decides to get us something to eat and drink. I like to spend time with family members, it’s always the best invested time and very important to me.

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5 Comments »

  1. We use the Roku. We tried the Amazon streaming stick — it sort of stunk. We used the cheaper Roku for years, until it finally stopped keeping up with the buffering. The NEW one (which will also listen to voice commands if you bother to set it up, which we haven’t done) is GREAT. It doesn’t require that you aim it before you can use it and it gets EVERYTHING. One of the issues of all the other streaming devices is that they only get what they want you to want … especially true of the one from Apple and anything from Amazon. Half the stuff in which we were interested didn’t even show up on them. I haven’t heard much about the Chrome version, but overall, I don’t like the sticks. They aren’t strong enough. But we ARE really, really happy with Roku, even though we never taught it to listen (oops).

    I have a kindle. I do NOT use it for writing or even for processing photographs. Not enough memory for any of the processing software I use. All of that gets done on my big Alienware 15″ game machine. It’s made for games, I know, but photographic processing and games both use a ton of graphic RAM and finally, with 16 GB of video ram and two processors, I can do pretty much anything on this machine. Because while I process pictures, I also use the really excellent sound system to listen to audiobooks. Instead of a tablet, I have (in addition to the big 9″ Kindle) a lightweight computer in case I want to write something. It’s a bit old, but for the purposes, it’s fine. I’m surprised you don’t have a “smart TV.”

    We don’t have one because unless you spend a LOT of money on a really really smart one, they are pretty dumb and my Roku is much smarter 🙂

    • I didn’t read up on Roku since it doesn’t work in Europe except for the UK. That’s why they don’t sell it in Germany. You can get it from Amazon Germany but it would not work here. I didn’t like the idea about Amazon Fire either. Especially because they have these in-app purchases and it’s connected with your Amazon account where payment would be made…. horrible idea (I take privacy/security very serious). Google Chromecast however does exactly what I want. It’s a completely customized experience since the device basically just acts as receiver of commands that you can send via any device. In other words, I use my phone or tablet now to find the Netflix or YouTube video I want to watch and then I just press “cast to TV” and it works flawlessly on the TV. It also works from desktop PC via Chrome browser. It’s just awesome. Another plus is that it works with the Google Play store, which means you find tons of apps for Chromecast as well. All mobile devices can be used as remote when you set them up. No extra remote needed. What is great too, once you cast something from a device to the TV, the mobile device doesn’t process any thing further…. which means, battery doesn’t unload. It’s really just like you use it as a remote. Best buying decision I made since a while. I did research so much that I basically made the best decision, because I agree with you, seing reviews of Amazon Fire, I was not amazed, but I liked the concept of Chromecast. I am very happy with the product since I can basically cast everything to the TV now. Also Chromecast has absolutely no lag, unless you plan to play PC games with TV but then you would buy Steam Link hardware anyway.

      I have a smart TV now 🙂 Thanks to Chromecast, it does exactly the same. I am glad I didn’t spend a fortune on a new TV and went with this nifty tiny Google device instead. I will of course continue to do all the stuff on my desktop PC too. My PC is a high end system that I did built on my own… it’s incredible fast and there are things that you just can do on a real PC, because of both, perfomance, keyboard and mouse and comfy working position on a chair. I think other things like notebooks, tablets, smartphones have a place too, it’s just that I am not so deluded like these WordPress geeks that think it would be more comfy to work on tablets. 😀 I used my new tablet yesterday and today, and I wrote a few small comments on my subscribed blogs, that’s handy too. It makes it possible to stay tuned. For reading blogs, browsing photos it’s great too. Or watching movies, reading news. Or as with the Chromecast, using it even as remote control for TV streaming. It will also be used as DSLR monitor in the future. I think this and similar is what a tablet is designed for. Small daily tasks, a bit of entertainment, adding functions to other hardware (TV, DSLR). You get it, I am still mad at WordPress for forcing mobile design upon us desktop users even if we all found our workarounds 🙂

      By the way, my TV was barely used. I can’t get along with the outdated concept that you have to pick from stupid stuff running on stupid TV channels. I was always interested in a smart TV but I saw no reason to spend big money on it because I rather use PC, phone and stuff like that more anyway. I don’t or can’t follow every tech trends because there is so much new stuff coming out. I just learned recently that you don’t even need a Smart TV if you already have a normal HDTV. Considering the 40 Euro price of the Chromecast, I was surprised that I didn’t find and take a look at this solution earlier 😀

      • I often forget that these items work very differently in different countries. If you are getting what you want, that’s great.
        We have a DVR, so we record EVERYTHING. The only things we watch in “real” time are sports and the news. The rest? Recorded with a quick zip through commercials. I think we use streaming as much or more than regular television these days. If if weren’t for sports, Im not sure we’d bother.
        Basically, I use my Kindles the same way, except I don’t bother to log onto WordPress using it. I can and I have when i needed to, but I really hate “virtual” keyboards. There’s nothing “virtual” about it. it’s a touchscreen and nothing comes out right — AND THEN THERE’S AUTOCORRECT, which seems to be embedded in anything Android.

        • Yeah, seeing videos on demand is just more interesting but I also still watch a couple of things in real time. When Germany soccer team plays a match, news programs or when the right things are running. I write this comment with my tablet right now but there is no way I would write much more with it than comments lol. By the way, you can disable auto-correct and adjust more things. Anyway, I agree, nothing is better than a real keyboard 🙂

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