Feb 012012
 

I love formatting. No, I don’t like formatting documents to create a well structured good looking one. I like formatting electronic equipment. I’ve been at it since about 10 years. I like trying out new things on computing devices and my computer gave up on me after enduring about 8 years of rough use, but the hard drive still doesn’t feel the pain twice a month formatting(on an average). Then it was turn of my laptop to enter the formatting cycle. Hell!! I have even upgraded my television(though not actually formatting, but the odds that the power might switch right at the moment the T.V. is updating the firmware and I may end up rendering it useless, are high). Then there is my phone, my beloved Samsung Wave which has endured some formatting cycles for upgrade from BADA 1.2 to 2.0, then back to 1.2 then again to 2.0.

But that’s another tale. It’s human nature. I love formatting and there’s no correctional facility to cure me of this.

The day was yesterday and I suddenly felt the urge to format my phone(actually  to prepare it for latest upgrade from samsung). During the process, I bricked it!!(When a phone is said to be bricked, there is little hope for its revival at home, and if you don’t get it repaired at a service center, you should use it as a brick to hit someone. Or may be use it in the masonry work when you renovate your house. Hence the term, “BRICKED”).

Today I went in search of a service center, though I was doubtful I would find one in my home town. Miraculously, I found one brand new service center, almost accidently, and walked in without a second thought. I handed over the phone and sat near the counter, unmindful of anyone else’s business. Especially that of the person who was having an argument with the customer service center employee. I tried not to listen, but the word format did fall on my ears. The employee asked the person to sit in the waiting area and check the phone properly.

The man returned after few minutes, complaining that the phone was slow while operation. The service man came out of his cabin explaining that this was due to the memory card. He said that there was a virus transferred from other phone via bluetooth and this normally occurs in phones with memory card and bluetooth. The man digested it. I did not. But the man had come to a service center for simply formatting his phone, so why judge him. Neither did I want to lose my precious knowledge explaining the service center employee or the person with the phone about phone viruses.

A few minutes later the person came back again, complaining that even though the phone was formatted, there was still one message left on it. The employee at the counter stated that it might have just arrived. On this the man showed him the message and it was few days old. The man was right on his part saying that whenever a phone is formatted all files get deleted. The employee simply deleted the file and stated that ……..

“………Sometimes even after formatting, few files remain on phone. It is common” .

The man digested it. After all, the service center employees were supposed to know everything that is to be known about a phone.

I couldn’t digest it. A knot of fear developed in tummy. I could see through the window of the service area. My phone was already opened up and being checked by the another employee.

They have asked me to come back tomorrow. I am sure to have a sleepless night. After all, this is the first time that I have witnessed a stubborn message left on the phone even after formatting it.

Dec 252011
 

Have you ever wished that you could somehow be compensated for the amount you recharge on your phone. Well there is just the website operating in India which refund you not only the amount you recharge on mobile, but also the amount you recharge on DTH and Datacard. The catch is that they refund you in form of coupons which can be used for shopping at stores and online and you have to pay rs.10 for the delivery. But something is better than nothing.

I have found that the coupons for mc donalds are the best deals as you get food worth rs 50 when you buy food worth rs. 100, which we almost always do when we are at mc donalds. But do look around if you find some better coupons. The procedure is quite simple and explained in steps on the website itself. There is an option not to avail for coupon if you don’t want to pay those extra bucks. In that case, you just recharge. The website keeps on adding more coupons on the site and I am almost addicted to it.

The website is freecharge.in. Go, charge for free.

Nov 252011
 

I’ve been having some problems with my laptop battery since quite some time and during the course of investigation, I came across an unknown method to check battery health and status. Mind you, my laptop is that of dell, so I don’t know if it will work on other batteries. But I assume all manufacturers incorporate this test.

Have you ever worked with the duracell batteries where you can press at two spots on the battery and it gives the indication of the remaining charge? It works in a similar fashion. On the bottom side of the battery you will find as rectangular area with 5 dots in a row and an icon of a battery(check video below). Press the icon and one or more of the dots will blink. If you keep it pressed for some more time(3 seconds as claimed by dell), number of dots will blink again. The first time you press the battery icon, the indication given is the amount of charge present in the battery. If all lights appear, the battery is fully charged. Each indicator represents about 20% charge. When you keep the icon pressed for a longer time, if one dot blinks it indicated that the battery is healthy and able to charge to its capacity. If five dots blink, it indicates that the battery charge capacity has gone below 60% and should be changed soon.

Check the video below.

More tips on http://wordfight.in/category/tech-bytes/

Cool huh!!

Nov 192011
 

Before I start my brief review of my new proud procurement, I would like to state that off late, I’ve been getting quite lucky while shopping for electronics. To remind you, I had bought a SMART TV way below it’s market price sometime back, as informed earlier. Thought the circumstances got me a good price, I still consider myself lucky. Lately, I had been thinking about doing something about my hobby of reading, which was being neglected by me. It could be due to lack of availability of good books in my region, or just my laziness to venture out towards the stores offering them. Anyway, my friend managed to persuade me that Amazon Kindle was one of the best purchases he had made in his life. And I always take him by his word. Weighing my options, I felt that kindle was my best bet to re-ignite the passion towards books, and so I went ahead and purchased it on ebay. To my surprise, the guys shipping it from the U.S. sent me a Wifi + 3G version instead of plain Wifi which I had ordered. At this point, I feel no remorse in pointing out to people who feel that I should return it, that these sellers have been looting me all through my life, and now it’s payback time. So I keep this model.

KindleAnyway the kindle is here. (Accessory in the picture(Kindle Pouch) is NOT part of supply and needs to be bought separately. Maybe here.)

Ergonomics and Asthetics: The very first time I opened the packet containing my Kindle, I thought that I needed to remove the paper displaying an advertisement on the screen. I lifted up the plastic  cover which was protecting the front and was amazed to find that it was not paper. The screen, as claimed, reproduced the exact impression of paper. I was amazed, and bit amused at my innocence. The display captured my heart that very moment. The box also contained a USB/U.S. standard power adapter, and a quick start guide. After handling it a bit more, I found that though the screen was 6” diagonally, it was sufficient to display enough text without being too smallKindle, while not requiring to turn page very frequently. The form factor is very small. You can comfortably hold it in one palm while the fingers of the same hand can be used to navigate between pages while reading. In fact, Amazon has been very thoughtful while designing the two arrow keys which turn the page. They are replicated on both the edges of the device so that you can hold it in either of the hands and still be able to navigate easily. Tiring your hand while reading, is not the idea of this device.

The bottom of the device holds a volume key(for your audiobooks and mp3. Yes, kindle plays mp3, even while you are reading a book, if you desire), a 3.5mm audio jack for the earphones, mic(internally built), the data/charging port and the power button. Strangely, no headphones are provided in the box. But then, this is primarily an ebook reader, and people tend to read it instead of listening to it. Also the mp3 Photo0007function is experimental, with not standard application menu. The back plate is blank, except for the two perforated grills on top edges denoting the location of speakers.

Weight wise, Amazon claim it to be some ounces. I  wouldn’t care less. It is light enough to be carried around. And it’s slim. In fact almost half the thickness of my samsung wave mobile. And I used to be proud about how slim my phone is.

Reading experience:Don’t ask it if you read actual books. It’s almost the same. I say almost because kindle doesn’t have the problem of you needing to hold the book open, which can be quite cumbersome Photo0012with thick books. On kindle, you just hold the book(device). The text is quite crisp. Just check out the photo on left. And at any word you do not understand, just move your cursor using the navigation key on the keyboard to the beginning of the word and the in built dictionary will do the rest.

Keyboard:The keyboard is QWERTY type with well laid out keys, good enough to carryout the job at hand.You have an option to change the size, font, line spacing, number of words in a single line and even the orientation of the screen as per your liking, using the AA button on the keyboard. Though the options are less, they are quite sufficient for the purpose. No one would a fancy calligraphy or monotype corsiva font on an ebook. The same button also contains the option to use the text-to-speech engine to listen to the text, but I wouldn’t prefer a poignant novel to be read by a robot from star-trek. There is a standard 4 way+select navigation button combination which is useful while navigating between menus and book list.

Connectivity: There are two options available. Wifi and 3G + Wifi. For wifi internet you need a hot spot. Ad-hoc connection(peer to peer) is not possible. I got the device containing Wifi + 3G and India has a very good coverage of GPRS. Though I do not get 3G, I am quite satisfied with the EDGE speed for downloading books. Having said that, the speed is bit less for web browsing( yes, web browsing. I will come to that.) Someone who buys a 3KindleG + Wifi device might complain if he/she doesn’t get 3G access in India, but it should be clarified before buying. By the way, wireless access(be it 3G or Wifi) is only required for synchronising with your online account to buy and download books. Rest of the times, the wireless feature can be switched off very easily to conserve battery.

Battery & Memory: Amazon claims a battery life of a month on kindle when used in purely reading model. But how is that possible? Kindle uses the e-ink technology where the display doesn’t require any power. The device uses the power only to change the display from one page to another. After that the display remains in its state without the need to refresh. This, though translates in to longer battery life and sharper contrast, renders the device useless for fast moving graphics, leave alone videos. The device has a 3GB usable memory on board with no expansion slot. But 3GB ought to hold enough books for lifetime(estimated 3500, in kindle native format).

Advertisements: There are two versions of this device. A normal and a sponsored version. I have the sponsored version wherein a small advertising bar appears at the bottom of the screen whenever I access the home screen or navigate through list of books. Also when the device goes to sleep mode, the screen displays an advertisement. But, while reading a book, no advertisements appear, so the sponsored version is actually not at all bad. In fact, it is listed for 99$ as against 139$ for the normal version in the U.S.

Shopping for Ebooks: Once your device is registered to your Amazon account, shopping for ebooks via kindle is as easy as doing it on computer. It has a search engine to search any book on Amazon.com. Once your payment options are registered on one click payment option, buying books online becomes very easy. The books are transferred using Amazons own whispernet technology(basically a data service through a service provider) to your device. You can group together the books in to collections for easy browsing and handling. You can also use some tricks to transfer some files other then those form amazon. Feed update can be synchronised using services like Kindle Feeder.

Experimental:

  • Amazon has integrated a webkit browser under experimental category in menu along with music player and text to speech. I used the browser, and I fail to understand the word experimental. As a matter of fact, the word experimental undermines the potential and readiness of the browser. It doesn’t play flash. It cannot display colors. Other than that, it can do most of the browsing. I navigated through quite a few websites and I was very happy with the results. The browser cannot open second window hence it is not possible to open a link which tries to open up a new browsing window. The browser requires internet access and is capable of accessing 3G/EDGE data.
  • The integrated music player can be used to play music using certain shortkeys even while you read.
  • Text to speech, as I informed earlier, is robotic.

There might be other things this device is capable of doing, but I have yet to use it to its full potential. All in all, I am satisfied with its usability. It serves my purpose.

Nov 162011
 

As we all know, the internet has been the biggest source of the IT revolution in past few years. And few giants have been creating difference in our life by serving us with astonishing products from time to time. To name a few, Google, Wikipedia, MSN, Yahoo etc. But of all this lot, one name that stands out for being a truly world class free and open source service is wikipedia, the internet based encyclopedia.

The punch line for this service is The Free Encyclopedia and the modus operandi has been more or less on a voluntary basis. About 90,000 people worldwide strive to keep this operation running. It is people like you and me who upload the information and verify it. It’s due to these uncommonly common people that we have an access to huge amount of free information, which would have caused us a fortune, had we been forced to buy the competing products.

To keep the operation alive, they have to maintain the few hundred servers, and pay for the minuscule staff, who keep things going. This maintenance has to be borne by someone, because as you might have noticed, Wikipedia doesn’t approve of advertisement on their page. This is to ensure that the reader gets clear and unhindered access to the information required by him, without the ever-nagging advertising banners creating nuisance.

So it’s time for us to support this organisation who has never thought about it’s own survival, but only about distributing free information to the needy.

Read this message by Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia and do your bit towards the society.

Help Wikipedia!!

Oct 012011
 

21st August. I bought my first LCD-LED 40” TV. I was happy. 27th Sept. I made a deal of my life. I was as happy as ever would be. So what was the deal? For that, I need to start from the beginning…waaaaaay back!!

It was 21st August and I decided that enough was enough. The rear projection TV wasn’t enhancing my television experience anymore and I set about in search for a shop that would sell me the TV that I had decided for a good bargain. Wandering around some consumer goods stores in my neighborhood, I found that the price for UA40D6000SR Samsung SMART TV was about 71000 rs in most of the stores and the bargain was going to maximum of 500 rs less. But at one store, the salesman agreed to sale it for 65000, which, I thought, was a good bargain. I immediately got down to the financing details since the financing company was offering a interest free loan. With the down payment made, I went home, and my TV arrived in couple of days. Things were going on great.

Then I realised that I had not received the details of the financing even after 15 days. I tried to follow up with the agent who did the paperwork but didn’t get any details, only assurance that the financing would be through and I would get the details after that. After about 21 days, and constant reminders by me, I was informed that the financing had not come through. The reason given was something vague, which I would not digest. This left me a bit cross and I was in the mood of returning the TV wit ha refund of the down payment. Sensing that I was hell bent on doing that, the financing agent requested me to avail another scheme where the term would be longer but the installments would be less. Seeing that there was no loss to me, I agreed and immediately gave him the documents to carry out the procedure. I was assured by the agent that this time the loan would be through.

I kept on following up on daily basis and after 7 days I was informed that the loan application was rejected. The agent asked me to go for the final option where the loan would be split in to two halves, one in my name and another in my brothers name. Sensing some sort of misdoings, I refused, but called up the agent to discuss a my home. The next day when the agent arrived, the first thing I did was cancel all my application forms that he had and took back all my documents. Then I asked him to refund my down payment and take back the TV. He went back to the store and within an hour I got a call from the store manager apologizing for the inconvenience caused to me due to his sales person and the financing agent. He even accepted to take back the TV and give and undertaking on his store letter head, saying that the finance deal was off and he would be responsible for  future debits from my account for this transaction. During this conversation I informed him that I was dejected by the service given by the dealer and the financing company and would go ahead with buying this model from other shop with full payment.

This statement was the turning point in the deal. The store manager immediately requested me to consider buying from him. He informed that he would give some more discount above the price for which I had bought the TV. But I told him that I was in no mood and hung up. I was quite certain that his “discount” would be about 1000 rs, so was not sorry for not accepting the offer. About half an hour later the store manager called up again, requesting me to keep the TV and pay the balance after some delay. And then he even offered me a discount of 8000 rs over and above the price negotiated earlier. He went on explaining how he had arrived at such a discount, but I was not listening. 8000 rs deducted from the negotiated price brought down the cost to 57000 rs from 71000 rs for which it is currently sold. After some small talk with the manager, I agreed to give it a thought and inform him later. Of course the decision was made. I was willing to pay that much amount at one go if I would get such a discount.

The very next day I swiped my credit card  and bought the TV. A unique situation from which I benefited.

This surely brings us to one conclusion. Even though the store manager offered me added discount, I am sure he might have kept some buffer, if I got in the mood of haggling further. Of course, I didn’t have the strength to haggle further. I was quite satisfied. But the point is, just check out the premium we pay in India in the name of new technology. I feel the manufacturing cost of the TV might be as less as 25000 rs. But after taxes, and a huge logistical community involved for transferring the TV from the Manufacturing unit to my home. The amount gets inflated to about 55000. And the retailers do the rest.

Sep 162011
 

Samsung is giving out limited number of free apps for a short time. I got Fruit Ninja, Kint Messanger, Slam Dunk Basketball and Clash of Mages today for FREE!!

Logon to Samsung Apps on your BADA phone today to avail this offer. Hurry Guys!!!

 

Cheers Samsung!!

Sep 112011
 

People like me using computers hold a huge collection of music on their PC, and a time comes when we feel that we should have had tagged all the music files while we were procuring them or ripping them. I personally have more than 4500 songs and since they are not tagged properly, my music player has created an unmanageable directory structure. Cleaning up the entire mess would take around an year. It would require listening to each and every song and then searching for valid info and album art on the internet to tag it. I had given up on my library.

But today, I came across an amazing application , which works as an add-on with iTunes. If we process the iTunes media library through this application, it automatically finds the data relevant to that particular song and tags it accordingly. No human intervention is required. It even searches for suitable album art and adds it to the file. It also searches for duplicate files and informs you for the action. The application that I described here is TuneUp companion. Check out the trial version before buying.

But I am sure that after trying out the application, you will surely buy it.

Sep 112011
 

Very recently I was trying to help a cousin buy an antivirus which could protect her new laptop from virus attack. At that time I explained to her what was going wrong in her previous PC which we always infected by some virus or the other and what care she had to take in future to prevent frequent virus episodes. At that point she bluntly said that she would not use the pen drive on her laptop any more, since pen drives were the source of all the viruses. I was shocked. I requester her to not to embarrass me in front of anyone with such a foolish statement. Then I went ahead with the explanation of what exactly a computer virus was, and how it spreads in the computer or a network. How much she grasped, I couldn’t gauge by her frequent nods of understanding, but I decided to write something in brief about computer viruses for the benefit of people who belong to my cousin’s category.computer-virus

To try and mitigate the risks of an infected PC, we need to answer this three questions:

What is a Computer Virus?

What are the Symptoms?

How does it Spread?

How to prevent the spread?

About Computer Virus

  • So what is a computer virus? In short, the computer virus is a program, a program written by a human being. The intention behind this program to change the behaviour of the computer to create any kind of disruption and loss to others. A computer virus is not  a biological living creature, hence it cannot be thought of as a medical viruses. A computer virus is not something, like fungus, which infects a pen drive or a hard drive automatically.
  • A virus in a computer is a file which tries to delete data, multiply itself, transmit security information or do many such things without the knowledge of the computer user. A very simple form of a virus can be the autorun files which are present in the compact disks. A normal autorun file will try to run  the contents of the CD when it is inserted in to the CD drive. This was designed for the ease of the use, but later on became an easy target for virus writers to run a malicious code and propagate it on any computer which gives access to this sort of file. Using specific programming techniques, the programmers have managed to delete precious data using the autorun files created by them.
  • These kind of viruses may be visible as a file, or may be embedded/masked in any common file type like a shortcut, or a document file, a media file etc. The user, unknowing to the fact that it is a virus, runs the file and the virus program embedded in this file does the rest.

Symptoms

  • The viruses try to delete some data, corrupt other files, transmit user information to its programmer, multiply itself on the network and slows down the system. Usable functionality of the operation system is reduced drastically. The computer slows down. Hard disk, CPU and RAM usage might significantly computer-virus1increase. Some viruses are even capable or creating havoc in the hardware(RAM) and cause a system crash more frequently. In many cases, the entire computer with its operating system files get corrupted before the user even knows that the computer is infected. A very easy way to know that the computer is infected is when it slows down even though you have not installed any big application, or it starts crashing frequently.
  • Have you ever come across a .exe file with the same name as the folder in which it is places? Do you ever remember putting that file in their? Most probably not, since it is a virus. Double clicking(or running) the file will help propagate this virus to your entire computer.
  • I once had an incident some years back when all the .exe files on my computer were infected and I had to delete all of them, and in the end, had to format my entire PC, since they kept on infecting the .exe file of my antivirus program.

Spread

  • This is where the pen drive factor comes in. I use the word factor because pen drive is just one small factor. The biggest contributor to the spread of the viruses is the internet.
  • Most of the viruses are designed to multiply by some means or the other. Let’s say you are browsing an unverified site, as it promises good shopping deals. At one point it asks you to click on a link to download a coupon information. It might be actually a virus program masked as a document file. Once you download and run it, it will run as a normal document file, or might show you that it is a corrupt file. But in the background, the virus code embedded in to it has already started its work of spreading the virus code to other files on the hard drive. Thus even before you know it, your files on the hard drive are infected. If you do not have proper scanning and cleaning tools, you are sure to pass on this file, or any other file on the computer to your friends on a pen drive, hard drive, CD or via email in its infected state.
  • Downloading unverified contents from unknown sites is one of the source of this viruses. But once downloaded, you never know how the virus has behaved and altered your computer. If the computer is on a local network, it is probable that the entire network will get infected.

Prevention

  • Using an antivirus is the best way to prevent these virus attacks. Previously I was in the habit of using free antivirus programs, but the result was that my computer had to be formatted every 3-5 months. Now I have started using paid antivirus programs and I have not formatted my PC since 2 years.
  • If you have a license copy of windows, Microsoft essentials is the free security program which will give good results. I personally use Kaspersky, but MacAfee and Norton programs are also good.
  • Always use license copy of operating system and antivirus since they get security updates from the manufacturers from time to time. This updates plug in the loopholes which can be utilized by virus creators to attack your system.
  • Always update your antivirus to latest virus database. This helps the program in recognizing the viruses better. Better still, keep the auto update option on, if you have a 24 hours running internet.
  • Scan your PC/Laptop at least once a week to find out if any file is infected. Never open a file from the pen drive without scanning the entire drive first. Disable autorun, or at least configure it in such a way that it asks you what to do, when an external media is attached.
  • In place of antivirus, try to buy a internet security program. This program helps in identifying malicious sites and warn you beforehand. Antivirus features come preinstalled.
  • An antivirus program with proactive defense mechanism is much better then that with a reactive defense and cleanup mechanism.

Following all this steps should help you keep your system virus free and your data safe and secure.

Some light on the types of viruses here.

Aug 282011
 

Finally, after months of research and analysis on the options available in the market, I bought the TV which I thought best suited my needs. The Samsung UA40D6000SR LED 3D SMART TV. I had clarified the difference between true LED and and LED LCD TV in my previous post, and as per that clarification, this one is a LED LCD TV. So goodbye rear projection and welcome to the SMART “idiot box”.Photo1329

(Relative sizes in pictures can be misleading. This TV is QUITE HUGE)

Before I go ahead with the brief description of the features, let me tell you how to not get robbed while buying this kind of TV. If you are a good bargainer, you will get a great deal. The price of this model on various online sites was about 71,000 rs. It was sold at the shop for the same price. But going to and fro between few shops, I got the idea about how much the sellers are ready to bargain. The place from where I bought this TV sold it to me for 65,000, without a haggle. I felt being robbed even then. The MRP of this 40″ model is 83,000 rs. These guys earn a lot on a single piece so don’t be afraid to quote a lower price during the bargain. Also get some free goodies thrown in.

Now for a brief review:

Picture Quality:

Very good!! I ran few HD movies through USB hard drives and had no problems at all.Photo1330 There is no visual delay or sense of multiple/distorted images or tail in high speed motion videos. The colour reproduction is very good and all the basic elements of the colour can be adjusted manually to our liking. I am yet to get a DTH connection with HD transmission since the channels which I favor are not available. So the TV had to handle the normal poor quality transmission from my current DTH provider. The picture quality is good enough if viewed from suitable distance. Photo1346The only things that bothers me are few faint white cloudy spots in some parts of screen when the picture is perfectly black. The reproduction of black colour(especially the black top and bottom bars in the movies) is more towards a blue side. I have logged a service call on their website and I got a call within 2 hours stating that they will check on site to rectify the issue.I guess India gets the lower quality of screens out of those being manufactured so may be this one is better than the one I will get if I go for replacement. Luck!!
But I would like to say that there is not difference is sharpness of the picture all along the screen be it the center of the edges. Brightness of the screen is excellent.

Sound:

I will never come around  to love the sound of  todays LCD/LED TVs. Be it Samsung or LG. They manage to continuously dish out televisions with 10w speakers, which do no do justice to the size and quality of transmission. Also, no manual equalizer is a shame. They have given 4-5 preset sound settings, but these are not for audiophiles. And when I say that, I am not over-expecting. I leave the topic here.

USB playback:

The feature where I would say hats off to Samsung. I have tried it on Sony Bravia, Panasonic, LG and Samsung. Out of the movies on my 500GB HDD, Samsung recognized almost 80% of the movies. LG gives preference to AVI format and I hope they do something about it. I wouldn’t speak about Sony and Panasonic. Secondly, I detected my 500GB HDD without any problems.

Allshare:

Welcome to the connected world. I just don’t need to connect the HDD to my TV anymore. That’s actually to cumbersome since I will have to disconnect it from my laptop every time I want to watch the movies from my HDD on the TV.Photo1351 So now there’s Allshare, an application developed by Samsung in compliance with the DLNA standards. In a nutshell, DLNA is a standard developed to help all the media devices to communicate between themselves and share the media available with them on user demand. Setting up DLNA is quite easy if you have a home network. I physically connected the TV to the router and my laptop is connected to the router for 24 hours a day. All I did was download allshare application from Samsung website and installed it. Then, I shared all the media on my to portable HDDs and my laptop through allshare application, and voila, the entire media collection is visible on my TV when I select allshare application or select my computer from the source list on the TV(Source list is a list of all the inputs connected to the TV, be it the DTH set top box, the DVD player, the HDD, or my laptop through network). To be able to run the media on network, ensure that all the devices are wired, since wireless connectivity drops from time to time.

I even connect my DLNA enabled mobile to this network and was successful in running the HD videos on it, seamlessly.

Anynet+:

As per Samsung, all the devices connected through HDMI can be controlled using this feature. I do not have any HDMI device so couldn’t check it, but this does help in reducing the number of remotes.

Samsung Apps:

Similar to Samsung apps on the wave series phones from Samsung, this feature gives you access to various application available on the net and which can be installed on the TV. Photo1334I downloaded AP news, Google Maps, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. For now, the applications are few, but things could change soon.

Smart Hub:

The menu in which your TV shows it’s true colors. Smart hub gives you access to lots of applications which can make your day to day life very convenient.Photo1342 It is a one stop menu to access all your media types(audio, video, or still images) at one place. It gives access to various social networking applications like facebook, twitter, Google talk, you tube etc. Latest news are at your disposal through AP news ticker and TIME news application. The news ticker can be run as a widget on the screen when watching video or TV and can be enlarged on right side(just like windows sidebar) to access the detailed news. Logging on to facebook gives you all the necessary basic functionality of accessing the feed and the media from your facebook account. The controls are user friendly. But I could do with a better text input option, which is from the remote at present.Photo1343 Smart Hub keeps you connected on the social front. The Search all function on the top enables us to search through all the resources on the TV. Your video gives you list of videos available for viewing as per your preferences. Managing the number of apps is easy since they can be grouped together into folders in Samsung Hub. Samsung also has a choice of few 3D videos available on Explore 3D, and you can preview the 3D technology using the videos. I neither have a fast internet connection, nor the expensive active 3D goggles, so I do not write much. Social TV gives you live feed from all the social network sites while you are watching the TV.

Remote Control:

Photo1332Well laid out and easy to befriend. But using the remote control for typing messages in facebook or twitter is a challenge. I personally like the Samsung remote control application in my Wave mobile. I just have to start the application and it connects to the router using Wifi, detects the TV and hands over the control to me. This application has the option to call up a QWERTY keyboard on the mobile screen. I just loved it.

Connectivity:

The connectivity options are all available on the rear of the TV, placed such that all the connecters go flat against the back and not protrude out. We have HDMI, USB, D-SUB, RF, and AV component and composite connectivity. There is a LAN port to connect to the network and a 3.5 mm port to connect audio devices. Think over your connectivity options before fitting the TV on wall, else its bit tricky. I am quite satisfied with the number of connections available.

Installation:
It took me and my brother about 10 minutes to get the TV running out of the package. The installation manual is a single page leaflet, without much alphabets on it. But the pictures are quite self explanatory and it’s a fool job then on.

Manual:

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Gone are the days of the paper manuals. The TV manual is installed on the TV and can be called up at the press of a button on the remote. It is very well laid out and has very good pictorial representations in it.

Few other Pictures:

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I was dissatisfied with:

  • Samsung’s ploy to not include a web browser in this TV just to build the gap between this model and a higher model. But it’s never late. A web browser can be introduced later through Samsung apps.
  • Cloudy spots in non pictorial area(black bars on top and bottom). Though they do not affect the quality of video displayed, people who notice them, do not fail to notice them again.
  • Keeping a very high MRP on a product which is sold for very cheap in the market. This gives room for sellers to cheat buyers, as explained earlier.

Apart from this, I am happy with what I have bought. Do ask questions if you need any clarifications.

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