Yamaha RX-A830 7.2-Channel Network AVENTAGE Home Theater Receiver

Yamaha RX-A830 7.2-Channel Network AVENTAGE Home Theater Receiver

Yamaha RX-A830 7.2-Channel Network AVENTAGE Home Theater Receiver


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
Sound is very, very good. I had some back speakers I was looking at replacing because of the sound quality (or lack thereof). This receiver made me change my mind. I also like the Pandora integration though typing in the username/password is a pain. HOWEVER…

Reliability seems to be lacking with their HDMI and HDCP implementation. On my first unit the HDMI ports 1 and 2 would no longer send any output to the TV, and then the TV would no longer display any images from the unit. This was after two weeks of use. This is a problem since you have to have a TV connected to adjust some of the settings. I went through all the standard things of trying different cables, different displays, different sources, and resetting the machine. Yamaha said it needed to be fixed and to mail it (at my expense) to a repair facility. Amazon replaced it.

Now this new unit seems to also have failed with the TV no longer show any images from the unit after a month, and I’m passed the return time from Amazon. Will be going through the same things as before for Yamaha… and its Christmas time. It just makes me tired.

Hopefully will get fixed soonest.

Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths (36-Pack) Assorted Colors

Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths (36-Pack) Assorted Colors

Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths (36-Pack) Assorted Colors


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
5 stars. Decent price for 36 towels. Three colors makes it easy to alternate colors each day to make sure the right one lands in the laundry basket or (as I do) segregate by room/purpose. They clean nicely. Not enough to clean hard-water+soao-scum off a tub without serious scrubbing, but they do a darn site better than a sponge on my toaster oven. For basically clean stuff, they do a nice job with just water. For dusting, wow. I hate to use the word wow for cleaning supplies. But wow. I dusted my entertainment center with a very effective and rather expensive fancy bird-feather duster, then dusted with these towels a week later. I can’t tell you exactly why, but my electronics look clean now. Before, they looked no-longer-dusty. Now they look clean, nearly new, noticeably so.

The towels themselves are a very good size. Large enough to stitch a drawstring around the edge and attach to my swiffer mop, large enough to cut into 2 very useable towels, and certainly large enough to clean and dust, rotating often, and do a good amount of work with one towel (versus using up multiple towels and having to throw them in the laundry before reuse). Not that that’s much of an issue, with a 36-pack, but I use 12-each for kitchen, bathroom, and general cleaning. Come summer, some will get parceled out to car care, others to dog drying and other miscellaneous jobs, so 12 of each color is a good 7-day supply for 3 zones, with a few lost to other tasks.

I use the towels to manage different rooms, because I can do a 5-minute clean before bed to keep things pretty clean without a major, time-consuming job. Wipe down sinks and counters every night, and nothing gets terribly dirty. One towel color for the kitchen, 1 for the bathrooms, 1 for misc. cleaning (dusting, dog, floors, etc.), toss them in the washer, and I’m off to bed to wake up to a clean house.

Seriously, I feel like a dork writing such a long review of cleaning towels, but these are impressive and they add more ease to my life than they cost. The towels themselves are pleasingly thick. They wash nicely (I use a mesh bag to keep them together). They are thick enough to scrub, thick enough to absorb moisture without saturating quickly, yet not water-repellant. I tried them on exterior windows (one left streaks, I’ll try two next time; 1 to clean, 1 to dry/polish), interior mirrors (nice job), counters, switch plates, sinks, dusting, LCD screen, floors, sides of the toilet, tub - overall, very good, superior to terry towels, vastly superior to shop towels, superior to paper towels, generally superior to sponges - leaving my house cleaner. Initially, the novelty of a new item led to trying them on un-cleanable problems to see how they did. I have a 1970s toaster oven (which works like a champ, while every new toaster oven dies within 3 years), and it looks lousy. It’s still dirty, but scrubbing with microfiber did much better than all of the cleaning chemicals and scrubbing I’ve tried before.

I don’t place a high value on cleaning and the next new cleaning “miracle,” so the price was a lot to spend on cleaning towels. These have exceeded my expectations and I feel they were an excellent value and an excellent purchase. Next time I dust off the sewing machine, I’ll stitch a couple of them into dusting mits, mini-towels, and potholders, and get even more value out of them, even with rudimentary sewing skill. Highly recommended. (EDIT: Probably not safe for pot-holders, might melt, though I haven’t tried it)

Samsung UN48H6350 48-Inch 1080p 120Hz Smart LED TV Product 2014 US

Samsung UN48H6350 48-Inch 1080p 120Hz Smart LED TV

Samsung UN48H6350 48-Inch 1080p 120Hz Smart LED TV


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
Gave this TV 5 stars because it is phenomenal!

I received my product in 2 days with Amazon Prime so shipping was right on time like promised. The factory settings on the TV are decent but you can make the picture look EXCELLENT if you tweak the settings to your liking. The picture is crisp and clear, making anything you watch way more enjoyable. The sound is also exceptional! It has the potential to be very loud if you put it on the “Amplify” setting which is located in your menu settings, and the speakers are in the back for those of you who are wondering.

As for the reviews about the apps not working, I did not have this problem. It seems that a lot of those reviews occurred awhile ago so they might have fixed that problem they were having. I turned the TV on and there was an update & everything works perfectly fine!

As for gaming, this TV is the best you can get at this price and anything below it. The input lag is 88ms but when you put it on PC mode it reduces the input lag to 44ms. If you don’t know what input lag is, that is the half second delay when you’re playing a first person shooter when you move your character. Input lag throws your game off and literally makes you worse than you really are ha-ha. For those wanting to know how to put it on PC mode, all you have to do is switch the input to the HDMI port you plugged your console in and when you select it you have to click tools on your remote. When you click tools on your remote, click edit name and then you should see where it says “PC.” Click on that and BOOM, no more input lag and your video games run flawlessly. You really only need to do this if you’re playing first person shooters though because you can’t tell the difference on any other game really unless you’re a gamer who has never seen sunlight.

I did a lot of research on this TV, so I tried including everything I was concerned about to assist others in making their purchase. To be honest, this is a great TV in my opinion. It is an affordable price, and the picture is beautiful!

P.S. For those of you who are looking to mount this TV as well, the VESA on the back is 200 x 200. It was very difficult for me to find that online so I hope I helped you out :)

Samsung UN22F5000 22-Inch 1080p 60Hz Slim LED HDTV (2013 Model) Product 2014 US

Samsung UN22F5000 22-Inch 1080p 60Hz Slim LED HDTV (2013 Model)

Samsung UN22F5000 22-Inch 1080p 60Hz Slim LED HDTV (2013 Model)


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
I was ready to purchase the `12 model year Samsung 5000 series TV when I found out that this updated model was available. My local big box stores did not have the F5000 series in stock yet so I had to take a chance on this set and buy it sight unseen.

I would rate myself as a fairly knowledgeable user, and a very picky one at that. I read AV forums online and I constantly tinker with my TVs to get the best picture possible out of them. I am very glad that I waited to get this new ‘13 model, as the quality and features are substantially improved.

For starters, comparing this model side by side with the older Samsung EH5000 models, the first thing you will notice is how much thinner the F5000 is. At 1.9” thick, it’s almost as thin as any LCD TV gets; and its roughly half as thick as the prior model. The 2” difference really matters, especially for those of you who will be wall mounting the TV. With a low profile mount, the TV is about as flat as one could expect to get.

Appearance-wise, the F5000 is a stunning looking TV. The bezel is ultra-thin and glossy black. The bezel bows down slightly in the bottom center of the TV to show off the Samsung logo. Compared to another same size Samsung LCD in our house that is just three years older, the F5000 looks futuristic and sleek. I love the design direction that they have taken in 2013.

But all this means nothing if the TV isn’t just as fantastic from a performance standpoint. Luckily, the function is well matched to the form.

The first thing I checked after getting my TV mounted to the wall was the evenness of the backlight. Our previous non-LED Samsung had a slight “flashlight” effect to it. When looking at an all black screen, you could see noticeable bright spots, especially near the corners. My F5000 set, however, appears to be perfectly even from edge to edge. Very impressive considering this is one of their lower end lines.

The picture on the TV is excellent. I’m not sure how they achieved it, but considering its only a 60hz panel, the motion is the smoothest I have seen to date. No perceptible blur during fast action on the few shows I’ve watched so far. Like all other LED TVs, the factory settings have the backlight set too bright and the red level pushed too hard, which makes skin tones appear slightly too unnatural. This is a quick and easy fix in the video settings menu. I’ve only had the set a short while and am still making adjustments to my settings; I will update this review shortly with a full list of the optimum picture adjustments. But even without a single adjustment, I am just very shocked at how stunning the picture is. Also, I was expecting to immediately disable the “eco” features of the TV, but I surprisingly fell in love with one of them. It has a built in sensor that measures the brightness of your room, and adjusts the backlight accordingly. I had my mind set on disabling this right away, but after trying it out, it’s actually very well implemented. It is especially useful for anyone using this TV in a bedroom… If you want to lay in bed and watch some TV in the dark, it will dim the picture slightly and keep it from being uncomfortably bright. If I wasn’t using it in a bedroom, I’d probably want to disable it. Thankfully, its very easy to access the eco settings to adjust or disable it for those of you who don’t care to try it.

Right now, I can only think of two Cons to go against the many pros, and they are both minor. The first con is that the backlit remote is very very dimly lit. Even with the backlight activated, it takes a second or two to figure out what each button is. Thankfully though, this becomes a non-factor once you’ve used it a few times and have the locations memorized. The second con is that the included stand, at least on my 32”, is very cheaply made. Samsung clearly has done some serious cost saving on the quality of the stand. Although they managed to make it look OK, the feel of it is terrible. It’s a very thin gauge of reinforced plastic. This isn’t an issue for anyone who is wall mounting like myself, but I felt it was worth mentioning. It feels significantly less sturdy than all previous Samsung TV stands that I have owned.

One last thing I’ll note for those looking to wall mount. Some descriptions list the 32” version as being VESA 400x400. This is INCORRECT. I can confirm for sure that it is VESA 200x200 for the UN32F5000. The Samsung manual will confirm this, but as of the time of me writing this review, Amazon lists it at 400x400 which is very wrong.

Overall, the F5000 series feels like a big step in the right direction for Samsung, and I am thrilled with the TV so far. I will update this review in the near future with my recommended picture settings once I get them dialed in exactly as I want them.

EDIT on 6/17/2013:

As promised here are the best picture settings I have tried for this set. Courtesy of user Maverickaim9 from AVSforums:

Updated Settings:
Movie Mode
BL 10
Contrast 98
Brightness 48
Sharp 0
Color 50
Tint G52/R48
Picture Size: Screen Fit
Color Space: Native
White Balance:
25, 25, 21, 20, 25, 36
Gamma -2
Color Temp: Warm 2

Everything else 0 or off

My set is a few months old at this point, still zero problems with it and we are absolutely loving it. I’ve been trying to respond to the comments posted. Let me know if you all need anything else clarified in my review.

VIZIO E500i-B1 50-Inch 1080p Smart LED HDTV Product 2014 US

VIZIO E500i-B1 50-Inch 1080p Smart LED HDTV

VIZIO E500i-B1 50-Inch 1080p Smart LED HDTV


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
Pros:

1. Vivid and very clear picture, especially with native 1080P content. The Smart Dimming (active LED zone dimming) feature does make a subtle improvement to the picture, so I recommend leaving it on.
2. Smart TV dock with common applications such as Amazon Instant Video, NetFlix, Hulu Plus, and more. Also may be customized.
3. WiFi and Ethernet connectivity. Ethernet is the preferred way since WiFi can be unreliable.
4. Nearly borderless.
5. 3 HDMI connections and a whole host of analog connections. Digital audio out (optical).
6. 120 Hz. I have not noticed significant judder.
7. Almost effortless picture tweaking by selecting “Calibrated” mode. This produces the best and most natural picture for a well-lit room without over-blowing the colors.
8. Blacks are very deep, and much better than my older 42” CCFL backlit Vizio TV.
9. Remote is very nice and feels sturdy. Buttons are on the small side, however.

Cons:

1. Picture is not going to rival a $1,500 Sony or Samsung, but the picture is still very good.
2. Viewing angles are OK for this set, but don’t expect to get too far from front and center. Washout of the colors will occur starting at more than 20 degrees from head-on horizontally, and about 40 degrees vertically.
3. No ability to adjust how the motion compensation feature works. Older Vizio TVs allowed you to select the degree of aggressiveness of the feature. The user’s manual shows the option, but the option is not actually found in the TV menu system.
4. WiFi is only 2.4 GHz. This is a major problem in my book. If you intend to stream and are in a place congested with 2.4 GHz networks, you really need 5 GHz. In my case I am using Ethernet, so it is not an issue.
5. I do notice slight judder, especially with upconverted and streaming content. Not major, but if you look for it you will find it.

Conclusion:

I am very happy with my purchase. It was a worthy upgrade from my 42” CCFL Vizio set. I am not using the TV internal speakers since I have sound piped out through digital optical to a sound bar.

My picture settings are as follows, and I highly recommend them since I have had time to fiddle with TV:

1. When initially setting up the TV, select “Home” mode. DO NOT select Retail.
2. Go into the menu, Picture settings, and then select Calibrated. Although you will be tempted to fiddle with other picture settings….resist the temptation. I learned changing this one thing is the only adjustment you need make.

Remember that you will need to select Calibrated for all inputs. It will default to Standard picture mode (very dim and not all that vivid) when you first switch to say another HDMI port for your BluRay player. Once you switch over to the different input, go ahead and make the change and it will remember the changes for each input. DON’T FORGET to also make the change for the Smart TV streaming hub “input” as well. It will default to Standard for that too until you change it. I would be happy to answer questions.

Toshiba 32L1400U 32-Inch 720p 60Hz LED TV Product 2014 US

Toshiba 32L1400U 32-Inch 720p 60Hz LED TV

Toshiba 32L1400U 32-Inch 720p 60Hz LED TV


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
First I’m not a techie, don’t use tvs that much, don’t even use a DVD player, just needed a basic tv. I don’t have cable, use Roku to watch programs. This tv was for the exercise room. The tv arrived, I assembled and placed it in 5 minutes, took another 30 seconds to hook up Roku and was watching. Simple, easy, my kind of electronic. My old tv had a volume limit that often couldn’t be heard over active exercise equipment. The sound on this tv is a huge improvement; at half volume it can easily be heard over the equipment. It was a good price, got it within 2 days. I’m totally happy with it.

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
MY EXPERIENCE

For anyone new to the Roku world, I would recommend the Roku 3 over any other previous models mainly on it being so much faster to operate. If ‘cost’ is an issue and 720p only is not a bother then the LT should be a great pick for half the price.

True for all Roku models: there’s an enormous amount of channels to choose from, including most popular ones. And if there’s something that you can’t find in the official store you can always check the private channel listings (I included the URL of my favorite site) which is where I found things such as streaming CNN, CNN International and BBC World.

The streaming is exceptionally smooth. Quite impressive considering that I set this Roku on the second floor, some 60-70 ft. and two floors away from our Wi-Fi router located in the basement.

This model especially, due to the more powerful processor is easy to operate through Roku’s very basic remote control.

Roku 3 and all Rokus are stable. I didn’t have the Roku 3 for too long (will update) but my experience with a Roku LT was that it almost never crashes and I only had to manually reconnect to my Wi-Fi router once over a 6-months period.

The ‘universal search’ feature is quite amazing. You simply type in the name of a movie or show even an actor and you will see all you options on all channels and you will know in advance whether it’s going to be free or exactly how much it was going to cost. On the Roku 3 all information appears almost instantly.

_______________________________________________________________

THE FAQ

I will try to keep this section as objective (factual) as possible.

Q: Why would I want a Roku?
A: Roku has, by far, the largest number of ‘channels’ vs. any other competing product. If you like exploring content beyond the popular services (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) you should consider a Roku?

Q: Why would I want a Roku 3?
A: When compared to previous models, this one has a much faster processor, 5 times faster. The faster processor allows you to quickly navigate the new and much improved user interface but if ‘speed’ is not an issue, the new interface will appear on the older models by April, 2013. This model also adds a ‘private listening’ capability through a provided pair of headphones that plug directly into the remote control. In addition it supports Dual-band wireless for faster streaming when connected to a router that supports the feature and has a USB port.

Q: When I shouldn’t pick a Roku 3 over other Roku models?
A: Roku 3 does not support ‘standard’ (non HD) TVs but earlier models do. You should select a ‘lesser’ model such as the Roku LT when price is the issue and/or your HD TV is limited to 720p and ‘speed’ is not an issue.

Q: What can I play through the USB port?
A: Video: MP4 (H.264), MKV (H.264); Audio: AAC, MP3; Image: JPG, PNG.

Q: Is the Roku 3 expandable?
A: Yes. There a MicroSD slot for additional game and channel storage memory.

Q: Can I use a Roku 3 with any TV lacking an HDMI port?
A: No.

Q: What are the best screen resolution and audio supported by Roku 3?
A: 1080p, 7.1/5.1 surround sound.

Q: Is the Roku 3 energy efficient?
A: According to Roku, typical power consumption is 3.5W when streaming HD video.

Q: How do I connect a Roku 3 to the Internet?
A: You can do it wither via Wi-Fi or through the wired Ethernet port. Technically speaking: 802.11 dual-band (a/b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support (wireless) and 10/100 Base-T Ethernet for the wired connection.

Q: What is not included but I must have to make my Roku 3 work besides a TV and an Internet router?
A: An HDMI cable.

Q: Can I control the Roku 3 with a universal remote?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I need line of site to control the Roku 3?
A: No if you use Roku’s own remote, yes if you use a universal remote control.

Q: Can I play games on the Roku 3?
A: Yes, it comes with Angry Birds Space preloaded and you may add more games from the store.

Q: Are the Roku channels free?
A: Many of them are but Roku also streams ‘premium’ channels for which you will require a separate subscription.

Q: What are private channels.
A: These are channels that, for whatever reason, are not listed by the channel store. You can easily make them ‘appear’ on your TV by picking them from one of the sites that lists such channels. See the first comment to this review for the URLs of such sites.

Q: How much it costs to use a Roku?
A: Once purchased, it could cost you nothing. Or you may subscribe to one or more premium services.

Q: Can I have more than one Roku tied to one account?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I search for a specific movie or show across all of Roku’s channel?
A: Yes, you can. Even better, Roku will not only tell you which channel carries it but you will know in advance if it will cost you and how much it will cost to view or ‘rent’ it. You can also search for other related information such as movies featuring one specific actor.

Q: Can I watch YouTube on the Roku?
A: Yes, a YouTube channel was launched on December 17, 2013.

Q: Can I get live news channels on the Roku?
A: Yes. You may be able to find such channels at the store or as private channels listings but most US ‘mainstream’ news channels only offer a selection of recent on-demand videos. [I have a link to a listing of ‘Roku channels that contain at least one live TV feed’ on the comments section, the FIRST comment to this review. Be aware that the listing may not be complete, that some of the channels are ‘premium’ and that some of them may drop live streams.

Q: Are non-video streams supported?
A: Yes, radio stations and music streaming channels such as Pandora are supported.
_______________________________________________________________

NOTE:

The YouTube channel became available for the US, Canada and Ireland in December 2013.

Samsung UN32EH5000 32-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV (Black) Product 2014 US

Samsung UN32EH5000 32-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV (Black)

Samsung UN32EH5000 32-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV (Black)


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
***UPDATE 2014 - July 17th ***
-Added updated panel identification information in the review and at the bottom. Credit to review comment from Dawn B. Roy.
-Added brief subjective experience.
-Listing of which panels to expect depending on the model/series (still, check your box, or the back of your TV as described below) - also credit to D.B.R.

Short version: A “TV” is a container for its panel, with some additional features (such as speakers). Buying a TV with a different panel, even if it’s the “same TV,” is buying a different TV. Samsung seems to think we don’t care - and many consumers may not. Most buyers may compare their new TV to an old one that isn’t even full HD or to a typical* computer monitor, so any panel will look great, even if it costs more than it should due to (arguably) deceptive practices. In my experience, my TV seems to have the deficits listed for its panel - subpar viewing angles, especially with dark colors.

*TN panel or a CRT, as opposed to IPS or anything with better viewing angles, color, etc.

FULL:
Many of these TVs don’t have a Samsung panel (the screen/the part that has/makes the image!)! I cannot believe this has not been mentioned. It makes a SUBSTANTIAL difference, because some panels they use should be in TV’s that cost $100 less.
[…]

Can you imagine buying a car because you know its manufacturer uses great, reliable engines, only to find out that they use completely different engines without telling you, all of which are of lower quality? Samsung does this with their TVs, and some of them don’t EVER have Samsung panels (e.g., the 37” model will NEVER have a Samsung panel because they don’t make 37” panels). Samsung uses 4 different panel types from four different manufacturers - each with a substantially different technology.

You can tell which panel YOUR TV has by the “Version” on the sticker outside of the box. There’s also a sticker on the back of the TV; the “Version” code is below the Model number and above the S/N. BTW, reviews can’t be interpreted without the four-digit Version code because they are quite simply different TV’s. Here’s how to interpret them:
(“x” means a number, probably from 1-4, that represents the version of that panel - higher means newer but not always better).

TH0x or TS0x: Samsung S-PVA panel (possibly just a PVA, if you’re less lucky): This is what you thought you were buying. Best color, best black, best viewing angles.
HS0x: Sharp ASV panel: Lower contrast ratio, more narrow viewing angle. I read HS02 in particular has terrible ghosting.
A_0X: AOU A-MVA panel: Even lower contrast ratio.
CH0x or CM0x or CS0x: Chimea S-MVA panel: You lost the lottery. Markedly worse in every way - way worse viewing angle, color reproduction, etc. Just a terrible rip-off.
UPDATED 2014 July 17th: Quoting Dawn B. Roy, “Just remember A or M = AU Optronics, T, U, or W = Samsung, and H = Sharp. ” I have not followed the comment thread (my apologies), and do not know if the stopped using Chimea panels.

Mine, from Amazon, is an HS03, so a Sharp panel. I will be testing it tomorrow (DVD and watching football - no Blu-ray). There is a decent chance I return it, because it is not a Samsung. Also? Sony and Panasonic do much less “panel lottery” and are vowing to stop entirely. LG does not do a panel lottery. Samsung has absolutely no plans to stop, and they only use “standards” that won’t reveal a difference between the different panels.

I will update after doing more testing. I just simply could not believe that this was not mentioned. Nothing like finding out you paid $500 (40” model) for a $400 TV when that extra $100 could have been used for sound, Blu-Ray, etc.

**Other reviewers, please, update your reviews to give your version code!**

More reading:
[…]
UPDATED 10/24/12: Added info on how to find version number without the box.
UPDATED 7/17/14: A listing of which TV models carry which panels, again quoting the very-helpful Dawn B. Roy:
"Here are the panel codes per Samsung own part site: H7150: 46=TS01, 55= TS01, 60= HH01, 65=TH01, 75=TS01. H6400: 40=unknown, 48=TS01, 50=AS01, 55=TS01,US02, 60=HD01, 65=MD01. H6350: 32=TS01, 40=TS01, 48=TS01, 50AH01, 55=TH01,UH02, 60=HS01, 65=AH01, 75=TH01. H5500: 32=TS01, 40=TS01, 48=TS01, 50=WH01.

Hopes this helps prospective buyers. One change from last year is that other then the 60” Sharp, only Samsung panels are being placed in the H7150 line. Also curios is the 5500 series that has all Samsung panels. It makes sense that I heard David K say that the 5 and 8 series were very solid but the middle lines were a mixed bag. ”

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
MY EXPERIENCE

For anyone new to the Roku world, I would recommend the Roku 3 over any other previous models mainly on it being so much faster to operate. If ‘cost’ is an issue and 720p only is not a bother then the LT should be a great pick for half the price.

True for all Roku models: there’s an enormous amount of channels to choose from, including most popular ones. And if there’s something that you can’t find in the official store you can always check the private channel listings (I included the URL of my favorite site) which is where I found things such as streaming CNN, CNN International and BBC World.

The streaming is exceptionally smooth. Quite impressive considering that I set this Roku on the second floor, some 60-70 ft. and two floors away from our Wi-Fi router located in the basement.

This model especially, due to the more powerful processor is easy to operate through Roku’s very basic remote control.

Roku 3 and all Rokus are stable. I didn’t have the Roku 3 for too long (will update) but my experience with a Roku LT was that it almost never crashes and I only had to manually reconnect to my Wi-Fi router once over a 6-months period.

The ‘universal search’ feature is quite amazing. You simply type in the name of a movie or show even an actor and you will see all you options on all channels and you will know in advance whether it’s going to be free or exactly how much it was going to cost. On the Roku 3 all information appears almost instantly.

_______________________________________________________________

THE FAQ

I will try to keep this section as objective (factual) as possible.

Q: Why would I want a Roku?
A: Roku has, by far, the largest number of ‘channels’ vs. any other competing product. If you like exploring content beyond the popular services (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) you should consider a Roku?

Q: Why would I want a Roku 3?
A: When compared to previous models, this one has a much faster processor, 5 times faster. The faster processor allows you to quickly navigate the new and much improved user interface but if ‘speed’ is not an issue, the new interface will appear on the older models by April, 2013. This model also adds a ‘private listening’ capability through a provided pair of headphones that plug directly into the remote control. In addition it supports Dual-band wireless for faster streaming when connected to a router that supports the feature and has a USB port.

Q: When I shouldn’t pick a Roku 3 over other Roku models?
A: Roku 3 does not support ‘standard’ (non HD) TVs but earlier models do. You should select a ‘lesser’ model such as the Roku LT when price is the issue and/or your HD TV is limited to 720p and ‘speed’ is not an issue.

Q: What can I play through the USB port?
A: Video: MP4 (H.264), MKV (H.264); Audio: AAC, MP3; Image: JPG, PNG.

Q: Is the Roku 3 expandable?
A: Yes. There a MicroSD slot for additional game and channel storage memory.

Q: Can I use a Roku 3 with any TV lacking an HDMI port?
A: No.

Q: What are the best screen resolution and audio supported by Roku 3?
A: 1080p, 7.1/5.1 surround sound.

Q: Is the Roku 3 energy efficient?
A: According to Roku, typical power consumption is 3.5W when streaming HD video.

Q: How do I connect a Roku 3 to the Internet?
A: You can do it wither via Wi-Fi or through the wired Ethernet port. Technically speaking: 802.11 dual-band (a/b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support (wireless) and 10/100 Base-T Ethernet for the wired connection.

Q: What is not included but I must have to make my Roku 3 work besides a TV and an Internet router?
A: An HDMI cable.

Q: Can I control the Roku 3 with a universal remote?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I need line of site to control the Roku 3?
A: No if you use Roku’s own remote, yes if you use a universal remote control.

Q: Can I play games on the Roku 3?
A: Yes, it comes with Angry Birds Space preloaded and you may add more games from the store.

Q: Are the Roku channels free?
A: Many of them are but Roku also streams ‘premium’ channels for which you will require a separate subscription.

Q: What are private channels.
A: These are channels that, for whatever reason, are not listed by the channel store. You can easily make them ‘appear’ on your TV by picking them from one of the sites that lists such channels. See the first comment to this review for the URLs of such sites.

Q: How much it costs to use a Roku?
A: Once purchased, it could cost you nothing. Or you may subscribe to one or more premium services.

Q: Can I have more than one Roku tied to one account?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I search for a specific movie or show across all of Roku’s channel?
A: Yes, you can. Even better, Roku will not only tell you which channel carries it but you will know in advance if it will cost you and how much it will cost to view or ‘rent’ it. You can also search for other related information such as movies featuring one specific actor.

Q: Can I watch YouTube on the Roku?
A: Yes, a YouTube channel was launched on December 17, 2013.

Q: Can I get live news channels on the Roku?
A: Yes. You may be able to find such channels at the store or as private channels listings but most US ‘mainstream’ news channels only offer a selection of recent on-demand videos. [I have a link to a listing of ‘Roku channels that contain at least one live TV feed’ on the comments section, the FIRST comment to this review. Be aware that the listing may not be complete, that some of the channels are ‘premium’ and that some of them may drop live streams.

Q: Are non-video streams supported?
A: Yes, radio stations and music streaming channels such as Pandora are supported.
_______________________________________________________________

NOTE:

The YouTube channel became available for the US, Canada and Ireland in December 2013.

LG Electronics 42LB5600 42-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED TV Product 2014 US

LG Electronics 42LB5600 42-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED TV

LG Electronics 42LB5600 42-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED TV


button

CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
I’m incredibly satisfied with this purchase. The picture is pristine, better than comparable TVs. Additionally, the sound quality is insanely good. It takes the place of the sound bar I used with my last TV (in other words, a home theater sound bar speaker is not needed). The size is very practical and perfect for a small - medium size TV room or a larger than average bedroom. The features are convenient and overall the controls are easy to navigate, making it user friendly. Lastly, I want to mention that the setup is quite simple and pretty quick.