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

oCOSMO 32-Inch 720p 60Hz LED TV

oCOSMO 32-Inch 720p 60Hz LED  TV


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CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
I purchased this product since it was 179$ the cheapest led tv I came across that was new. You do have to install the bezel comes with good instructions and a screwdriver. The Ocosmo has a one year limited warranty so I recommend buying additional tv coverage. Sound is fine the picture is good , I’m almost 9 months pregnant and had 0 trouble installing and setting up this unit. I would recommend this product they seem to be a decent new tv company. Also the tv is roku ready.

As for people complaining about the sound quality, you can adjust the sound and picture with your remote. I switched the sound to a and found that fixed that problem for me. There are about 4 settings for picture and sound adjustments.

Cheetah Mounts APTMM2B Flush Tilt (1.3” Profile) TV Wall Mount Bracket for 32-65 inch LED, LCD and Plasma Flat Screen TVs Up To VESA 684x400 and 165lbs, Including a Twisted Veins 10’ Braided High Speed with Ethernet HDMI Cable and a 6” 3-Axis Magnetic Bubble Level

Cheetah Mounts APTMM2B Flush Tilt (1.3” Profile) TV Wall Mount Bracket for 32-65 inch LED, LCD and Plasma Flat Screen TVs Up To VESA 684x400 and 165lbs, Including a Twisted Veins 10’ Braided High Speed with Ethernet HDMI Cable and a 6” 3-Axis Magnetic Bubble Level

Cheetah Mounts APTMM2B Flush Tilt (1.3


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CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
I was skeptical of this mount. Why should this be so cheap compared to other mounting kits? I ordered one (due to the price), and prepared to return it if I did not think the mount could handle the weight of the 52” LCD TV (Samsung).

Once I got it, I understood the cost. Good low-cost design and built with solid heavy duty steel.
- Two horizontal bars are load-bearing, and for proper VESA spacing, they have to be parallel and relative distance must be in the right tolerances. These are made of solid steel.
- Two vertical bars (in the wall mount) are flimsey, and that’s ok. it should be solid enough make a rectangle box w/ square angles. That’s it.
- Two vertical mounting (to the TV) brackets are of heavy duty metal. Making this in to two parts (not one), reduction of material, but also allows free horizontal adjustment on the TV mount.
- By doing the above, the kit is small, uses less metal (and reduce shipping and material waste).

Positives
————-
1. Good solid and heavy duty construction.

2. Good value (low-cost). Paid less than $ 25 including shipping.

3. Easy install. Took 15 min to figure out the instruction (which is not totally clear), and 10~15 min to install and ready to watch.

4. built-in level worked well during marking of mouting holes on the wall —I tested w/ my own, and was consistent.

5. Once the mounted on the wall, and bracket on TV, you could adjust horizontal TV placement on the mount, just by sliding few inches left or right, post install. I expect this to be safe and true if the wall mount is directly screwed into the wall studs. I do not expect dry-wall install without the use of the studs to handle such adjustment.

6. The brackets on TV could also be used to adjust vertical TV placement by a few inches up and down. But for this one, you’ll need to lift TV off the bracket and adjust and pull back :-).

7. There is a reasonable space (I would say, just right) from the wall to the TV to get cables/connectors through WITHOUT using any expensive 90 degree connectors. Plenty of space between two horizontal bars to put extra power outlet and data HDMI cable outlet to hide all the cables.

8. This supports tilt up/down, and works well. Amazon product description does not make it clear.

Negatives
————-
1. Just one. Clearer instruction so that I do not need to spend 15 min figuring things out. One could learn a lot form IKEA :-).
2. Packing/Packaging — Not necessarily Cheetah Mount issue — mine came w/o missing parts, although I noticed torn cardboard box edges and some parts COULD have been lost during shipping. Either double box, or have Cheetah use heavier box stock.

Helpful Hints & Comments
————————————-
1. DO NOT forget to tighten the screws (2) on the bottom horizontal bars AFTER TV is placed on the wall mount — especially if you are in CA w/ quake. This is what prevents TV falling off the mount accidentally. But do not over-tighten (you are NOT securing from left-to-right movement).
2. Very happy w/ my purchase. Will get one more for my other TV.

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player


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CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
I actually ordered a Chromecast the day it was announced from Google. However the next day, I was told that they were available for purchase at bestbuy. I was anxious to try it out so I went and bought another one and gave it a try.

Setup was easy and within 5 minutes, I was watching a youtube video on my 65” TV. The quality was VERY good. I tried a 1080p video first “Big Buck Bunny” and it looked, played and sounded wonderful. Next, was playing music from my Google Play music app. Same result, the music sounded great.

I moved on to my Macbook Pro, and again, the videos was clear, without lag, no audio sync problems at all. Same for my Windows PC.

Those considering buying the Chromecast should consider what the Chromecast actually is and does, instead of what they wish it could do. So here are some facts:

1. The Chromecast is not a streaming device of local digital content. In other words, it does NOT play digital music and videos that is stored locally on your network drives or computers. However there is a work-around for this:

Use PLEX Media Server. If you don’t already have it, here’s the link:

[…]

Once you download it and point it to your files,it will act as a proxy and allow your music and videos to be played on your HDTV using the Chromecast through the Chrome browser. Simply launch the PLEX Media Manager in Google Chrome browser. Pick a file to play, Hit the Google Cast button and you’ll get seamless playback of your own files. [Edit: Please see comments to see an alternative method].

2. The Chromecast is not a DLNA or Miracast device or Apple’s airplay. This is a lot like my number 1 fact, but I wanted to make this clear. If you want device mirroring (display whatever is on the device’s screen), the Chromecast, is NOT for you. The video and music does NOT stream from the controller device (Your computer, tablet, smartphone). Chromecast works by fetching the content from a website or cloud service itself, NOT from the device you’re using. Here’s what’s cool about that:

A. You could start playing a video using your smartphone,tablet,computer as a “remote” and still be able to browse the web, play a game, check your social apps, write a book report, put the device to sleep,turn the device completely off (I tried this myself), or leave the house, and the video WILL still play without issues.

B. Your battery life is saved! Because your phone, tablet or computer (not plugged in)is not actually streaming to the Chromecast, your battery consumption is minimal. You could Play dozens of movies over several days and still have most of your battery life remaining (Of course this would depend on what else you do with the phone, tablet or computer and how long your device can stay in standby).

C. Every device connected to the Chromecast on the same network can take control of playback, adding to the queue (what’s going to play next). Pause, fast forward, rewind, etc. So if your roommate, friend, parent, sibling, spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend has to leave with their device, you don’t have to worry.

D. You can play content from thousands upon thousands of sources using your computer. Using Google Chrome, nearly every webpage, that has content can be viewed using Chromecast. Of Course, this depends what protocols the site is using. If the site has trouble playing on your computer, then it probably won’t work well on the Chromecast, either.

3. Chromecast IS cross platform (works with multiple devices). As I said, I tried it with several devices with different operating systems. At the time of this review, it works on Windows PC’s, Macbooks, and android devices. The app for iOS devices is coming soon. Everyone knows the Apple App store has stringent policies and at times, it can be a long process. Look at the Onlive game streaming app. We won’t get into how Apple has been trying to eradicate google applications from it’s ecosystem anyway. I’m sure the app is waiting for approval. Just be patient. [Edit: Please see comments for a reply to it working on iOS devices].

There are several youtube videos that can show you how to set it up or how well it works. I made a video myself:

[…]

Watching my video isn’t required, but it does help to verify what I’m saying.

4. The device you use with the Chromecast, must be on the same WIFI network. The important word here is WIFI. If you are trying to use it, with a ethernet (wired) connected device, even though it’s on the same network, it will NOT work! Yes, that sucks, but not being able to use sink water in your gas tank, kind of sucks to. If that’s a deal breaker for you, then you shouldn’t purchase it. It’s how they chose to implement it’s use. It is, what it is. [Edit: Please see comment section].

5. The Netflix 3 months free limited time offer is over! I received 3 months free with both my purchases. I live in the eastern time zone. Even though I bought my second Chromecast on July 25th at 6:46pm. I realize that when the offer was no longer available, it should have been posted immediately so that consumers could factor that into their decision to buy the Chromecast. Instead of calling it a limited time offer, they should have said “while supplies last.” Never the less, the features and functionality of this device has nothing to do with the inadequacy of a bonus offer. To help people make a decision about a future purchase and if it will work for THEM in the home configuration they have, is paramount in my book.

6. The Chromecast REQUIRES power through USB connection or from your wall outlet. The required peripherals ARE provided to you in the retail box. Some people are saying if you have an HDMI 1.4 compatible port on the back of your TV, the device can be powered by the HDMI port alone, without the USB cord connected. I CANNOT speak to that, as my HDMI ports did NOT power the Chromecast. I had to use the provided USB wire and connect it to a USB port available on the back of my TV.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the purchase. I’ve read some of the other reviews, particularly the 1 and 2 star reviews, because it’s an indicator of what can possibly go wrong with the device. I would suggest that people make their decision based on people that have actually bought the device and have experience connecting, setting it up and ACTUALLY using the device. Most of the bad reviews are from people that have not used it, didn’t understand the features of the device, or, to be honest, has a problem with the competition between Apple and Google and wants to dismiss this product because of their affinity for Apple products. Look at the features and functions of this device and consider them for yourself.

I hope this review helps someone who may be considering this device.

EDIT: Recently more apps were added with chromecast support, including the PLEX app! Other editions are: HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Vevo, Redbull.tv, Songza, Post TV, Viki, Real Player Cloud.

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player


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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.

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


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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.

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)


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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.

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)

Product Description

Size: 22-Inch




Samsung UN22F5000 22-Inch LED 1080p 60Hz HDTV

The new Series 5 will take your breath away. Every image can be seen in amazing clarity with deep blacks and pure whites. The realistic details of every image will remain intact even for those images that move quickly across the TV screen. The slim profile design provides an immersive viewing experience.

The UN22F5000 features a Clear Motion Rate of 120, allowing you to experience sharp picture quality, even when you are
watching fast-moving images like sports or action movies.
Clear Motion Rate was developed to accurately measure
how well a LCD or LED TV can depict fast-moving images.
Previously, motion-clarity was calculated by the frame
refresh rate alone. But CMR offers a more complete
measure by calculating 3 factors: frame refresh rate, image
processor speed and backlight technology. LED TVs with
a CMR of 120 can display action-packed movement
      with sharp detail and vivid contrast while eliminating image
      distortion.



LED F5000
ConnectShare Movie

ConnectShare Movie

ConnectShare Movie lets you watch videos, play music
or view photos from a USB connection.

Full HD

Full HD 1080p

The realistic detail of Full HD images invites you to enjoy
a viewing experience that redifines reality.


ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR 6.0

ENERGY STAR qualified products meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. This Samsung TV not only meets ENERGY STAR
requirements; it exceeds them.

Wide Color Enhancer

Wide Color Enhancer Plus

Wide Color Enhancer optimizes hues and expands the
color range for a more vivid viewing experience, especially
when watching older film productions and non-HD content.


What’s Included:

UN22F5000 22-Inch Slim LED HDTV, Universal Remote, and Documentation

F5000 Series Specifications




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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.

Cheetah Mounts APTMM2B Flush Tilt (1.3” Profile) TV Wall Mount Bracket for 32-65 inch LED, LCD and Plasma Flat Screen TVs Up To VESA 684x400 and 165lbs, Including a Twisted Veins 10’ Braided High Speed with Ethernet HDMI Cable and a 6” 3-Axis Magnetic Bubble Level

Cheetah Mounts APTMM2B Flush Tilt (1.3” Profile) TV Wall Mount Bracket for 32-65 inch LED, LCD and Plasma Flat Screen TVs Up To VESA 684x400 and 165lbs, Including a Twisted Veins 10’ Braided High Speed with Ethernet HDMI Cable and a 6” 3-Axis Magnetic Bubble Level

Cheetah Mounts APTMM2B Flush Tilt (1.3


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CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
I was skeptical of this mount. Why should this be so cheap compared to other mounting kits? I ordered one (due to the price), and prepared to return it if I did not think the mount could handle the weight of the 52” LCD TV (Samsung).

Once I got it, I understood the cost. Good low-cost design and built with solid heavy duty steel.
- Two horizontal bars are load-bearing, and for proper VESA spacing, they have to be parallel and relative distance must be in the right tolerances. These are made of solid steel.
- Two vertical bars (in the wall mount) are flimsey, and that’s ok. it should be solid enough make a rectangle box w/ square angles. That’s it.
- Two vertical mounting (to the TV) brackets are of heavy duty metal. Making this in to two parts (not one), reduction of material, but also allows free horizontal adjustment on the TV mount.
- By doing the above, the kit is small, uses less metal (and reduce shipping and material waste).

Positives
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1. Good solid and heavy duty construction.

2. Good value (low-cost). Paid less than $ 25 including shipping.

3. Easy install. Took 15 min to figure out the instruction (which is not totally clear), and 10~15 min to install and ready to watch.

4. built-in level worked well during marking of mouting holes on the wall —I tested w/ my own, and was consistent.

5. Once the mounted on the wall, and bracket on TV, you could adjust horizontal TV placement on the mount, just by sliding few inches left or right, post install. I expect this to be safe and true if the wall mount is directly screwed into the wall studs. I do not expect dry-wall install without the use of the studs to handle such adjustment.

6. The brackets on TV could also be used to adjust vertical TV placement by a few inches up and down. But for this one, you’ll need to lift TV off the bracket and adjust and pull back :-).

7. There is a reasonable space (I would say, just right) from the wall to the TV to get cables/connectors through WITHOUT using any expensive 90 degree connectors. Plenty of space between two horizontal bars to put extra power outlet and data HDMI cable outlet to hide all the cables.

8. This supports tilt up/down, and works well. Amazon product description does not make it clear.

Negatives
————-
1. Just one. Clearer instruction so that I do not need to spend 15 min figuring things out. One could learn a lot form IKEA :-).
2. Packing/Packaging — Not necessarily Cheetah Mount issue — mine came w/o missing parts, although I noticed torn cardboard box edges and some parts COULD have been lost during shipping. Either double box, or have Cheetah use heavier box stock.

Helpful Hints & Comments
————————————-
1. DO NOT forget to tighten the screws (2) on the bottom horizontal bars AFTER TV is placed on the wall mount — especially if you are in CA w/ quake. This is what prevents TV falling off the mount accidentally. But do not over-tighten (you are NOT securing from left-to-right movement).
2. Very happy w/ my purchase. Will get one more for my other TV.

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player


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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.

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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.
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NOTE:

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

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player


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CUSTOMER REVIEW
review
I actually ordered a Chromecast the day it was announced from Google. However the next day, I was told that they were available for purchase at bestbuy. I was anxious to try it out so I went and bought another one and gave it a try.

Setup was easy and within 5 minutes, I was watching a youtube video on my 65” TV. The quality was VERY good. I tried a 1080p video first “Big Buck Bunny” and it looked, played and sounded wonderful. Next, was playing music from my Google Play music app. Same result, the music sounded great.

I moved on to my Macbook Pro, and again, the videos was clear, without lag, no audio sync problems at all. Same for my Windows PC.

Those considering buying the Chromecast should consider what the Chromecast actually is and does, instead of what they wish it could do. So here are some facts:

1. The Chromecast is not a streaming device of local digital content. In other words, it does NOT play digital music and videos that is stored locally on your network drives or computers. However there is a work-around for this:

Use PLEX Media Server. If you don’t already have it, here’s the link:

[…]

Once you download it and point it to your files,it will act as a proxy and allow your music and videos to be played on your HDTV using the Chromecast through the Chrome browser. Simply launch the PLEX Media Manager in Google Chrome browser. Pick a file to play, Hit the Google Cast button and you’ll get seamless playback of your own files. [Edit: Please see comments to see an alternative method].

2. The Chromecast is not a DLNA or Miracast device or Apple’s airplay. This is a lot like my number 1 fact, but I wanted to make this clear. If you want device mirroring (display whatever is on the device’s screen), the Chromecast, is NOT for you. The video and music does NOT stream from the controller device (Your computer, tablet, smartphone). Chromecast works by fetching the content from a website or cloud service itself, NOT from the device you’re using. Here’s what’s cool about that:

A. You could start playing a video using your smartphone,tablet,computer as a “remote” and still be able to browse the web, play a game, check your social apps, write a book report, put the device to sleep,turn the device completely off (I tried this myself), or leave the house, and the video WILL still play without issues.

B. Your battery life is saved! Because your phone, tablet or computer (not plugged in)is not actually streaming to the Chromecast, your battery consumption is minimal. You could Play dozens of movies over several days and still have most of your battery life remaining (Of course this would depend on what else you do with the phone, tablet or computer and how long your device can stay in standby).

C. Every device connected to the Chromecast on the same network can take control of playback, adding to the queue (what’s going to play next). Pause, fast forward, rewind, etc. So if your roommate, friend, parent, sibling, spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend has to leave with their device, you don’t have to worry.

D. You can play content from thousands upon thousands of sources using your computer. Using Google Chrome, nearly every webpage, that has content can be viewed using Chromecast. Of Course, this depends what protocols the site is using. If the site has trouble playing on your computer, then it probably won’t work well on the Chromecast, either.

3. Chromecast IS cross platform (works with multiple devices). As I said, I tried it with several devices with different operating systems. At the time of this review, it works on Windows PC’s, Macbooks, and android devices. The app for iOS devices is coming soon. Everyone knows the Apple App store has stringent policies and at times, it can be a long process. Look at the Onlive game streaming app. We won’t get into how Apple has been trying to eradicate google applications from it’s ecosystem anyway. I’m sure the app is waiting for approval. Just be patient. [Edit: Please see comments for a reply to it working on iOS devices].

There are several youtube videos that can show you how to set it up or how well it works. I made a video myself:

[…]

Watching my video isn’t required, but it does help to verify what I’m saying.

4. The device you use with the Chromecast, must be on the same WIFI network. The important word here is WIFI. If you are trying to use it, with a ethernet (wired) connected device, even though it’s on the same network, it will NOT work! Yes, that sucks, but not being able to use sink water in your gas tank, kind of sucks to. If that’s a deal breaker for you, then you shouldn’t purchase it. It’s how they chose to implement it’s use. It is, what it is. [Edit: Please see comment section].

5. The Netflix 3 months free limited time offer is over! I received 3 months free with both my purchases. I live in the eastern time zone. Even though I bought my second Chromecast on July 25th at 6:46pm. I realize that when the offer was no longer available, it should have been posted immediately so that consumers could factor that into their decision to buy the Chromecast. Instead of calling it a limited time offer, they should have said “while supplies last.” Never the less, the features and functionality of this device has nothing to do with the inadequacy of a bonus offer. To help people make a decision about a future purchase and if it will work for THEM in the home configuration they have, is paramount in my book.

6. The Chromecast REQUIRES power through USB connection or from your wall outlet. The required peripherals ARE provided to you in the retail box. Some people are saying if you have an HDMI 1.4 compatible port on the back of your TV, the device can be powered by the HDMI port alone, without the USB cord connected. I CANNOT speak to that, as my HDMI ports did NOT power the Chromecast. I had to use the provided USB wire and connect it to a USB port available on the back of my TV.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the purchase. I’ve read some of the other reviews, particularly the 1 and 2 star reviews, because it’s an indicator of what can possibly go wrong with the device. I would suggest that people make their decision based on people that have actually bought the device and have experience connecting, setting it up and ACTUALLY using the device. Most of the bad reviews are from people that have not used it, didn’t understand the features of the device, or, to be honest, has a problem with the competition between Apple and Google and wants to dismiss this product because of their affinity for Apple products. Look at the features and functions of this device and consider them for yourself.

I hope this review helps someone who may be considering this device.

EDIT: Recently more apps were added with chromecast support, including the PLEX app! Other editions are: HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Vevo, Redbull.tv, Songza, Post TV, Viki, Real Player Cloud.