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Smart TV

Discussion in 'Audio Visual and Digital Home' started by amusicsite, 2 Feb 2015.

  1. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Recently I brought an LG BP340 'smart' blu-ray player as my old DVD player died.

    The smart bit is USB playback and YouTube...

    Well as expected the playback does not support every format, why on earth they can't just give you a copy of VLC I never know!

    The YouTube app is OK when using the phone as a remote control. The players remote seems to be incredibly slow most of the time, except when entering passwords it's very snappy. Making me think it's under powered.

    Anyway after getting it set up and paired to my phone I set up a playlist of old B movies and music I like...

    The problem is the music playlist does not have a shuffle mode rendering it useless and if I watch anything longer than about 10mins then it loses the connection to the phone and takes up to 10mins to reboot the app!

    Then there are times have to reboot my phone just to get it to see the device! As well as finding some YouTube videos it can't play because it's in the wrong format...

    The USB video player is not much better either. It only has thumbnail views and can not display the full name of videos without 'hovering' over them and waiting for the title to scroll. Great for series' that have the episode name/number at the end of the file name!

    Not overly fussed as the plan is mainly to use it as a DVD player and have a separate media player alongside it but have to say I was shocked at how bad it is..
    SatNavSaysStraightOn and beanz like this.
  2. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    Got my eyes on a Samsung blu-ray (will be our first).

    Music playlists without shuffle remind me of the old 'lp record' days where you got used to listening to tracks in the same order time after time. Good for those albums where the listening experience had some sequential meaning. Irritating nowadays for listening to collections of unrelated songs. The thing I like about radio is not knowing what track is going to come next. For me, the main advantage of the 'digital' listening experience is the 'radio-emulating' shuffle. I don't always want to know what the next track will be.

    And I say this as the owner of a record turntable!
  3. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Yer, have been, thinking of setting up playlists like I used to with tape, mini discs and cds. Not tried the built in music player yet, that might play random... Bet it don't play flac though...

    Think I have an old hard drive somewhere I can load up and see how it performs.
  4. andyfraser

    andyfraser Active Geek

    Swindon, Wilts
    I've had several smart devices over the years and I've always found the "smart" bit very underwhelming. My 32" Samsung TV has every app I can think of but I only used the Plex app by the end. I now buy Chromecasts and have an Apple TV and a PS3.

    I also still listen to music in album order. I'm quite old fashioned like that.
  5. 0-markymark-0

    0-markymark-0 Über Geek

    I bought wdtv live and it's awesome. It plays everything I throw at it, video music etc. my tv is smart but it doesn't come even close.
  6. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Think I may try the Raspberry Pi 2 and something like this.


    I like the idea of the pi as a smart device, fairly convinced the new one is more powerful than either the processor in my smart tv or dvd player.

    The beauty of the pi is that all you need is a few different sd cards and you can change it into any dedicated device. The first one, which I have, was under powered for this sort of media player. It could do it, just not well. The quad core new beast should work as a media center much better. In fact I would not be surprised to hear this new version was designed to address some of the weaknesses of the original as a media centre.

    Then if I want to edit some pictures or fire up some games on the TV it will just be a case of swapping the SD card.... Now that's smart to me.
  7. the_mikey

    the_mikey Active Geek

    In general 'smart' media devices play at least some version of mpeg4 video and maybe mpeg2, outside of those formats the players generally don't have the right hardware, they'll have dedicated hardware for the playback of dvd / blu ray media and use the same hardware for playback of other media. This rules out pretty much any other formats or formats in unusual or proprietary wrappers, they don't have the processing power or the software / storage needed to transcode those other formats.
  8. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

  9. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Well-Known Geek

  10. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    I'm still trying to get ours to recognise 'Cincinnati Bengals' as a voice search command. It has offered me bagels before now!
  11. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Well-Known Geek

    Just imagine the fun a dog or cat could have if it recognised woof or meow!
    the_mikey likes this.
  12. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Well after about 4 years the old lg tv is struggling. YouTube app will suddenly stop and keeps running out of memory and restarting. Obviously that continuous updates have taken it's toll.

    On the bright side we have a new one in the front room with more omph. Though it took forever to update everything on first setup. Then you seem to have to log in to everything, bbc, itv, c4, youtube and to like. Which all seem to jump between querty and a-z keyboards onscreen and is confusing. Long email addresses or complex passwords take forever.

    Also the wifi was quite choppy. Kept buffering even on 5G fast connection. Though seem to have fixed that by forcing the router to use 36 band on 5G, lowest one and for some reason turning of quick start on the tv is supposed to help. So wtf does that do!

    On the plus side discovered freeview explorer app, which pulls in all the content from the mainstream channels into one place and makes finding stuff a breeze. Looks like you can add it to older tvs too :)

    The 4k hdr stuff looks lovely, if only there was more of it but regular upscaled stuff looks good too.

    They still seem a bit dumb but slowly getting better. I seem to watch more on YouTube these days than regular telly, that cable box under it may well go soon, only really keeping it to watch to footie at the moment. As soon as there is an app on the store that supplies them games then I think I cut the cord.