Roku 3 TV Box Streaming Media Player Review

roku 3 frontIn the advent of online media which opened gates for hundreds of variable formats, lots of media players have been introduced together with their promising platforms and different set of features. Roku, a media player brand vying for editors’ top media player brands pick lists seems to find consistent place on top. By simply previewing its apps list and available channels, you will be overwhelmed for its great number. It has almost 800 channels including stations that stream media contents for free. Roku leaves positive impression to reviewers as the only standalone platform to offer such great number of channels and apps with lots of entertainment options to choose from.

Roku 3, the latest player produced by the infamous brand replaces the Roku 2 XS which also used to receive massive applause upon release. Other Roku players such as the LT, HD and XD which are released earlier are also available to those who wanted to buy cheaper versions of the product. Smart TV boxes are a great alternative to built in smart platform like samsung’s smart hub, because it doesn’t limit what kind of TV you can get if you want to keep all your favorite features. For example, you could get a very cheap but high picture quality TV like Panasonic’s S60 series, which has a very bare bones feature list.

The new Roku 3 comes with a USB port for easy media streaming and synching making it more portable and convenient. For added connectivity, it has also an embedded Ethernet port usable for wired networks in homes or offices. Unlike the cheaper Rokus which only has single band Wi-Fi, this new version has dual- band Wireless-N WiFi trying to fill the gap of slower wireless connection speed on the previous products. The company even guarantees the users that the new Roku is five times faster than any of the previous players released. Also comes for free is a remote control and a built-in jack for headphones so you can listen to your favorite audios privately. One of the biggest changes Roku has made so far is its new sleek and dynamic user interface which can also be acquired via software update.

roku 3 demoThe Roku 3 comes in a small typical square format polished with a sleek surface and techy appearance. The façade displays the brand logo, a power LED and an IR sensor. On the right panel, the USB port controls can be found. On the opposite side comes a tiny cloth with a Roku tag and at the back, you can find all hardware inputs such as the MicroSD card slot, the HDMI port, DC power port and the Ethernet port. The HDMI port (the only audio/video connection option available so far) can stream up to 1080p HD videos. Previous Roku versions such as the XD and HD have only an analog audio/video output faced out by the new Roku 3. This is simply because it’s not flexible and isn’t perfect choice for users with AV receiver and non-HDMI equipped TVs which are becoming mainstream nowadays.

roku 3 remoteThe petite remote control has a curved rump that perfectly fits any hand sizes. The core buttons such as the navigation arrows, OK, play/pause and other options are also arranged systematically however leaving the OK button out of place. It’s deeply seated below the navigation arrows instead of placing it on the center. Buttons A and B can also send you to game play. This remote can communicate directly via WiFi so there’s no need to directly aim it at the sensor unlike other media players. During setup, you just have to pair these devices so you’ll be freed from hassle. With this user- friendly remote, it’s just like you’re using a Wii to play games included for free. It comes with an adjustable, removable wrist strap.

A TV Sound System Guide

A great movie is only going to be as good as it sounds. Don’t get caught in a situation where you’ve just spent thousands on dollars on a power house television, only to have it sound like a 15 year old alarm clock when you turn it on. Visual technology like new smart TVs and smart phones are getting slicker and smaller, but an unfortunately consequence of this is that built in sound becomes increasingly limited. There’s no way around it – you need space for great sound. You need space for a high quality speaker and it’s components, and you need space to position said speakers in such a way that they sound best. Most popular manufacturers of TV like Samsung and Vizio come by default with 2.0 10 watt rms speakers, and it doesn’t take a genius to see why the sound coming out of these amazing new machines is going to be way less capable than the visuals. We’re going to talk about how to pick an affordable, high quality set of speakers to match your new TV and remove that audio bottleneck

Like just about any appliance these days, speakers can get comically expensive. And guess what: much like the difference between a 40 dollar and 500 dollar bottle of wine, the marginal difference between decent and top end speakers is not going to be a big deal. Our very basic starting point is that your sound system should cost around one third of your big screen TV. Did you spend 200 bucks on a 24 inch tilt TV for the kitchen? Well, then in that case the built in 2.0 speakers might be perfectly fine for catching the morning news. If you spent, say, $1000 on your new TV – that’s a pretty standard going rate for a decent new TV in 2013, then you can get an up to part sound system for around $200-$350 dollars.

Your really want to focus on the nominal power, and pick at least a 2.1 set and get a set from a reputable brand that gets that metric as high as possible. Depending on the size of the room you want to fill, different sized loudspeakers will sound better or worse. You don’t need giant speakers for a smaller room with enclosed walls, because the bass will build up resulting in a kind of boomy, muddy sound. Conversely, small bookshelf speakers might sound thin and local if the room is too big.

The Best Wireless Speakers

Boston Acoustic speakers

The best wireless speakers are those that suit the personal needs of the home and the person. Most people select his or her wireless speakers based on the design of the home. Some want to show off the speakers and others want them to be well hidden. Everyone wants them to perform well.

What Are Good Wireless Speakers?

Good wireless speakers are those that work as well as their wired cousins. They should have great sound with no distortion and offer a feature for inclement weather so they remain in top condition through years of use. They should also be prepared to handle how you want to use them. For example, you might want a weatherproof wireless outdoor speaker if you want to take it to, say, the beach or on a camping trip.  Here are some great choices.

Jawbone Big Jambox

These are the perfect choice for that wants both entertainment use and professional use. They can be attached to your computer sound system and used to stream music outside, then transferred to a phone call.

  • Price: $321.99
  • Power: The power is good.
  • Aesthetics: They look like speakers, so this is best for the “wants them to show” group of people.
  • Portability: They are small and very portable.
  • Durability: They aren’t the best choice for cold weather, but last well in warmer climates.
  • Battery Life and Signal Range: They hold a fifteen-hour charge and go about 33 feet.

Rank: Two out of five stars

Bose Soundlink

These are the powerhouse choice for serious music lovers. If you are planning to have a life of entertainment with several parties each month, then this is the choice for you. They are a great choice and look like a purse and open up to turn on the sound. Plus, they are just really cute. They can even pair through your smart phone.

  • Price: $2.39.99
  • Power: They sound far bigger than any other in this category. Be prepared for a power sound.
  • Aesthetics: These are plain cute. They look like a clutch purse.
  • Portability: They are very portable.
  • Durability: These are carried in and out as need and last well for small wireless speakers.
  • Battery Life and Signal Range: They last for eight hours on a charge and use Bluetooth technology that reaches over 400 feet.
  • Rank: This is rated four out of five stars.

    The Outcast

    This is the largest choice and is les portable than the others. It is till able to be moved and is wireless. The best part about this choice is that it is waterproof so it works great by the pool.

  • Price: $998.
  • Power: These have incredible sound and like the Bose choice, they offer superior sound for out door parties.
  • Aesthetics: They are modern and look like speakers.
  • Portability: They are fairly portable.
  • Durability: They last far longer than any of these choices.
  • Battery Life and Signal Range: The sound range goes as far as 300 feet.
  • Rank: This one is ranked five out of five.

    Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Rock Speaker Bundle (Rechargeable) with Dual Power Transmitter, Sandstone (SPK-ROCK-DUO3)

    These are the best choice for you if the goal is anonymous sound. If you want to hide your speakers and have them bring your backyard some decent sound, then backyard speakers are a great option.

  • Price: $145.
  • Power: They aren’t power speakers, but they are cheap and cute.
  • Aesthetics: They look like a rock and blend right into your décor.
  • Portability: They can be moved or placed anywhere.
  • Durability: They are decently built and are weatherproof, but will last only in warmer climates unless they are carried inside when not in use.
  • Battery Life and Signal Range: They extend as far as 40 feet and the battery lasts for eight hours of play.
  • Rank: This choice is ranked three out of five.

    TIC CORPORATION WRS010-SL Outdoor Wireless Rock Speakers (Slate)

    As far as wireless rock speakers that blend in goes, these are the best choice. They have a powerful sound and last well in any weather. They use a wireless transmitter for sound. The best part about these is that they look realistic.

  • Price: $175.99
  • Power: These are good as the Bose speakers.
  • Aesthetics: They look just like rocks.
  • Portability: They are not portable like the WRS010-SL, but they can be moved, as you like.
  • Durability: They last a long time in most weather.
  • Battery Life and signal range: They last eight hours on a charge and they reach as far as 200 feet.
  • Rank: These are rated at five out of five for hidden outdoor wireless speakers.

    Check out this great article on Amazon.com on how to evaluate speakers for more technical information.

     


    image credits: Mark Lee

    How to Build a Home Theater System

    A Home theater system is also known as a home cinema or home theater and it produces great entertainment by offering movie theater mood and experience using audio and video equipment both outside and in private homes. For building a perfect home theater system, the things required are mentioned below.

    HDTV

    The first thing required for building a perfect home theater system is a high definition television. It is good to have a large high definition television because in cinemas large screens are used for showing movies. In large screen HDTV, picture quality is sharp and range of colors is wide which definitely presents cinema experience. Nowadays, HDTV’s are available with latest and advanced features like hdmi ports, led features and wifi or Bluetooth functionality. Therefore, for a good home theater system HDTV with advance functions is essential. Also think about what kind of features it has, or consider going with a smart box.

    Receiver

    Receiver is basically the hub which handles all video and audio of entire system. Streaming set boxes, consoles and many inputs are plugged directly into receiver. Receiver sends video to HDTV and audio to speakers. This helps you a lots as a single device is managing your entire system. In case of any malfunction the first thing you have to do is to check your receiver.

    Speakers

    Quality speakers are of great worth in home theater system. Generally a speaker comes in different sizes and with different specifications but it is recommended to choose the one that match with room space in which you are going to place your home theater system. For a large room it is suggested that you should buy large speakers in order to experience great sound.

    Soundbar

    This is an optional device and is used, if you want to save your money and room space. Sound quality in sound bar is also good and its great advantage is that modern sound bars are amplified and powered, so there is no need of receiver. All devices are connected to HDTV and output of sound comes from HDTV to sound bar.

    Cables Power and Labels

    Cables that you choose for connecting devices to receiver should be of good quality because in case of damage to cables, your entire home theater may experience damages. Choose long cables because they are useful for placing entire system to exact places. Power source for your system should be reliable because it keeps your system in good health and also maintains system quality.

    Home theater placing

    In home theater system, mostly speakers are placed in difference places in order to give quality sound. Ideal set-up consists of placing them in left or right side of room and at the back of HDTV. Placement also depends on the speaker channels but still placement mentioned above is mostly used. Subwoofers are generally placed at some specified angle. With this placing you will be able to get quality sound and complete cinema experience.

    At last, building a perfect home theater system is not a difficult job but after purchasing one, you must place all equipment in accurate places. With all this, it is assured that you will have the best cinema experience. Check out this video below for further information:

    Cheap Guitars With Great Sound

    cheap guitarsUnlike a few decades ago, in today’s world, you can find high-quality cheap guitars that produce high-quality music. With a few exceptions, the guitar will be made from quality wood such as walnut, hickory or rosewood. Sam Marks is a guitarist and musician who likes to write about music-related topics and shares helpful, top-quality resources, and may receive compensation as a result of making these recommendations. While all of these components can be replaced with better quality alternatives, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble by getting a decent-made guitar in the first place. In this, we see that the brand and quality, the model and the place where it is sold all play a role in determining whether a guitar is cheap or not. A cheap acoustic guitar does not always mean that the quality is not good, as decent guitars are often sold at lower prices if you know where and how to look.

    Just be persistent and let the seller know you will walk away from the store if your desired price is not possible. The only time they say that the guitar is cheap is when they find guitars of the same model having a lower price than those sold in other stores. Visit a local music store and have an employee or a friend play several guitars and listen for a sound that is the most pleasing to your ears. However, don’t be seduced by those $40 guitars in your local department store, as they’re almost certainly going to have problems with sound, playability or other issues. You certainly don’t have to buy a high-end guitar to get good results, but you should steer clear of those bargain basement guitar-shaped objects being sold in the local discount store from manufacturers that you’ve never heard of. An online guitar store is able to offer a free-of-charge set-up with every new buy.

    With both garage sales and pawnshops, always check the guitar carefully and try it first before negotiating the price. Experienced players are likely to have a favorite make and model, making price less of a concern. Most of the time, they do not associate the price with the brand. If you do not like buying second-hand stuffs, you can also use the Internet to browse the websites that sell guitars and compare the prices among them. The beginner guitar market is well catered for by reputable companies who provide good quality starter guitars at very reasonable prices. One common problem with very cheap guitars is that the action is too high.

    Electric guitar parts are very important for a guitar, so when you buy a guitar, you must choose the best parts for it. If you are lucky, the person having the garage sale might want to sell a guitar that is still in good condition. You may spend as much or as little as you want, but a guitar is certainly an example of the “you-get-whatever-you-pay-for” statement. However, a good guitar technician will normally be able to adjust the action to a more comfortable level. Using the Internet, you can easily spot acoustic guitars and kid’s guitars for sale for a much lower price. Cheap electrical components on electric guitars may break easily.

    If you are unsure of your purchase, you won’t know what you are getting and you won’t know whether you are even going to stick to learning the instrument. A poorly set up instrument will result to a discouraging and eventually detrimental playing experience. You can own a sweet instrument without spending a lot of money. It’s worth paying just a little more to get the guitar that will be pleasant to play, as far too many people give up because they’re trying to learn on substandard instruments, which will never sound good no matter how much effort you put in. Lots of online guitar stores set up the instrument suitable for you. See the types of instruments other men are actively playing and see if there are less expensive variations out there.

    Cheap left-hand electric guitars need not always be a false economy, and if you stick to some of the guidelines above, you will not go wrong. If you’re on a budget and want to learn to play the guitar, you might be looking for a really inexpensive guitar to buy. If you’re just about to start to learn the guitar and also on a tight budget, chances are, you’re looking for a cheap guitar to get going with. To buy cheap guitars, make sure you follow the tips contained in this article. In some cases, you can find a high-quality cheap electric guitar to use. First of all, you need to look for low-priced guitars at sites on the Internet such as Craigslist where people just basically want to get rid of their old guitars to make a room for new guitars.


    image credit: Dru Bloomfield