Features of a Good Set-Top Box

tv boxA set-top box is a computerized device that processes digital information. It enables the television set to receive and decode digital television broadcasts. Most people thus use a set-top box to receive digital broadcasts from their analog television sets. They can also be used to receive and display television signals, play games via a game console, send e-mail, surfing the internet, connecting to networks and much more.

There are many forms of set top boxes hence making your selection through the different options available a difficult task. Before choosing a set top box, you need to consider various important factors. One such factor is what else you want your HD box to do besides video streaming. Some people would like to use their device for photo viewing, and gaming.

Initially, price was a consideration but nowadays the prices have come down to the point that most set-top boxes are extremely affordable. Your choice now is based on what you want to watch and what you want to do with your box.

Of course, if you order a satellite television, most of the time you also get a set top box with a satellite dish. In Europe for example, a satellite provider Digi Slovakia would give a quality HD box for a small rental fee.

Choosing a set-top box involves balancing between features and content. It is in such regards that the right choice depends on one’s personal needs.

Features

That said however, there are certain general features that you need to consider when purchasing a set-top box so that you end up with the best quality one. These features include:

Compatibility and connectivity

It is important for you to weigh up how well your HD box is going to work with your other devices. Choose one that is compatible with your phone, your TV and your tablet. There are certain devices which you can use your phone to control or work with your TV.

Games

There are various options to choose from if you want to be able to play games on your TV. The playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the Wii are industry leading game consoles that are often included in top quality television boxes.

Streaming quality

With advance in technology, you definitely need to stream the best quality content possible. Various but not all STB’s are able to stream 1080p content depending on the source. It is important to go for one such as Roku 2 box if you want to stream Netflix at 1080p. Some devices are also offering 4K streaming which is a much more interesting feature, although you will have to spend a little extra to get them.

Remote

Controlling your set-top box is very important. Keep in mind that some remotes are more powerful than others. You might also consider a remote that has companion Smartphone apps so that you can control your television with your Android device. For ease of use, find a remote control that is well laid-out and comfortable in your hand.

Applications

There are certain applications such as Netflix, HBO, Google Play Movies and TV, Hulu, iTunes among others which to a great extent improve your viewing experience but are not offered by all set-top boxes. You should therefore check to see if it supports such crucial applications. If there is a particular application that you are tied to, check to see if such application is supported to avoid disappointments.

Set up

There are different types and all of them come with a user manual. However, there are certain things that are similar among all set-top boxes when it comes to installation. First, there is the HDMI cable which should be used to connect between the box and the television, there is also the power cord which plugs in to the back of the ST box and hence establishes a connection in to the wall generating electricity. There are also instructions on the manual on the aforementioned as well as on how to connect your antenna to your device. The manual also has instructions on how to tune in your television.

Once you have connected your box to the TV, bring up the menu and select auto-tune and you are good to go. Most devices have the auto-tuning option hence making it easy for you to set it up.

Advantages of a good quality set-top box

Getting a good quality set-top box has various advantages. First it improves picture and sound quality hence making your watching experience such an entertaining one. A good set-top box also has interactive features and advanced commercial wireless services that ensures that your home is quite an entertainment zone for you and your family. It helps you to join and enjoy the digital life with the rest of the world. Good quality set-top boxes have warranties hence you don’t need to spend an extra cash on repair and maintenance until the warranty period expires.

Poor quality set-top boxes will make you regret buying them due to the poor sound and picture quality as well as less features hence requiring you to spend more to enjoy other functions such as gaming. A good quality set-top box will definitely save you money in the long run.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Review

SamsungGalaxyS6Samsung S6 is the Samsung’s state-of-the-art new flagship smartphone. Actually, it’s a statement set on the world’s prime smartphone brand. It’s the most powerful phone ever released by Samsung. But, vitally, it appears and feels like a premium phone now. For sure, Samsung has gone upmarket. This S6 phone dearth’s the wow factor netted by the curved edges of its near-identical counterpart, the Galaxy S6 Edge, but the S6 has very strong legs to stand on, all the same. The metals and glass trimmed design is a great step up from the previous Galaxy S5. A ludicrously powerful processor, sumptuous 5.1 inch, QHD screen, and greatly capable 16-megapixel focal camera all shine.

A few Samsung’s diehard fans may dislike S6, though. Obviously, the upmarket design will come with the upmarket compromises such as the inability to expand phone storage capacity using a micro SD and changing the battery. Both of these compromises have been sacrificed for wireless charging and design functionality. However it’s easier to forgive those compromises provided that the S6 is not the only attractive phone available but also among the most capable we have ever seen in the global market. Surely, the best from Samsung just got better.

DESIGN

With Gorilla Glass 4 and Matte Aluminium alloy frame on the back and front, Galaxy S6 lives the worlds away from each other from the plastic production of 5 generations of Galaxy flagships. This is a great beast and one which fans have always waited for many years. This wasn’t realized overnight, Samsung built on the metal-framed Note 4 and Galaxy Alpha, prior experimenting with a metal chassis in the galaxy A3 and A5. Anyways, most users usually customize their handsets, so from the outside the frame and material are not really visible.

S6 takes the familiar pill shape of Samsung, with rounded bottoms and tops with straighter sides. The Nano-SIM card slot and power button sit on the upper spine. The headset jack and micro-USB charging ports reside on the bottom while the left spine has separate up and down volume buttons.

A central metal-ringed home button links 2 capacitive keys for paging back and calling up recent apps. A great unique feature allows you to double-tap the home key to launch the camera any time you want to use, even when the phone is locked. The fingerprint scanner has also been improved, which enables you to securely unlock the phone; as an alternative of dragging your digit across a sensor, you now rest it on home button.

On the rear side, there is 16 megapixel Camera and a sensor array that comprises the heart-rate monitor and camera’s LED flash. On the upper end, the IR blaster rays out infrared for those who want to use their phones as a TV remote control.

Some few negatives which some people may dislike include the phones glass surfaces which become smear gallery for your fingerprints and the camera protruding a bit from the rear. But this can be simply resolved by applying a screen protector onto the screen.

SCREEN

Gorilla Glass 4; 5.1-inch; 577ppi; 1440 x 2560 pixels (QHD); Super AMOLED

The 5.1 inch screen is really brilliant and absolutely the best screen we’ve ever seen on a mobile phone. Compared to HTC One M9, its screen is more vibrant and much brighter. The Galaxy S5 screen is also vibrant as S6 but the S6 screen produces cleaner and more natural whites. AMOLED screens lack traditional backlight and therefore means black appears perfectly black. This in turn means your photos will appear fantastic. It looks good indoors and holds up decently also in direct light. The screen looks good from any angle making it perfect for sharing photos and videos on. This screen is really brilliant in all departments.

PERFORMANCE

Samsung S6 is among the fastest phones on the block. Obviously this was expected when it hit the market. For Galaxy S6, Samsung built all new 64-bit, Octa-Core Exynos 7420 using advanced manufacturing process. There is four 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57 high performance cores operating collectively with four 1.5Gz Cortex-A53 cores. This means the processor is quicker and power efficient. This processor opens apps in high speeds and never gets hot in our hands. Exynos 7420 is supposed to sip battery during its standby mode.

CAMERA

Main Camera is among its strong features. It uses 16 megapixel Sony Exmor RSIMX240 sensors. The benefits of the improvements are notable in low light and in raw detail the camera can capture. It takes less than a second to launch the camera and its auto-focusing speed is very impressing in good light. The S6’s camera is easy to use and thus encourages you to take photos of almost everything. The camera has f/1.9 lens, which is good for shallow depth of field and low light and it captures wide variety of subject in diverse lighting conditions.

The Optical image stabilization enables the camera to perform well by capturing parties and night landscapes even without the flash. However, when you use flash in the dark, the outcome is impressive, people’s faces are well exposed and lit. The Galaxy S6 has proved to be a perfect phone for taking selfies. Modes such as wide selfies can assist you to capture beauty shots and group shots and also take self-portraits. If you are fan for videos, S6 can capture 720p at 120fps, 1080p at 60fps and 2160p at 30fps. The quality of these videos are the best that a smartphone can produce today.

BATTERY LIFE

This is the least favorite category, provided that battery life varies from one person to another. S6 features 2550Ah non-revertible battery. After using Galaxy S6 for the first week we found that its battery life was averaging to 15 hours with normal usage. The percentage would drop 10%from full charge after every 1.5 t0 2 hours. Screen on time was between 2 to 3 hours. When using the phone constantly, battery life drops faster. It takes an average of 7 hours when constantly on the Internet (Facebook, watching Netflix or taking selfies).

Finally, the battery life can be the only crack in this overwhelming phone’s armour, nevertheless it can be managed and is not a big deal breaker.But the bottom line is that Samsung has accurately put together the best Android phone currently in the market. Without any doubt, Samsung S6 is the best ever phone the Korean manufacturer has ever produced.If you want to purchase the best smartphone right now and you care less about fancy curved edges, then Galaxy S6 is a phone that should not disappoint. Go for it!