Device and Conquer
Tablets take TV furtherBelieve it or not, tablets are shaping up to be the future of home theater controls. Brian Cooley walks you through what could become the ultimate couch potato setup.
-The television, it's the classic home entertainment electronics relates to everybody's life. That's why we devoted zip code to be used this place. The tablets are different story. This is one of the newest pieces of technology. It does a lot of things as well; web, e-mail, games, e-Books, and all those apps, but statistics tell us an awful lot of you who are till on fence about even owning one of these. Here's one more roll of the tablet. I bet you don't know so well that might tip the balance for you and that is as a perfect partner for your television. Look at where you watch TV, probably a big stock box just like this. Everyone of them brings you different content on a different interface, a different looking screen, trying to find what you want, when you want it, how you want it is chaotic at best. And even that fancy unified remote you bought and spend so much time programming that doesn't really corral all that stuff all that well. Now, introduce a tablet and things get interesting. Not fully big, but interesting. All kinds apps will let you go through programing and electronic program guide that so much more intuitive than the one on your TV screen that you poke out with the remote. Look how all kinds of content from air to streaming, to cable, to disc can all be shown on a nice browsable fashion flick through, almost like iTunes cover flap and most of the big manufacturers in electronics now are building these ecosystems for your television, your tablet and your smartphone will often talk to each other, control each other and share content. Like this ecosystem from Samsung. Their tablet can be an elaborate remote for their TV that let me browse listings for example and then watch them. I can also make settings changes on the television right from here and of course it's an android device with the true web browser that has flash support so I can go online to watch companion content without bugginess. I want you to check this out. I'm watching Throne on the Blu-ray player and I've got the throne app loaded her on my iPad. Using a technology called second screen, these two stay in sync and I'm getting unique special content on the tablet that relates to exactly what I'm watching on the TV on the movie right now. Now, this may seem like a bit much and only you wanna do is suck out and watch a movie, seems that way to me, but this definitely shows the potential of the TV tablet marriage and of course any tablet can handle web, which means you can jump in to chats or fun sites or just about anything else about your favorite show in real time and the tablet is also great for e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and all the other things that we are increasingly doing while watching TV. Consider the research, it shows most of us don't just sit down and watch TV anymore. We interact with the second, maybe even a third device, and since the tablet is a great size, much bigger than the smart phone, but also nice and light, much more handleable than a laptop, this is kind of the ultimate partner, the ultimate use of couch time. No, given all that goodness, there are few drawbacks. First of all, this guy doesn't fit in the palm of you hand like a regular remote, weighs a bit more too by the way. The battery is nowhere near as good as the regular remote and if you have it set properly it's probably always turning itself off every 5 or 10 minutes. Those can be some drawbacks. Now, so far, this has all been about the TV at the center and tablet kind of an orbit around it, but it goes the other way. For example, if you have an iPad with Apple's AirPlay technology and an Apple TV hooked up to your television like I do, you can be watching a video on your tablet and then decide, no, I wanna watch it on that TV here in the room. Press 1 button and it gets bounced over there over your home wireless network. The same can work for photos and audio as well and with other electronics that supports AirPlay. You don't have to have an Apple TV box. By the way, this does not use that new Apple iCloud technology. This is over you home network. iCloud is a whole another topic. Finally, there are apps from guys you pay for TV, the cable and satellite operators. These install in your tablet and roll up like TiVo like functions, Video On Demand, and remote viewing all through a single app. The Achilles heel is often the thicket of limitations on what you can watch, where and when. For example, this time one app only works when you're connected to your home Wi-Fi connection on their router and these types of apps also require you maintain cable and internet service, so all it's not perfect. The tablet is probably the best partner for your television, more elegant than the laptop or smartphone you use already, and as you use one of these in the living room, more and more, you will start to see the future of the way we're going to watch TV today.