Getting a new phone and a Samsung TV?

I am privileged to be selected by Hardwarezone to attend a Samsung TV SUHD event in collaboration with Samsung and Harvey Norman.  

Hardwarezone event with Samsung

Vijay the senior editor from Hardwarezone and his team presented useful information on tips to selecting your UHD TV. Selecting sizes and knowing the difference between the fine difference between a true 4k resolution or 2160p. Well we thought that all 4k has the same resoltuion except some better brands has additional bells and whistle with better smart apps, sound, camera or remote.

Here are some of the points shared that I can remember

1.Most consumers don’t know that a cinema display like IMAX will be 21:9 aspect ratio while a a normal TV display is 16:9. We need to know which aspect ratio when we are buying the movie titles.

2. We must note the features of the upscaling and smart TV function is absent in cheaper sets.

Source: Hardwarezone.com

Source: Hardwarezone.com

3. Samsung enhances the quantum dot technology to s technology called Nano Crystal that gives that vibrant and sharp images that you see.
In addition, the new SUHD smart TVs will have an intelligent SUHD re-mastering engine that optimizes content to enhance the color and brightness reproduction. It automatically analyzes the brightness of the image and diverts power from the darker pixels to the brighter ones. This ultimately helps to improve contrast levels, produce deeper blacks, and an elevated level of brightness over conventional UHD TVs.

2015-04-18 11.18.41samsung-suhd-screen-mirroringThe JS9500 and JS9000 also usher in Samsung’s move to Tizen OS to power its smart TV UI. The Tizen-based SUHD TVs represent Samsung’s efforts to make its smart TVs part of the IoT ecosystem by 2017.

Powering all this is an octa-core processor, which will help the TVs to handle multiple tasks seamlessly. The SUHDs come with a Smart Remote Control, which enables users to intuitively interact with the onscreen UI display and take control of the TVs. In addition, the pricier JS9500 will feature a full-array LED backlight with an increased number of dimming blocks, which should make for better contrast levels and color accuracy over the edge-lit JS9000.

Grab these samsung TV by May 2015 as consumers are entitled to receive a Complimentary Gift Pack worth S$614. The complimentary gift pack consists of:

  • Samsung Level On Wireless headphones
  • Samsung Level Link (Bluetooth streaming dongle)
  • Wireless Charging Pad
  • Additional S6 edge phones is thrown in as offers for 1st few customers too!
    So Hurry grab Samsung SUHD TV while stocks last!

ViewQwest: Which home theatre setup should you use? (Part 1)

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Main Hardware (Output)

There are many options for home theatre setup in the market nowadays. How do you choose one that suits your need? Do you need a full computer setup, Home Theatre Personal Computer (HTPC), Media Player/Streamer or Media Dongle?

Majority of users prefer an “out-of-the-box” media player like Apple TV or ViewQwest TV. No setup is required. Full PC and HTPC require a lot of tinkering and software tweaks to make it compatible for use in the living room as a media device. Typically, home users prefers plug and play and do not wish to use a bulky keyboard and a mouse when they are lying on their couch. Tiny icons, difficult controls and typing need to be minimized to fit the living room remote control.

Below is a breakdown of criteria to choose your home theatre box according to the price, ease of use and functionality.
Media PC comparison

HTPC like ViewQwest TV might be the obvious winner nowadays. Main hardware setup is very simple, as you only have to plug in the HDMI cable to the TV and power it up. Those advanced users can use optical cable to connect to more advanced hardware like a home theatre system (amplifier with 5.1/7.1 surround speakers)

Peripherals (Input)

HTPC PeripheralsUsers can also choose a myriad of peripherals for controls

1) Integrated remote and keyboard (with trackpad or gyro)
– Bluetooth
– IR
– Wireless
2) Track pad/Mouse and wireless full keyboard
3) Mouse with on-screen Keyboard
4) Universal Remote
I would advise to get a backlit device with wireless capabilities for the living room. More advance users might want gyro enabled remote or voice activation on the remote.

Software Setup for PC or HTPC

Basically you need to customize the software setup to your liking. Setting up an organized library of TV Shows, Movie and Music is important. I categorize my Movies folder to different language first. The sub categories are further divided into genres. If you have software like Plex and XBMC it will help to auto divide your movies into all the relative categories.
Media Players

Software Setup for Media Players like ViewQwest

No setup at all. Plug it in and stream all the content you need from the Internet or network attached storage within the house.
Of course, the next step is to show off your HTPC setup to your friends and family. They will be impressed! Stay tuned for a tour of my home theatre system setup! Part 2 here

ViewQwest: Ding Ding Ding! WiFi Router challenge between ASUS RT-AC87U vs D-Link DIR868L

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Setup

Thanks to ViewQwest, I manage to test Asus RT-AC87U. Dlink DIR868L is my current router. Both routers mentioned above are new and tested with their default configuration out of the box. Note that I am only testing for the signal strength rather than the download speeds.I didn’t even tweak the wifi channels although there are congestion in wifi traffic in my area. This is not a professional comparison but a test nonetheless.

The current layout of my home wifi setup is shown in the diagram below. In this test, I am using a Macbook pro (late 2010 edition) in built wifi. I mainly use 2 programs called Netspot and Wifi Explorer to test the signal strengths of each router.

Below are the 4 types of wifi signals that are put into the test! Who will emerge the winner? Ding Ding!!

Router Model GHz SSID Modem
1 ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4GHz (b/g/n) ASUS 2.4G Zhone GPON2301
2 ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz (a/n/ac) ASUS 5G Zhone GPON2301
3 Dlink DIR868L 2.4GHz (n) DLink-2.4G Huawei EchoLife HG8240
4 Dlink DIR868L 5GHz ((a/n/ac) DLink-5G EchoLife HG8240

viewqwest and sh setup


ROUND 1: Signal Strength for distance (data direct from Netspot)
Area wifi summary

The warm orange areas(-15dBm) have the best signals while the cool blue(-82dBm) receives lowest signal strength. Notice that the blue blindspots on the bottom left(Kitchen) might be the furthest areas. The blue areas on the bottom right(Room 2) are due to the numerous amounts of wireless and electronic devices emitted from my room.

From this first test, best overall signals wrt to distance are shown below:

  1. ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4 GHz
  2. D-Link DIR868L 2.4GHz
  3. ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz
  4. D-Link DIR868L 5GHz

ROUND 2A: Signal Strength in 30min (data direct from Netspot at 5.5m away)

Signal and noise 30m

Notice ASUS 5GHz improves over time
Although ASUS has noise spikes, the signal remains constantly strong getting about 10dBm more than D-LinkTYPE OF WIFI SIGNAL


ROUND 2B: Signal Strength in 60min (data direct from Netspot at 5.5m away)
Signal and noise small 60min
Asus 5GHz has the most constant signal
Asus 2,4GHz has the most erratic signals spiking up and down. Nontheless it remains the top overall.

Notice that ASUS 5GHz improves over time, especially at the 45th min onwards. After 60mins the average signal ranking are as follows:

  1. ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4GHz
  2. ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz
  3. D-Link DIR868L 2.4GhZ
  4. D-Link DIR868L 5GHz

WINNER!
The tests done are in a location where the environment is quite constant although there might be a lot of interference from neighboring wifi and wireless signals. Keeping these constant. The result shows that ASUS RT-AC87U is the definite winner as:
– ASUS manage to throw the signals farther away with higher signal strength rather than DLink
– ASUS immediate signals is much stronger without obstruction. Unfortunately the signals tend to normalize with other routers whenever there is obstruction or further away.
– ASUS signal improves over time especially with the ASUS 5Ghz signal.

I need to look into Asus 2.4GHz signals as it constantly spike up and down. This is due to the interference around as there are too many 2.4Ghz signals around. Stay tuned to the next post where I will give tips to improve on wifi signal strength in your homes.

Surprisingly Impressed with Galaxy S6 Edge: Trial with Cases

I’ve just attended the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge event and the phone looks promising. Before that take a look at the silver and gold clear view cover. Soo sexy!

Summary of Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Official Cases

Summary of Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Official Cases

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A simple breakdown of the official Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Cases. Just a first impression with no explanation. Up for you to decide.

  1. S View Case
    1. Soft Leather Option
    2. Tough textured Nylon
  2. Flip Wallet Case
    1. Soft Leather Option
    2. Tough textured Nylon
  3. Clear Cover
    Thin hard cases with metallic looking rims
  4. Clear View Cover
    Mirror effect to enhance GS6 aesthetics
    Color Selection: Blue, White to Earthy Tan (Beige), Brown and Green

So which Case are you?

My 2nd attempt with Phantom 2 Vision Plus

Videos are a little shaky as the remote controls are swapped after exchanging the remote set. Do drop some comments for improvement. Enjoy the video!

This is also the site where I did my former architectural school projects. You may click on the image below.
Overall Thesis

Kite out with DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus

I’ve finally bought the long awaited DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus and get had a go with this quadcopter direct from the box. It lives up to its name for a mainstream video/photo capturing capturing device from the air. Its quite easy to control and of course it’s fun to fly too. Check out the first virgin videos below. Note that other mobile devices are also used for the videos.