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Marisawright

Anyone recommend a set top box (Australia)

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We bought a so-called ""smart TV" from JB Hifi but it's rubbish - good picture, good sound etc but hardly any apps and the browser is cr@p.  

Someone suggested we treat it as if it was a dumb TV and attach a set-top box.  However I'm struggling to understand what a set top box actually does and which one to get.  Explanations?  Recommendations?


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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We use an apple tv but now with the smart tvs not so much because stuff comes in directly. It is good for mirroring off an old laptop we have. We used to have a fox one but I am philosophically opposed to that so I chucked it out. 

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47 minutes ago, starlight7 said:

We use an apple tv but now with the smart tvs not so much because stuff comes in directly. It is good for mirroring off an old laptop we have. We used to have a fox one but I am philosophically opposed to that so I chucked it out. 

This is my problem.   Our new smart TV isn't particularly smart. The Youtube app has stopped working - the usual advice would be to delete and reinstall it, but you can't delete any of the preloaded apps.  There are a few other apps but they're mainly for Hindi movies!   You can't add any new apps either. 


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Posted (edited)

I watch youtube all the time. The "Smart" TV isn't reet smart on it's own so I bought the Amazon Fire Stick. Works a treat now 😉 

 

Edited by r2kev

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We have a fetch box.  I believe you can subscribe to premium service through them or just do what we did and take the free option.  The free option has all the free to air channels plus apps for all the catch-up services, Netflix, Stan and various others.  It also has a hard drive so you can record from free to air if you want to.  And you can rent movies through it.

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3 hours ago, Marisawright said:

We bought a so-called ""smart TV" from JB Hifi but it's rubbish - good picture, good sound etc but hardly any apps and the browser is cr@p.  

Someone suggested we treat it as if it was a dumb TV and attach a set-top box.  However I'm struggling to understand what a set top box actually does and which one to get.  Explanations?  Recommendations?

What brand of TV is it? I think you should ensure that it is actually the TV that's causing the problem as opposed to something else (e.g., your Internet connection) as otherwise the set-top box may end up having the same issues.

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Take the TV back if it is not fit for purpose.

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I want it all, and I want it now.

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Foxtel IQ box is good and has Netflix, ABC iView, SBS on Demand built in but i wish it had Amazon Prime too.

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I want it all, and I want it now.

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43 minutes ago, rtritudr said:

What brand of TV is it? I think you should ensure that it is actually the TV that's causing the problem as opposed to something else (e.g., your Internet connection) as otherwise the set-top box may end up having the same issues.

Ffalcon. Our own fault for buying no name!

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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3 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

Ffalcon. Our own fault for buying no name!

It is their home brand. (They use to have Soniq as their home brand).

I would take it back. If you upgrade to a better tv with them i'm sure they will be happy.


I want it all, and I want it now.

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I would get an LG if it was me.


I want it all, and I want it now.

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We have a Sony smart tv and it is pretty good- had it 2 years now. Got it at Costco. Slight probs with some of the Acorn stuff because it tends to buffer a lot but Netflix and catch up tv is fine. Mind you, we haven't gone on to the dreaded NBN yet.

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1 hour ago, Marisawright said:

Ffalcon. Our own fault for buying no name!

OK, apparently the Australian version of Ffalcon doesn't run Android so you are indeed quite limited when it comes to supported apps.  Having said that youtube should still work so if you can't even watch that then I'd first try to eliminate any network/wifi issues in your home.  Definitely give JB Hifi a call as this might be within the warranty coverage for the TV.

If you do decide on getting a set-top box then it's essentially a choice between Apple or Google/Android.  With Apple there is just one product while you have a lot more to choose from if you go the Android route.

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22 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Ffalcon. Our own fault for buying no name!

But it was cheap ? 

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We have a Telstra T box plugged into our TV and it has lots of channels available. We have Netflix. Stan and all those types of things available but most require a subscription after a period of time. The only one we pay for now is Netflix. The T box was free with our internet/phone package.

          Cal x


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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47 minutes ago, unzippy said:

Another option would be a Chromecast - keep the dumb TV and just use it as a screen.

 

https://store.google.com/au/product/chromecast

We've got Chromecast.  The big problem is that if you try to Cast from an app that's also on the TV, the system tries to sync with the (non-working) TV version of the app, so it just freezes.  If it was possible to delete the apps off the TV it would be fine, but that's not an option.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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27 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

We've got Chromecast.  The big problem is that if you try to Cast from an app that's also on the TV, the system tries to sync with the (non-working) TV version of the app, so it just freezes.  If it was possible to delete the apps off the TV it would be fine, but that's not an option.

I see what you mean about a not so smart tv!

What if you disconnect the internet from the TV, does it still fire up the TV version of the app?

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1 minute ago, unzippy said:

I see what you mean about a not so smart tv!

What if you disconnect the internet from the TV, does it still fire up the TV version of the app?

For Chromecast to work, both the TV and the phone must be connected to the internet using the same wifi network.  It says so in the instructions.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Just now, Marisawright said:

For Chromecast to work, both the TV and the phone must be connected to the internet using the same wifi network.  It says so in the instructions.

Not quite, there's 3 things involved here:

The telly
The Chromecast
The device that is casting to the telly via the Chromecast

Just the Chromecast and the phone need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi - not the telly itself.  All the telly needs to do is take output from the Chromecast via it's HDMI socket.

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We still have an old plasma 50 inch dumb TV. Picture still can't be beaten, unless we go for expensive oled. 

We have a WD set top box, play movies via a USB stick, box has youtube, netflix apps built in, connects to a hdmi port. We also have a foxtel box which has netflix, iview, sbs on demand built in. Foxtel box interfaces are better for the built in apps than the WD box but they both work well.

Can't be bothered with lots of other subscriptions, gets expensive and there's heaps on netflix, iview, sbs.

We also have chromecast but not used it much. My son uses it a bit.

Edited by Paul1Perth

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4 hours ago, Marisawright said:

We've got Chromecast.  The big problem is that if you try to Cast from an app that's also on the TV, the system tries to sync with the (non-working) TV version of the app, so it just freezes.  If it was possible to delete the apps off the TV it would be fine, but that's not an option.

That's not Chromecast.  Chromecast is an add-on device sold by Google, it's never built into the TV.  With Chromecast you'd connect it to your TV through the HDMI port, and when you Chromecast from your phone to the device the TV isn't involved at all except to display the image and playback the sound.

Of course, Chromecast is just one of many Android set-top boxes that you can choose from.

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47 minutes ago, rtritudr said:

That's not Chromecast.  Chromecast is an add-on device sold by Google, it's never built into the TV.  With Chromecast you'd connect it to your TV through the HDMI port, and when you Chromecast from your phone to the device the TV isn't involved at all except to display the image and playback the sound.

Of course, Chromecast is just one of many Android set-top boxes that you can choose from.

Yes Chromecast is a separate plugin but the instructions clearly say what I quoted. If the TV doesn’t have the wifi connection, the Chromecast refuses to work. We’ve tried it


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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4 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Yes Chromecast is a separate plugin but the instructions clearly say what I quoted. If the TV doesn’t have the wifi connection, the Chromecast refuses to work. We’ve tried it

Google Chromecast Ultra Black

Just to make sure we're on the same page, you have one of these devices and it's plugged into your TV, right? After you plug it in (with power), you need to change your TV's input source to the HDMI port that the Chromecast is connected to.  Once you do that whether the TV has a wifi connection or not should have no effect whatsoever.  If it is having an effect then you're probably not using the Chromecast device.

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