Barb Gonzalez

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Sharp moves into high end audio with its wireless audio and video Universal Player.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 15, 2012 0 comments
The Simple.TV streams live and recorded TV to computers, mobile devices and the Roku Box. Check out this review to find out if it can take you one step closer to cutting the cord on cable TV.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Aug 13, 2007 Published: Jul 13, 2007 0 comments
This year's TVs are incorporating ease-of-use features.

While I love the amazing picture on my flat-screen HDTV, there are times when I find myself nostalgic for the days when all you had to do to watch TV was pull on a power button, turn the channel dial, and adjust the rabbit ears. It's bad enough that we home theater enthusiasts struggle to decipher menus and muck about a 75-button remote control, but it's our loved ones who curse us when they can't figure out how to use the TV. Manufacturers and retailers have been talking about simplicity in home theater for the past few years. Well, 2007 is the year that easier menus, setup, and remotes have been incorporated into some HDTVs. Some companies have been quietly working toward ease of use; others, like Philips, have made the pursuit a brand tag line: "sense and simplicity." Perhaps you can finally relinquish your remote to your nervous spouse.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Feb 27, 2014 1 comments
Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for direct access to their Internet service delivery. Why they did it and what it means to the future of net neutrality.
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Mar 08, 2013 1 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $300 At a Glance: Stream 1080p live TV and recordings from your DVR • Complete control of your set-top box from any device • Displays photos and videos from smartphone on TV

While cable and satellite companies often tout their ability to let you start watching a recording in one room and finish it in another, you can forgo the cost of these multiroom systems with a Slingbox. The original TV place-shifter, Slingbox allows you to access your cable or satellite set-top box and all of its content from mobile devices, media players, and computers— from across the house or across the country—by using the SlingPlayer app. Hoping to save some money in box rentals, I was happy to test Sling Media’s first new consumer model in four years, the Slingbox 500 HD. There are a number of ways to watch TV on computers and mobile devices, but Slingbox is unique in providing remote access and control of your set-top box.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Apr 03, 2013 0 comments
Social TV will soon be as commonplace as onscreen tickers but it won't happen like everyone expected. Joel Espelien of The Diffusion Group explains the findings of his report, "Social TV: Myths, Facts, and the Future."
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 08, 2009 6 comments
After Tom Hank’s fun snarky intro to Sony’s omnipotence in the electronics and content market, we were treated to Sony’s vision for upcoming products. It started with glasses with a portion of the lens devoted to little video screens. Imagine walking through your real life while watching a picture-in-picture movie.
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 26, 2012 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $200 At A Glance: Bluetooth and IR universal remote control • Lighted extended keyboard • Access live TV and streaming sources in one place • Global search includes live TV

When I decided to review two Google TV media streamers back to back, I thought there would be little difference between them. After all, Google TVs run on an Android platform, and both the Sony Internet Player with Google TV and Vizio’s Co-Star would have most of the same apps— pre-loaded apps or those available through the Google Play Android Market. I was surprised to find that there was more difference than I had expected. Sony knows home theater, and as with its other media streaming devices, low-quality video appears nicely cleaned up for viewing on a big screen. I’ve been unable to get a straight answer from Sony on what’s under the hood that improves the picture. Still, picture quality of identical content is noticeably better with the NSZ-GS7 than its competition.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jun 13, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $150

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Adds Google TV apps to a Sony Bravia TV
Compact dongle form factor
Integrates cable/satellite programming with streaming apps
Integrates some apps typically not available on Google TV

Minus
Google TV remote was sometimes unresponsive
Only works with specific 2013 (or newer) Bravia TVs

THE VERDICT
A solid Google TV add-on for owners of compatible Bravia TVs.

When the Sony Bravia Smart Stick was first announced, it was thought to be competition for Google’s Chromecast. But this complete Google TV-on-a-dongle is not for everyone. It is an add-on option for recent Bravia TV owners who want more than the streaming apps available on the Bravia TV platform. The Bravia stick integrates seamlessly with the TV, combining the app menu from the Bravia TV with the Google TV home screen for quick access.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Sep 19, 2012 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $100 At A Glance: Adds Vudu and more apps to SMP-N100 • Smooth streaming performance • Controlled by other HDMI CEC remotes • Xross menu displays only 10 files at a glance

Testing the Sony SMP-N200 made me consider how far network media players have come in the past few years. Sony’s base model, an upgraded version of its first player, the SMP-N100, handles most of the basic media streaming options with ease. It plays nicely with others, easily finding connections to DLNA servers, computers, tablet media controllers, and smartphone apps. It plays a wide variety of file formats. And it does it all for $100.

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