Barb Gonzalez

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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: Jan 06, 2015 0 comments
Sony announced that all of its 2015 Sony smart TVs will run the Android TV platform and it has partnered with Netflix to improve 4K streaming.
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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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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Aug 01, 2013 0 comments
The Sookbox streaming system is available for pre-order through a Kickstarter project. Learn more about this system that can simultaneously stream to multiple zones.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Dec 19, 2013 2 comments
Spotify's new free and premium features lets you play more music on mobile devices or stream music to your AV receiver.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: May 21, 2015 0 comments
Spotify adds video, original content, and an advanced running feature that ties music to a runner's pace.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 16, 2012 0 comments
Until now, DLNA certifications were used for personal content--movies, music, and photos--stored in media libraries in your home network.

This is a revolutionary advance because manufacturers have been searching for a way to make movie and TV studios comfortable with sharing premium content in a way that cannot be pirated. Premium Video certified products will communicate digital rights management information for each movie or TV show and allow the streaming to take place but will not allow recording. In fact, devices that can record--NAS drives, computers--will probably not be Premium Video certified.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Feb 21, 2014 3 comments
Showtime Anytime lets you stream Showtime TV shows and movies to many devices and now includes Roku. DISH subscribers are left out. Here's a review of the CBS and DISH feuds over the years and why DISH subscribers probably won't be able to stream Showtime anytime soon.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Nov 07, 2013 2 comments
Don't believe it when you read that you can't stream video to a Chromecast or other media player from a hotel's Wi-Fi. Find out how to use D-Link's Shareport Go to stream when on the road.

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