x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Technophile: Your brainy new entertainment system

Three ways to make your television do more using the internet.

The WDTV Live Hub.
The WDTV Live Hub.

Sony Internet TV

The role Powered by Google TV, Sony's Internet TV is a world first - and a dream come true for the world's couch potatoes, many of whom have struggled to simultaneously maintain their computer geek personas in front of the box, not to mention juggling remotes and laptops. Now, they can be a couch potato/sofa surfer with nothing more than a remote that doubles as a QWERTY keyboard complete with optical mouse.

The extras From surfing the internet to checking your e-mail, tweeting and downloading apps, the television's built-in Wi-Fi allows viewers to boldly go where no man - or woman - has gone before, at least via their television sets. You can also visit websites via the Chrome browser and watch TV on the same screen at the same time.

The rating There have been some complaints about picture quality, while others fear they have to be seriously tech-savvy to use the television. However, many agree that the Sony Internet TV is a step in the right direction.

Dh2,200 to Dh5,100


Samsung Smart TV (40 inch)

The role Nipping at Sony's heels is the Samsung Smart TV. Remember the days when a video recorder/player was enough to keep the family entertained and the bulky CRT (cathode ray tube) television took pride of place in the living room? The home entertainment system has come a long way since then and is now referred to as the "media centre", where our kids reign supreme because they are more tech-savvy than their luddite parents.

The extras The Smart TV is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing viewers to "discover a new world of web-connected entertainment". Search for movies, TV shows, browse the web and explore the Samsung apps, such as Twitter, Hulu Plus and Facebook.

The rating It's still early days for internet TV, but the Samsung Smart TV has been garnering solid reviews since its release this year.



WDTV Live Hub

The role Not all TVs come equipped with internet access, and for those of you looking to save a little money, the WDTV Live Hub could be the answer - even if it adds yet another box to your bulging home entertainment shelves.

The extras Enjoy music, watch videos, upload pictures, check the weather and watch your favourite TV shows. The WDTV Live Hub has an ethernet connection, allowing you to also surf the internet, share status updates on facebook or share photos on Flickr.

The rating This is a much more affordable option for people waiting for the likes of Sony and Samsung to iron out the kinks in their televisions of the future.