Thursday, 19 September 2013

Connect, Update and stay in the know on the best social networks whilst watching programmes on your Smart TV

As its foundation in 2004, ‘Facebook’ has made it as an giant success story, albeit not one without controversy. Plenty of controversy. But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to let you know a little about social networking and why it is a great addition to any Smart TV.

In some ways taking off through the now elapsed ‘Myspace’ and the plethora of imitators it left in its wake, Facebook emerged as champion of the social networks, (until the next one comes along, that is). Facebook has conquered the Internet with a smart exploitation of these 3 ever-reliable principles:

1)         People love talking about other people, particularly anonymously.

2)         Folks are very keen on and poking their noses into the lifestyles of others.

3)         People’s unquenchable self attention, which, when fuelled by Facebook, is narcissism on steroids.

Facebook is a remarkable tool and one that has easily tailored itself to mobile phones, portable devices and now, even TV. Ultimately, Myspace was the cumbersome Neanderthal, who, despite being popular, smarter and more powerful than Homo Sapiens, succumbed to that retreating ice age somewhat speedily, failing to adapt to the world he could no longer understand. Facebook, conversely, was the eventual Cro Magnon victor, shaking in the cave during Neanderthal’s time, he emerged on the warm plains of the modern day and, either directly or indirectly, eliminated his rival before moving within the changing technology and times, to the point he might sit at his desk and update his position several times a day.

‘Twitter’ is a particularly limited site that acts like a miniature Facebook. Users have a number of words to announce their actions, thoughts and/or feelings to the world that frequently does not care unless its worried that it’s being cheated on. However, while famous people on Facebook tend to not update their pages, on Twitter an individual can follow (and sometimes commune with) the activities of Hollywood luminaries, celebrities, sports stars and other notable individuals, who are often surprisingly honest about their day by day lives.

Facebook and Twitter are the two big ones, but there’s others, a lot more than I can add up that follow a similar simple model but specialise in a new area (LinkedIn, for example, deals with business relationships more than personal ones). Many websites co-exist with Facebook nowadays, feeding off their scraps like remoras on the back of the Tiger Shark. With most online content, there’s even an option to ‘Like’ it, thus adding it to your Facebook page (if you look carefully at this page, you’ll almost certainly find one, which serves to spotlight just how all-encompassing Facebook’s presence is.

Smart TV, recognising the ubiquity of such websites and the emphasis that current online business places on this ubiquity, has Facebook, Twitter (and the other social network websites) readily available for download. This means that you can have full (or nearly full) access to your Facebook account and update it without maybe going to a PC. Last night, I had to update my very own Facebook to state that I was watching, for what must be the hundredth time, the movie ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ I could have easily done it during a tea break in the movie itself rather than meaning to take action and ultimately forgetting, as I essentially did.

If you’re wondering how folks are doing and you need up-to-the-minute information, Facebook is usually the place to go. Facebook the website is free to use, may be the Smart TV app at time of writing and is a wonderful communication tool, especially for people you don’t essentially know that well. These days, people change their mobile numbers every point three of another, so Facebook remains the one consistent way to ensure you can always keep in touch.  I like to think of it like a really badly written newspaper, where the headlines are a bit sunnier, a great deal less biased and contain people I essentially give a damn about.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Can you play games on a smart Television

Abiding its strategy of integrating almost everything into itself, the Smart TV also has a restricted number of games, obtainable as downloadable apps, for the playing delight.

Now, the times of downloading ‘Tekken Vs. Street Fighter’ or this years ‘Resident Evil’ directly to your TV are some distance away certainly, so you’ll yet require your Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or Wii for the time being. Additionally, none of those games available (with the possible exemption of that massively addictive ‘Angry Birds’) will equal the gaming skill already on offer in your consoles, but that does not denote that the choice of games available in your Smart TV come in any way incomplete. You will find sim games, puzzle games, card games and lots more also. Once again, Smart TV is making huge advancements to a capable area of TV (as anybody who ever loved the old ‘Teletext’ games will confirm).

An additional much-maligned type of entertainment regularly patrolled by ‘fun police’ is video games (see our first post for particulars). Which began with a simple misunderstanding, one stating that console games were exclusively for kids.

Now, this was not primarily true but it is not true today, but there was an era where consoles and peripherals were principally aimed towards kids and young teenagers. Then of course, the cultural watchdogs backlashed against gaming in much the same way they did against movies in the 70’s, music in the 60’s and comic books in the 50’s.

For that General gamer knows implicitly that a number of games are created with adults at heart (these are usually those that have the title spelt out in blood, or the options to disembowel hookers for additional points) while some are designed for children (its a hint if nobody actually tries to kill you over the course of the game and you’ll finish it in a matter of hours) just like movies, books and everything else it is possible to imagine, everyone is catered for. The games you will find on your Smart TV are mostly pretty simple plus the wonderful thing about downloadable apps is, if you’ve any difficulty at all with lurid game content on offer, then basically do not download it.

Right next, let’s have a look at some of those games you are able to download on your Smart TV (NOTE: Please do remember that not all games are compatible with all models, therefore the games mentioned below are just a variety that I find fascinating. In case you’re after a specific game for your Smart TV, ensure you purchase a TV that will be able to play it).

‘Texas Holdem’ is the poker sim that permits you to play games of virtual poker, either alongside the computer or your friends. So far as I know, no real money changes hands in TH, but you may want to double ensure before you bet your mortgage (even though you possess a straight flush). Another game that’s great fun to play with mates is ‘Dynamic Bowling’. DB is another simulation that allows you to, yep, you guessed it, go bowling. This game can be played alone or with mates. My guidance would be to practice at home after which dazzle your friends by bowling an ideal game. ‘Bejewelled 2’ is a sequel to the admired ‘Bejewelled’ a game title that has enthralled and addicted my very own father for about three years now. Bejewelled (which I will not break right down to initials for evident reasons!) is addictive, stimulating, challenging and, above all, fun.

So there you go. I’m certain that, as the months and years go on, an excellent many other gaming apps might be added to the Smart TV’s options. Watch this space!