Archive for the ‘Digital Television’ Category
Over the years, we at Geek Squad have seen technology grow and change at an amazing rate. At the 2012 International Consumer Electronics show, we continue to see the ways we interact and control our technology change.
For example, you used to have to spin a knob on your television to change channels. Over the years, we added remote controls to allow us to interact with our TV without even having to leave the couch. Thanks to gaming systems like the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect, we’ve added motion control and voice commands to how we can interact with our entertainment.
Several Television and set top box makers have jumped onto what is being called call “the Kinect Effect”. The idea is to make better use of motion and voice controls, augmenting those features you normally had to figure out a complicated remote to use (or call one of our Geek Squad Home Theater Agents to help to setup a programmable remote).
One example is Samsung’s Smart Interaction feature set that the company is adding to their Smart TV line. Now, to take control, you simply have to say “Hi TV”, along with a command, such as “Web Browser” to get the built-in Internet connectivity software to connect you to your favorite websites in your living room.
PrimeSense Natural Interaction is another company using similar technology to allow you to raise your hand to bring up a menu, and allow you to fast forward through a movie by sliding your arm to the right, or changing the volume by moving it up or down.
Sony is improving their updated Google TV options by using their remote as a 3 axis motion controller. Their new system also allows you to search for your favorite online content by speaking search terms out to the built-in voice controller.
Of course, if your family is like ours at Geek Squad, fights can easily break out over who gets to control the remote. What that means when motion control and voice commands make you the remote, who knows. In the meantime, Geek Squad Agents will be standing by 24/7/365 to help you figure it all out.
-Agent Derek M
It’s been 13 years since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 mandated the DTV transition that’s taking place today. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some growing pains for viewers of over-the-air television. Here’s some last minute DTV tips for those still working on their own transition:
The DTV transition only affects over-the-air broadcasts received through a regular rooftop or set-top (“rabbit ears”) antennas. If you get your television service through satellite or cable providers, you will not be affected. If your TV lists itself as having a DTV (or ATSC) tuner, you are ready, on the other hand, just because the TV says “digital” somewhere on the front does not mean the system is ready.
I recently had an opportunity to man a DTV question phone bank on behalf of Geek Squad and I came across a fair number of questions that could be best summed up as, “I know about the DTV transition. I have the converter box. It’s not working. HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLP!”
Here’s some tips for those now trying to troubleshoot their post-DTV setup before the conversion takes place on June 12:
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