Sunday 23 November 2014

Tech Insider: Turn your standard TV into a Smart TV

Jessica Kelly

Published 08/08/2014 | 02:30

4ife

The majority of flat-screen televisions have underwhelming built-in speakers. The poor sound quality comes as a result of the very thin frame we have come to expect of our TVs. A company named 4IFE have looked at this flaw and developed the Sonic Bar.

The bar, which measures in at 106.6cm x 6.3cm sits neatly under a wide screen TV or can be mounted on the wall (fittings included). The device delivers 100 watts of high quality sound; far superior to the sound produced by the built-in speakers.

The 4IFE Sonic Bar connects to a television set via Bluetooth. It is possible to send audio files to the Sonic Bar from other Bluetooth enabled devices; this is ideal for music files on a mobile phone!

The 4IFE Sonic Bar costs €99.

4IFE have also produced the Smart Stick. This device converts any HD TV into a Smart TV. Users simply have to connect the stick into the HDMI port on their television. Instantly, this gives access to the internet and the Google Play Store. Within the Play Store, users can choose from over 500,000 apps. This means games, movies and social networking are all accessible from a TV.

At €99, the 4IFE Smart Stick is extremely good value and works very well. This is a must have for Netflix fans or those wanting a smart tv without the price tag. It is also worth noting that the 4IFE Smart Stick comes with a wireless mouse, unlike the Swish Smart TV device featured a number of weeks ago.

This device is an alternative to Google's Chromecast, which was featured in this column a few weeks ago. While the Chromecast is cheaper, at €35, the SmartStick has better functionality. It is also possible to purchase a keyboard from 4IFE which makes controlling the SmartStick that bit easier.

Top tech Pick of the week

The Sony Xperia M2 is a mid-range phone which builds upon last year's Xperia M. While it looks classically Sony, mirroring the Z2 in many ways, a few minor cutbacks in the spec department means it comes in at under €230.

Internally there's a quad core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of built in storage. It's possible to expand the memory up to 32GB with a microSD card.

Fans of Sony should most certainly check it out if they want the Sony experience, without the hefty price tag.

Irish Independent

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