Watch TV on the go with Dialog MyTV

So I was going through some of the old unread feeds in my Google Reader and came across this post by Mayooresan on Dialog’s MyTV service. Had heard of MyTV, but didn’t have a time to try this out earlier.

I started off by sending an SMS saying ‘MYTV’ (w/o quotes) to 678. It replied me back with a link to download the MyTV app. Actually it was a link to an apk file, so you have to have ticked the Unknown Sources option in Applications Settings. (I’m talking about the android app here.)

The MyTV app lists the available TV channels divided into several categories. The choice of channels isn’t commendable, but it included many of my personal favorites.

Main menuChannel categoriesEntertainment categoryKids categoryPayment options

Simply select the channel you wish to play. If you haven’t subscribed to the particular package that channel belongs to already, it presents you with an options screen. The gold package, which lets you watch many local channels and a few int’l ones like Al Jazeera, costs Rs 3.33 per day or Rs 100 per month (plus taxes, of course). Once you subscribe to a package, you can watch any channel that belongs to the package before its expiration.

To activate the Platinum package, you need to have activated the Gold package first. You can also pay in a per-channel basis for the channels in this Platinum pack.

A comprehensive list of the available channels and their charges can be found here.

No data charges!
You won’t be charged for the data you stream, contrary to what Mayu says in his post. I verified this from two different sources. All it costs you is what you pay to activate the relevant packages.

Be wary though, the packages automatically renew after they’re expired. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure you manually unsubscribe from each package in Settings before logging out.

A little more than 1MB had been downloaded per minute during the streaming. The quality isn’t spectacular, but I guess it’s optimized for the mobile network, so that’s okay.

Here’s a low-quality, no-sound video of Cartoon Network being played on MyTV. Was too bored to create a better quality one. 😛 Mayu has uploaded his own vid in his post.

Facebook these days

Most people don’t seem to be aware of this, but the oil price hike isn’t the biggest problem we’re facing these days. It’s the Facebook crisis.
I randomly logged into Facebook today and swept through the timeline. Here are some stuff I came across.

A link someone shared discussing who should take the blame on the fisherman’s death.
A week-old 9gag photo. Sigh.
Some lame post by a certain ‘cricket samajaya’. The whole idea behind the post seem to be making people share it. 14 of my friends have blindly shared. Oh well.
A notification (?) that some idiot has liked an year-old photo.
Two not-so-interesting songs shared from YouTube.
A cartoon about the meaninglessness of democracy. Was kinda interesting so I put a Like on it.
A tweet, coz there are idiots who link their twitter with facebook. Not blaming everyone, but the ones whose each and every tweet is nothing but utter nonsense.
A photo blaming an innocent who happened to crack a joke on religion.
Two posts about the oil price hike. So many comments, but none of which seem to make a point.
Someone overjoyed about his graduation. Good for him. Here’s a Like from me.

Okay. Enough with the facebook crap. There’s this wonderful WordPress app for Android I’m writing this post with. It can do almost anything you do with the web app. No, wait, there’s no way to insert bullets. Not sure about adding photos either; let’s give a try.

image

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It works! 😀 Hope the post doesn’t appear crap in the desktop.

Welcome the Galaxy Note!

A perfect phone may not have been invented yet, but the Galaxy Note has triumphed in becoming the closest to that extreme.

— Oscar Wilde

galaxy note

The Galaxy Note

Why would one need a 5.3″ phone? Let me ask you first, why would one need a phone? If all you need is to make calls and text, even an iPhone would be enough for you. But for those of you who need a smartphone and not just a phone, you’ll have to think further.

Enter the Galaxy Note

confused about size

But.. but... is it a phone or a tablet?

Phone? Tablet? Two words: both. Well, that was only one word. Anyway, the Note is the best of both worlds. It is capable of doing everything a normal smartphone can and most of the stuff a tablet can. And it can do stuff neither device is single-handedly capable of.

Making phone calls: Some people still use mobile phones to make calls. And they have the rational fear of the Note being too large to fit in your hand during the call. But that’s only till you really try making a call with it. You’ll find that there is no inconvenience at all. If you are too scared of taking it to your ear in public, you can always use the earphones.

"I love you, too, honey!"

And talking about the earphones that comes in the box, you can’t ask for a better pair to come bundled with a phone. It’s still scores less when compared to my skullcandy, but I’ve given it a break and started using the Samsung pair full-time.

Surfing the web: The web browsing experience is enhanced by leaps and bounds thanks to the large screen. You can safely turn off the mobile views of the pages and deal with the real stuff. Now that this has become my main surfing medium, I had to upgrade to the 2GB data package. Perhaps this won’t be enough either. Thankfully Dialog gives half-a-dozen of attractive data plans to choose from.

Music: I didn’t like the in-built music player at all. It doesn’t even have a home screen widget. Settled with the free version of PowerAmp.

Movies: Just drag in any type of video file and it will play flawlessly in the Note. Yeah, you don’t get the movie theatre experience, but it’s far more pleasing than watching a movie in a normal smartphone. The quality of the 1280×800 super AMOLED display is a must have experience. Also, I found it perfect for watching video lectures.

Camera: The 8MP camera does way better than it’s supposed to do. And the camcorder is awesome. 1080p movies! Just imagine! The 2MP front camera lets you ditch the mirror for Note.

Reading: It’s a good replacement for your reading device. The screen is big enough not to make the reading experience awkward. You don’t have to turn the page after each sentence. Installed Screen Filter so that I can control the brightness of the device at my will. Sorry, Kindle. And if you’re a comic fan, the Note is the perfect device for you.

The first book I read with the Note

Battery life: Note comes with a whopping 2500mAh battery. So don’t worry about the screen being too large. All the reviewers, including Engadget, praise the Note’s battery. As mentioned earlier, you can optionally use an app like Screen Filter to manually control brightness and stuff, and if you’re still worried you always have JuiceDefender.

A stylus? Weeeeeee!
The S pen almost doubles the usefulness of the Note. Doodle, take notes, swype, or just give your finger a break. And the pen is able to perform several other control functions, including taking screenshots. Anyway the hand writing recognition was a fail to me. Oh well, I’ve never been good at hand writing.

Galaxy Note doodle

A doodle by Sapumal

Ice cream sammich!!
Samsung says they will release an update for ICS within the Q1 of 2012. Hope they’d keep their word.

Looking to buy one?
I wouldn’t recommend the Note to everybody. Your needs may differ. But if you’re like me, this is the phone you’ve been waiting for all your life. The best advice would be to try before buying. You’d also be interested in the stuff you can’t do without a Galaxy Note.

And finally…
I’m so in love with the Note, I doubt there’s room left in my heart for a girl. I even sleep with it by my side. Simply because it’s so awesome and worths a hell lot more than what you pay for it.

Life without a Galaxy Note

"You don't have a Galaxy Note!???" - a common reaction

Believe it or not, there are people who don’t even own a Galaxy Note. And sadly, I happen to be one of them.

For those who have been living in a well all their lives, a Samsung Galaxy Note is a 5.3″ smartphone with a size between a usual smartphone and a tablet. It was released in October, 2011. With attractive specs, a large super AMOLED HD screen real estate of 800×1280 pixels and a stylus to write with, Note is one amazing phone. Some may argue that it’s a phone and others will tell you it’s a tablet, but who cares? It’s the awesomest gadget ever either way.

You must be trying to guess how hard a life without a Note could be, in vain. Well, one cannot describe an account of that miserable fellow’s existence properly in a micro blog post like this. But I’m may as well try to give you a basic idea with the following points.

A person without a Galaxy Note

  • Has no proper device to browse the web while on the road (unless he has a tablet, which is too troublesome to carry around)
  • Doesn’t have a means of taking a quick note or doodling (unless he has a piece of paper near him, and a pen)
  • Needs to go to the TV or the computer to watch a movie (The screen of a normal phone is too small for a movie. Note will play almost any video you put into it – yes, even porn.)
  • Is not able to scribble down something the person in the other end says when he’s in a call.
  • Will have to scroll pages before he gets down to a point. Not so with the Note thanks to its 800×1280 pixel 5.3″ screen.
  • Has no way to express what he has on mind to another person. With help of the S Pen (the stylus), it’s a simple matter of a few strokes to a Note user.
  • Isn’t able to record 1080p videos with ease. (There are a few other phones that let you do this, but who in the big wide world would need one when you can buy a Galaxy Note!)
  • Is always depressed about the fact of not having one.

Sources of human suffering are endless, but as you may well see from the above points, nothing would cause much sorrow to a person than not having a Note would.