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Old 01-03-2013, 10:48
Inge Jones
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A few days ago I bought my very first handheld device to try out. I bought a very cheap Polaroid 4.3" running Android 2.3. I knew it wouldn't be great, but I wanted to get the idea of what they were in order to know what questions to ask, if you see what I mean.

Anyway my ultimate purpose in buying one of these tablets is that I tend to watch things that are being live streamed on the internet - things like NASA events, and live streamed criminal trials from the USA. Now these trials go on for ages and I don't want to be stuck in front of my desk all day so I wanted something I could carry around in my pocket while I work and listen to the words via earphones. I can fish it out of my pocket when I can hear something dramatic is happening and spend a few minutes watching the screen too.

So the minimum spec is:
1.Small and light enough not to get in the way when I am decorating or doing housework. Prefer 5 inch or under
2.Easy to use and set up Flash Player in browser for all manner of video I might find - which is invariably flash based.
3.Earphone socket (my work can be noisy so the sound has to be delivered direct to my ear)
4.Wifi - might as well use my home internet connection rather than cellular.

I installed Puffin for my Polaroid (it didn't come with Flash preinstalled), and while it does play the videos I needed it to, it invariably crashes to "desktop" after a few seconds. I didn't enjoy Puffin as an interface anyway - I found whatever I clicked on with my pen, it usually selected something else nearby. I didn't have that problem clicking on stuff on the other apps so it's not just a shaky hand.

NB. Not *too* bothered about price.
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:04
Rodney McKay
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A few days ago I bought my very first handheld device to try out. I bought a very cheap Polaroid 4.3" running Android 2.3. I knew it wouldn't be great, but I wanted to get the idea of what they were in order to know what questions to ask, if you see what I mean.

Anyway my ultimate purpose in buying one of these tablets is that I tend to watch things that are being live streamed on the internet - things like NASA events, and live streamed criminal trials from the USA. Now these trials go on for ages and I don't want to be stuck in front of my desk all day so I wanted something I could carry around in my pocket while I work and listen to the words via earphones. I can fish it out of my pocket when I can hear something dramatic is happening and spend a few minutes watching the screen too.

So the minimum spec is:
1.Small and light enough not to get in the way when I am decorating or doing housework. Prefer 5 inch or under
2.Easy to use and set up Flash Player in browser for all manner of video I might find - which is invariably flash based.
3.Earphone socket (my work can be noisy so the sound has to be delivered direct to my ear)
4.Wifi - might as well use my home internet connection rather than cellular.

I installed Puffin for my Polaroid (it didn't come with Flash preinstalled), and while it does play the videos I needed it to, it invariably crashes to "desktop" after a few seconds. I didn't enjoy Puffin as an interface anyway - I found whatever I clicked on with my pen, it usually selected something else nearby. I didn't have that problem clicking on stuff on the other apps so it's not just a shaky hand.

NB. Not *too* bothered about price.
I'd suggest the Galaxy note.
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:49
Inge Jones
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Looks good but I only could find one with 8 inch screen. Do you happen to know if they come in a smaller size too?

Edit: Found it - Galaxy Note 2!
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:51
paulbrock
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Any reason why you don't just want a phone? 5" or under is essentially phone-sized. Or if you don't want a phone, then ipod touch.

(Galaxy Note 2 is 5.5" http://www.samsung.com/global/micros...html?type=find )
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:54
Inge Jones
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I currently use a PAYG on an occasional basis, as I am largely home-based and use my landline. Is it possible to transfer such a sim to a smartphone type of device? I don't mind considering a phone but I wouldn't want to have to pay for an internet-inclusive mobile monthly contract.
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:10
paulbrock
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You could just leave it without a SIM and use wifi for the connection, but yeah you could use your existing PAYG sim in a smartphone.
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:26
Inge Jones
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I wonder if I should go for a windows based OS rather than Android, since Adobe are making a point of saying they're phasing out support for android with Flash. It would be nice to think that video--providing sites are goign to keep up with the situation and provide a range of formats, but I am not a naturally optimistic person.
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Old 01-03-2013, 16:18
zapod
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Going by your specs, you will find it tough to get a modern device to fit all categories.

However, nip down to Argos and you might find the 4.2" Samsung S 'smart' media player. This appears to have only Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), so loses the ability to run the Chrome browser, but will do Flash (but don't quote me on that). Problem is, it's likely to be a low power (as in processor power) device, so Flash performance might be terrible.

Alternatively, there is the Blackberry Playbook, which has Flash built in, but fails the size criteria with its 7" screen. We streamed Felix Baumgartner's sky dive direct to the TV in a remote cottage (with WiFi) while on holiday using the Playbook. Quite gripping.

You will not find a Windows device with a 5" screen or less unless it's a phone, and AFAIK Windows Mobile 8 doesn't support Flash at all.
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Old 01-03-2013, 16:53
Rodney McKay
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Looks good but I only could find one with 8 inch screen. Do you happen to know if they come in a smaller size too?

Edit: Found it - Galaxy Note 2!
Yes sorry I should have been more specific. Generally anything with a screen around 5 inches is more likely to be a phone and if you want it to stream live TV then you might as well get something with 3G or you'd have to tether or use a wifi hotspot.

Your other option might be a 5 inch proper computer. I have a Wibrain micro computer that runs Windows XP and has a 5 inch screen. Before tablets came around I used to use it for presentations as it saved having to lug a laptop around.

There are plenty of the market, of course you'd still need a data connection either using the built in wifi these devices have or a USB dongle or similar.

This is the one I have.
http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20070...brain-b1-umpc/
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Old 01-03-2013, 17:59
Inge Jones
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Hmm I'm beginning to get the impression I could throw a lot of money at this and *still* not really be certain I am going to get the video streams I want

I have an alternative approach using video sender in mind, but I'll start that thread in a different section.
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Old 01-03-2013, 23:52
Sue_C
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A couple of ideas which may or may not be useful.

1. If you have ready access to a PC on the WiFi network, then an android device could control and view the PC desktop via an app like splashtop. That would mean that you wouldn't need Flash and could access anything that you can view on the PC on the android device as well.

2. Use a device, of any screen size or flavour, plus a Bluetooth headset. You could listen to the audio that way and headsets/receivers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so you should be able to find something suitable.
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Old 02-03-2013, 00:23
jjne
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There are a number of generic Android 4, 4.3" Android tablets available.

e.g. http://dx.com/p/jxd-s18-4-3-resistiv...r-black-161536

Has ICS, has Flash 11 preinstalled I believe and ticks the boxes. At 28 it may be worth a punt. JXD aren't a completely unknown manufacturer and have a decent reputation in the Android tablet/handheld games console sector (I have such a device and it seems to be well put together).
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:17
Inge Jones
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Sue, that sounds interesting and something I hadn't been aware of. Will take a look at it.

Further progress is that I managed to install the Flash APK on my polaroid, but have no idea how to get the default browser to use it - here we're up against my own ignorance of things tablet in general I think. I no longer get the "you need flash" error message, but when I try to play the videos the play button turns into an icon that looks like a frame of an old celluloid film, with something that looks like a play button arrow inside it. I have no idea what the icon signifies. Does anyone know? It's not clickable.

My son came around last night with his new Blackberry Phone and he couldn't play the flash videos either.
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Old 02-03-2013, 13:10
Rodney McKay
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Sue, that sounds interesting and something I hadn't been aware of. Will take a look at it.

Further progress is that I managed to install the Flash APK on my polaroid, but have no idea how to get the default browser to use it - here we're up against my own ignorance of things tablet in general I think. I no longer get the "you need flash" error message, but when I try to play the videos the play button turns into an icon that looks like a frame of an old celluloid film, with something that looks like a play button arrow inside it. I have no idea what the icon signifies. Does anyone know? It's not clickable.

My son came around last night with his new Blackberry Phone and he couldn't play the flash videos either.
Try installing Google chrome, it works well with flash
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Old 02-03-2013, 14:32
Inge Jones
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Gosh they don't make this easy do they? I finally found chrome on the app site, and tried to download it and it goes "You don't have the Google Play app installed - learn more.." So I click the learn more link and scroll through screens of self-congratulatory stuff about how wonderful the Google App Store is. But no link to install the Play app

So now I've had to come back to my main PC to try searhing for it, then I'll have to write down the url and then go back downstairs to where there is a wifi signal to type it into my tablet...

...oh - it's not a supported device so thats the end of that idea lol.

The things you have to think about when choosing one of these little monsters! So unfortunately that's both Splashtop and Chrome out, for this particular device.
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Old 02-03-2013, 15:27
john176bramley
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if you google "splashtop apk" you can download the apk file from one of the sites and sideload it to your Polaroid.

It might work.
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Old 02-03-2013, 15:34
Inge Jones
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Actually I know what might be helpful to me - could everyone with any type of mobile device, tablet, smartphone, whatever, please try this link: http://www.azcentral.com/video/1724204566001

That is typical of the type of video live stream format I am trying to receive. At the moment the trial is not actually on - till Monday, but if it will work, you can expect it to display a sort of testcard with that annoying testcard whistling sound, rather than the blank screen I am getting.

Anyone who actually gets that far, please post what device you have, then at least I'll know for sure a shortlist of any that will probably work.
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Old 02-03-2013, 17:48
paulbrock
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slightly surprisingly (as flash is not supported AFAIK) the video plays fine on my Nexus 7 with Chrome browser. I can only guess that an alternative version of the video is offered when needed.
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Old 02-03-2013, 18:19
Inge Jones
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There's two of those listed in Argos - is yours the "3G" one or the less expensive one?
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Old 02-03-2013, 19:25
paulbrock
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There's two of those listed in Argos - is yours the "3G" one or the less expensive one?
mines the cheaper one.
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Old 02-03-2013, 19:38
Sue_C
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Just tried on my Kindle Fire HD using the default browser. I got a sort of test card type thing. I guess that means it's working but off air?
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Old 02-03-2013, 20:18
John259
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slightly surprisingly (as flash is not supported AFAIK) the video plays fine on my Nexus 7 with Chrome browser. I can only guess that an alternative version of the video is offered when needed.
Have you tried right-clicking the video? On a Windows PC that would display a Flash context menu but I don't know if the same is true on tablets.
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Old 02-03-2013, 20:25
Inge Jones
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Just tried on my Kindle Fire HD using the default browser. I got a sort of test card type thing. I guess that means it's working but off air?
Yes, that's what it streams while the court is not in session. Thank you
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Old 02-03-2013, 22:27
zapod
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slightly surprisingly (as flash is not supported AFAIK) the video plays fine on my Nexus 7 with Chrome browser. I can only guess that an alternative version of the video is offered when needed.
It's H264 video delivered over HTML5. Welcome to the world of iPad.
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Old 02-03-2013, 23:05
Inge Jones
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Oh? Does the video link in question offers html5 automatically if you have it? That never occurred to me.
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