Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




14889 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2795

Trusted
Subscriber

# 250716 22-May-2019 16:07
Send private message quote this post

My Mum is looking for a way to do web browsing at home on a screen bigger than a phone. I was looking for a laptop for her in another thread, but she's asked if she can use her TV. She has a 40" Samsung TV that's 5 years old. She just wants to research travel, check her bank balance on a decent size screen, and if possible (but not required) store her photos.

 

Is it practical to buy a compact computer for this? A Raspberry Pi3 (probably too slow), some other small purpose made device? I'm not sure if she cares if it's Windows or not. She'd also want a decent wireless keyboard / mouse.

 

Does anyone do this? Any practical downsides? Any suggestions for equipment?


View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
4449 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 685

Trusted

  # 2243221 22-May-2019 16:50
Send private message quote this post

How close is she to the telly? Anything more than 2m gets very small. You can crank up the dpi a little bit you can’t increase the mouse size and so it still tends to be a little small.




Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex




14889 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2795

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 2243222 22-May-2019 16:51
Send private message quote this post

she's probably a bit more than 2 m from the TV, but she has an armchair she could move up easily enough.

 
 
 
 


845 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 115

Trusted

  # 2243223 22-May-2019 16:54
Send private message quote this post

No downsides that I can see. We have 2 Tv’s and a projector connected to a 4x4 HDMI matrix , PC , ATV , Tivo, Bluetooth mouse & keyboard that works anywhere in the house.

1675 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 249


  # 2243224 22-May-2019 16:55
Send private message quote this post

iPad?
An inexpensive second hand laptop will do that job no problem. The hubby is watching cnn on ours hooked up like that right this minute.



14889 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2795

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 2243229 22-May-2019 17:16
Send private message quote this post

What's a good compact computer? Mac Mini? Intel nuc? Raspberry Pi 3? Rather not have a laptop lying around, something that can be hidden in back is good.

4449 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 685

Trusted

  # 2243257 22-May-2019 18:35
Send private message quote this post

I think a pi would be sufficient. Better if you can get windows 10 on it. It ubuntu desktop or lubuntu is pretty windows looking, and with chrome it’s ok. Then might be better dpi settings to play with in Ubuntu that’s windows also




Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


14 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 6


  # 2243330 22-May-2019 20:18
One person supports this post
Send private message quote this post

How about a chromebox? (The PC version of a chromebook)

 

Runs chrome OS, nice and fast on a cheap box. Obviously runs a chrome browser well and can run android apps for watching on demand TV etc.


 
 
 
 




14889 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2795

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 2243335 22-May-2019 20:25
Send private message quote this post

davidcole: I think a pi would be sufficient. Better if you can get windows 10 on it. It ubuntu desktop or lubuntu is pretty windows looking, and with chrome it’s ok. Then might be better dpi settings to play with in Ubuntu that’s windows also

 

I was surprised how well the R.Pi2 ran a Linux desktop. I wonder how the R.Pi3 would cope with the modern web, multiple tabs.

 

It's really cheap, slightly nasty as I often have little problems with my Pi's until I get them set up just right.

 

zezayer:

 

How about a chromebox? (The PC version of a chromebook)

 

Runs chrome OS, nice and fast on a cheap box. Obviously runs a chrome browser well and can run android apps for watching on demand TV etc.

 

 

I never even knew such a thing existed! Looks like $200 - $500 and could be just the ticket, if Mum is ok with web based storage. Nice tip, thanks :) Any particular make / model you like?


14 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 6


  # 2243336 22-May-2019 20:30
One person supports this post
Send private message quote this post

timmmay:

 

I never even knew such a thing existed! Looks like $200 - $500 and could be just the ticket, if Mum is ok with web based storage. Nice tip, thanks :) Any particular make / model you like?

 

 

Nope I'd just get something cheap, Chrome will run well on most hardware.

 

Worth a google to check the system you buy can run android apps, most will and I think they would be very useful on a living room system.


618 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 174


  # 2243390 23-May-2019 06:29
Send private message quote this post

If you've got a spare Pi hanging around you could try Chrome OS on it and see if it works for you/your mum: https://www.electromaker.io/tutorial/blog/getting-started-with-chromium-os-on-raspberry-pi

 

If you do go down the Chromebox route, I think the trick will be making sure you find one that handles video playback well. Which to be fair; that should be anything half modern these days.  Next time my mum says she's going out to buy a new PC, or starts complaining about the current one, I'm going to be pushing for her to go Chrome OS for the simplicity.


5133 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1435

Trusted
Microsoft

  # 2243391 23-May-2019 06:41
Send private message quote this post

Web browsing on the TV is hard because of the res

Is she using anything already?

Mad Scientist
20464 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2790

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 2243392 23-May-2019 06:46
Send private message quote this post

tv = no





Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


3834 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1059


  # 2243421 23-May-2019 09:14
Send private message quote this post

Batman:

 

tv = no

 

 

Even though this is quite a cryptic reply, if you're saying using a TV as a computer is a bad idea, I'd pretty much concur. In theory it sounds sensible, but in practice I don't enjoy it. To rephrase that - I hate it.

 

I had a Mac Mini, used primarily for running XBMC as it was in those days, connected permanently to our television. Even with a 60" screen and sitting around 2m away I struggled using it as a computer. There's a real sense of disconnect between user and screen (even something as simple as the amount of refocusing the eye needs to do between screen and keyboard); angles are often difficult to get right, as others have said it's difficult to get everything sized right (apps, text, mouse pointer)...

 

Some of those issues are present when using a computer in a meeting room - it's amazing how even the most fluent typist/competent computer user becomes ham-fisted in this situation.

 

If you really want to explore this option for your mother I really do suggest you find a way of trialling it before committing any serious money (e, ChromeOS on a Pi, as suggested above); and have her use it for a good period of time.

 

Or even go with a laptop as you'd originally planned - HDMI into the TV and set up with a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, at least then if she ends up finding the TV use frustrating she'd still have a device that can be used 'normally' (or, if she likes it, she can use it either way).

 

Re Chromebooks/boxes and storage - they do typically have micro SD card slots to expand storage; there have been serious restrictions as to how this can be put to use by the OS, but I understand these have been improving over time. If you do go with a Chromebox I also imagine content can also easily be accessed by just plugging in a USB drive.


3905 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1215


  # 2243445 23-May-2019 09:32
Send private message quote this post

To be Honest a Tablet is probably a better fit for her needs than running a desktop OS on a big screen, and then navigating around it( presumably with a mouse/trackpad) from a distance,,...

 

You could try a Pi and see how you go, but at that distance mousing can be a real PITA....


485 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 283


  # 2243447 23-May-2019 09:41
Send private message quote this post

I would advise against it. I have a Mac Mini under my TV that I used before the days of ATVs and Android TV set-top boxes. Now its basically a headless Plex Server and I only ever look at it through the TV when I need to install updates etc... Its frustrating exercise to use a TV in place of a regular laptop/tablet. 

 

For your use case a tablet is the best solution. Not tied to the TV so can be used in alternate rooms and purpose fit for this use case.


 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Dunedin selects Telensa to deliver smart street lighting for 15,000 LEDs
Posted 18-Jul-2019 10:21


Sprint announces a connected wallet card with built-in IoT support
Posted 18-Jul-2019 08:36


Educational tool developed at Otago makes international launch
Posted 17-Jul-2019 21:57


Symantec introduces cloud access security solution
Posted 17-Jul-2019 21:48


New Zealand government unveils new digital service to make business easier
Posted 16-Jul-2019 17:35


Scientists unveil image of quantum entanglement
Posted 13-Jul-2019 06:00


Hackers to be challenged at University of Waikato
Posted 12-Jul-2019 21:34


OPPO Reno Z now available in New Zealand
Posted 12-Jul-2019 21:28


Sony introduces WF-1000XM3 wireless headphones with noise cancellation
Posted 8-Jul-2019 16:56


Xero announces new smarter tools, push into the North American market
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:20


New report by Unisys shows New Zealanders want action by social platform companies and police to monitor social media sites
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:09


ASB adds Google Pay option to contactless payments
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:05


New Zealand PC Market declines on the back of high channel inventory, IDC reports
Posted 18-Jun-2019 17:35


Air New Zealand uses drones to inspect aircraft
Posted 17-Jun-2019 15:39


TCL Electronics launches its first-ever 8K TV
Posted 17-Jun-2019 15:18



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.