Friday, June 28, 2013

WINNER! - GIVEAWAY and a bonus techo review

UPDATE:  WINNERS NOTIFIED BELOW IN COMMENTS! 
ARE YOU ONE?



I watch a lot of TV.  Probably more than I should, so how come I still miss some shows I’d really like to see?  Why don’t you record? I hear you say (OK I can’t hear you say that, but somebody is saying it in my head).  Well, that would be because we moved the video recorder downstairs to the kids' TV that doesn’t connect to any TV channels (not that I could ever get the timer right when I set the recorder).

One day we might have a big, smart TV that has TiVo or iQ or whatever those magic boxes are that record whole seasons without you having to stumble around with the program five minutes before you’re rushing out the door. But for the next couple of years I will have to catch up with my favourite programs on the internet.  Unfortunately my laptop is the smallest MacBook Air you can get, great for carrying in my handbag but not great for watching TV on.  Particularly when you’re as short sighted as me.

That’s why I was very interested in Belkin’s Screencast TV Adapter, a tiny little black box that turns your normal TV into a giant computer screen.  This is how Belkin describes the Screencast:

“The main purpose of the Belkin ScreenCast TV is to make it easy to throw content up on your TV (or other big-screen device), without having to fiddle with cables or excessive configuration settings on your laptop. In its most basic form, the Belkin ScreenCast TV duplicates your laptop screen exactly…”

When I talked to the Belkin guys at the Digital Parents Conference in March, I wondered whether this smooth looking device would stump me technically, just like the old VCR did for many decades.  But they assured me it was as simple as clicking on the icon on my laptop.

So when it arrived (along with the ScreenCast AV4 device which I'll be reviewing at a later date) on my doorstep, I wasn’t nervous at all and wanted to get right into connecting it up.  This of course required every other human being to leave the lounge room and not tell me how to do it or get in the way when I go off my head because I can’t do it.

It wasn’t that bad.  Besides the fact that I spent way too long trying to work why it wasn’t turning on.  Where there should be a thin, blue light going around the front of the box, all I could see was a very small red light at the back. I thought I was switching it on (does anyone else get confused with whether | is on or O is?), but actually I couldn’t see the soft, blue light because the sun was shining through our lounge room (which also makes our TV impossible to watch during the day any further away than a couple of feet).

After an embarrassingly amount of time, and some research on the Belkin site (which made me aware it would not work on my MacBook because it had to use Intel’s WiDi software and Apple doesn’t use Intel, does it?), I pinched my husband’s Intel friendly laptop, which I ensured had the latest version of Intel’s WiDi software installed (you can check if you already have it or install it from here). Once that was showing up on the desktop it was as simple as clicking on the icon and then tuning the TV into the HDMI port the device was plugged into.  And there it was, my computer was up there on the telly as clear as day.

I yelled to a tense audience downstairs that I had, in fact, done it!  I had achieved a technical milestone.  I could now show all those old iTunes music clips from my teenage years to the kids on the big screen.  My husband and son could watch live streaming soccer. My daughter could watch those awful US teenage sitcoms.  And more importantly, I can catch up on more of this


If you happen to buy the Belkin’s Screencast TV Adapter (available at most electrical retailers for around $149) you may want to read up on a few tips on the PC World site here.

Now for my next technical challenge, the ScreenCast AV4 which will make any HDMI device in the house wireless!

GIVEAWAY!  I've got four classy looking iPad Mini covers to give away from Belkin, valued at $19.95.

All you need to do to win one is 'Like' Belkin's Facebook page here, 'Like' Birdy Num Num's page then comment below on what Belkin product you think would benefit your life the most (and if you don't already, and follow @beccibird). Giveaway ends 9pm 21st July 2013 and is open to Australian residents only.
To found out more about Belkin's products, go here.

Disclaimer:  *All my opinions are my own and I did not receive payment for this review, but I did receive the devices from Belkin to review and keep.*

**Joining With Some Grace FYBF**

31 comments:

  1. Hello there I could use the TV caster... but we're Mac people here too. I really should get a TIVO- it's just silly. I love my Belkin charger by the way and what I need most at the moment is an armband to put my iPhone in when I'm walking/jogging/stumbling!

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations Seana! You were randomly picked to win the Belkin iPad Mini Cover - check your email for details. :)

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  2. The Wemo Baby would be very handy we have a 17 week old baby girl and the baby monitor I have is awful you can't have anything onto charge through the night as it interfere's with the monitor and it keeps me awake

    saekae@bigpond.net.au

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations kaz23z, you have won the second Belkin iPad Mini Cover! Please check your email and reply with your address you would like your prize sent to. :)

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    2. Thank you :-) I've replied to your email.

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  3. This is fabulous thank you.

    The Tablet Stand with Smart Stylus for iPad/ Tablet would be invaluable in the kitchen. I do tend to get 'food stuffs' all over everything.

    I like everybody!!

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  4. I could do withthe anti-smudge screen protector for the I Phone 4. My 3 yr-old loves putting her grubby little hands on my phone so this would help protect it :)

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations MichVee, you have won a Belkin iPad Mini Cover! Please check your email and reply with your address you would like your prize sent to :)

      Delete
  5. I could definitely use the in-car charger for my phone, the amount of times I see the red battery flashing and I am still far from home, I get a little freaked out!
    narellerock@yahoo.com.au
    follow on Twitter @narellerock and FB

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  6. anti-smudge screen protect (for iphone/ipad the whole lot!!) Kids and screens shouldn't mix...

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  7. Belkin Portable Keyboard Case for iPad mini would be very beneficial to me. I am hopeless at touch-typing and I dare not to comment on blogs or facebook on ipad because when I type 'hello', it becomes 'hell no'. I need to feel the keys in order to type it, and Portable Keyboard Case is just what I need to solve the biggest problem in my 'virtual' life.

    Thank you!

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  8. Awesome! Any excuse to watch your favourite 80's music clips and "Whose Line Is It Anyway" (We love, love, LOVE that show!)

    P.S Are you coming to DP Drinks on the 27th ???

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  9. The wireless router is what my family love , with 2 teens , 1 pre teen & a mum who's addicted to facebook . Having all our ipads/ipods , laptops all wirelessly connected is what keeps our family sane .

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations TracyA, you have won a Belkin iPad Mini Cover! Please check your email and reply with your address you would like your prize sent to :)

      Delete
  10. Our family favourite would be the wireless router , keeping 2 teens , a preteen , a 5 yr old & mummy all connected is what keeps our family sane .

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  11. The Belkin table stand with storage would be the ideal product for our restaurant. You can sit it anywhere without taking up too much space and I can store my pens, paper etc. there without worrying about it going missing again!

    taing8@hotmail.com

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  13. The Belkin car charger would be handy for charging my phone/iPod on the go to prevent being stuck out and about with a flat battery again and again!

    kelster.ryan83@gmail.com

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  14. The LEGO® Builder Case for iPhone. Any mother of a 4 year old boy would know just how much their life would benefit from having this in their purse!

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  15. Definitely the Belkin Portable Keyboard Case for iPad mini as I have fat fingers and typing is like smidging letters together so people think I am "drunk". This would mean I can twitter, facebok, instagam and pin with ease!

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  16. This ipad mini case because I finally got my hands on an Apple product and unlike the apples we get from the supermarket, I don't want this one to end up bruised, dented, scratched or dropped on the floor!

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  17. For us the Belkin car charger, living where mobile coverage is poor our phone battery is always going flat( especially when you most need it) as it's constantly searching for a signal!
    I really enjoyed going through the Belkin catalogue, will go back to spend more time looking !

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  18. anti-smudge screen protector would be great

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  19. Car charger would be fantastic..hubby and i love to travel and stay connected to family while we do!

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  20. I love the FastFit Keyboard for the ipad Mini. I use my iPad ALL the time, having the ability to type faster would improve things dramatically. http://www.belkin.com/au/F5L153-Belkin/p/P-F5L153

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  21. http://www.belkin.com/au/F5L153-Belkin/p/P-F5L153 I love the fastfit keyboard for the ipad mini. It would improve my typing speed dramatically.

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  22. The Belkin car charger would be best for me. I work in Aged Care/HACC and my phone is always going flat!

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  23. wireless router busy household of 5 so internet is a sharing is caring policy in this household.

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  24. household of five a wireless router would keep the piece,
    internet is a sharing caring policy in this house

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  25. The Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender would be awesome! My iPad mini seems to have poor wifi strength, it drives me batty at times!

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  26. iPad mini case would be great.

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I love your comments. Keep 'em comin'! [All comments are moderated but all opinions are welcome.]