Thursday, February 9, 2017

REMAX RC-FC1 handphone/GPS/tablet holder mount stand with magnetic charging cable for car dash or table top

I have just purchased this REMAX RC-FC1 car dash or table top mount stand for handphone, GPS, tablet or other similar gadgets. Beside being a mount stand for the mobile device, it also comes with a magnetic charging mechanism to keep the battery of the mobile device charged.

I found this REMAX RC-FC1 to be very innovative and useful. Its non-slip silicone base can stay firm even on curved surface.

It is very flexible and fit for most mobile devices up to 10" size and not too thick after wearing their case. If the mobile device is too thick, then it might not be able to slot into the 2 holders, which consist of 4 legs each to be attached into the holes of the base.

The base consist of multiple holes to make it very flexible to configure the holder position for different size of mobile device, which you can make them closer for smaller device or for upright screen display, and to make them further apart to support for larger device in landscape display mode.

The magnetic charging cable consists of 2 charging connectors: micro-USB for most Android devices, and Lightning connector for iPhones. Therefore, this car holder is suitable for all mobile devices that use either one of these 2 charging connectors.

The cable is 24cm long, which might be too short to reach the USB port of large tablet in portrait position. It is designed to be magnetically attached to the charging base, so that you can lift your phone or device from the holder without worrying of dragging the whole thing, as the cable will be easily detached from the base if you pull it too far away from the base, to reach your ear, for example. This will ensure the base is still staying firmly on its place, and nothing will be dropped or harmed due to the pulling.

The charging mechanism is essential for your phone or other mobile device to keep its screen on (in "car mode", if possible) and not worrying about its battery being drained out.

Although its main use is for putting your mobile device on car dash, you can also use it to place your phone or tablet on your table top at home or office. In this way, you can make your phone or tablet to be your digital clock / calendar / photo frame, or any other creative display gadget.

You might be interested to watch the video below to know more about this product and its usage.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

My Garmin DriveSmart 50LM GPS navigator

I planned to replace my 8 years old Garmin Nuvi 255W (which is still working fine, but just old and a bit slow compared with the new models nowadays) with the new Garmin DriveAssist 50LM which is a 2-in-1 device combining GPS navigator with driving cam recorder.

However, the Garmin DriveAssist 50LM cannot be easily found in local market yet, and I'm unable to get its price detail. I ended up purchased the Garmin DriveSmart 50LM, which is similar to the DriveAssist but without the driving cam recorder function. The price for this AECO set is slightly below RM950 with some free gifts (screen protector, carry case and home USB charger).

This Garmin DriveSmart 50LM GPS navigator contains most of the functions in my Garmin Nuvi 2565LM, and with quite a number of functions not found in the Nuvi 2565LM.

The main improvement found is its ability to integrate and work with smartphones (Android and iPhone) via Bluetooth connection. Apart from the normal Bluetooth hands-free calling and address book function which is already available in Nuvi 2565LM, after installing the 2 apps: Foursquare and Garmin Smartphone Link in the smartphone, you will gain these functions in the DriveSmart 50LM:
  • Getting notification from smartphone and popup on the GPS screen, including new SMS, Whatsapp, calendar alert, etc. There is also an option for the GPS to read out the notification message for you.
  • Searching of POIs to encompass the numerous up-to-date Foursquare POIs.
  • Viewing Foursquare location information including user ratings, restaurant pricing information, operation hours, etc.
  • Sync of favourites and travel history with the phone.
  • Display of weather information and temperature provided by the phone.

There are also some small functions not found in the Nuvi 2565LM available, including the fatique warning which will remind you to take a rest after 2-3 hours of continuous driving.

The search function has also been improved and easier to use.

This DriveSmart 50LM comes with 4GB internal storage, which is large enough to accomodate many maps, JCVs and other data. There is no need to put in micro-SD card for additional storage, although the micro-SD slot is still there.

This AECO set comes with lifetime free MalFreeMaps and City Navigator Singapore/Malaysia NT map, updatable from Garmin's website.

Similar with the Nuvi 2565LM, software update of this DriveSmart 50LM can be done using Garmin Express installed in the computer.

After connecting the Garmin GPS to the computer with USB cable, the Garmin Express can be used to:
  • Register the product for warranty.
  • Perform software update.
  • Install additional language files.
  • Backup favourites to PC.
  • Transfer favourites among different Garmin navigators own by you.
However, there are still things I don't like about this DriveSmart 50LM, including:
  • It is using mini-USB cable (same as the one used by 255W) and not micro-USB cable (the one used by 2565LM). As most of the smartphones and tablets nowadays are using micro-USB (and the latest such as HTC 10 is already using the new USB type-C), this means mini-USB cable is rarely used. This means the GPS cannot share the same USB cable with your smartphone as the connector is different.
  • When connected with smartphone using Smartphone Link, it is able to display new Whatsapp notification, but not until the Whatsapp message detail. When tap to read, it will just read out the sender's detail, but not the message content.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

myFreeview digital TV by MYTV has come and end of analog TV in Malaysia by 2018

If you have a television at your home in Malaysia and you are watching the free analog TV programmes (TV1, TV2, TV3, NTV7, 8TV, 9TV, ...) without subscribing to Astro satelite TV or HyppTV broadband TV, you must be aware that there will be no more analog signal broadcasting to your television from 2018 onwards.

In other words, your television will be unable to show any channel and will be pretty useless by 2018, unless you perform either one or more of the following actions:

  • Get a MYTV digital terrestrial television (DTTV) decoder box (DVB-T2 receiver) to receive the myFreeview digital TV programmes using your existing UHF aerial and send the DTTV signal to your television via HTMI cable or other compatible signal cables.
  • Buy a new television with built in DTTV decoder, certified by MCMC. This kind of television is called integrated digital television (IDTV) and will have a SIRIM approved DTTV sticker on it, which looks like the logo below. You can connect it directly to your existing UHF aerial to watch the TV programmes.

  • Just forget about myFreeview and subscribe to alternatives such as Astro (including Astro NJOI) or HyppTV. 
  • Buy an Internet TV box such as HiMedia to stream TV programmes using the Internet.

The existing free channels (TV1, TV2, TV3, NTV7, 8TV, 9TV, ...) are still free in myFreeview DTTV service. In future, there might be additional payable channels.

Under this DTTV initiative, the Malaysia government is giving away free decoder box to 2 million eligible families. The free decoder will be sent to them via Poslaju service.

The eligibility criteria for the free MYTV decoder box is:
  • Must be registered BR1M beneficiary in 2016.
  • Fall within the B40 income group.
  • Address is within the initial DTTV broadcast coverage area.
In fact, you can click on this link to check for your eligibility to receive this free MYTV decoder box.

Another way of checking is by sending SMS to 15888 with the following content: "MYTV DEKODER ".

The benefits for you to use myFreeview include:
  • Continue to watch the free TV channels after 2017.
  • There will be more upcoming TV channels available.
  • Better quality of picture and audio in digital format. HDTV is possible.
  • Personal video recording functions using the MYTV decoder box sold in the market.
The benefits for the Malaysia government to switch over from analog to DTTV:
  • The 700Mhz band currently occupied by the analog TV broadcasting will be freed up in 2018. This band can be reallocated for mobile LTE (4G & 5G) services.
  • It is easier to track your TV watching behaviour and pattern using the digital box, perhaps for big data analysis.
The benefits for Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary in this initiative:
  • His company Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd got the 15-years contract to operate MYTV.

You might be interested to...

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