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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

 

 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Drift Ghost X

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

 
« Fun with Forgotten Audio Formats - DCC & Elcaset | Main | Mini F9 Sport Helmet Camera »
Sunday
Apr272014

Chromecast - Is the convenience worth the effort?

I've mixed feelings about the Chromecast. The hour or so I spent strugging to set it up meant that we didn't get off to the best start...but once it was up and running it might have done just enough to redeem itself.

I'm not convinced it's suitable for stacking high and selling to the masses through a high-street electrical store...it doesn't feel quite ready for prime time yet, but at only £30 you might find it adds just enough functionaility to that aging bedroom TV to make it worth the effort.

Here's the handy Router Compatibility page on the UK Chromecast site.

You can buy these in high street stores like Currys and also direct from Google..but if you prefer Amazon, here's the UK link

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Reader Comments (21)

Hi Mat

Thanks for reviewing the Chromecast. I bought one nofthese two weeks ago from Amazon.co.uk, priced at £30, with free next day delivery.

I am very pleased with it. It arrived at 10.05am, and by 10.15am, it was unwrapped, plugged in, configured, updated and running. It was so easy - but then I am not an Apple fanboy, with no Apple products, so I didn't expect the setup to be hard.

My TV is 3 years old, and is a model before the advent of 'Smart TV's' though it is a Samsung, just a bit smaller than yours.

I bought this because although we have a TV, it isn't plugged in to an aerial - we don't have Sky, or Virgin, nor do we ever watch live TV, so this was bought purely to watch Netflix, YouTube movies or BBC Iplayer stuff, either streamed or downloaded.

The Android Chromecast app loaded onto my Tesco Hudl very easily, and away I went. So far, I've had no issues with anything that I wanted to cast, though I have yet to try casting pictures or vids saved to the SD card in the Hudl - I've been told this is all possible, and there are plenty of free apps available to help too.

Although both Channel 4 and Channel 5 have said they do not intend to allow streaming from their sites through the Chromecast, most of the tech press that I have read believe that they will eventually follow the BBC to allow it. Currently though you CAN indirectly stream their output by 'casting' the stream from their website, rather than through an app.

Oh, and as well as paying £30 for this gadget, I also got £4.99 credit on my Google App Store account! RESULT.


Keep up the good review work Mat.

April 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterquaser

About what I found, also if you want CEC you have to use the external power supply, as if the TV is off it can't supply power to the chromecast so the chromecast can't turn it on.

April 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

A more suitable option that allows just as much functionality with a stand-alone functionality would be something like an MK809iv. It's about $75, but it's a full Android 4.4.2 system. It allows for peripherals, web surfing, media streaming, and a lot of other things that this kind of device wouldn't really work with. Have you thought of getting something like that?

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSean

I've got a house full of media players - but this video was put together just to demonstrate the Chromecast and it's features.

April 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

My PS3 allows me to watch netflix, youtube, bbc iplayer and so on, so I can't see me needing one of these.
Might be useful for a spare TV that wan't hooked up to the PS3 though

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter I

It's not bad and cheaper but it does not beat Apple TV...

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteraviva

Hi Matt, I have basically the same av amp and panasonic tv,use the optical out on your tv and tell the amp to use optical in for your 5.1 on an input,works great on my setup

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBigsyd

Yes it works fine for me too...but I try to cover any potential issues whenever I review a product.

April 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Can it be used as a dashcam?

Wait, wrong product.

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Can you take it with you to a hotel while traveling or is it not meant to be that mobile?

And can anyone recommend any that would? Television offerings at these places are nothing short of criminal.

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCapt Nemo

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