Skip to main content

Turn that old box into an Internet TV for less than $70...



So you've got an old TV or computer monitor with a VGA or DVI socket and it's looking pretty outdated because all the latest devices are HDMI only - including the cheap but amazingly great value Google Chromecast.

Well all is not lost! You can get a DVI-to-HDMI or a VGA-to-HDMI adapter and connect your TV or monitor to the adapter and then plug the Chromecast to the adapter. The adapter comes with audio sockets to take the HDMI audio and play it through the TV speakers. Really simple to put together and no software to set up.


Cost:
Chromecast:                        $35
VGA-to-HDMI Converter : $30 (or less on Amazon)

I have this setup on an old TV that was sitting in the garage. The picture quality is exceptional.


Popular posts from this blog

How to get the BBC iPlayer running when you live outside of the UK

(subtext: Get the World's most famous detective on your favourite browser)

The new series of Sherlock has started on the BBC. If you live outside of the UK and you are too impatient to wait for your local TV content provider to host it for you - then fear not !! These simple instructions will get you up and running. In addition to the iPlayer you can access most of the other UK TV channels using the same method. Note: you can use the same method to access content in other countries - such as Hulu in the U.S.

How it works:  In simple terms, the BBC iPlayer, like other players, perform a check to determine whether your internet access is originating from the UK.  So the trick is to ensure that your access to the BBC website will originate from the UK.



First you are going to use a free piece of open source software that was designed to keep your internet access anonymous. You will add a setting that will ensure that the software makes use of servers in the UK whenever making requests…

Watch the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player when outside of the UK on Ubuntu

This is a follow up to my post of a year ago. The instructions are simpler than last year's post. If you want instructions for the Mac go here.

I re-imaged an old laptop last year with Ubuntu (12.04 LTS).  If you've never tried Ubuntu before, head over to http://www.ubuntu.com/download  to try the latest version. The installation is straightforward and you can install it without affecting your Windows image (if that's what you're running). Not only is this fast (boots in seconds) it also has better support for a wider range of devices - specifically Wifi.

To run the BBC iPlayer on Ubuntu, do the following...

Step 1: Download tor from this site : https://www.torproject.org/.  The download button should detect your operating system. For Linux the direct link is here. Alternatively you can use the command line and enter sudo apt-get install tor.

Step 2: Unpack the tor tar.gz file. Open the folder that was extracted. On my machine it's called 'tor-browser_en_US'.…

Use a Beacon to check in guests and share Emergency info

I had to put together a simple demo that uses a beacon to check in a visitor and share Emergency information, such as Fire Exits in the building, with the user .
(Note: this isn't the best way to check in a guest - but this was the request).

Most beacon demos require some native coding - but this approach favours configuration over coding so that you can get a concept working quickly before spending time on a native app.

What you will need
1. A Google account
2. A Beacon - I used a beacon from Bluecats (https://bluecats.com/)
3. Any iOs device (OS 8+) or Android Device with Google Chrome installed

How it works
You will set up the Beacon set up to emit a static URL using the Eddystone protocol.
The URL will navigate the user to a Google Web Form. You can use any URL (your own website if you want) but it must be using HTTPS.

Any device with BLE support, with an appropriate receiving app, will pick up the URL.  But therein lies the problem ! Most guests will not have the native app and…