Have you recently bought a new TV? Finding it complex to set up? You are not alone.

I have just finished wrestling with the recording feature on my Mum’s new TV. It put up a fight but I emerged victorious. Thanks to Mr Google and my friends who were in my corner during the fight 🙂  It made me think though, I am a technology expert and trainer who gets frustrated if I can’t do something absolutely instantly! How would someone who was not comfortable with technology have coped with this set.

Modern TVs sometimes don’t come with a thick instruction manual written in garbled English. They normally just come with a page or two of “installation guide”.

So if you are setting one up here are some hints :

1) Tuning is the easy part, normally almost automatic

2) Most recent models have a recording feature so you may be able to do away with that pesky set top box.

3) If they require a USB drive, there may be size limits on the drive. Some TVs can’t cope with a drive over 2 TB and the one I had to deal with required a minimum of  40 GB.

4) Make sure the place you chose for the TV allows easy access to the port and somewhere to place the drive. It is a matter of luck in my case, as I didn’t realize I would need a large drive rather than a tiny “USB stick” at the time the wall bracket was put up. Not that many USB sticks would be big enough. I just happened to need my big one for something else and have an old spare external drive too small for a serious backup drive these days.

5) Be prepared to experiment with recording and playback. On this TV, you can’t see recorded files by browsing the USB Drive. You need to go into the Watch menu and select Recorded TV.

If you are having a fight with a TV or any other consumer technology at the moment and need a coach in your corner, let us know.

Photo of Cathy Ewald
This photo isn’t confidential and the person depicted is not under eighteen years old 🙂 As it is the author, I give myself consent to use it 🙂
However what if you were a new parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent and you wanted to share photos of the new arrival with your family only. How would you do it?
What if you are running a business, and you want to create a social media community that only paid subscribers can use?
Here are a couple of quick and easy ways to do this.
1) Closed or secret Facebook groups
You can create a group to which only an administrator can add new members. Your family or your clients can be the only members.
2) If the files are not large, the old – fashioned solutions of email and MMS (the multimedia version of SMS) could work
3) Post to Facebook but with tight security settings. When you do a Facebook post, you can make it public, or allow only friends of friends, or direct friends to see it.
4) Load to YouTube but keep the location private so that it can be seen only by those to whom you send the link
5) Create a cloud storage account e.g Drive, Dropbox. Files on that account will only be accessible to those to who can either directly access your devices, or to whom you give the password or a link to to a specific file or folder.
None of these methods are guaranteed to be 100% secure. If you need to share extremely confidential data such as client medical records, then contact an Information technology professional for advice on a more secure solution. A military grade solution such as encryption may be required in such cases. However, if you just want to control who sees your family holiday snaps or hold a private discussion with your clients, the tips shown here may be what you need.
Final tip : if you take photos of anyone in a business context, get their consent to use them.

For me Christmas is a holy time so I’m not going to shy away from saying so. However, I don’t wish to offend or exclude anyone. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoy the summer and holiday season in whatever way you want to do so. I am going to be available throughout the break except Christmas day but may take longer to respond than usual. I have not “skipped the country” and I will not ignore you! The best way to contact me is on Facebook or email but I will also check phone messages. 2014-11-21 11.29.04

Announcing that my copies of Insiders Know How, packed with tips on starting and running a business, have arrived. Will be for sale at $40 each, plus postage and handling. Numbers are very limited so drop me a line if you are interested.Insiders Know How book N

Phones on saleWhat should I ask?

Explain how I would seek service if required. If my device has be sent away, where to and how long is it likely to take?

Why is it important?
The written warranty doesn’t give you a feel for how long you might be without your device if it needs service. Even if the company has a service centre in your city, it still might have to go elsewhere. If it’s essential for your business, you need to be back on deck quickly. If you do buy something with this type of arrangement, make sure you have a “Plan B” such as keeping an old device as emergency backup.

The Nightmare Test
Finally, verify the sales staff or manufacturer’s claims. A simple way to do this is Google the product name and the terms nightmare then problem. This will uncover cases where service didn’t go smoothly, especially if the incidents were numerous or widespread.

Here are some useful time saving tips – to which I contributed.



If you want to know more, we are holding a smartphone tips seminar on 14 May. See www.electroniclighthouse.com.au/Events for more.

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