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I don't quite know why this product is available, perhaps I'm missing something. I thought I would be able to access programmes and films on the internet through my TV. Well I was wrong about that! The things you can view are extremely limited, BBCi was in theory available, as was Five. But that's it. Absolutely not worth buying.
works very well and easy to install. But content is disappointing - only youtube, bbc iplayer and demand five interesting. No ITV player. No 4OD. PC to TV function does not offer much possibilities either. Expensive for these limited content. May be worthwhile in the future if Sony negotiates some good packages and also allows internet surfing - not only video.
The Sony UWA-BR100 is a wireless local area network (LAN) adapter that allows your Wi-Fi accessible TVs and Blu-Ray players. In my case the BDP-S370. With this attached to your Sony product you can stream TV shows and films from websites such as LoveFilm and BBCs iPlayer, in most importantly, high definition.
It is a small device, the same size as a USB flash drive and fits into the USB slot on your Sony device. Coloured in the trademark Sony matt balck, ensuring it does not look out of place. It weighs virtually nothing at only 98g. Being wireless, the mess of cabling is avoided and it supports 802.11a,b,g & n standards for video streaming content.
Installation is a simple procedure due to the plug and play technology that is commonplace in almost all devices of this nature. You plug in and configure the your network. All of this is done on screen and you are guided through the process. Should you run into problems there is of course Sony's excellent troubleshooting guide online.
So then, HD internet content on your TV, great. However, there are one or two issues with the dongle and they are biggies. Firstly and perhaps most obviously is the price. At the moment it is £69.99 from Amazon.co.uk, which for what it does is a bit much. This is not exactly new technology either so no excuse there. You cannot purchase a different company adapter due to the way the devices have been built, it will only work with official Sony products. Or at least it should, which brings me on to problem 2, which is the most disturbing.
Prior to purchasing the device I did a lot of research into what picture quality is like and whay you can get. The one thing that struck me was the amount of people who were having problems with lost signal or in some cases not getting signal at all was astounding. For every person praising the device there was someone who could not get it to work. I have never seen a split such as this which leads me to question build quality. In the brief time I have had it there have been no problems, but it does leave me wondering.
Perhaps the biggest problem with this is the lack of competition. Earlier this year Samsung released the bdc-5500 which was supposed to have the ability to connect to lovefilm and iplayer. That had a significantly cheaper LAN adapter and the player itself costs less. Til now however, they have not been able to get the video content working. Perhaps if they did, Sony would have to reduce costs and become competitive.
The UWA-BR100 does what you need it to, however that cost is too much. Throw in the almost russian roulette approach to succesfuly connecting to your network and you do wonder whether you are better off waiting for reductions or Samsung getting their act together.
I recently bought a Sony Blu Ray BDP-S370 player with internet capabilities. I really bought the model to be able to access LoveFilm via the internet direct to my TV.
Today, i went out and on the spur of the moment bought this Wireless LAN. It wasn't cheap, it cost me almost £70.
Basically, you open the box and plug it directly into the player. You can also plug it in to a Sony TV if you have an internet enabled TV.
It operates via your broadband, so you have to have broadband.
Just plug the little gadget in your USB port on the TV or Blu Ray player. Make sure the unit is turned off when you plug it in, just as you would any USB you plugged into your computer - the principles are the same.
The setup instructions on the player take you through the setup. The instruction book for the Blu Ray and the Wireless LAN are a bit pants, to be honest. I did have to use a bit of common sense and guess work to get the right point. So that would be a criticism.
Some words of caution...
Now then, i use SKY for my broadband service. I have a Netgear rooter. This has caused me hours of problems this afternoon. The security setup for SKY broadband is apparently different to most others. Unfortunately Sky told me i would have to buy a Netgear dongle (which is what the wireless LAN is!) - this is utter nonsense. In fact, if i had bought a Netgear Dongle, it wouldn't work with the Sony player - so don't take notice of that.
I was also told i would have to upgrade my package to get the right connection. This is also rubbish.
The truth is that you do need a certain speed for the Dongle to work, but check. Mine is 8 - i have no idea what that means, but 8 is enough. Check with the Sony website to check what speed you need.
I contacted Sony Customer Services. They told me it was the security settings on my rooter, so i basically had to contact SKY and change my rooter security to WEP. Which the lovely Sky Tech man talked me through in about 3 minutes. Once i'd done this, everything worked brilliantly. Just be aware that if you have problems with setup, check your rooter's security setup.
In terms of service, you can access BBCi via your blu ray. There's also LoveFilm, Sony TV and a variety of other chanels you can watch direct.
I've just watched Love in the Time of Cholera, direct from LoveFilm for free - ideal. Just hit play and it streams live. The choice isn't endless in terms of films, however, it is increasing rapidly and i think before long there will be loads of options - certainly much cheaper than Sky Movie packages overall.
With iPlayer you can watch all the programmes available on repeat from the BBC - including repeats of Eastenders, Radio 1, CBeebies, BBC2, 3 &4. The BBCi Player is very neat and easy to navigate.
Now i have this, i would even consider giving up my Sky+, although i love my Sky+ box, so it may take a bit of time!
This is a gadget. If you're into technology, love the latest gadet, then this is it. I had our local electronic store contacting their support centre to find out what i'm talking about. I had Sky Tech support asking me what i was talking about, so this is new. Thankfully Sony Customer Services did know what i was on about and were able to help me solve my difficulties.
So basically, a handy little, smart gadget making internet based programmes available directly to your TV with no wires needed. Not cheap, but worth the investment if you like watching films and programmes on the BBC. I am very confident that this technology will grow rapidly and i suspect there will be loads more content available very soon.
Get more info...
The Lovefilm website actually has a really good explanation of how this all works, so head there. This facility isn't available on all TVs/Blu Rays, so check your model.
In the box...
The box comes with a rather useless instruction manual and an extension cable for the Dongle. The only other thing is the Dongle itself.