Round up #216: Miracast dongle, new NOOK

Round up #216: Miracast dongle, new NOOK

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later. 

There’s a new NOOK in town

You know when, sometimes, you see a commercial on TV for an upcoming episode, and you say to yourself, “That show’s still on?”

That’s sort of how I felt when I saw the news on the new NOOK model being introduced. :)

Oh, I know intellectually that NOOKs are still out there, that they have their fans, and that they are one of the big competitors for Amazon…certainly, on non-backlit EBRs (E-Book Readers).

It’s just…they’ve been a bit off my radar.

The new nook (I wish they’d make up their minds on capitalization) GlowLight is $119.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook/379003208

Anything really stand out?

Well, they’ve reportedly eliminated full screen flashing when you “turn pages”…that’s nice.

Here’s the

User’s Guide pdf

It does have 4GB of storage: that’s a lot, nowadays.

They also

compare it to the Paperwhite

It does have some advantages: if you don’t want an ad-supported EBR, it’s cheaper (if you don’t mind the ads, and many people like the Special Offers, it’s the same). It’s about an ounce lighter, and does hold a lot more books.

I have to say, though, I didn’t see a page with tech specs (specifications)…they don’t make it easy to see what file formats it will use, for example.

They also push that you can get “personalized recommendations”…that’s highlighted in the

press release

They say (in part):

“The enhanced shopping experience features a new “Now on NOOK” section right on the home screen, giving readers instant access to a curated list of content suggestions from Barnes & Noble booksellers. The new Shop also delivers an array of exclusive personalized lists “Picked Just For You,” which combine the expert knowledge of Barnes & Noble booksellers with rich book data to deliver unparalleled recommendations.

The new NOOK GlowLight also brings NOOK Channels™ to the shop experience, offering customers more ways to browse the more than 3 million titles from the world’s largest digital bookstore to expand their passions for the authors and subjects they love…”

Those are good things, and I know a very techie person who really liked a NOOK. It will be interesting to see how this does this holiday season. I think the zeitgeist may have changed from it being “normal and safe” to get something from Barnes & Noble to being “normal and safe” to get something from Amazon…and that getting something from B&N may be a risk, due to their possibly uncertain future.

Pop quiz: what is available from B&N in terms of NOOK hardware?

  • NOOK HD+ tablet starting at $149
  • NOOK HD tablet starting at $129
  • NOOK GlowLight at $119
  • Simple Touch at $79

I try a Miracast dongle for my Kindle Fire HDX

I’ve been trying to wait to see if Amazon introduces a TV solution (I think they will…within two weeks, is my guess), but when

Eight of our Kindles were stolen

this week, that meant we had no TV in one room (we only have two TVs…well, three, if you count an old one that literally serves as a stand for a newer one…yeah, we can be classy like that). ;) You see, I had been using my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB (well, the LTE model, but I never used the LTE) with the Live Media Player app.

Well, that last generation model had an HDMI out, which means I could run it through that TV with a cable.

My newer Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers doesn’t have an HDMI out: it’s designed to use wireless Miracast, which the TV doesn’t have.

I bought the MOCREO Airplay Miracast HDMI TV Dongle

for $32.19.

Does it work?

Sort of…

First, it has quite a short power cord on it, designed to plug into a USB port on the TV…which this TV (it’s a few years old, but is HD) doesn’t have. So, it took a bit of stringing things together to get power to it (it needs to be plugged into power to work, but a powered USB might run it).

Second, there were no instructions. It worked pretty easily, though: plug it into the HDMI port on the TV, and that was about it.

I had the TV set to receive HDMI in already. I just had to tell the Kindle Fire HDX to find it:

Settings – Display & Sounds – Display Mirroring

Really, it was easier than Bluetooth pairing.

However…

The sound and the video were out of sync…way out of sync. The sound on the TV was running at the same speed as on the Fire (I only heard it through the TV, the same way it would work if you had something plugged into the headphone jack).

When I watched a Prime video, the video was a couple of minutes behind!

It seemed like the more data intense it was, the more the lag. Angry Birds Star Wars was more like thirty seconds behind. The e-mail app? Less than ten.

I Maydayed it, and the rep could see that my wi-fi was somewhat erratic, and suggested that might be it.

That means I’ll try more testing. Maybe try it closer to the router, and I do have a different router I can try. I might also try it at work. If it works with a better signal, I could try a wi-fi extender (but I don’t think those are cheap…if anybody can recommend one, I’d appreciate it).

If that’s the only issue, then this is a good solution. If it’s not, it’s not. ;)

NPR: “Brick-And-Mortar Bookstores Play The Print Card Against Amazon”

In this

NPR article by Lynn Neary

the basic assertion is that Larry Kirshbaum recently left as the head of

Amazon Publishing

because many brick-and-mortar stores refused to carry books published by Amazon, making that an unsuccessful venture.

As I wrote about a year ago, that drives me crazy! I speak as a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager…you’re just shooting yourself in the foot doing that. I would love to see brick-and-mortar bookstores stick around, and I think some will…but not with that kind of move.

Get comps when you review on Amazon

In another good

NPR article

Lisa Chow writes about top Amazon reviewers getting lots of stuff for free.

I really didn’t know that!

I mean, you aren’t even really supposed to write about e-books if you were given them as compensation for writing a review. That’s not quite what is happening here, but I sure would like to know if a review is written by someone who was given that $500 item!

As a blogger, I’m required to reveal when I got a comp (free) copy of something if I review it (that doesn’t usually happen, by the way).

Does put an interesting spin on things…probably really motivates some people to write reviews that will get good responses. I guess that could be a good thing…

What do you think? Is the NOOK as relevant as it was a year ago? Do you mind that some Amazon reviewers get free things to review? Are brick-and-mortars hurting Amazon by not carrying its paperbooks? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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7 Responses to “Round up #216: Miracast dongle, new NOOK”

  1. D. Knight Says:

    Hi, Bufo,

    Please let us know if the better wi-fi fixes the dongle. I can’t tell you for sure what type of wi-fi extender to use – the advantage of a “compact” house is that you don’t need one :-) – but you probably should use the same brand as your router for best results.

    I bet the “comps” that were mentioned is the Vine program (where new products are given to people for reviews). Those reviews are clearly identified (and aren’t always positive). The only other thing that I know of is that top reviewers who include their email address in their profiles do get contacted by manufacturers for pretty much the same thing–free stuff in exchange for a review, but that isn’t controlled by Amazon. (I read a discussion of the latter in the Gold Box forum).

  2. Tom Semple Says:

    The new Nook seems a little disappointing. They have removed a couple of features that made it a popular alternative to Kindle: page turn buttons, and SD expansion. The 4GB seems generous, but it is partitioned and only 500MB is available for 3rd party content. The wifi is used for one thing only: store access. No wikipedia lookup, no browser, no services to deliver external content wirelessly (Kobo has ‘Pocket’, Kindle has Send To Kindle).

    They still have something of an advantage over Kobo in that they have stores for support, exchanges etc. Kobo has its ABA deal and has been in BestBuy but otherwise I would not want to order online as returns may be a hassle. Also Sony has bowed out of the US ereader market.

  3. Elaine Glogau Jordan Says:

    does the cheaper new kindle fire- the one for $169- 16 gb supposed to have miracast too? i just bought this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00904JILO/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to see if it will work with my galaxy 3 s and my tablet and it would be great if it worked with my fire

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Elaine!

      Unfortunately, the new Kindle Fire HD does not have Miracast…or an HDMI out. As far as I know, it can’t be mirrored to a TV (although I haven’t investigated the available apps enough to say that definitively).

  4. Round up #217: Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, Kindle First | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] wrote recently about getting an iPush device to try (for $32.19). It hasn’t been satisfactory, due to a […]

  5. A Miracast adapter that works with the Kindle Fire HDX | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] had tried another Miracast adapter (the iPush), and the sound and the video were terribly out of sync (the video might lag a couple […]

  6. A new NOOK…sort of | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] last wrote about a new NOOK back at […]

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