Lawrence Stansberry

Lawrence Stansberry studied film production at San Jose State University. He loves movies and enjoys studying technology. Outside of those interest, Lawrence likes to travel and eat great food made with a lot of love.

Sony BDP-S3500 Review!!

Sony BDP-S3500 Review

Sony_BDP_S3500_yutbeThis is the WaysToWatch.com Sony BDP-S3500 Blu-ray Player review. The BDP-S3500 is a simple, straight forward Blu-ray player with the ability to stream movies. It doesn’t play 3D Blu-ray disc nor does it upscale to 4K. The BDP-S3500 has an HDMI jack, a digital audio jack and an ethernet connection. And on the front there is one USB port. The USB port can be used for a thumb drive or a Playstation controller. The small and simple design of the BDP-S3500 will blend in with any audio visual layout. Once you get past the setup process, the User Interface of the BDP-S3500 is super easy to navigate. On your home screen you can add all of the common apps you use regularly.

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S3500 Remote

The remote is the cheapest part of this experience, but it gets the job done. The remote is made of plastic, is lightweight and will fit nicely in small hands.

Sony TV Side View App

Sony’s TV Side View App is a remote app that is available on both Android and iOS devices. While I used the app I had a few issues inputting text, but this app normally works really well.

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S3500 Performance

When I reviewed the BDP-S6500 it was clear that Sony blu-ray players do not play PS3 games well. So, skip this device when it comes to gaming. But when it comes to playing blu-ray disc, it loads blu-ray really fast. Every time I choose to watch a movie on Blu-ray versus streaming it, I am reminded of the much higher quality that comes with Blu-ray disc.

Sony BDP-S3500 Streaming Apps

With over 80 options, every major streaming service is available on the BDP-S3500, but while trying Netflix it felt slow and sluggish.

Overall, the Sony BDP-S3500 is really for the budget shopper. If you can afford to spend an extra $30, I suggest buying the faster, more feature rich Sony BDP-S6500. The faster performance alone is worth the money.

If you choose to buy the Sony BDP-S3500, it will serve the purpose of a consistent Blu-ray player.

Thanks for watching this review of the Sony Bdp-s3500 Blu-ray player.

Sony HT-XT1 Review!!

Sony HT-XT1 Review

Sony_HT_XT1_Review_youtbhttps://youtu.be/AdN9BNacUd4This is my review of the Sony HT-XT1 2.1 Home Theater System. It has been a while since my last sound bar review. When I picked this up I did not expect much. Sound bars are are often the lukewarm of home audio, being better than just tv audio but not full surround sound. In the box an Optical Digital Cable is included, a remote, batteries and the sound bar.

Sony HT-XT1 Design

The Sony HT-XT1 2.1 has a slim profile with a clear soft light display behind the speaker grill. The look and feel of this sound bar will fit well with any television. The controls for the Sony HT-XT1 have a touch interface, which is a nice touch. So far, I am impressed.

In the rear of the Sony HT-XT1 there is a Digital Audio In, Analog In, 3 HDMI IN ports, and one HDMI out.

Sony HT-XT1 Remote

The remote is slim and well designed. It controls Input, Volume, Sound Field, which gives ideal settings for things like movies and games. There are hidden buttons within the remote. The hidden buttons enable you to fine tune the HT-XT1. There is a night button which basically minimizes the bass so that it doesn’t disturb people in other rooms. Sony also provides the Songpal app for control from your mobile device.

This sound bar has bluetooth. Bluetooth wireless connectivity works well allowing for audio play back from your phone or tablet.

Sound Quality exceeded my expectation. There are numerous preset sound profiles for when you are watching sports or movies. You can also adjust bass, treble and sync.

Bass performance is usually where sound bars completely loose me, but the built in subwoofer performs really well, delivering, warm engrossing audio.

The Sony ht-xt1 2.1 channel soundbar with built-in subwoofer is a great sound bar that will significantly improve the audio from your television. It is ideal for apartment dwellers and compliments televisions in smaller rooms.

This has been the WaysToWatch.com review of the Sony HT-XT1 Home Theater.

Chromecast 1 vs 2

Chromecast 1 vs 2

youtube_chr1vs2This is the WaysToWatch.com Chromecast 1 vs 2 review. The original Chromecast was a new approach to streaming movies and tv shows. It was small and easy to install. And it quickly gained nearly 20% of the streaming market. Google announced the new Chromecast in September. A new year, a new model, and hopefully significant improvements.

Chromecast, What’s The Same

The new Chromecast 2 largely works the same way as the original Chromecast. They both connect with HDMI, wi-fi and USB for power. Apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now have the option to stream through Chromecast. Any laptop with the Chrome web browser can mirror its screen on your television. Both play simple games. And the price has not changed. The new Chromecast is $35 as well.

New Chromecast, What’s Different?

So, what is different? The design is different. The HDMI connector magnetically attaches to the main circular body. The new Chromecast comes in 3 different colors; red, yellow and black. Why different colors? Once I plug this device into the back of my television I will rarely look at it, if ever. So, is Google just trying to put an old device in a new package?

The only significant difference is the speed of the wireless connection. The new Chromecast has 802.11 ac wifi. Let’s see if it is noticeably faster?

Wow, this is noticeably faster.

So, who should buy the new Chromecast 2? This is not a device you should get to replace your original Chromecast. If you have a 4k TV, you can skip the new Chromecast as a streaming device, because it doesn’t support 4k. If you have an additional tv to which you would like to add a second or third chromecast, the new chromecast with its affordable price of $35, is a great choice for anyone with an HD tv or a current chromecast owner who needs a new one for a second or third tv.

Only people who need a second Chromecast for a second television should buy the new Chromecast. The technical specs aren’t significantly better and it doesn’t support 4k, so there isn’t much there to justify an upgrade. At a price of $35, this is an affordable way to stream to your HDTV.

Thanks for watching my quick comparison of the original Chromecast to the new Chromecast. Or as some would say it 1st gen vs 2nd gen.

Roku 4 Review

Roku 4 Review

Roku is a private company that only makes streaming devices. How does that affect the product they produce? Apple, Google and Amazon all have streaming devices that are secondary products in larger ecosystems. Roku has 25% of the streaming market. It is rare when a small company has a such strong foothold in a major electronics category. Is it because this David is the best in a field of Goliaths?

Roku 4 Design and Connections

The 4th Roku has a flat and wide design, with HDMI , ethernet, micro sd , and optical audio.

Roku 4 Remote

Even though the remote is made of plastic, it still feels solid in my hand. It has a d-pad, with voice search and four buttons for direct access to apps. As well a, b buttons for playing games. The feature of the remote that I like most is …(show pressing the button and then hearing the locator chime). I have wasted so much time looking for my apple tv remote. This is such a simple feature, but it adds so much to the experience. Another simple but nice feature is the headphone jack on the remote. This is great, the audio sounds good and you still get the benefit of the full size television as oppose to your phone or tablet.

Roku 4 Remote App

The Roku remote app is full featured and offers away to input text, a must have. A feature missing in the 2015 Apple TV.

Roku 4 Performance

Even though the Roku 4 has the lowest processing power of this year’s generation of streaming devices, the performance while watching television is fine. 4k performance looks good, when it is not limited by a fluctuating Internet connection. Yes, you can get games on the Roku 4, but skip this device for gaming. And you can use the micro SD slot to expand upon the internal 32 GB of storage.

Roku 4 Voice Search

You can search for movies and tv shows across multiple services. It will show you options with the associated price. You can choose to follow a particular movie and you will be notified when the price drops. With the Roku 4’s voice search your need to be specific and not conversational like you’d be with Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. But I don’t care about having a conversation with my streaming box. The Roku 4’s voice search works well enough.

Roku 4 Streaming Channels

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Vudu are all here for streaming. For those of us who own a 4k TV, the Ruku 4 includes an app to help you locate 4k movies and TV shows. This is really helpful.

Roku 4 User Interface

The user interface is simple and easy to navigate. One thing that I was surprised to find was that the layout for Amazon Prime Video is better on the Roku 4 than the layout on the Amazon Fire TV.

Roku 4 Review

With simple but really helpful features like the lost remote finder, the 4K video locator app, and the headphone jack on the remote, it shows that their are advantages to being a company that only focuses on making one type of device. Not including the Nvidia Shield, which I consider to be more of a gaming device, the Roku 4 is the best new streaming box of 2015. At the time of this review, I’d recommend the Roku 4 over the 2015 models of the Amazon Fire TV and the Apple TV.
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Apple TV Review 2015

Apple TV Review

Apple TV Review 2015This is the Apple TV Review 2015 from WaysToWatch.com. It has been rumored for years that Apple was developing a product that would revolutionize how we experience television. And what I expected most was for this product to free me from cable companies. Does the new Apple TV live up to the years of built up expectation? In terms of design the Apple TV is simple and doesn’t distract. The remote looks and feels amazing. It is has six buttons a touch surface. With this remote Apple seems to have gotten more complex instead of sticking with its characteristic simplicity. You can call up Siri, adjust volume, and control games. Even though the touch surface is a main selling point. It did not do it for me. Sure it’s better, but not by much.

Apple TV Review Tech

Oddly the iphone remote app is not compatible with the new Apple TV. So, you have no convenient way to enter text. When it comes to performance the Apple TV has an A8 64-bit chip. Everything about the Apple TV is snappy and responsive. Games look amazing. This is the bet gaming performance you can get out side of the playstation and xbox. It lacks 4k support, but there still isn’t a lot of 4k content so at this point you probably won’t miss it much. The connections will have you covered with HDMI 1.4 and Ethernet. Siri can be a mixed experience on the iPhone. But when Siri has to only answer questions that pertain to movies and tv shows it performs consistently.

Apple TV Streaming Channels

Apple TV has most of the services you will want. Netflix, Hulu and, of course, iTunes are all here. A significant number of my digital movies are through VUDU, so it is disappointing to see that there is no VUDU app. It is odd that there are apps from VUDU and Amazon Video on the iPhone but not on the Apple TV. Even though the potential of TV-OS is promising, you still need to have a cable subscription to access the shows and movies you normally watch. Specifically, there is no way for you to watch NBC, Fox, ABC, ESPN or AMC for the Walking dead without a subscription. But say you choose to only go with apps that require a monthly subscription. Here is short list that most of us would consider. HBO Now ( for game of thrones) $14.99 , Showtime $11, CBS All Access $6, Netflix (house of cards) $8.99, and let’s add HULU for access to from FOX, NBC and ABC. That’ll cost $11.99. and through the league passes for the NBA($30/month) and MLB($19) that will cost you $101.99/month. If you can skip sports and premium channels and just go with HULU. $11.99 a month is not bad. Any benefits in cost evaporate once you try to add sports. What can I say, the User Interface is second to none. It looks absolutely amazing. It is new and fresh and the parallax posters are a nice touch. This easily beats any UI from the competition. Overall it is really easy to find what I want. For $149 streaming box, the Apple TV offers the best experience when compared to chromecast or Amazon Fire TV. When compared to cable companies, it was disappointing to realize that you don’t actually save much money. Its hard to gauge whether the Apple TV is a great product or if its just the best streaming box amongst a set of mediocre streaming boxes. But the Apple TV has far more potential when compared to the competition. When more apps are created specifically for the Apple TV, apps that are truly interactive, then we will get something that more closely resembles the revolutionary product we’ve been waiting for. This has been the WaysToWatch.com review of the 2015 Apple TV. Be sure to subscribe to get the best Ways To Watch movies and tv at home. This is Lawrence for WaysToWatch.com. I’ll see you soon. You can re-watch this video at our Youtube channel!

Jurassic World Limited Edition Blu-ray Gift Set Unboxing

Jurassic World Limited Edition Blu-ray Unboxing

Jurassic_World_Unboxing_520x300This is the Ways To watch.com unboxing of the Jurassic World Limited Edition 3D Blu-ray Gift set. This is an enjoyable movie, it brought me back to when I saw the first movie as a kid. I knew would be a big movie, but I did not think it will be the biggest movie of the summer. Here is the Ultra Violet and iTunes sticker. Here is the Jurassic World Logo Limited Edition Blu-ray 3D Gift Set. It has Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and a Digital HD and the obvious 2 Collectible Dinosaurs. It shows everything that comes in the set. A scene from the movie. And suggest that the dinosaurs can be used as book ends. Blu-ray Exclusives and additional Features and more screen shots.

Jurassic World iTunes and Ultraviolet

And I appreciate that you can get both Ultra Violet and iTunes for this digital copy. This great because your digital copy won’t be limited to one platform. On the back their is a scary close up of the Indominus Rex. The rest of the box is all black. Getting it out of the box requires a bit of care. The first thing out of the box is the disc case and the certificate of authenticity. The case feels really solid. The Indominus Rex and T. Rex have some weight. I guess that they need to have weight if they are going to be used as book ends. Now let’s take a look at the blu-ray case. It has the Jurassic World logo. The backing reiterates what comes with this disc set. I don’t know if you can see this, but this can fold out to act as a stand. Here is the digital copy info with more promotional material. Now the case here is metal. It’s a nice touch. It looks like each disc has its own sleeve. With the Indominus getting ready to have a snack. here is the 3d disc. The blu-ray sleeve has Chris Pratt with the pack of velociraptors. here is the blu-ray disc. It has the same backing on the sleeve. And lastly the DVD. It has the opening shot of the Indominus Rex hatching. The DVD has a red covering. The tin case is a nice touch. The Jurassic world logo is embossed. Now to the main event. Here we have Indominus Rex and the T. Rex. The skin has a good level of detail. Look at this detail in the skin and eyes. These are good models. You can put them into interesting poses. Here is a close up of the back of the Indominus. On the base they both have a JW imprint. This has been the WaysToWatch.com unboxing of the Jurassic World Limited Edition Blu-ray Gift Set.

Amazon Fire Tablet Review 2015 – Amazon’s Gateway Drug!!

Amazon Fire Tablet Review

With almost any Amazon product you’ll need to have a Prime membership to get the most out of it. The new Fire Tablet is powered by 1.3 GHZ quad-core processor. The Amazon Fire has a headphone jack, volume control, micro USB port for charging, and the power button.

Amazon Fire Tablet Screen

The 7 inch screen has a resolution of 1024 by 600. That’s less than 720p, so it is less than the lowest standard of high definition.

Amazon Fire Tablet Storage

The Fire tablet has 8 GB of internal storage. The Fire operating system uses about 30% of that storage.
You can take advantage of Amazon’s free unlimited cloud storage, for videos and photos taken with the Fire Tablet. Use a microSD card to add up to 128 GB of additional storage.
The battery is listed to last up to 7 hours on a single charge.

Amazon Fire Tablet Cameras

The rear camera shoots 720p HD video and takes 2 megapixel pictures. The camera can take High Dynamic Range photos, Panoramics and lenticular images. Here are a few samples. The front camera is a VGA camera that maybe good enough for skype calls. With the Fire Tablet you can access millions of movies, songs, books, and apps from Amazon. My first downloads were Netflix, Youtube and a few games.
Videos from Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Prime work well, but the poor screen resolution shows when watching video. In regards to books, there is no question that Amazon offers the best featured book reading app. A new feature is Word Runner. Word Runner allows you to adjust the rate words displayed as you read a book.

Amazon Fire Tablet Silk Browser

The Silk browser for surfing the web works fine, but can feel a bit slow. The Amazon app store offers over a hundred thousand games for the Fire tablet. And even though the games are not graphically intense they are entertaining.

Amazon Fire Tablet Performance

Overall the performance is a little bumpy, but the limited speed is acceptable. The the User Interface of the Fire tablet is simple and easy to navigate. But information is laid out differently from app to app which takes some getting use to. In a world ruled by the platforms of Apple and Google the Fire TV tablet is the ultimate gateway drug. This is a device, that if you break it, you won’t care. If your kids uses it, you will be far less apprehensive about them possibly breaking it. It is really a secret plan by Amazon for kids to get hooked on there products and services, so that when they are adults and can tell the difference between a cheap and premium device.

Amazon Fire Tablet Supported Files

Here are the file formats supported by the Amazon Fire Tablet:
Kindle (AZW), KF8, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, PCM/WAVE, OGG, WAV, M4V, MP4, AAC LC/LTP, HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2, MKV, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, HTML5, CSS3, 3GP, VP8 (WEBM)
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2015 Chromecast Review

Chromecast Review

Amongst the current generation of streaming devices, Chromecast is unique in it’s approach in that it requires a device with significant computing power and it is unique with its price, costing only $35. That price is the lowest of any streaming device from any major manufacture. How much can you expect from such an affordable device? The new design of the Chromecast is simple and compact. According to Google, the circular design incorporates a stronger antenna enabling better wifi performance. On the device it has an HDMI plug and a micro usb connect for power. It connects using Wifi up to 802.11 ac. The big selling point of the Chromecast is that you can use of the computing power in your phone, laptop, tablet or computer to watch video and play games through this small device. Whichever device you use, hands the stream over to the chromecast so that you can see it on your television. All of the major streaming services have the Chromecast feature in their apps.

Chromecast on iOS

Even the apps on iOS have this option. The chrome cast will not win any awards for its gaming performance. Most of the games I came across remind of games from old school arcades. Chromecast features screen mirroring from the Chrome browser on your laptop or phone. Google says that the Chromecast maxes out at 1080p. When I tested the performance of the Chromecast I did not see anything above 720p. Now this may be limited to my test but I found the image quality to significantly be lacking. 720p looks especially bad on this 4k television. Unlike the 2015 Amazon Fire TV and the Roku 4, the 2015 chrome cast does not offer 4k video. So, if you have a 4k television the Chromecast is not a good option for you. For $35, the chrome cast is versatile and allows for you to connect every mobile screen you have to your television. I find myself being willing to overlook the weaknesses of the Chromecast, because it is so affordable. And I love that it is platform ambiguous. Whether you use Android or iOS devices you will be able to take full advantage of this device.

Amazon Fire TV (2015) Review

Amazon Fire TV 2015 Review

This is the WaysToWatch.com review of the 2015 Amazon Fire TV. Does it live up to the hype? How does it rank amongst the new streaming devices from Google and Apple?

Amazon Fire TV Design

It features the same design from the previous model. There is not much more than a square box. But who cares about the exterior? It is about how it feels and performs.

Amazon Fire TV Remote

The remote is well made, but there are issues with the back of the remote. It is hard to remove it. After working through the back of the remote, the remote actually feels really good in my hand. It works well and is really responsive. The iOS Fire TV App is helpful and easy to use.

Streaming On The Amazon Fire TV

It performs well for streaming, but is limited when it comes to gaming. Amazon’s ASAP feature aims to eliminate buffering time by assuming what you will watch. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime work on Fire TV. If you have a Plex Media Server, good news, the Fire TV can stream movies from the server.

Alexa on Amazon

Amazon’s Alexa voice service can play music, do searches, check sports scores, and provides weather forecast.

X-Ray, FreeTime On The Amazon Fire TV

Another feature from Amazon for the Fire TV is X-Ray. X-ray gives you information about a movie or TV show, like which actors are in a particular scene. Parent can use FreeTime as their parental control tool. All of the main streaming services are available on the Fire TV. The user interface on the Fire TV can be confusing, overall it is a decent streaming box.