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Pubs, 'phones, TVs and Odd Behaviour


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Oliver said on 09:38:12 07-Oct-2014

I imagine that people who own a Samsung Galaxy don't quite know how much fun they can have with the WatchON app... unless you're like me.

First of all, if you have a Galaxy phone and you haven't played around with WatchON then I strongly suggest that you do something to rectify this. WatchON is a cute little app which checks the internet for TV schedules in order to work out what you want to watch, could be watching or are missing and so forth. However, Samsung's Galaxy is one of those rare, but not uncommon I imagine, gadgets which come with a built-in IR “beamer”, and lo and behold, WatchON has the capacity to not only show you what you could be watching, it also has the ability, once you set it up of course, to change your TV channel.

What kind of havoc can I produce with this dangerous level of technology. Well, now you have a mobile phone which is a universal remote control in disguise. Unfortunately, not all TV systems will work. My Grandma's TV, one produced by Acoustic Solutions, doesn't seem to work. I'm too lazy however to work out whether it actually uses a similar protocol that's listed.

I ramped up my fun with the WatchON app at Christmas when the family was invited down to a local relative's house; one of my far flung cousins to be exact. Soon, another far flung cousin wanted to show off with their holiday pics that were stuffed on to a USB memory stick and, of course, the best way to show them off was to beam them to a TV screen. Fortunately, with a USB stick and a so-called “Smart” TV, this could all be done with the TV: plug in the stick and select the required setting on the screen and start reading the USB drive... whoops! The TV seems to have turned itself back to your HDMI input. Best try that one again. Nope; still no joy. Try using it in another USB port... oh now it's turned off.. no wait! It's come back on again! Ooh! Casualty's on!

After a few times of doing this, I got bored – naturally - so I started to move around the room trying different things out; because standing in one place on my phone doing all this crap looks a little conspicuous no? I went to the other side of the room and continued, where other members had twigged what was going on, including this guy's wife who decided to say absolutely nothing about what I was doing; they all proceeded to have a giggling fit as the level of testosterone increased around this small screen as more barely tech-savvy people turned up to weigh in on why this TV didn't work.

It was miraculous however, when I decided I couldn't watch them suffer any more, I put my phone away and asked “Do you mind if I have a go?” Naturally they didn't mind, so I proceeded to do some fake stuff with the remote and the software on the TV and oh look! For some unknown reason it now works!

Well, a few nights ago, I decided to take this whole thing to another level. I could sit in a friend's house; yes he's still my friend, and make their TV do apparently odd things. Let's try this elsewhere! I went out with a friend to a local restaurant-cum-pub for a meal. On one TV there was snooker, which was so far away you couldn't see it, and on another was football, which is boring and was so loud I couldn't hear my friend. I noticed the make of the TV was an LG, another one that WatchON supports natively. So, I set up a new room in the app, set up the TV and oh look! That one went off too! Fortunately, everyone shared the same passion for football as I did – i.e. no-one said ANYTHING – and the TV remained off. Boring end to a story but this is just the beginning I hope.

I wonder how long it's going to be before I get kicked out of a pub for something like this!


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