Throw Away Those TV Remotes, GPS Systems, Ipods, And What The Hay...Throw The PC Away TOO! The PALM TX Does EVERYTHING [Except Dishes]
Oct 10, 2007
Review by shippo225
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Watch TV On It. Perfect Movies & Music. Controls Anything With A Remote Control. B-E-A-Utiful Display. WIFI. WIFI. WIFI. And It Comes With WIFI.
Cons:No Microphone, No Vibrator, And The Digitizer Isn't 100% Peachy.....
The Bottom Line: All-In-All, It Surfs The Web, Turns On The TV & AC, Plays Movies And Music Perfectly, Works As GPS, Comes With Solitaire, And Wakes Me Up Just In Time For Work [darn]
A Whole Year Without A PDA, How Did I Manage To Survive?
I Bought A New One, Of Course:
Good morning shoppers! If you came here looking for information to put toward your buying decision of the Palm TX, you've made an excellent choice in PDAs. Stay tuned to read all the great uses for the PALM TX and see it used for things you've never imagined before.
Last year, I gave my Tungsten T Handheld to my Grandmother to play solitaire on. I have far outgrown the capabilities of the TT, which was once the top-of-the-line PDA. This year, on my birthday to be exact, I ventured on down to the local BestBuy to play with the PDAs. I have sought after the Tungsten T5 and the TX for a while now and couldn't live without one. Apparently, Palm had already retired the T5, leaving the PALM TX to be my choice for the taking. It came at the easy price of $300 and included the necessities: WIFI, ½ VGA screen, WIFI, MP3 player, and WIFI.
I figured $300 was a fantastic price for something I could use as a TV remote, GPS system, MP3 player, movie player, web browser, and watch cable TV on. It 50% more screen real estate than previous models, which hosted a dedicated graffiti area.
I noticed several reviews where users buy these high-end PDAs for business-related activity. In my case, these PDAs are more for the entertainment factor. This review will pertain to that aspect pretty much. Not to say I've never used it at work, though. I have taken my Palm TX to the workplace to jam out with music and to watch movies [Can't be fired if the boss was in on it too].
Finally! The Long Awaited UnBoxing Along With First Impressions:
100MPH To Get Home:
After arriving home with my new toy, I was anxious to rip that box to shreds. When I pulled out the TX, there was a sticker on it saying to CHARGE FOR A FULL THREE HOURS BEFORE USE. Yeah, right! I turned it on the second I plugged it in. I went through all the papers and little booklets that came in the box. They didn't contain anything too important, especially if you've already owned a Palm PDA in the past. But if you've never owned a PDA before, they do offer the basics on things like charging the battery, hotsyncing with a desktop/laptop, and general care for your new toy. Also included is a little sticker with the Graffiti 2 How-To guide. I didn't bother using that sticker since I was aware of the graffiti patterns. The TX has on-screen graffiti help if you need it, anyway, whenever you are inputting text.
The Palm TX package includes a CD with the Palm Desktop Software along with various applications and games you can add to your TX. Although I do not use the Palm Desktop software, I did install it to allow me to backup my TX once in a blue moon. If you use the TX for organization - contacts, appointments, expense tracking, and document to go - then Palm Desktop may prove quite helpful.
A Quick Once-Over @ The Design Factor:
A New Look With Past Designs:
Palm didn't give the Palm TX a fresh new look of its own, but rather a combination of designs from previous models. That's not a problem, though, as the TX still looks absolutely stunning. Right off the bat, the TX looks a spitting image of the Tungsten T5 it had replaced. The main shell of the TX sports a black color with a possible hint of blue. Its all plastic but feels solid enough to pass as pseudo metallic. I personally like the dark complexion of the TX versus the shinier silver of the E series.
The entire top of the TX is made up of a black, translucent material which blends nicely with the dark casing. Beneath that lies the IR transceiver. The SD/MMC slot is to the left of the IR port and the 3.5mm headphone jack is to the right. The headphone jack fits any standard headphones and also works with any FM transmitter for the car stereo. The power button finds refuge in the top right corner. The power button is flush with the top of the TX, which causes slight difficulty in turning on the device, especially with big fingers such as mine.
The stylus is the only thing along the right side of the TX body, although you pull it out from the top. It is not completely enclosed like the Tungsten T stylus was. The top of the stylus pen has a notch where your finger or fingernail can lift it out of its home with. The shiny chrome-like material of the stylus goes great with the look of the Palm TX, whether you're holding it or leaving it in it's half-hidden hiding place.
The bottom of the TX is pretty standard , consisting of the multi-connector port and the power adapter hole. As I mention in the Hotsync section below, this multi-connector port is a serious design flaw for the TX. The power connector, on the other hand, is great. The bottom has a rounded shape, which goes great for the overall design, but doesn't help when I want to sit it upright against my laptop screen. I created my own cradle for my TX to solve this. Nothing a little cardboard and duck tape can't fix, hehe.....
Along the left side of the TX is nothing more than a thin slit. This is where you can slide the optional, included cover. I don't much care for Palm's choice in covers. The cover is a thick, black suede-ish material with a white stitching around the perimeter. On the inside of it are recessed areas where the hard buttons are located, to prevent pressure against them when the cover is closed. It bothers me that the cover doesn't latch to anything when closed. It may be my previous love of the metal rhino-cases. In regards to that, I do not use the original cover, nor do I even know where it is anymore.
On the back side we find the speaker and the little reset hole. Palm was smart this time and made the reset hole big enough to be hit with the tip of the stylus. Despite this feature, you can still untwist the TX stylus cap to find a fine-point tip within it, reminiscent of older palms.
Finally, the front end. The beautiful, nearly 4" LCD display consumes most of the front. The word 'palm' is written above the screen, silkscreened on instead of the convex 'palm bubble' of the past. Along the bottom is the 5-way navigation buttons in the middle with two programmable hard buttons on either side. The four hard keys, with descriptive images, are initially programmed for HOME, DATEBOOK, ADDRESS BOOK, and WEB. For once, I decided not to change this default, but you can change their function through the PREFS menu. Getting around with the 5-way navigator is a breeze, although I still prefer to touch the screen.
Turning the Palm TX on, we are presented with the familiar Palm OS interface. I like the option of selecting a background 'wallpaper' for the icon screen. After a few tests, I find the optimal pic size to be 480x480, giving you a perfect image with no rough edges in either display mode. The icons are transparent to let the wallpaper show through the white areas. The alternative to the apps screen is the FAVORITES screen that you can bring about by hitting the HOME hard key twice. You can choose a wallpaper for this screen as well and select which program icons are displayed and in which order.
Along the bottom of the screen, or along the right when in landscape mode, is the utility tray [as I call it]. It remains present in most apps, unless they have a fullscreen override to hide it. There are eight little icons across this bar, along with the time. The far-right icon is to toggle the graffiti area on and off if the current application supports full use of the 320x480 screen. Otherwise, the icon remains grayed out. Beside that is a screen orientation icon to switch between landscape and portrait mode [Slingplayer is the only app I have that malfunctions in landscape]. If you write a lot of graffiti and feel exceedingly confined by the graffiti area, you can hit the next icon that lets you write anywhere on the screen. The next two are for WIFI and BlueTooth connectivity options. There's an icon with an exclamation mark '!' that supposedly shows prompts in certains apps, but I have yet to see any. If you tap the clock on the bar, a system status screen shows up displaying the date, time, battery level, available memory [internally & externally], and let you adjust the sound and screen brightness. The TX does NOT allow the backlight to be fully shut off, just dimmed. The second to last icon is the drop-down menu icon which presents the FILE bar at the top of most programs. Its quite useful in programs where hitting the top of the screen fails to display the menu bar. Lastly, we have the FIND icon, represented by the magnifying glass. I've never used this one. If you have many documents or memos, the FIND option could help find certain texts or such.
The True Price Of Cheap WIFI:
Why TX Has WIFI & Comes Cheaper Than The T5:
I do admit Palm did an excellent job at providing a powerful PDA the includes WIFI. It makes some people wonder how they did it and @ the $299 price tag. The Palm TX comes with built-in WIFI but at the expense of other not-so-important components.
The TX DOES NOT COME WITH A MICROPHONE. That was probably the major loss I had to cope with when getting the TX. That doesn't mean that voice recording and VOIP are impossible with it. Although I have not personally tried it, there are various reports of successfully using an A2DP-capapble Bluetooth headset with Softick Audio Gateway to allow I/O audio via the built-in Bluetooth of the TX. And then the second option to fix this issue is to use one of the aftermarket bud mics offered at [http://home.earthlink.net/~gmayhak/catalog.html]. PalmInfoCenter gives it a thumbs up, so I would call it a safe alternative. I haven't ventured into the mic category of my TX yet. It comes with a speaker, so I can live with that for now.
And the other major sacrifice for the WIFI was the down grade to 128MB of internal memory versus the 256MB of the T5. I can't really say that it bothers me in particular, as most of what I run comes off the SD card. The current maximum SD you can purchase is 8GB, mostly online for the time being [$70 on eBay]. The highest found to work with the TX is the 4GB SD card formatted to the FAT32 standard. 4GB SD cards run about $40 on eBay right now. And, of course, my Wal-Mart has the 2GB SD cards on sale for $19.88, which is phenomenal, considering the hundreds of dollars they were when they were first released. Anything less than that isn't worth it anymore, with 1GB cards now in the $10 range. Sub-GIG sizes could virtually be found as prizes in a box of cereal nowadays. HAHA [I remember the 128MB card at $100's like five years ago or so].
Aside from those to, the only other major difference would be the step back from 416Mhz of the T5 to the 312Mhz of the Palm TX CPU. Ummmm
No real difference in speed and movie playback in my experience. The T5 may pull a richer benchmark in TCPMP multimedia player, but real-time playing is similar.
All-in-all, I find it to be a favorable payoff to have WIFI at the COST of those three specs. Not to mention the mic issue can be alternatively solved. Oh, I forgot, the TX doesn't have the little blinking LED to show charging or other status markers. No real biggie there.
Wireless Internet For Idiots:
WIFI for short:
Just when I get to leaning towards Windows Mobile, Palm goes and makes a Tungsten T5-ish PDA with WIFI. For those of you who don't yet know, WIFI is the wireless capability of electronics to connect to internet hotspots, wireless routers, or other networks of the sort. The TX has an 802.11B card built-in for this function. I have no problem connecting to any open network with the WIFI tab at the bottom of the screen. Usually the TX will attempt to connect to the first available open network as soon as I click into an application that requires an internet connection. Some of these apps include Slingplayer, MunduRadio, Blazer Browser, or email apps.
The TX picks up wireless signals flawlessly, and perhaps better than my laptop wireless card. If I want to go for a walk around the block, I can stay connected to the router while watching my cable TV on the Slingplayer. And because there is no setup needed for open networks, I can instantly use the web when I visit hotspots like Panera, Starbucks, McDonald's or whatnot. The Windows Mobile WIFI setup was irritating at times.
The WIFI icon is the 4th symbol from the right on the utility tray at the bottom of the screen. Clicking it brings up the WIFI settings. That screen shows your most recent network connections that you can select to connect to. If you are already connected, then a status bar shows the signal strength, represented by a green bar for a good signal. You can also see all available networks to select the proper one if multiple are available, which is about anywhere around here. If you are an expert on wireless settings or need to use network keys or proxies and other fancy WIFI lingo, then you have that option as well, after selecting the necessary network.
Another topic I want to mention was the Broadband capability/benchmark. The TX may be a small, slim device, but it can handle the full extend of my internet connection. Slingplayer on my TX, for instance, handles a continuous incoming stream of cable TV at 250kbps. I decided to test it a little further. I went onto Download dot com with the Blazer Browser, found Adobe After Effects, and went on to download it. The TX downloaded the 1,216 MB file in 18 minutes. So basically, the TX is only limited by how fast your ISP can deliver it, or what your wallet can afford in broadband. Oh yeah, and it downloaded the file to the 2GB SD card right off the internet [I dont think it is able to save it to the internal memory since it wasn't a PDB or PRC file, not to mention the lack of an extra gig anyway].
Let's Take A Look @ What Comes Stock On The TX:
Included Apps & FREEBIES:
BLAZER: Blazer is Palm's own web browser. You would use it much like you would Internet Explorer or FireFox on Windows. Due to obvious screen size differences from PCs, Blazer has an 'optimized' and 'wide-page' view to suit your needs. Sites like Epinions can be used with wide-page view and it will display just as it would on your desktop or laptop, allowing you to scroll to the right to view more of the page. Optimized view will display everything in one column, removing the left to right scrolling. I would suggest that web browsing be done in landscape mode only for proper viewing pleasure. Palm still lacks major macromedia flash and java integration as of yet. So NO YOUTUBING on the TX yet [unless you have Kinoma player].
OLD SCHOOL APPS: Because today's PDA market is more into media playing and web surfing rather than the old 'organizer' methods, I have grouped all of these original apps into one category. This would include MEMO, NOTE PAD, EXPENSE, TO DO, ADDRESS, CALCULATOR, CALENDAR, CONTACTS, and WORLD CLOCK. You know what these apps are, most likely. These are what PDAs USED to be, but no more is that the case.
DIALER: This little app lets you call numbers in your contacts or via a shiny dial pad to a Bluetooth or IR enabled cell phone. I got the chance to test this one at the famous Denny's Beer Barrel Pub. You first need to setup a PIN to securely connect to the phone and then you can connect in the future. The phone needs to have BT enabled to use this. Since I have no contacts, dialed a number using the fancy brushed aluminum keypad on the TX screen. Works flawlessly.
FAVORITES: I guess you could call this an alternative method to viewing the application icons. You can reach this screen by either clicking on the FAVORITES icon or hitting the HOME hard button once or twice. It lets you choose which apps appear, which order they show in, what the accompanying text says, and you can select a wallpaper for the background.
HOTSYNC: I don't know why I decided to add this one here. Hotsync is what connects your PDA to your Desktop/Laptop. The main method would be by the usb cable included with the TX. I have also successfully synced via the Bluetooth method and WIFI over my wireless Belkin router using the local IP for my PC. The wireless methods did seem slower than the wired connection, but no biggie unless you're in a hurry. Considering the serious flaws of the cable, however, the wireless methods are highly preferred.
MEDIA: This app is pretty worthless in my opinion. It does decent work of displaying images but I don't care for the video-worthiness of it. I would highly recommend the installation of The Core Pocket Media Player [TCPMP] to completely replace the Palm Media App. And TCPMP supports AVI and other DivX/XviD formats to boot. If you want perfect photo displaying and slideshows, I would also recommend RESCO Image Explorer [at least try the free trial].
PREFS: The Control Panel for the TX. Adjust date and time, change color schemes, power settings, sounds settings, calibrate your touchscreen, wireless settings, and the whole kit-N-Caboodle.
POCKET TUNES: Palm's choice for MP3 player. Apparently RealPlayer failed to stick around. A full version of Ptunes is included with the TX right out of the box. It's funny to have a free copy since I already had a license to it in the past. I nominate it as the best mp3 player for the PALM OS. You can download several skins, designed by other users, from their website for free. My top picks are the 'media player' skins: WinAmp Classic, WinAmp Modern, and Windows Media Player 11. PT also lets you override the system volume for louder playing, just don't break the speaker. The TX has considerably decent audio from its built-in speaker in the back of the unit. Standard headphones are a great option too. I use the Belkin TuneCast II to play the TX over the car stereo.
The Portable Big-Screen:
The HOW-TO To HiDef On The TX:
The screen on the TX is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, 110%, good-golly-gracious PERFECT. Lacking the original Graffiti area possessed by older Palms, such as the Tungsten T, the TX has 50% more screen real estate. Sharing the same 480x320 pixel HiRes screen as the Palm LifeDrive, the TX truly delivers to the eye. This comes in handy as you start to use handhelds for more multimedia purposes like movies and web browsing.
You have the option of using the Palm in either portrait or landscape (LS) mode [which can be left or right handed]. About 99% of programs work with either setting. Newer programs will spread across the screen when you use landscape mode if they were developed to do so. Older apps will stay at the 320x320 size and force the Graffiti area to be present to fill in the gap regardless of the mode. If the app allows full use of the LS mode, you can toggle the graffiti area by clicking the far-right utility icon at the bottom of the screen.
The color saturation is awesome in my opinion. It may not be 100% life-like color, but damn near close. When watching movies, the image may actually appear better than it would on my 32"-ish television set. I call it portable HD [HiDef]. I would say it rivals that of my late Dell Axim x50v, which has double to pixels. Viewing Epinions on the TX browser is just as vibrant as my laptop screen. One major misconception of the TX is that it fails to play a hi-quality video at full rate without skipping. I don't expect it to play a DVD size movie without flaw on its own, but that's why we have encoding software on the desktop. In the TCPMP section somewhere south of this section, I will go into the encoding tips for perfect videos on the TX. And I will list links to my YouTube videos showing off the TX screen.
Putting Tunes In Your Pocket With POCKET-TUNES:
MP3 Player For The TX:
Every device these days comes with an MP3 player. Phones play them, GPS systems now play them, cars play them, cameras and camcorders play them, and heck, even MP3 players play them. So why should the TX be any different? WELL IT AIN'T! Right out of the box it comes with a full-fledged copy of POCKET TUNES 3.0.9 Bundle. You can go online to pocket-tunes.com/palm get some additional features enabled. I can't remember what it was for though, it's been awhile.
I'M NOT GOING TO GO TOO FAR INTO THE PTUNES TOPIC BECAUSE I HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN A FULL EPINIONS REVIEW ON IT. Please click the title of this section and you will be transported to that review in a new window. [unless, of course, you are reading this review in the TX browser. In that case it'll be the same window]
HOTSINKING & Palm TX's Only True Design Flaw:
That @&%$# USB Hotsync Cable:
Onto the discussion of HotSync. Hotsync is Palm's version of PDA-2-PC communication, which lets you transfer documents and programs between the two and to backup the Palm TX. The TX gives multiple methods for this operation, including BlueTooth, WIFI, and through the USB cable. While I seldom use the HotSync software in correlation with Palm Desktop, I do sync once in a blue moon to backup my Palm TX in case I ever get the white screen of death [or the mega crash, un-ending reboot cycle].
I'll start with the standard method of using the USB cable. This cable irritates me so bad that I have just stopped using it altogether [I ain't the only one complaining about this]. It doesn't connect solidly and its nearly impossible to get an entire sync session in without disrupting the connection. Considering it doesn't come with a cradle, I don't see why they just didnt design it with the mini connector used in the Tungsten E2 [I believe]. When I plug it in, I can hear the beep to signify a proper connection has been made. Then, right away, it beeps to tell you the cable is un-plugged, having not been touched. It'll keep doing this cycle of beeps because the stupid cable fails to stay perfectly connected. How could they pass this up during the product design stage??? So anywho, I'm not going to mention hotsyncing via the USB cable, because its too frustrating to do. At least the power cable has its own port on the TX, because the PDA would be dead forever if you had to charge it with the USB cable port.
The next method, and HIGHLY preferred by yours truly, is Hotsync by WIFI. I love this new option for hotsyncing the TX. I can back it up without wires, whether I'm at the computer, out in the car, out on the pool deck, etc. To perform a sync via WIFI, you need to select the 'Network' tab above the HotSync button in the HotSync app [on the TX]. On a local network, you can select from a list of available computers currently connected to the router, or type in the IP address of the host computer. I chose the IP option for ease, not knowing my computer name, and since my PC maintains an indefinite static IP address. You can find your PC's local IP by clicking the network connection icon in the system tray. It's usually something on the lines of [192.168.*.*] , depending on the router manufacturer. Once you have that set up, you can simply click the Hotsync button when you wish to sync it. Some routers may require port or firewall setup in order to get through to your PC. I have yet to find out whether internet syncing is possible, beyond the local network. Perhaps, syncing over your works network to your home computer using your PC's non-local IP [www.WhatIsMyIp.com]. Let me know if you have success syncing beyond a local network.
Last, and most certainly least, is hotsyncing over a BlueTooth connection. I find this method to be much better than the USB way, but in no way near as good as WIFI. If you have the option of using either, I'd stick with the WIFI. To perform a BlueTooth sync, your PC needs to have Bluetooth capability, whether installed or a USB dongle. The setup can be cumbersome, setting port settings in the Hotsync program and configuring the BlueTooth manager software. Once you figure out the setup phase, the BT method does work flawlessly, though. I'm not sure if all USB BlueTooth sticks are as irritating to connect to as mine.
Palm's Peppy Power Pack Provides Persistently Plentiful Power: LOL
I Wasted Too Much Effort On That One ^ :
As much as I would love to complain about battery life in today's tech, I can't gripe about the battery life in the Palm TX. I do expect battery technology to advance farther soon, hopefully, but with handhelds getting more powerful by the day, I don't see batteries getting too far ahead of the game for a while.
I do find the battery life for my Palm TX to be sufficiently satisfying, considering how I use it. For the record, I ALWAYS have the screen brightness cranked to the max and the WIFI is on 90% of the time. I haven't performed any time-based tests for battery life in my TX, but I can give some guestimates. At a full charge, I can watch my cable TV on Slingplayer - requiring continuous WIFI and CPU - during the entire trip to the Laundromat [free WIFI @ the 'mat]. That runs me about one and a half to two hours, leaving some juice to spare. I have a 120V plug in my car should I run low though. Unlike its predecessors, I don't have to worry about running the battery bone dry since the memory stays intact when dead anyway.
UPDATE: You are in luck today! I have decided to test the battery life while playing mp3s in Pocket Tunes. During music playing, the screen will be off and tap-free, which will lengthen battery longevity. All wireless will be disabled. I started the test at 10:30am with a full 100% battery. I went to the bank and Laundromat which took 1hr 40min. Following that, I went out to fetch a club sandwich. I checked the TX status at 2pm, three and a half hours later, to find the battery only down to 78%. Unfortunately, I had to get to bed by 2:30pm, I was beat. But that should give you a decent idea about battery life. I would assume from those stats that the Palm TX could play music, without the screen, for a minimum of six hours to maybe eight hours. Now, of course, during normal use, using wireless and a bright screen, you could expect around only a few hours of life from a full charge. Without a doubt, you could watch an entire movie at full brightness on a full battery.
RESULTS OF CONTINUOUS MUSIC PLAY = 100% @ 10:30am - - 78% @ 2pm
Inside The Internal Not-So-Volatile-Anymore MEMORY:
Palm's More Intelligent Memory Methods:
This is the only topic I've had beef with in the past with Palm PDAs. Older handhelds consisted of volatile memory, which is similar to RAM in that it loses all data when it lacks a continuous charge. In short: Dead Battery = PDA Amnesia. Luckily, Palm decided to go with non-volatile flash memory for the TX. Instead of acting like RAM, it acts more like the SD card, capable of retaining data for virtual eternity on a dead battery.
As mentioned previously, the Palm TX comes stock with 128MB of internal memory. Supposedly, 100MB is available for the user. But like I said, I pretty much thrive off the SD slot instead of the internal memory. My TX reports an available 81MB, but you can bet that 4GB SD is 99.9% full. Some programs do require installation on the internal memory. Others will run from the SD, but still need an equivalent amount of internal memory to load the app.
With the low penny-per-meg prices of SD cards nowadays, you have no excuse to not buy additional memory in the form of SD or MMC. Wal-Mart has 1GB @ $10, 2GB @ $19.88, and 4GB @ $49. The 4GB and 8GB cards would be affordabler on eBay. The 4GB card is capable of nearly 1,000 MP3s, five or six hi-quality full-length films, or a bazillion JPEGS. I run Delorme Street Atlas on mine and store the maps on the SD. With so much storage to expend, I can store the entire eastern half of the USA in street-detailed GPS maps on that stamp-sized piece of plastic.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Concerning SD Cards
Ever since the invent of SD cards beyond 2GB, also known as SDHC cards, there has been an outrageous amount of consumer complaints about compatibility issues. Many of today's gadgets do not yet support the SDHC cards, including the TX [for the most part]. Many Palm TX users have reported successful use of the Kingston or Transcend 4GB SD cards when they were formatted to FAT32. Since 4GB will only cost you $35 or so on eBay, it may be worth it to test it out.
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HERE'S A TRIP INTO MY OWN PALM TX:
See How Mine Gets Abused:
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SLINGPLAYER - - Cable TV On My PALM TX:
What? I can? Super Awesome-O!:
* HEADS-UP: Slingbox is a little device that you can connect your coax TV cable, DVD player, TIVO, or DVR into and plug into your broadband router. It then streams youre A/V signal over the internet and allows you to watch it ANYWHERE on the planet via your laptop, desktop, PDA or Smartphone. And the best part is it's FREE after the initial cost of the Slingbox.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could watch your cable TV away from the home without having to fork out more money to do it? Better yet, what about being able to watch it anywhere in the world from your PALM TX? Well, you're in luck. The nice fellows down at SlingMedia have, creators of the Slingbox series, have [finally] released a Palm OS version of Slingplayer Mobile (aka SPM). I bought the program for my TX a few weeks ago after full satisfaction from the beta testing I was entitled to. It's a one-time fee of $30 for the software.
With my Slingbox Tuner at home, I can watch my 80 channels on my TX just about anywhere. You can connect over a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or preferably with WIFI. When I'm at a hotspot like the coffee shop, or someone's house with a wireless router, I just click the Slingplayer icon and it automatically connects and starts streaming my TV to my TX, hundreds of miles away. I can even turn the channels as if I were watching it one the tube at home. The quality ain't all too bad either. It does get slightly pixilated during fast-moving scenes, though. As of yet, SPM for PALM does not support landscape mode. I hope for that in future updates. Also, after ten minutes, the A/V sync starts shifting, causing the video to get ahead. But, it was just released so I expect little bugs, and they are always updating and offering free upgrades. I have made a few videos of my Palm TX using the Slingplayer @ the following link:
TCPMP - - The Ultimate [FREE] Pocket Media Player:
Plays Movies Better Than My Laptop:
If you ask any PDA geek what they think is the best media player for PDAs, they would surely say TCPMP. Most major Palm sites agree as well. TCPMP, The Core Pocket Media Player, is a free program for Palm and PPC capable of playing many standard audio and video formats - AVI, DivX/XviD, MPEG, MP3, OGG, and other common media formats. It also handles still images as well.
TCPMP on the Palm TX has no problem playing high-quality full-length films from your SD memory card. The screen density is perfect and displays a solid image without rough edges. The Palm TX CPU also has no problem with jerkiness, skipping or AV syncing related to older Palms. I can play most video files form my laptop, but I prefer to encode them for better performance and file size restrictions. The TX display is 480x320, so that is the size I make all video encodes to. I set the video bitrate to 400-500 kbps and the audio to 96-128 kbps, at 15 frames per second. Those are the magic specs for perfect movies on the Palm TX. A full length movie runs up about 600-800 MB depending on the encoding settings. So I would definitely suggest a 1gig or higher SD card.
I can't really say that mp3 playback is superior to that of Pocket Tunes', but it does have it's advantages. Either way, playback is flawless. Just as with Ptunes, TCPMP has a volume override to boost audio. I like playing with the tempo bar which speeds up or slows down the song speed. If you've always wanted to hear the Chipmunks sing your favorite songs, then set the tempo to 160%. HAHA. Here's another YouTube video showing a quick clip of TCPMP on the Palm TX:
NOVIIREMOTE - - The TV Remote That Turns The Air Conditioner On Too:
No, Really, It DOES:
NoviiRemote is virtual remote control for the Palm TX, among other handhelds. It can control just about any device that comes with an infrared remote, like what you'd use to turn the channel with. You just select a device brand and point and shoot. You can download a remote code for most majors brands - RCA, Sony, Zenith, LG, GE, Toshiba, etc - or create your own. How would you like to turn the AC on with your TX? Well, Novii allows you to point the existing remote at the Palm TX and the program can 'learn' the remote in seconds, thus allowing you to turn on the AC by tapping the Palm TX screen. I have already written a full EP review on the Noviiremote for PALM OS that you can visit by clicking on this paragraph. A new window will open.
The NR interface looks like an average remote, with channel and volume buttons, numbers, power button, mute, menu, or playback functions in the A/V equipment remote screens. You can see a video of Noviiremote on my Palm TX at the following link. I don't have a TV in my room and my webcam won't stretch to the living room, so no examples unfortunately:
GOOGLE MAPS - - Half The Power Of Google Earth In The Palm Of Your Hand:
Do Away With Street Maps & Bring In Satellite Imagery:
Many people are familiar with Google Earth for their desktop/laptop, where you can view satellite images for the entire globe. Google Maps (GM) for Palm OS is very similar, just without the fancy 3D-ish, animated nature. In fact, the GM for Palm is nearly the same as maps.google.com. With this program for the Palm TX, along with a mandatory internet connection, you can view street-level maps and satellite imagery for just about anywhere. There's no need to store maps on memory, as all data for GM comes from your wireless internet connection on the TX.
Unlike the other programs where I recommend a WIFI connection, I prefer a Bluetooth connection with a cell phone for this one. That way it can be used on the road if necessary. You can get INSTANT directions from point-A to point-B right on the TX and it will show you the route right on top of the street-level satellite images. In major areas, GM offers traffic updates for efficient routing in real-time traffic. Take note though, satellite imagery isn't live, but traffic report is. Upon using the program, I was stunned at the immense high-quality of the images on the Palm TX's display. They rival that of the laptop screen, aside from the 10" difference in screen size. It's also a great little program to go site-seeing on if you've ever wanted to visit the beach for free.
I decided, yet again, to make another video to show the Palm TX. I'll give a quick tour of the Google Maps app:
Other Reviews of Similar Interest:
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NoviiRemote For Palm OS
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How To Choose a PalmOS Entertainment Software
^_^ Shippo225 © 2007 Ron Miller
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