Category Archives: Hardware

IPTV and Streaming Hardware in Panama From My Perspective

A lot of this topic has been covered before and can be found by searching for KODI or IPTV or XBMC on this blog.

Today, I want to cover some new hardware that has been announced and the direction I am going.

I have seen a lot of people signing up for a new service provided by Carlos and I wrote him to find out more about what he was providing. I wanted to know the model of the box he was using and pricing.

This what I received.

The name and brand is Avov TvOnline  I am selling the Box for $130. Install/setup fee is $75 ( if I have 3 or more scheduled installs) and the programming subscription is $150 per year or $100 for 6 months or $75 for 3 months.

Installation/Setup consists of: Determining the Internet connection (Wifi or Ethernet) and which will be used followed by a speed test. Configuring the Stalker Middleware with the server information and the unit’s Mac ID. Opening the account and activating the subscription. Once all is good and I start the Tutorial on whats included in the subscription which consists of 3 categories, Live Tv channels, Video on Demand Movies (1230 English and Spanish movies from 2012-present) Radio on demand that all run off the private server.

Lastly I set up a few 3rd party apps for additional additional movies, Tv series etc. I show you how to use the Android Mickey hop Market (20 apps and growing) to get these extra goodies like 1Channel, Movie25, Dream, Kodi 15.2. These apps run off the internet and are not associated with our server.

Average Installation/setup/tutorial is 2 hours

All this is necessary to provide my clients a thorough understanding how everything works. Followed by support via e-mail or phone throughout the duration of the subscription.

Continue reading IPTV and Streaming Hardware in Panama From My Perspective

Apple’s September Announcement

I watched the Apple announcement today. I actually watched it on my flat screen. I thought I couldn’t since I couldn’t AirPlay from my laptop, then I remembered, I have a MacMini connected to my flatscreen. Duh.

I will give you my perspective of today’s announcement. The announcement covered new watch models and bands, a new larger iPad, a newer improved iPhone and a new Apple TV.

I still haven’t found a reason to own an Apple watch. I wouldn’t mind having a new watch, but it doesn’t have to be an Apple.

The new iPad has some nice features, but i think it is too big for the average user. It will probable have some new business applications in medicine, research, creative artists, etc., but I see no reason that the average user will chose it over the current models.

The Apple TV has some nice features, but for me in Panama, I didn’t see anything to make me buy one. It did add a lot of new features which will help sales against the current Roku and Amazon Fire streaming devices. It does come with a higher price. It did add a gaming capability that it sadly needed, but nothing I need.

One thing that I couldn’t find in the Apple TV specs is the amount of RAM it comes with. It has a lot of available storage, but the amount of RAM is more important for video streaming. My bet is it is 2 GB, which is what the current Amazon Fire TV has. The storage is important for gamers.

UPDATE: I found that it is 2GB. The same as the Amazon Fire TV.

Like I said in today’s first post, I expect to see a new Amazon Fire TV before Christmas and it might be of more interest to me since it is a more open system for 3rd party applications like KODI.

Now the iPhone is a different story. There were several significant upgrades. I like all that I saw and Lilliam may need to upgrade to my iPhone 6+. :)

IOS 9.0 will be a good upgrade.

While I may not sound all that enthused about the current announcements, there is one thing that continues to be missed by many Android and Microsoft advocates. That is total product integration. The smartest thing that Steve Jobs did was to maintain control of hardware and software.

The current upgrades to Windows 10 are good examples. It can be easily upgraded on some hardware and not on other. Same with the Android system. Some manufactures get upgrades and some are stuck with the android system it came with.

I am looking forward to both the IOS upgrade that is close to release as well as the new desktop release.

Yes, I Am Still Among The Living

Last week I had my favorite cousin from New Your visit. We had a great time and I will have a future post related to that.

My cousin brought her Amazon Fire Stick with her and I installed KODI on it for her. I hope she has good experience with it. Actually, I installed the TVMC (Tvaddons version), which is the 14.2 version of KODI.  While, it isn’t the latest, I have found it to be one of the most stable.

Today, Apple will make it its latest announcement, which many assume will contain a new Apple TV. If I were in the U.S., I might consider the new Apple TV, but I doubt that it will offer anything for those of us living outside of the U.S.

One of the things I used on Apple TV was AirPlay. That allowed me to display information from other Apple devices on my flatscreen. KODI has support for AirPlay and I can do the same thing.

Some of the Apple TV rumors suggest a price of $299. At $39, the Amazon Fire Stick is quite a bargain.

I also notice that the Amazon Fire TV is not available on the Amazon Site. I suspect that there will be a competing announcement from Amazon following Apple’s event today. I would not be surprised to see Amazon replace their Fire TV and upgrade their streaming options.

I signed up for Amazon Prime for a year and am using it to complement KODI. I am still using UNLOCATOR to access Amazon Prime content.

Related to Internet performance and Cable Onda and streaming, the last couple of weeks have been strange. My has been all over the map. I have measured it from 1+ to 10 mpbs during the day. Nothing consistent. Even stranger, sometimes I have had the fire sick tell me that the internet speed was too slow to stream, and found the saying I had 10 mpbs.

This has been annoying, but still good enough performance that I rarely watch anything other than KODI, Amazon Prime or Pandora for my entertainment.

If you are an Apple user, you may want to watch the Apple announcement today. It will stream live at noon in Panama (9:00 AM PDT).

UPDATE: I just tried AirPlay on KODI and my MacBook Pro OS X is telling me that the KODI AirPLay is not compatible and needs to be updated. It was the last time I tried it.

Guess I will have to watch the Apple Event on my Laptop. :(

MStore Inauguration June 4, 2015

A little rain could not keep me away from the inauguration of the Apple MStore in Plaza El Terronal. Lilliam and I arrived around 4:50 PM.

It wound up being a full house. Many people turned out. There was food. There was drink. There was Panama’s Cardinal to bless the business. There were beautiful women. There were plenty Apple products to see. What more could one want.

As a side note I watched the Cardinal demo his iPad for some people. That just goes to show you that Apple is truly God’s chosen technology. 😀

Jual Carlos and some of his staff

I took a photo of Juan Carlos Staff, who is responsible for the David store along with several of his staff. All wonderful people and everyone in the store are 100% Chiricanos!


I had a great time. Lilliam did as well. She pointed out her choice for a new iPhone. She was even more interested when she heard she could get a trade-in discount by using her old 4S.

Karen from Panama City

I got to spend some time speaking with the MStore Panama City technical service manager. It is really nice to have an official Apple service department in David.

It was another successful store inauguration for me. And this is my favorite store. Too bad I don’t have more money.

One of my objectives for the opening was to get at least one photo of me with Karen Jordán who acted as the hostess for this event. Mission accomplished!

Karen Jordán
Karen Jordán

Remember if you stop into the David MStore, tell them you learned about them on Chiriquí Chatter. Not that you need it, but here is a Google Map to the new store.


MStore in David is Open

The new MStore opened on Tuesday. It is really nice to have a dedicated Apple store in David. This is an authorized retailer and servicer of Apple products.

The store is in Plaza Terronal and a few doors to the right of the Samsung store. I stopped in and took a few photos.

I spoke to one of the managers and asked a question I had been asked about training. I was told that training was something they would be looking at, but is not currently available.

English is spoken in the store.

Would sure like to have one of the new iPhones. Maybe for Christmas.

I played with the new MacBook 12 inch. I really like the keyboard and new trackpad.

The store also carries many accessories for Apple equipment.

This store is a good addition and another reason I don’t need to go to Panama City.

If you stop in to MStore, tell them you heard about them on Chiriquí Chatter.

MSTORE Comes To Plaza Terronal

For those of you living in Chiriquí that have moved away from the Dark Side, I have news of an Apple Store that is coming to Plaza Terronal. Google Map.

One of the workers said it should be around eight more days until the store is ready.

Plaza Terronal already has PanaFoto and MultiMax which sell Apple products, but now there will be a store dedicated to Apple products. I hope they will be carrying the iPhone.

The sign on the window says it is an authorized distributor. I will be interested to know if they are also an authorized service center.

Cutting the Cord

“Cutting the Cord” seems to be the topic many people are thinking about these days, especially in the U.S.. It refers to reducing the dependence on cable programming and moving to getting your entertainment and information off the Internet.

A revolution is underway and this year I believe it will begin to move at an accelerated rate. Apple recently made a major price reduction in its Apple TV to $69 from $99. The current rumor going around is that a new offering will be announced during the WWDC in June. It is speculated that its processor power and memory will be increased as well as its content ordering.

This will undoubtedly result in new offerings in the U.S. by cable companies as they see the Internet entities encroaching on their turf. Even Cable Onda has started to offer apps that allow you to see some of their programming on smart phones or tablets.

What does this revolution mean to those of us living in Panama. Well, it depends on the capability of your current Internet Service Provider (ISP). If you are connecting to the Internet with a WiFi dongle on you laptop then it may not mean much. However if you have a reliable 4MB download speed then the options start opening up. Continue reading Cutting the Cord

New Apple TV Coming

Earlier this month Apple had a set of new announcements including the new Apple Watch release date. At that time they reduced the current price for the Apple TV to $69. I forecasted that the price decrease told me that a new Apple TV was coming.

This week most of the Apple Rumors center around a new Apple TV to be announced in the June Apple WWDC. Speculation is that it will be accompanied with a much faster processor (A8) and more memory which will be needed with the addition of more streaming content.

No price was given in the rumors, but my bet would be $99. When it comes out, I’m gonna get me one.

Just Signed Up For Apple Care

I just added Apple Care to my Mac Book Pro. I am still within my first year, but outside of the support period for phone support.

With all the changes I expect to appear in the next IOS and OS X release with iCloud and the new Photos App, I am counting on needing Apple phone support. This may be the first time I have ever paid for an extended warranty on any product. At least I don’t remember any other times.

I must say that the Apple Phone support I have received on my Apple products has been outstanding. The support has either been immediate or they have set up an appointment for a specialist to call me.

I have used Dell support, HP support, and others, but I have found no comparison to Apple’s support.

Apple Care isn’t cheap and for this Mac Book Pro it runs $349. Only time will tell whether I feel that I receive value equal to money spent.

I needed to call Apple today because of a problem I was having with my contact list. It required a transfer to a senior specialist and she was able to sort out the problem in about 15 minutes. I can honestly say I would never have solved the problem no matter how long I Googled the problem.

Apple Announcement

Yesterday was Apple’s March announcement. I watched it as these events are usually fun and unmatched by Apple’s competitors.

The Apple Watch is available to order. Would I buy one? Maybe, but fortunately for me, my Apple 4S iPhone is not compatible with the new watch. While the cheapest version comes in at $349 and is the best of the current “smart” watches, it would not fill a need for me. Besides, the second version should benefit from lessons learned on version one.

Apple also did some upgrades on some of their laptops, basically the 13” MacBook Pro. These are necessary improvements, but nothing out of the ordinary.

There was a new 12” model that took the stage and how it will fair, remains to be seen. A 12” screen is a marginal amount of real estate and with the low end processors, it will not work for many people. If word processing and minimal number crunching is all that is required, it will be fine. It might be great for a student, as long as the student didn’t want to play games.

I think I would still go for a refurbed 13” Mac Book Air, for a light weight carry around.

What I felt was the biggest announcement, was a price drop of the Apple TV to $69. The price drop tells me that there is a high potential that there is a new Apple TV device in the works. The current generation is behind all of the competitors in processing power.

If I were a betting person, I would think that the next model will attack the gaming community as well as improving Internet access to programing. My bet is that the new device will be aimed at Christmas.

Still at $69, the current model is capable enough to make Roku and Amazon look at price reductions also. A new refurbed model is now $59.

One thing that didn’t get talked about is the next OS X and IOS releases. These releases will be bringing the new Photos App to the desktop and making more use of iCloud. I suspect that that this upgrade is still not ready for prime time. They did release an update to IOS, but this was primarily a bug fix with some more supporting features for Apple Watch.

So the good news is that no $ will be leaving this house for any of the new Apple announcements. The only possible exception is that my grandson is finishing his ‘PC for College” paper to tell me what he wants. However, he is currently a Window’s fan, so there may not be an Apple purchase this year.