Media players are a must have for the connected home
Written by Ruben Naicker, of Drive Control Corporation
Many of us have DVD and Blu-ray collections with our favourite movies and giant towering stacks of CDs.
But let’s be honest, CDs and DVDs are fast becoming out-dated, and those piles of cases just sit gathering dust on our shelves.
Digital is the way of the future, and many people have already embraced this – downloading music and movies has never been faster, and it is a lot easier to store all of our content on a PC.
However, the problem with digital content on a PC is playing it back on your television or sound system.
The traditional way of doing this is to burn it onto a disc, which seems counterintuitive and really does not support the concept of a connected home.
A High Definition (HD) media player is a must have in the connected, digital world, enabling you to stream and share content from any device on a network, directly to your television, saving space and providing hours of quality viewing pleasure.
While many smart televisions and even DVD players allow you to plug in a USB stick to play digital content, this remains a cumbersome task, and many televisions and players do not support a large number of file formats.
This means that often, to get your content to play, you have to convert it first. In today’s connected and fast-paced world, few of us have time for that.
A media player is the perfect solution – a centralised place to bring all of your content from any connected device together, wherever it is stored, and stream it to any connected television in the home.
From PCs and notebooks to tablets, smartphones and even Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, you can easily share your digital content, including movies, music, games and photographs, in HD.
Installing most media players is quick and easy, and these compact devices will sit next to set top boxes on a TV cabinet, fitting practically any space.
Simply plug them into a power point, attach the colour coded AV cables to a television, and connect an Ethernet cable to your router or use Wi-Fi to add the media player to the network.
Once this is done, any device on the same network becomes part of a digital content sharing hub. Optional HDMI cables can even connect a media player to a computer monitor for more sharing options.
Using a media player could not be easier either. They come with a remote and a familiar user friendly and intuitive interface, so you can navigate files and folders and select the content to play.
You can also download applications to control certain media players with your tablet or Smartphone, allowing you to control your experience with the swipe of a finger on touch screen mobile devices.
For even more entertainment options, many media players enable you to stay connected to your favourite social networks and even play games.
As bandwidth becomes increasingly available and affordable, downloading content is now a reality and many of us have vast libraries stored on our computers.
Sharing and viewing this content, however, has always been the problem. Now, with a media player in your connected home, you can now enjoy this content on your television screen for endless entertainment pleasure.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.