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More fun than Zoom or FaceTime
When Facebook launched the Portal TV video chat system in November, critics quickly shot down the idea of putting a Facebook camera and microphone in their homes. Reviewers, including me, worried that Facebook didn't take privacy very seriously. With people stuck indoors and seeking the best way to stay in touch with family and friends, the Portal TV is completely sold out on Facebook's website and from retailers such as Best Buy. As I said when I reviewed it in November , Facebook Portal TV is my favorite model, since it lets you chat from a big-screen TV in your house, offering the most immersive experience. It's also dead-simple to use. That's the one that's sold out. I've been using it more over the past several weeks to stay in touch with my brother, his wife and my niece in Santa Monica and my brother-in-law and sister in Seattle. This morning, I helped my mom and step-father set up their Facebook Portal TV, which my mom apparently bought just before they sold out. Some Portal models have been intermittently out of stock in select channels and regions. We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to make products available as quickly as we can.
For Facebook fans, it has become a serious smart device contender, and you can read what we think about it in our review. But for those who have a Portal or may be getting one soon, we want to focus on what exactly this smart display can do that really sets it apart. Check out these tips for how to get the most from your Portal. Superframe, the smart screen itself, is what controls the photo slideshow your Portal displays when not being actively used. Head to S ettings, and you will find the ability to set the cycle speed of photos 10 or 15 seconds and, more importantly, where your photos are coming from. This gives you a lot of options depending on what you actually want to see from Facebook and should be one of the first things you set. For those who are uneasy about letting a Facebook cam into their homes, the privacy features are a must-learn setting. Look at the top of your Portal and you will find a single privacy switch that can slide to shut off the microphone and camera on the device. These buttons vary a little depending on what Portal device you have, but they are always there. Try out these features and use them according to your privacy needs.
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