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Some helpful hints to get you started with your BlackBerry PlayBook

By Jared DiPane on 19 Nov 2011 03:03 pm EST
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PlayBook Help 

Just got your hands on a shiny new BlackBerry PlayBook due to the recent drop in price, but now you are left wondering where to begin with it? Anytime you get a new device it is always fun to play around with it, and try to learn things on your own, but with everyone being so busy, and little time left in the day to learn all this own your own we wanted to help you out with some helpful hints, tips, and tricks to make your experience even better.

A great first place to start to learn all about that shiny new PlayBook you bought would be with Kevin's novel of a review. In this review he covers all sorts of information about how it works, shares his thoughts, and gives a really good understanding of the device, so you won't want to miss out.  

Let's take a look at how to get you started, from the basic first time set up, all the way to video chatting with your friends.  

BlackBerry PlayBook Setup 
BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Changing the wallpaper on your BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Icon Reference 
BlackBerry PlayBook Tips and Tricks 
BlackBerry PlayBook Gestures and Navigation 
BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Personalizing your BlackBerry PlayBook 
BlackBerry Bridge Video Walkthrough and "Free Tethering" on the PlayBook Explained 
BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Understanding the PlayBook's User Interface and Gestures 
BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Using BlackBerry App World on the PlayBook 
BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Video Chat
BlackBerry PlayBook 101: Adding a home screen shortcut on the BlackBerry PlayBook

    And in case you were looking for something a little more advanced, be sure to check these out.

    How to Wipe the OS on a BlackBerry PlayBook 
    Wi-Fi File Sharing on the BlackBerry PlayBook 
    Internet Tethering on the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet via Bluetooth 
    How To Use Presentation Mode on the BlackBerry PlayBook with an External Display 

    Now, if you have been following the BlackBerry PlayBook saga at all, you know that RIM has officially pushed OS 2 back until Feb 2012, but that doesn't mean you can't get a taste of it today. Check below for some helpful hints and tricks for the PlayBook OS 2 beta, and be sure to check out our hands-on.

    How to get OS 2 right now!
    How to create application folders
    Lost everything after wiping the device? Here's your fix 

      Reader comments

      Some helpful hints to get you started with your BlackBerry PlayBook

      15 Comments

      I would be interested to know where to get movies to load on the Playbook. I could never find any in the right format......

      That depends of the codecs of the sound. Some AVI movies displays without sound because of this. Search in the forum for the best solution

      MP4 is the container format, not the audio codec; usually that means AAC audio.

      It would help if the names were kept straight (eg, no one calls .mp3 "MPEG-1 Layer 3 Audio"), and the file extensions don't help (aac files are usually .MP4 movies with just an audio track, which is why they're .MP4s and not .AACs)

      Movies are great on the Playbook, but I had some issues with DRM on existing movies I had downloaded from iTunes for example, and I
      had to convert the movie to mp4 without the DRM to get it to play properly.

      Movies work fine, if you try to stick to the following:
      Video: just use some riff on h.264. You could use another supported format (MPEG-2, etc), but the hardware is well-optimized for it (and puts Tegra2 Android tablets to shame) and it gives the best results.
      Audio: your movie should use AAC or MP3 audio, not AC3. This trips a lot of people up, as many higher-quality videos use AC3, and iOS devices do support it.
      Container: MP4 or M4V. AVI works, but MPEG-4 is less likely to include oddball derivations from standard. MKV will not work.

      Learn to love ffmpeg (if you can deal with the command line) or HandBrake (if you need a GUI).

      It was the converting part that I never could get to work. It is crazy difficult to find a place to just download a movie and go. I believe this is one of the main reasons the PB has suffered in sales. Android, webOS, and Apple have content a click away.....

      wondershare video converter ultimate

      I'm using it right now, almost have my entire movie collection converted.

      Watching videos/movies are great on the Playbook, but my biggest complaint is that you can't "bookmark" where you left off. I know on my cheap Archos Tablet I've bookmarked a couple of videos because sometimes my young daughter uses it. When I want to watch my video, I have to remember where I left off on the video I was watching!