Warm Up to a Virtual Fireplace

by on December 24, 2012 · 24 comments

The glow of a fire, the sound of crackling embers, the dance of flames all bring a sense of warmth and comfort. Whether or not you have access to a fireplace or fuel for your fire, tech can give you the next best thing: a virtual fireplace.

Your home may not have a fireplace or your climate may be a bit too warm right now for a roaring fire, but as long as you have the screen of a TV, computer, or mobile device, you can have a roaring virtual fireplace. Virtual fireplaces may not give you the warmth of a real fire, but at least you won’t have any ashes to clean after you’re done!

Screensavers

Mac

You don’t have to have a TV to watch a virtual fireplace. The Mac App Store has a free Fireplace screensaver, Fireplace Live HD Free to bring flames to your Mac screen. You can choose from eight different fireplaces and enable or mute the sound. The app lets you adjust the size of the window and has a sleep timer mode so you can fall asleep to the sound of your crackling fire.

Windows

If you have a PC running Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP, you can get a Fireplace screensaver for your computer from Geliosoft. The company has both a fireplace screensaver and a Christmas fireplace screensaver available for purchase. A free trial version is also available for download. The fireplace screensavers from Geliosoft are priced from $16.85 to $19.95 for a 3D version.

Here’s a preview video of the Geliosoft screen:

YouTube

You can find lots of fireplace videos on YouTube to watch on your computer, mobile device or TV using a set-top box such as Roku or Apple TV. Here’s a three-hour long fireplace video to maximize your viewing pleasure:

TV Channels

If you’re in the US, you may be able to watch a TV channel with the Yule Log burning from Christmas Eve to Christmas evening. The Yule Log is available in both SD and HD versions at various times, check out DTVUSA for channels and times in your area.

Netflix

If you’re a Netflix member, you can tune into a fireplace from your computer at Netflix fireplace.

Apps

iOS

Intimate Fireplace is a free app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that offers 10 different virtual fireplaces, complete with sound and music. The app is ad supported, but in-app purchases are available to remove the ads and to give you access to all ten fireplaces.

If you own an Apple TV 2 or later, you can use Air Play to mirror your iDevice app onto your TV screen.

Android

Ambient Fireplace is a free app for Android devices that is a video of a wood burning fireplace. Ambient Fireplace is free at Google Play.

Windows Phone

The Fireplace 2 app has six different fireplaces to warm the screen of your Windows Phone. Tap the upper right corner of your screen to toggle through the different choices. Fireplace 2 is available for Windows Phone for $0.99.

Bottom Line

For the comfort of a fireplace without the smoke or ashes, checkout a virtual fireplace!

Do you like to watch a fire in a fireplace? Have you ever used a virtual fireplace when a real fireplace wasn’t available? Let us know in the Comments section below!
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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Discoveries

NASA has a present for you – a free iPad app for you to explore the universe. This interactive iBook shares images, videos and other information gained by the Hubble Space  Telescope. Learn about the history of the telescope and the technology used to build it.

The Hubble Space Telescope Discoveries app is free for iPad in the iTunes App Store.

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Merry Christmas from The Wonder of Tech!

Whether you’re celebrating or not, please have a merry Christmas and may this season bring joy to you and your family.

 

*Fireplace image by Bill, used with his kind permission

Comments on this entry are closed.

Harleena Singh
Twitter:
December 24, 2012 at 9:00 am

Awesome Carolyn!

A virtual fireplace– seems like the thing most of us wold love to have, especially because we don’t have real ones. And whether it’s for Christmas or otherwise too – I think just the feel of being warm and cozy does the trick in this cold weather. :-)

Ah…I love the snow-fall here – this is so very nice and different that the normal snow-flakes we have. It looks very real! I’m not surprised at all – knowing its a wonder of tech person’s blog :-) And I did notice the wonderful red ball right on the top too – love-love the festive look on the blog. :-)

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas as well with much love and happiness always. :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 24, 2012 at 9:10 am

Hi Harleena, Thanks! I used a snowfall plugin last year that caused problems for my readers so I am keeping my fingers crossed that this one works flawlessly for everyone!

Yes, some people want the beauty of a fire in the fireplace but don’t have access to a fireplace or live in a climate where it’s too warm to build a real fire.

These solutions are better for the environment and can set a warm mood!

Thanks for stopping by and best wishes to you and your family for a very happy holiday!
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Sapna December 24, 2012 at 9:14 am

Hi Carolyn

I really like these screensavers. Now this is for me, I really like Fireplace and will use this trial version today only….it is available for both Operating system which I am using that is XP and Windows 7.

Thanks again for all your Research you do, it is awesome. You discover the gems.

Thanks

Sapna

Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 24, 2012 at 9:23 am

Hi Sapna, Thanks so much. I’m glad you like these. I was inspired by a Wonder of Tech reader who suggested the iOS app for a review. Wonder of Tech readers give me fantastic article ideas! (*)
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Mark December 24, 2012 at 9:34 am

Hi Carolyn, thanks for sending this, I’ll be able to enjoy a virtual fireplace here in Costa Rica for Christmas now : )

Happy Holiday’s to you and yours, miss : )
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Hi Mark, That’s exactly what virtual fireplaces are for, Mark! Enjoy your holidays in Costa Rica. :-)
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Mike Maynard
Twitter:
December 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Hi Caroline,

God idea, I just found and downloaded an animated GIF of a log fire. I wonder if it will work as a screen saver? I’ll try it!

I shall be blogging through Christmas. I shall write some in the morning and welcome guests in the afternoon. It’s usually Neodigital Art and photography tomorrow. I have no idea what I’ll do, but I’ll think of something. I’ve been using my snow pictures from 2010 again!

I heard a story of a blogger tonight who had a phone call from a publisher and he thought it was a joke, one of his friends having a laugh. They commissioned his to write a series of books. There is hope for me yet! I really want a well paid weekly column in a magazine writing satire though. :-)

Have a Merry Christmas because Christmas 2012 will never come again! :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Hi Mike, Yes, I searched a while for a good Gif fireplace photo. I was very fortunate that Bill allowed me to use his.

How wonderful for your friend. That’s a fantastic Christmas gift! Congratulations to him.

Your Christmas story should be discovered, Mike!
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Jens P. Berget
Twitter:
December 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Merry Christmas Carolyn. I’m spending the holiday with my family and it’s snowing outside :-)

One of my friends have a virtual fireplace on his TV via a DVD, and it actually feels warmer when it’s on :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Hi Jens, That’s very cool! ;-)

I’m watching the virtual fireplace channel right now on my TV about my real roaring fire. I hope I don’t get them confused. :-?

Merry Christmas, Jens!
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Jerry December 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I still like my real fireplace. Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Jerry

Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Hi Jerry, That’s great that you have a real fireplace. Not everyone has one so for those who don’t a virtual fireplace may just be their best substitute.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Jerry. Thanks for being a loyal Wonder of Tech reader!
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Adrienne
Twitter:
December 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

That’s pretty cool Carolyn… I use the computer the majority of the time and turn my monitor off when I’m not on it so the fireplace wouldn’t do me any good. If I’m sitting in front of the TV I’m usually watching it but that’s a cool thing to have if you just want the ambiance in the room.

Thanks for sharing these.

Merry Christmas.

~Adrienne
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Hi Adrienne, I can understand how neither the TV options nor the computer options are good ones for you. Luckily there is the app option. You could have the Intimate Fireplace app roaring on your iPod Touch! You won’t be able to tell the difference between the app and a real fire. :-bd

Merry Christmas, Adrienne!
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Khaja moin December 26, 2012 at 12:10 am

Weather here is cool in India, when I saw fire image it made me feel warmth though it was just an image.
Now am going to set my wallpaper into something like this.
Nice trick to feel warm virtually.
Thanks Carolyn for warm post. :-)

~@Khajamoin1
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Hi Khaja, Isn’t it great that we can get the warm effect of a fire in the fireplace just by looking at a virtual flame? Nothing says cozy like a fire so I’m glad you can have the warmth without having a real fire.

Enjoy, Khaja! :-)
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Luice December 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

Fabulous Carolyn! The fire image looks so realistic. How did you bring that in this post? Anyways, I love watching fire in a fireplace. It is amazing. I have never tried using a virtual fireplace as I was not aware of it. I just wished that virtual fireplace would bring that amount of warmth which real fireplace does. Great post! Thanks for sharing it! I truly enjoyed reading it.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Hi Luice, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! The image I used for this article was available in Flickr and I requested and got permission to include it from the owner of the image. I appreciate him letting me use it here at The Wonder of Tech!

You’re right, it doesn’t bring the warmth of a real fire, but that’s probably best for our electronics anyway! :-) Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Luice.
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Praveen Rajarao December 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

We had a white christmas this year…first snow of the year was on christmas eve and it is snowing pretty hard today as well….this is the perfect post for the weather…just reading through it made me feel warm :-)

Thanks for the share.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Hi Praveen, We had a white Christmas too (and not just because of the virtual snowflakes on The Wonder of Tech).

Snow plus a fireplace, the perfect combination! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment with us, Praveen!
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Brian Meeks December 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Such a clever idea for a post. I don’t know how you do it, but I’m glad you do.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Thank you kindly, Brian. I’m glad you enjoyed this article. Credit for the idea goes to a Wonder of Tech reader who suggested that I write about the app. Wonder of Tech readers give me the very best ideas for articles! :-)
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Justin December 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Gosh you are creative with your posts. I definitely think that this fireplace idea is great for a big screen tv, not a phone though. Also, if someone is not able to access this from their tv, they could install it on their phone, then connect their phone to the tv.
Hope you had a great holiday!!
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Hi Justin, Thanks. I believe you’re right, it’s hard to imagine getting the full visual effect of a virtual fireplace from a smartphone, but hey, if that’s all you have then you go with it, I guess!
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