on 04-17-201403:28 PM - last edited on 04-17-201404:19 PM by BBYMartin
If you want to convert your TV into a Smart TV, then getting a Blu-Ray player is a good option because most of them include media streaming as well. So if you don’t have a Blu-Ray player, seriously consider getting a combo media streamer/blu-ray player. The great thing is the price is about the same as what you would pay for a media streamer. I had the chance to test out Philips Blu-Ray Disc Player, which can also stream content, and can tell you how it compares to popular media streamers made by Roku or Apple.
byhootie04-16-201408:53 AM - edited 04-16-201409:09 PM
Sound bars have become the most popular way to improve your entertainment sound experience because they are reasonably inexpensive, simple to setup, and don’t take up much room. TV speakers are small and flat so they just can’t cut it, so a sound bar is a great way to get better sound. The good news is that there are a lot of bars to choose from, but how do you choose? Here are the factors that I think you should be considering in your purchase.
on 04-13-201409:32 AM - last edited on 04-14-201411:23 AM by BBYMartin
Flat screen TV’s keep getting thinner, which makes for fantastic aesthetics, but makes it difficult to provide great sound. Tiny skinny speakers just can’t cut it! Although I am impressed that the sound is as good as it is, TV sound doesn’t create a very good entertainment experience. The best way to enhance that experience is with a surround sound system that will immerse you in the scene. The next best option is a sound bar – the sound won’t be quite as immersive as a surround system but it might fit your space better, is much simpler to set up, and can provide excellent sound. But if you can’t get it together for either of those options, another way to improve your sound experience is connect some stereo speakers to your TV. You won’t get the surround effects or possibly other great features like Bluetooth or WiFi streaming that you can get with those other systems, but you can still make the TV sound better.
on 04-11-201409:40 AM - last edited on 04-15-201412:02 PM by BBYMartin
Logitech has been a long time leader in providing excellent universal remote controls. They provide such a wide range of universal remotes that you are sure to find the ideal remote for your entertainment system and budget. At the top end of their line is the Harmony Ultimate, which has amazing capabilities – in fact more than the average person will likely need. Logitech just introduced welcome additions to their lineup with the Harmony Ultimate One and the Harmony Smart Keyboard. They are both priced much more favourably than the Harmony Ultimate but have everything you will likely need. I got a chance to test them both so here is my full report.
on 03-30-201409:03 PM - last edited on 04-04-201403:26 PM by BBYMartin
I recently posted on what to look for when buying a new TV, which made me think it might be helpful to explain some of the TV terminology that you will encounter in your search. There are a lot of TV technology terms out there, but I will discuss those that I think are more important when evaluating TV’s.
on 03-26-201408:49 PM - last edited on 03-28-201409:18 AM by BBYMartin
Roku recently announced the launch of their new streaming stick, which looks similar to the Google Chromecast dongle so I researched both and wrote a comparison of the two, to figure out which one is better. In my opinion they are both good, but felt the Roku Streaming Stick is a better value device. I now have my hands on one of the first Roku Streaming Sticks and can provide you a proper review to let you know if it lives up to those expectations.
byhootie03-25-201410:02 PM - edited 03-26-201410:17 AM
The good news when looking for a new TV is that there is a very large selection to choose from. And that is also the bad news that the selection is huge, so how do you choose? Do you know what you are looking for or do you just find the best deal and hope it is a good decision? After all, TV technology has come a long way so there are a lot of good sets out there. Let me provide some guidance through this morass of TV technology and try to make what seems like a complicated decision a lot simpler. It isn’t as hard as it may seem to narrow down your best options.
byhootie03-23-201411:11 AM - edited 03-24-201401:30 PM
Sonos has been a leader in wireless modular home speaker systems that can deliver music throughout your home. They have been the leader in this market because it is their singular focus. They have excellent products like the Sonos Play 1 and the Sonos PlayBar, which we reviewed earlier. But there are other excellent wireless systems, like Bose Soundtouch, that have entered this market. Sonos has recognized they need to continue innovating if they want to maintain its lead position, so they overhauled their app that controls their home wireless systems, making some major improvements that you can't get anywhere else.
When it comes to TVs these days, 4K, or Ultra HD resolution is the ultimate in HDTV technology. Said to be primed to replace 1080p as the highest resolution signal available for in-home movies and televisions, there is one small problem with 4K – it may be out of most people’s price range. The good news is that if you’re looking for a super high resolution TV but aren’t quite prepared to shell out big bucks on a 4K set, there’s another option – Sharp’s new Aquos Quattron Plus 70” Full HD 1080p 240Hz AQUOS® Q+ 3D Smart TV. A mouthful? Indeed. But the Quattron+ is unique in that it can play 4K content without actually being a 4K TV.
on 03-19-201405:04 PM - last edited on 04-03-201402:02 PM by BBYMartin
Roku recently announced their streaming stick, now available at Best Buy. Google Chromecast has been in the US market for quite a few months. But how do they compare? They look similar but which is the better device? Although I haven’t been able to test either one of them in my living room, I understand each of them well enough to give you a pretty good idea on how they differ.
You've probably already heard, either directly from a friend, or through "someone who knows someone," that there is life beyond the confines of cable. You know, the person who decided to cut cable out of their lives and completely turn to distributed content online. Is it possible to make this kind of decision while still viewing quality content and keep up to date with your weekly programming? The answer is yes, and here's how.
4K TVs are the best you can get when it comes to picture quality these days, offering four times the resolution of high-definition at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels versus 1,920 x 1,080. But with all of the hype surrounding them, one question that’s not as often discussed is how lower resolution content will look on these 4K/Ultra HD/UHD TVs. And it’s an important thing to consider since that’s what most of us are still watching.
TV technology just keeps getting better every year, to the point it is hard to keep track and understand it all. One of the least talked about but greatest technological improvements for LCD screens is “in-plane switching” (IPS). IPS has advanced quite a bit in recent years and is definitely worth paying attention to because it is now behind the best LCD screens. The various screen technologies can be a bit confusing so let me try to explain what you need to know about IPS vs. others.
on 03-04-201408:09 PM - last edited on 04-03-201402:06 PM by BBYMartin
Roku has just made media streaming to your TV even easier,by introducing their brand new Roku Streaming Stick today!
Roku has been one of the biggest and best names in media streaming devices, and continue to show that they want to stay a leader in that market. The NEW Roku Streaming Stick puts nearly all the capabilities of a regular Roku box into a stick that looks much like a USB flash drive. With this latest announcement they have brought down the price of streaming and made it even simpler as it just plugs into an HDMI input in the back of your TV.
on 02-27-201409:26 PM - last edited on 03-21-201403:14 PM by BBYMartin
Western Digital (WD) has been around since 1970 and is one of the world’s largest hard disk drive manufacturers. I have two Western Digital external hard drives for backing up my computer and they have been great! But WD makes other devices including media streaming devices, which they have had a lot of success with. I recently had the opportunity to test out the WD TV Live Media Player, which is their third generation device so they have continually improved it. Since I already have an Apple TV and a Roku device, I was able to compare the WD TV Live to its’ competitors, and it did extremely well.
If you’re a bit of a technophile or are in the market for a new television, you may have heard of something called OLED; but what is it? How does it differ from LED technology? What makes it special? In an effort to demystify OLED, I’ve put together what I call OLED 101 – the bare bones facts about this technology that is very likely here to stay.
When it comes to getting a brand spanking new TV for the home, size is always one of top decision-making factors. Naturally, we all want the biggest, best TV money can buy. But you also need to be cognizant of what size will make the most sense for the room. And sometimes, that might mean scaling down your ambitions a bit; or conversely, looking at a TV bigger than what you intended.
on 02-25-201409:41 PM - last edited on 02-26-201401:23 PM by BBYMartin
When was the last time you cleaned your TV screen? How did you do it? For something that you probably spend so much time looking at, you really should clean it every now and then – every HDTV needs it at some point. The screen is electrostatic so it will attract dust and dirt, plus the occasional beer or other spray won’t help you see a clear picture. Cleaning it seems like a simple thing to do, but you really need to be careful as you could ruin the screen.
Surround sound systems can be very confusing, with all the different channel configurations and associated technologies. If you are in the market for a surround sound system you need to break through some of the clutter here is a basic primer on surround that I hope will help.
Surround sound is one of the best ways to improve the entertainment value of your big screen TV.
on 02-20-201410:12 PM - last edited on 02-21-201409:44 AM by BBYMartin
Every year we spend more time on the Internet and less time watching TV and this trend isn’t slowing down. The younger demographic typically spends even more time on the Internet than watching TV. There are a lot of contributing factors including the plethora of Internet devices, the ubiquitous nature of the Internet, and the amazing growth of excellent content. When at home why not view some of that content on your best viewing device – your big flat screen TV? Especially when watching videos or films, why huddle around your computer, tablet, or Smartphone? There are many simple ways to stream that content to your TV. Here is a Reader’s Digest description of a few of them.
When it comes to age, 40 is the new 20. And when it comes to TVs, 80 has become the new 60. The 80-inch TV is what many consumers lust for, salivating over the thought of being able to catch everything from live sports action (like the Sochi Olympics, World Cup, or regular season hockey games), to the latest Hollywood flick, evening news, or a favourite high-action television show, in all their visual glory.
on 02-12-201405:23 PM - last edited on 02-13-201405:12 PM by BBYMartin
Flat panel TV’s keep getting more incredible. Clearer pictures with Ultra HD 4K, and bigger screens that keep getting thinner and thinner. While the picture keeps getting better, the sound isn’t improving much because it is next to impossible to put decent speakers in a very thin panel. This is why sound bars have become extremely popular. They are very easy to set up, they look good, are non-obtrusive, and very cost effective. But are they really worth the investment? Like so many things - it depends!
New Televisions were a big part of last month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas, and the big brands were all strutting their stuff trying to take a lead position by showing off their latest and greatest technologies. Some of it was a bit of fluff, but fortunately there was a lot of great stuff too. I am going to give you my take on the “best-in-show.”
For most of you that have an Apple TV, I am betting you simply set it up and have been enjoying it ever since – and you haven’t touched it since (except to watch stuff) to customize it for your particular needs. One of the nice things about Apple TV is it is easy to set up and use, so most people just plug it in and away they go. Well I am going to let you know of some simple things that you should do to improve the experience you have with Apple TV. Easy!
In the mid-1980’s, one of the most popular cartoons on TV was the Jetsons – a space age family with a robot for a maid and the coolest gadgets known to man at their disposal. To the Jetsons, everything was available at the click of a button … which, when you think about it, isn’t all that different than today. Apps are everywhere. At the touch of a button or swipe of a screen we have the world at our disposal. So much so, that more often than not, we’re not content with the concept of “out of the box.” Nope, we want to find the latest and greatest app to make our toys better, faster, and the envy of our friends. So, if you want to “Jetson-ize” your home theater, here are 5 apps you need to download.
on 01-26-201411:03 AM - last edited on 01-27-201401:42 PM by BBYMartin
Last October I was fortunate enough to test out the Bose SoundTouch 20, and it passed with flying colours. My previous post provides a fairly detailed assessment. This time I checked out the SoundTouch 30 alongside the SoundTouch 20, and got to see how they work together and how they compare. I knew the 20 is a great unit, and found the 30 to be a fantastic step up, but both units have a place in any home.
HDTV is all about that crisp picture with intense colours and the technology is about to take a leap at this year's Super Bowl transmission. CBS Sports is introducing Heyeper Zoom delivering with video at 3840 x 2160 resolution.
The new 4K SmartTVs will be able to deliver the goods on the Heyeper Zoom but you could also consider installing a new HDTV antenna.
Learn what you need to do to bring 4K to your HDTV.
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