28. December 2015 · Comments Off on 10 Tips for a Healthy Viewing Experience · Categories: electronics · Tags: , , ,

1. Make Smart Choices
Allow your children to view programs that are age-appropriate and tailored specifically to them. Programming for babies and toddlers should be designed by experts.

2. Set Limits
Limit the amount of time you allow your child to watch television. This will ensure that you and your baby doesn’t spend a disproportionate amount of time in front of the TV when you can be enjoying other activities such as reading or playing outside.

3. Join Your Child
Take the opportunity to bond even further and share in your child’s TV viewing experience. It not only makes for great cuddle time, but it also allows you to actively participate in your child’s development.

4. Share Emotions
Television viewing is an emotional experience for your baby or toddler, so acknowledge when he expresses emotions such as delight or puzzlement. With a limited ability to verbally communicate, it’s important to share in his feelings as they occur.

5. Keep Programming Fresh and New
Babies are naturally inclined to repeat something they’ve enjoyed. Be sure to continually refresh the programs you select so your baby is exposed to new and exciting things.

6. Maintain Control
Don’t leave to chance what your toddler watches on TV. As the parent, you are the gatekeeper for what your child views, so keep a constant lookout to make sure she doesn’t inadvertently discover the “on” button.

7. Diversify Content
Introduce a broad range of programs to your baby or toddler featuring many different experiences. Not only will this help keep her interest, but it also ensures that she is introduced to a broad range of items.

8. Talk About It
Even though your toddler may have a limited vocabulary, he is still actively listening and discovering. Talk about what you just viewed to keep him engaged while building upon the experience.

9. Encourage Memory Recall
Optimize your toddler’s television viewing by exercising her memory skills once the program is completed. Ask her questions about the program such as the name of her favorite character, the noise the animal made, the song she liked best, the colors she saw, the story that was told, etc.

10. Have Fun
Spending quality time with your child is the most rewarding part of being a parent, so make it fun! Most importantly, you and your child should have fun no matter what activity you engage in.

18. December 2015 · Comments Off on Quick Tips for Watching TV with Your Child · Categories: electronics · Tags:

1. Choose television shows that reinforce your family’s values.
2. Limit your child’s “screen time” – television, computers, video games, etc.
3. Help your child choose programs that are right for his age and interests.
4. Find books that extend the learning of programs your child enjoys.
5. Record your child’s favorite shows so she can watch them over and over again. Remember that children learn from seeing things more than once.
6. Watch television with your child when you can so you can help him understand what he’s seeing and hearing.
7. When you have recorded a program, you can “stop the action” from time to time and discuss the program with your child.
8. Use the TV guide and help your child choose the programs he wants to watch during the week.
9. After your child watches a program, encourage her to draw a picture about what she saw or heard.
10. Plan to do activities with your child that relate to the theme or story of a program he watched.
11. Encourage your child to talk to the television when she is watching a show.
12. Choose programs for your child that encourage creative and critical thinking and make her want to learn more.
13. Help your child make connections between what he sees on television and his own everyday life.

14. Keep television out of your child’s bedroom so that you know what he’s watching, how much he’s watching, and when he’s watching.

10. December 2015 · Comments Off on 13 Apple TV tips and tricks you should know · Categories: electronics · Tags: , , ,

Get the most out of your Apple TV
Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV represents the device’s evolution from a mere “hobby” into a product strong enough to completely stand on its own. Packed with a number of cool new features, such as Universal Search and built-in Siri functionality, the new Apple TV may very well be a surprise hit this holiday shopping season. And with the device coming with support for its own dedicated App Store, it’ll be incredibly interesting to see what developers are able to come up with in the weeks and months ahead.

All that said, here are some Apple TV tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your new viewing experience.

Activate Siri
Without question, one of the flagship features on the new Apple TV is Siri functionality built right into the remote. In order to bring Siri to life and issue a command, simply hold the microphone button down and you’ll see the familiar Siri prompt at the bottom of your HDTV. Make sure to keep the button pressed down for the entirety of your voice command.

Ask Siri about movie or TV show details
When watching a movie or TV show, users can activate Siri and ask questions like “Who directed this?” or “Who stars in this episode?” Without missing a beat, Siri will display all of the requested info in a panel located at the bottom of your screen.

Use Siri to find the exact type of movie you’re looking for
You can ask Siri to “Show me action movies,” and a list of action movies will appear. You can also drill down within search results. So, using the action movie example, add the command, “Only Sylvester Stallone movies,” and you’ll see action movies starring Sly Stallone. You can even drill down further by asking Siri, “Only ones from the 80s,” whereupon you’ll only be presented with Sly Stallone action movies from the 1980s. Some other commands you can use include “show me only the good ones” to see highly rated films. You can also search for episodes of TV shows featuring specific actors via commands like, “Show me the Modern Family episode featuring Edward Norton.”

Skip ahead or rewind 10 seconds with one click
When watching a video, the Apple TV remote makes it easy to quickly skip ahead or back 10 seconds. To move forward 10 seconds, simply click on the remote’s touchpad on the right hand side. Conversely, to move back 10 seconds, simply click on the left side of the touchpad.

Use Siri to figure out dialogue you just missed
This is one of the cooler Apple TV features we’ve seen yet. If a line of dialogue is too hard to make out, or even if you happened to get distracted for just a few seconds, simply press the microphone button down and issue the following command, “What did he/she just say?” Next thing you know, the video you’re watching will rewind the scene in question and temporarily activate subtitles so you can see what you just missed.

View the multitasking menu
Because the latest Apple TV can run all sorts of apps, being able to quickly jump back and forth between applications is key. Thankfully, the new Apple TV has this functionality built right in. To access the device’s multitasking pane, simply double tap the home button and you’ll be greeted with a UI that’s similar to the iOS multitasking view. To get rid of an app, simply swipe up on a selected app, just like you would on the iPhone or iPad.

Delete an app
One of the most exciting additions to the new Apple TV is support for its own dedicated App Store. Now, if you’ve downloaded an app you no longer have any use for, you can delete it by selecting it on the homescreen and then employing a long press on the touchpad. Shortly thereafter, you’ll be presented with a dialogue box asking if you’d like to confirm the deletion.

Quickly go back to the home screen
From any place in Apple TV, you can quickly go back to the home screen of apps and channels simply by pressing – surprise, surprise – the Home button.

Gain a better understanding of movie dialogue
If you’re watching an action movie, or any type of movie that features loud explosions, keeping up with the dialogue can sometimes be a struggle. With the new Apple TV, it’s simple to work around this. Simply press the Siri button down and say “reduce loud sounds.”

View a complete list of Siri commands
With so many Siri functions at the ready, sometimes having a fresh reminder is convenient. To view a list of possible Siri commands while using your Apple TV, simply press the Siri button once and a list will appear.

Master the Menu Button
Here are some basic Menu commands you can master:

Hit the Menu button once to go back.

Hit it twice to activate the Apple TV’s scenic screensavers.

Press the menu button at the same time as the home button to restart the Apple TV.

Quickly scan through an entire program
You can quickly scan through an entire program by swiping to the right or left via the touchpad. The faster you swipe, the farther ahead or back you’ll go.

Put Apple TV in sleep mode
To put your Apple TV into sleep mode, simply hold down the home button and you’ll be presented with a confirmation message.

01. December 2015 · Comments Off on 9 Must-Know Tips Before You Buy a New TV · Categories: electronics · Tags: , , ,

Tips-membeli-TVWhen considering buying a brilliant TV to stand against or hang from a wall as the centerpiece of a living room, many just think about two factors: How big it is and how much it is. For some people, buying a TV may never come down to anything more than that. But if you truly want to be getting the most for your money, you’ll want to understand what’s really going on with the TVs you check out, and maybe check out Consumer Reports’ top TV picks.

As with all electrical technology, there’s a profound level of complexity and most of us could never hope to understand it — though many of us also wouldn’t care to know how it all works. What really matters when we’re shopping is what it all means to us as the user of the product. So, let’s examine the aspects of most importance in TVs to get acquainted with what they mean for you.

Display Types

One of the first things you’ll want to do to narrow down your browsing is to figure out what type of TV you want. There are LCD TVs, LED TVs, OLED TVs, and plasma TVs to chose from.

Plasma: If you’re planning on getting a relatively big TV and are going to focus on high-quality cinematic viewing, a plasma TV might be for you. They tend to have excellent color quality and a high contrast ratio (we’ll get into that later), creating a beautiful image. On top of that, they often have a wide viewing angle, so it’s easier for multiple people to gather around the screen and still see a clear picture from where they’re sitting without odd color distortion or no image altogether. They aren’t the brightest TVs though, so ambient light can become a particular problem for plasmas.

LCD: Liquid Crystal Displays are pretty common to find and may be the cheapest option. They’re energy efficient and usually have good color. For simple use, they’ll probably get the job done. However, if you’re trying to do high frame-rate gaming, they might not be the best choice. On top of that, for a home theater, they tend to have very limited viewing angles, so the person sitting right at the side of the screen is going to have a really hard time watching anything.

LED: TVs branded as LED are actually just LCD TVs that use LEDs as a backlight for the liquid crystals in the display. If it has “local dimming,” it will have an advantage when it comes to contrast ratio, which is a plus. On top of that, they are less power hungry than standard LCDs and plasma. Unfortunately, they may be more expensive.

OLED: Organic Light Emitting Diode TVs actually are different from LCD TVs. OLED TVs use colored LED lights to create the image, so they save on power, though not always as much as LED TVs. They do manage to create a high quality image, and a bright one at that — so they may be best for those planning on watching TV a lot during brighter hours when a glare could be a problem. They also have high contrast ratios, as black pixels will actually be emitting no light, creating great cinematic visuals. Unfortunately, OLED screens are costly to make, so you will force you to pay a bit more. They also suffer from some of the viewing angle problems that effect LCD TVs.

Contrast Ratio
I threw this term around lightly in the last section, and some manufacturers will throw this term around lightly as well. Many companies determine the contrast ratio of their TVs very differently. The contrast ratio is simple the difference in brightness between the darkest black and whitest white the TV can produce. With a low contrast ratio, black areas of an image might appear more like a washed out gray, or bright areas may lack vibrance. You’ll often see numbers like 2,000:1 or 5,000:1 to indicate the contrast ratio, and the bigger that ratio, the better — in theory.

Because manufacturers measure and report the ratios differently, you might come across a TV with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio that still won’t create as pretty an image as a TV which the manufacturers reported as having only a 5,000:1 contrast ratio. Your best bet is to check out an external review site that tests contrast ratios. Otherwise, be sure to view the TV in a dark place, as ambient light will make it hard to tell how dark the TV’s black can get. If you know you might not have time to do all that while browsing, just pay attention to when a contrast ratio is advertised as “true” or “native” as opposed to “dynamic.” The true or native contrast ratios are more likely to give you numbers within reason that can be compared to other TVs.

Color reproduction/color depth

This isn’t very likely to come up, as most TV manufacturers will keep their color depth at a level that won’t frustrate consumers, but if you’re shopping for a real bargain-priced TV, you may want to make sure you get one with a bit depth of “8 bits per channel” or more, with particular emphasis on “per channel.” This will ensure the TV is able to create enough colors to satisfy the human eye and present photo-realistic images.

Aspect Ratio
This one shouldn’t take much thought. The aspect ratio is simply the ratio of the TVs width to its height. It has no particular effect on the quality of the image created by the TV. It’s most important for what you plan to view most, as you’ll want to be sure the TV’s aspect ratio is close to the aspect ratio of whatever you watch most. If you watch a lot of films, you’ll probably be looking toward wider aspect ratios, so you don’t have to leave a large portion of your screen functioning as an unspectacular letterbox. You’ll likely find a lot of 16:9, and that will probably be good enough, but if you want to watch a lot of modern, widescreen Hollywood movies, you may look around for 2.4:1.

Refresh Rate
The refresh rate of your TV is the number of times the image on the screen is refreshed per second. It’s measured in hertz, so you might see 60Hz, 120Hz, or even 144Hz listed on the box. Fortunately, you can trust this number a lot more than you could trust the contrast ratio. Higher refresh rates create a smoother flow between images and reduce motion blur — handy if you watch a lot of action movies. High refresh rates can also be good for gaming.

It’s important to keep in mind that the TVs refresh rate might not always match the refresh rate of the content going in. If you’re watching a show at 30 frames-per-second, or maybe playing a video game at 60 frames-per-second, on a 120Hz TV, the TV will have to do something to fill in the gaps. Some TVs will do what is called interpolation, which creates an image that fits between images it’s given, effectively multiplying the frame rate of whatever you’re watching. Sometimes this feature is desirable, other times it creates an odd effect that makes the video too smooth and seem more like a soap opera than a feature film. Keep an eye out for features with the word “smooth,” “motion,” or “scan” in them, as that will likely indicate interpolation — fortunately, it generally can be turned off. If you’re wondering which refresh rate is best, it will be important to think about the content you’re most interested in. For the best experience you want the TV’s refresh rate to be evenly divisible by the frame-rate of the content going in. Take film for example, which is generally shot at 24 frames-per-second: both a 120Hz and 144Hz TV can play back 24fps content cleanly as 24 goes into 120 an even five times and goes into 144 and even six.

Input lag

This specification is of particular importance for gamers. Input lag is the time gap between an input going into the TV and the TV creating the image. The greater the lag, the further behind what’s on the screen is from what’s actually happening in the game. Aside from just making the controls feel unresponsive in a game, a long lag can make a fast-paced game impossible.

Knowing that, it’s obvious that gamers should look for TVs with shorter lag. Some TVs will feature a special gaming mode that allows the input signal to skip through certain processing that would otherwise create lag. Non-gamers don’t have to worry much about this, as the TV should still be in sync with the audio, and if a separate audio system is in use, you may be able to adjust the delay of the audio to match the delay of the TV.

Inputs
The TVs you look at may have more input options than you will ever know what to do with. What’s important is that you know what you will be trying to connect to your TV. If the TV has a coaxial F connector, you don’t need to worry about that if you only plan on plugging things in via HMDI and it has plenty of those.

To input a signal from a computer, modern game console, or Blu-ray players, you’ll probably want HDMI or DisplayPort inputs. If you feel the need to connect an old VCR or DVD player, you’ll want to make sure it has analog composite inputs. For a cable box, look for a coaxial cable input. Also, if you’re planning to connect a device that uses HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), like many Blu-ray players, you’ll want to make sure that the TV you buy also uses HDCP.

Hold on, what’s a Smart TV?
For some, a smart TV might actually be the route to go. Smart TVs connect to the internet and can stream content that way. They often include applications like Netflix so customers require fewer devices to get started with their movie or TV watching. Some connect via Wi-Fi, while others might only have an ethernet jack. If you don’t want to deal with a lot of wires and want an uncluttered space around the TV, a smart TV might be the best option.

Well, what’s a 4K TV?
You might be seeing a lot start to pop up about 4K TVs. Just as 1080 was the buzz number when HD TVs were coming into fashion, 4K is simply the next step. A 1080p screen would have 1,080 pixels in each vertical column and 1,920 pixels in each horizontal row. The 4K defies the convention by instead counting the horizontal pixels. If you’re really curious, read on, but the main thing to know right now is that there is not a lot of content out there to actually watch on a 4K TV, so those buying them now are buying prematurely and will be paying a hefty premium to do so — maybe think about waiting another year or two for 4K TVs to really become mainstream and for 4K content to be more readily available.

What’s important to note is that the number of pixels on a screen doesn’t define the clarity of the image, but rather the density of those pixels does, along with the source resolution. If you have a 24″ 1080p TV and compare it to a 48″ 4K TV, they will have about the same pixel density. So, unless the two TVs are displaying images that are higher than a 1080p resolution, they will have the same level of clarity, but the 4K TV will show it at four times the size, which may still help you see details better. Of course, if a 4K TV and 1080p TV are the same size, the 4K TV will have notably higher image clarity for everything above 1080p resolution. Just keep in mind that a TV being 4K doesn’t mean you should ignore all the other aspects of the TV.

Understanding all of these details a little better should make it a lot easier for you to know what you’re getting when picking out a TV to complete your home theater, gaming rig, or just that empty space on your kitchen counter.