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5 Must-Know Tips For Buying A 4K TV This Xmas

5 Must-Know Tips For Buying A 4K TV This Xmas

The upcoming holiday season means now is the time of year when stores are hosting blowout sales for any and every piece of technology, which means if you were looking to upgrade your TV, it’s time to hit the street and look for deals.

For those looking for a serious TV upgrade, 4K Ultra High Definition televisions are the new gold standard for home viewing. They offer an incredibly good quality and have few downsides, making them excellent television sets. However, as with any expensive and advanced piece of equipment, you’re going to want to know a little bit about them before you whip out your card to make a purchase. Here are five must-know tips before shopping for a 4K television this Christmas.

1. Ensure that it is an Ultra HD television

Although 4K televisions have been around for at least two years, it wasn’t until this year that the UHD Premium branding came into existence, establishing a set of criteria for the quality of a television to be considered Ultra HD.

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4K televisions don’t all meet this criteria, but many take advantage of the fact that consumers know next to nothing about the UHD Premium branding. For examples, there is still a debate around ULED vs OLED for display screens, but neither is definitely better than the other when it comes to high-resolution technology.

Be sure your television does have it, as that means it met the following certifications: a resolution of at least 3840×2160; 10-bit color depth; a minimum brightness and darkness set by the organization; the ability to display at least 90 percent of the P3 color gamut; and high-dynamic range.

2. Pay attention to the HDR10/Dolby difference

There’s two different types of high-dynamic range, or HDR, technology on the market: an open format, HDR10, and a closed format by Dolby that is installed with a chip. The two differences matter insofar as different companies will have preferences towards one or the other, and some content producers don’t release videos that are compatible with both versions, which means you may need to consider what content is on the market before deciding on either HDR10 or Dolby.

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The former, as an open format, can be installed on Dolby televisions later, but a chip cannot be installed to make a television Dolby-formatted later on.

3. 4K content is increasingly available

On the other hand, no matter what decision you make on HDR technology, know that media that takes advantage of a 4K television’s stunning detail is increasingly available, including on major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

There’s still some debate between Paid TV services which are at the forefront of offering 4K content, and other free services like YouTube which are also quickly increasing 4K content. Since the iPhone 6, home-produced 4K content has exploded, which means even your phone videos and photos can be displayed in full, crisp incredible quality on a 4K television.

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4. Consider a smart TV

A smart TV that can connect to the internet and will be the best way to enjoy 4K content on your 4K television. So much of it comes from online streaming services and online video aggregators that without an internet connectivity, your television will rarely be able to feature 4K technology without the additional purchase of a 4K Blue-Ray player or a sudden increase in television shows airing in 4K, which is unlikely to occur anytime soon.

This can also be a major boom for 4K gaming, which is also taking off. Microsoft recently released a 4K-compatible XBox, and Sony offers 4K game service PlayStation Now, which requires an internet connection.

5. You will spend a good chunk of money

There’s no way to dance around it: 4K televisions remain expensive for the average shopper, although they’ve certainly come a long way from the selling points of $25,000 or more. A good 4K television will cost you several thousand dollars. The range can vary from the mid-1000s to about $6,000 for lower-end 4K televisions, and between $15,000 and $40,000 for higher-end models.

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Although a small handful of 4K televisions are on the market for less than $1000, mostly by Seiki, they’re generally pretty bare-bones, poor performers, and you can get a much better quality television that isn’t 4K for the price. Below $1000, you’re buying a cheap television for the chance to say you have a 4K television.

If a 4K television is right for you, this holiday season is the time to get to the stores and start comparison shopping for a new, beautiful and high-quality television. But if you can’t afford to drop more than $1000 on one set, skip the 4K this year – it’ll probably be available next year for much cheaper.

Featured photo credit: LG전자 via flic.kr

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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