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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 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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