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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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