Friday, June 28, 2013

Casual Tech User 7: Soft-serve ice cream, feature phones, smartphones, smart TVs | Vanilla evolves into multitude of features and toppings


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Cell phones, televisions and soft-serve ice cream are paralleled during this discussion highlighting the differences between a feature phone and smartphone, along with the evolution of the smart TV. Today, ice cream, phones and TVs come in many varieties, but that wasn’t always the case considering that it hasn’t been that long ago that “vanilla” was the flavor of necessity for all three.

During the first quarter of 2013 the smartphone surpassed the feature phone in units shipped. Upgrading to a new cell phone will require some decisions, based upon the user’s expectations of the “closed functioning” feature phone and the wide open, more costly performance of the smartphone.

Today’s market is also closing the gap between the traditional, video-content-only TV and the media-rich options present on many of the current models. Smart TVs offer the viewer the opportunity to use apps, stream content from external devices, engage in social media discourse, and video chat around the world.

But, be forewarned that research indicates only about 50% of the smart TVs currently in use are connected to the internet and utilizing anything more than standard video content channels.

Episode Links:








CNET.com: TV buying guide (Updated April 17, 2013)




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I use the Casual Tech User Flipboard magazine I created to collect and share articles of interest for the casual tech consumer. You can read these specially selected articles by accessing the Flipboard app on your iOS or Android devices.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Casual Tech User 6: (Part 5) Avoid Mistakes, Plan Before You Buy New TV; 10 Criteria to Compare LCD, LED, Plasma TVs


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This episode of the Casual Tech User discusses the differences between LCD and LED technologies and offers a list of 10 criteria you might want to consider before deciding on the perfect plasma, LCD or LED flat-screen for your situation and viewing habits.

Alphabet Soup: LCD vs. LED
This episode begins with a brief explanation of the similarities and differences between the LCD and LED TVs in today’s marketplace. 
  • Edge-lit LED
  • Backlit LED

Check the following links to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of LCD and LED TVs.


10 Criteria
This Casual Tech User series began in Episode 2 with a discussion about developing criteria to help avoid mistakes when purchasing a new TV. This episode continues the theme with a list of 10 criteria you might want to consider when deciding between LCD, LED or Plasma flat panels.

The criteria include:
  • Price
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Thickness
  • Ambient light
  • Viewing angle
  • Energy savings
  • Fast action, sports, etc.
  • Image retention
  • Picture Quality

Transporting the New TV Home

After purchasing my plasma TV, I was approached by a TV rep who said it was best to keep the panel upright during the trip home. I also found research on the internet suggesting that to avoid damage you should transport plasma and larger LCD and LED panels in the upright position.

Previous episodes in the “Avoid Mistakes, Plan Before You Buy New TV” series include:


Episode Links:







(Click under Guest Appearances, Scott Wilkinson in righthand column)

Flipboard:

I use the Casual Tech User Flipboard magazine I created to collect and share articles of interest for the casual tech consumer. You can read these specially selected articles by accessing the Flipboard app on your iOS or Android devices.

My Links:

In addition to Casual Tech User.com, you can find me and/or subscribe to:










Thanks for listening.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Casual Tech User 5: (Part 4) Avoid Mistakes, Plan Before You Buy New TV; Soundbars, Theater-in-a-Box, or Home Theater Surround Sound Experience



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Casual Tech User 5: (Part 4) Avoid Mistakes, Plan Before You Buy New TV; Soundbars, Theater-in-a-Box, or Home Theater Surround Sound Experience

Many of today’s flat screen TVs don’t offer the type of sound quality you will be expecting from that new purchase. After bringing home that new TV, you may realize your system’s quality is only as good as the weakest link. And, for many of today’s TVs the weakest link will be the sound quality.

In this episode Ron continues his discussion on purchasing that new TV with a review of three methods to improve the sound quality.

Topics include:
  • Soundbars
  • Theater-in-a-Box
  • Home Theater Surround Sound Experience
Previous episodes in the “Avoid Mistakes, Plan Before You Buy New TV” series include:
Episode Links:











Flipboard:

I use the Casual Tech User Flipboard magazine I created to collect and share articles of interest for the casual tech consumer. You can read these specially selected articles by accessing the Flipboard app on your iOS or Android devices.

My Links:

In addition to Casual Tech User.com, you can find me and/or subscribe to:










Thanks for listening.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Casual Tech User 4: (Part 3) Avoid Mistakes, Plan Before You Buy New TV; Cheap Solution to Improve Sound Quality


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Bringing home that new TV can be an exciting experience, but the setup will only be as good as the weakest link. While the video quality may be excellent, the sound quality may not be sufficient to meet your expectations.

In this episode Ron discusses one way he solved a sound quality and clarity deficiencies he and his wife were experiencing by adding a pair of simple, cheap external speakers to a plasma TV.

Topics include:
  • Internal speakers on today’s TVs
  • Check to determine the type of audio out on the TV
    • Headphone jack
    • R and L channel RCA jacks
    • Digital audio
    • Optical audio
  • How to add a pair of computer speakers to a TV
  • Sound check of the internal and external speakers

Episode Links:








Flipboard:

The Flipboard app on my iPad and iPhone is one of my favorites I access almost everyday, if not several times during the day. A new feature is Flipboard magazine. The new magazine feature allows the user to create a content-sharing format which can be private or shared publicly with other readers.

I’m using the Casual Tech User Flipboard magazine I created to collect and share articles of interest for the casual tech consumer.  Flipboard.com offers insight into the various features.

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Thanks for listening.