What to Look for When Buying a Smart TV

smart tv
Ultra-slim, widescreen, multifaceted connectivity and the internet accessibility are what a smart TV offers. With the number of humble household items that have added online integration, not buying a Smart TV is a missed opportunity. A Smart TV allows you to access the many different connected devices in your home, access entertainment services like Netflix, and enjoy television in a way that wasn’t possible before.

However, if you’re planning to buy a Smart TV know that it is a big investment. The cheapest model will run you at least a few hundred dollars, so you need to make sure that you have the right model. To help you in your search, we’ve put together this simple guide.

  • Screen Size

need to carefully measure the available space you plan on putting the TV before buying it. For instance, if you’re planning on buying a TV for the living room then the screen size should vary between 55 and 65 inches. And moreover, a small Smart TV isn’t very cost-effective as the clearer definition won’t be as noticeable. So, opting for a bigger screen size is advisable.

  • Digital Content

The ease with which the consumers surf for digital content on their mobile devices and tabs means they’ll want similar services from their TV as well. When you go to buy a Smart TV you should check the delivery of the digital content. If it’s not faster or fails to deliver it in an enhanced way, then perhaps a different make or model would benefit your needs more.

  • Applications

The most widely used OS in the industry is Android. Some smart TVs come with all the needed applications inbuilt with the TV. But, in case you have to do it all by yourself, your prime concern should be whether the TV supports Android or not. And also, don’t forget to check the compatibility of your TV’s OS system with the existing devices in your household.

  • Interface

The ease of use should be checked properly before investing a lot of money in buying a smart TV. Generally, because of a lack of understanding some users are unable to use the smart TV to the fullest. The transition between a standard TV and a smart TV should be smooth. Before buying a new TV, ask the sales rep to run you through the interface. If you still can’t figure it out with his/her help, then go for one that has a better interface.

  • Wireless Connectivity

The evaluation of the Wi-Fi system installed on the TV will be the main factor in connecting the TV with other devices. And, if this system is slow then this will create a major setback and your money will be wasted. Hence, check this issue at the initial stage.

  • HDMI and USB

The main purpose of a smart TV is to connect to as many as devices as possible. So, the external ports like HDMI and USB should be checked thoroughly.

If you forget any one of the above-listed things you may regret buying it. Smart TVs are expensive so make sure you’ve thoroughly researched the TVs you like before making a purchase, good luck!

The Ultimate Guide to Buying AV Receivers

AVR-Buying-Guide

An audio/video or AV receiver is an essential component of a home theatre. Its primary function is to receive signals from audio/video devices and process them to output devices such as loudspeakers and video projectors. Many people confuse an AV receiver with an amplifier. But, a receiver has a built-in radio tuner and it can receive both audio and video signals, unlike an amplifier that can amplify only audio signals.

The versatility of an AV receiver to receive and send audio-visual signals from and to a variety of sources has increased the popularity of this useful gadget. Many gadget lovers are buying AV receivers as they act as the hub of a home theatre system by connecting a variety of audio-visual and internet-streaming sources.

If you’re looking forward to buying an AV receiver, then here’s a complete buying guide for you.

The Number of Channels

When buying an AV receiver, the number of channels in the device plays a crucial role. The more channels it has, the more speakers it can power. In short, if the receiver has more places to connect to, then it can accommodate several devices (such as a television, an iPod, a speaker, etc.). People usually buy a five-channel receiver. But, if you want to expand it in the future, you should go for a seven or more-channel receiver. With a 7-channel receiver, you can connect the speakers in another room as well.

Power of the Receiver

It’s essential to decide on how much power you need in your receiver before making an investment. The power of the receiver is measured in wattage and it decides the device’s ability to deliver audio. If you have a home theatre to fill an average room with sound, then AV receivers with less power are capable of delivering great sound even at medium and low volume. However, if you have an entertainment system in a large room, then a high-wattage receiver is needed to get the quality of sound you’re expecting.

The Ease of Calibration

Simply connecting audio and video input and output devices with the receiver is not enough to get the most out of your gadgets. It’s important for them to function properly. Sometimes, the speakers are not compatible with the receiver and hence, they don’t deliver the quality of sound it is capable of. Therefore, when selecting an AV receiver, make sure that you choose one that offers automatic calibration with the speaker. It sends test tones to various connections and checks whether every component is functioning properly. Consider this factor before buying an AV receiver.

Whenever you plan to spend money on an audio-video receiver, consider the number of channels it has, the power it can deliver and whether it offers the ease of calibration or not. If you want to buy other electronic devices along with an AV receiver, then you can have a look at our online store to get high-quality gadgets and accessories at affordable rates.

5 Ways to Protect Your Smartphone from Hackers

cyber-securitySmartphones are veritable gold mines of your personal information. From online banking passwords to private photographs, the little device you carry in your hands knows everything about you. These smart gadgets hold so many valuable details that they have become a popular target for thieves and hackers. Even if you keep your smartphone safe in your pockets or bag, they are still at risk even without being physically accessible. Legitimate-looking apps from unknown sources and unsecured Wi-Fi networks are some of the common tools used by hackers to infect your device with malware and steal your personal information.

If you don’t want your smartphone to become vulnerable to hackers and thieves, then here are 5 ways to make your smartphone hack-proof.

1) Keep Your Smartphone Up-To-Date

Updating your smartphone’s software is an essential step in keeping your device secured. The device manufacturers issue new operating systems and software with advanced security features and bug fixes that prevent your mobile phone’s data from getting stolen.  Updating the operating system might seem like an annoying process but it removes the security issue(s) in the previous versions of operating software.

2) Install Apps from Trusted Sources

When you install different applications in a smartphone, it asks for various permissions such as access to the camera, to view your files or record your microphone. These permissions are for legitimate uses only, but if you install apps from unidentified and unreliable sources, then it’s a threat to your cellphone’s data. Android users are at greater risk because unlike Apple’s iStore which verifies the authenticity of app sources, Google’s Play Store is not that strict in terms of verifying sources. Therefore, it’s recommended to install apps only from trusted sources.

3) Do Not Use Unknown Wi-Fi Network

An unsecured Wi-Fi connection might seem tempting to use, but it can be bait from hackers to infect your cell phone. Even if you’re using a public Wi-Fi, make sure that you don’t use it for making a purchase or accessing your online bank account. You can use a public network for web searches, news or Netflix, but don’t enter any crucial details such as your debit/credit card details or passwords. Switch to your mobile data if you want to make an online purchase.

4) Encrypt Your Data

Data encryption is a useful feature on most smartphones that allows you to keep your data protected. By enabling this feature, your device will convert your personal data into unreadable junk. This junk can be decoded only by properly unlocking it with a password or PIN. Every time you turn on your device, you’ll need the PIN or password to decode your data and get access to it. It may seem tiresome, but it’s an effective measure to safeguard your details from getting into wrong hands.

5) Install an Anti-Virus

Install a powerful anti-virus app on your smartphone for a second-line of defence apart from your device’s security features. Browsing a website and downloading content can sometimes open the doors for hackers to intercept and capture your info by sending links with viruses and malware. An anti-virus will keep your mobile browsing safe, avoid auto downloads and make you aware of which website is not safe to browse.

These measures are necessary if you don’t want a security breach on your smartphone. Be a smart user and trust only authentic sources while downloading files and applications. A small mistake can create big problems for you, both personally and financially.

How to Speed Up Your Slow Home Internet Connection

RoutersA slow internet connection can ruin your productivity, waste your time and put a stop to your entertainment. Wireless interference, your computer’s health, configuration errors and other technical issues are some of the reasons for an under performing connection.

Most Wi-Fi users complain about not getting the full internet speed they’re paying for. Buffering videos, prolonged wait times for a page to load and poor download speeds are common. If you’re also facing the same problem, then here are some simple hacks to speed up your poor home internet connection.

1) Check Your Router Settings

The function of your broadband or Wi-Fi router is to easily share your home’s internet connection. If it is not configured properly, it could be a reason for your slow internet speed. Check for the MTU (maximum transmission unit) setting of your router. If it is set too high or low, it can lead to performance issues. Change the settings to a consistent level as per the recommendations of your internet service provider. Sometimes a simple restart also works. Power down your router, wait for 10 seconds and then switch it on to see the difference.

2) Reposition Your Router

If your neighbour’s wireless connection is close to yours, then a wireless signal interference can also be a reason for poor performance of your Wi-Fi. To avoid this, reposition your Wi-Fi router to a place closer to your device for a better connection. Also, change your Wi-Fi device to a different channel if it’s colliding with other networks.

3) Remove Unnecessary Plugins and Add-Ons

Many users enable a number of plugins and add-ons for efficient surfing experience. However, these extensions such as themes, gizmos, and skins create hindrances in loading pages and downloading speed. Remove or disable these add-ons or plugins from your internet browser by going to the tools or customization menu.

4) Close Background Programs

Software applications and programs running in the background often slow down your computer and quietly eat your network resources. These applications perform useful tasks and shouldn’t be removed from your device. But, they can impact your network negatively and lead to under performance of your connection. Therefore, close all background applications and reconnect internet to speed up your network.

5) Check Your Internet’s Speed

Sometimes the problem is not on your end. If you have tried the options mentioned above and are still unable to fix the poor connection problem, using an internet speed test will help. You can conduct a speed test online and check whether you’re getting the same amount of internet speed you’re paying for or not. If the result is low, contact your internet service provider immediately. You can also try checking the speed from various devices. If the results vary, maybe the problem is with a particular device.

Whenever you experience slow loading web pages or buffered videos, try applying these fixes. These hacks are effective ways of speeding up a poor internet connection. If the problem persists, consider switching to a different internet service provider.

Android vs iPhone: Which Is Better?

Whenever it comes to buying a cellphone, the first question that arises is which one to buy, an Android or an iOS. The competition between a smartphone with Android and an iPhone with iOS is not new. Both rivals offer great features and have a loyal customer base.
Android-and-Apple

At first, it may seem that both the competitors differ only on the basis of brand and price. But, when you look closely an Android smartphone and an iPhone are different in many aspects. Here’s a brief overview to help you understand which of them is better.

Hardware and Appearance

While comparing the hardware of an Android phone and an iOS phone (iPhone), it’s important to consider one thing. iPhones are only made by Apple, so they have a standard to follow when it comes to hardware. The finish and polish offered by Apple is hard to match. On the other hand, Google’s Android software is sold to many smartphone manufacturing companies such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and LG. This means that the hardware depends on the brand of cell phone you’re purchasing.

If you buy high-end Android cellphones, then the chances of getting hardware issues are less and they match the exceptional hardware standard set by iPhones. However, cheaper Android options often have problems. Therefore, if you want variety in hardware quality, then choose Android, but if you want to go with the simplicity and the flawless appearance, then iPhone is the better choice.

User-Friendliness and Control

User-friendliness is another thing to consider. Both iPhone and Android smartphones are easy to use. But, when talking about control over your system, Android wins. Unlike iPhone that limits you to the apps available in the App Store, Android allows you to download applications from outside sources. In an iPhone, the applications are available on multiple home screens that can later be organised in folders whereas in an Android smartphone customization of the home screen is available.

However, this may work as a security threat to your data stored in Android phones but gives more control on what you want your device to do. Adding to this, an Android cell phone can work as a hard drive when connected to a PC. You can view, copy and delete files and transfer media as per the storage allows.

If you want to customize your cell phone with the applications of your choice, Android will work best for you. On the contrary, if you prefer greater security rather than control, then iPhone is the best option.

Security and Privacy

Security is a major concern for smartphone users as they store a huge amount of personal data on their devices. Be it their usernames, passwords or personal photographs and other details, your cellphone knows everything about you. A security breach can cause more harm than a person realizes.

The most trusted name in ensuring the security of your data is iPhone. The data stored in the device is encrypted and can be accessed with a pass code, thus making it significantly less prone to cyber crime and theft. Supporting applications only being available from the App Store makes iOS devices safer than Android because applications from unknown sources sometimes contain malware.

Android cellphones hold 80 percent of the market, thus making it more vulnerable to cyber crime and its open system attracts malware. It can be protected only by installing additional applications from the Google Play Store or an antivirus app. Therefore, Apple’s iPhones are the first choice when security and privacy is your priority.

There is no specific answer to which one is better among an Android and an iPhone. It depends on your choice and preferences. Both mobile operating systems are excellent in various aspects and offer varied benefits. Consider your budget and the specifications you need on your cell phone before deciding the better one for you.

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