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Category Archives: FAQ

What are the Best Shows for Children?

Today’s television programming is extensive, and as a result, parents can choose from a variety of programming for their children. The best TV shows for children include choices that are both educational and entertaining.

Super Why!

“Super Why!” is a program that will teach children about word use and phonics. It also reinforces the benefits of teamwork to solve problems. The program features a group of kid Super Readers who are led by Whyatt. The Super Readers live in Storybrook Village, and by working together, the team helps children learn reading fundamentals. When problems arise, the Super Readers turn into superheroes to solve them. Each character has special powers that are word-based. For instance, some can build letters and words while others can highlight words and form rhyming words.

Sesame Street

When children watch “Sesame Street,” they’ll learn how to deal with powerful emotions. For instance, they’ll learn how to handle their sadness when a best friend moves away or when they feel bad about themselves. The show’s messages are positive, and it frequently focuses on self-affirmation. The Muppet characters can be flippant and funny, which is why parents will enjoy watching the show with their children. “Sesame Street” features educational basics, such as letters, numbers and colors, as well as math and science. The show also uses music, language and dance to expose children to different cultures.

Sid the Science Kid

“Sid the Science Kid” asks a lot of questions during the show. In fact, his questions are likely similar to the ones that young viewers have about the world. To find out the answers, Sid makes observations and uses scientific investigation. During the program, the adults in Sid’s life encourage him to learn. Therefore, parents who permit their children to watch the show should be prepared to allow their children to complete simple experiments at home. Each week, the show features a specific theme. For instance, Sid learns about the human body, machines and transformations.

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

Classic television shows like “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” continue to be relevant as they teach children about social responsibility, self-esteem and respect. “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” began during the 1960s, and it is hosted by Mr. Rogers. Each episode has a theme such as being a good friend, honesty and overcoming fears. The show features field trips to factories to see how everyday products are made. Mr. Rogers also visits his neighbors at work to see how their jobs help the community. In several episodes, Mr. Rogers introduces children to tough subjects such as death and divorce. However, parents shouldn’t worry when these episodes are shown because Mr. Rogers is always responsible and appropriate with his depictions and explanations.

Team Umizoomi

When children watch “Team Umizoomi,” they’ll likely improve their math skills. The team includes Bot, Geo and Millie, and with their Mighty Math Powers, they solve problems. The show combines live-action and animation by including real children. In fact, when live children appear on the program, they become a part of the team. During missions, the team uses math, problem-solving skills and cooperation to solve problems that arise. While viewing the program, children will learn shape identification and pattern recognition. Furthermore, each team member has a special talent. For instance, Millie measures items with her hair, Bot can reach objects in high places and Geo puts shapes together.

WordWorld

“WordWorld” teaches children how to spell. In the program, the objects and characters are literal. For instance, the letters C-A-T are placed close together to make a cat while the letters H-O-U-S-E form a house. The show’s creativity is a great way for kids to make the connection between letters and the words that people use to communicate each day. “WordWorld” features WordFriends, which include a Frog, Sheep and Pig. In each episode, the three characters work together to solve problems while maintaining the show’s word building theme. With fun music, attractive characters and plenty of learning opportunities, the show will entertain children.

Handy Manny

Children will love the characters in “Handy Manny” as many of them are tools that have specific jobs to complete. The show’s motto is “You break it, we fix it.” During some of the show’s episodes, the tools make the repair job harder because they are careless, impatient or prideful. By the end of the show, the characters make things right and fix the broken items. The tools receive encouragement and support from the human characters on the show. They also support each other. The program focuses on community and the Latino culture. In fact, Manny frequently speaks Spanish words and phrases. He then translates the Spanish words into English.

The Benefits of Children’s Programming

With the variety of children’s programming on cable television today, parents can make sure that their children are learning while being entertained.

Roku vs. Apple TV – Which is Better?

If you’re in the market for a streaming box that allows you to use services like Netflix and Amazon Instant on your TV, you will probably end up having to decide between the two most popular options: Roku and Apple TV. For all intents and purposes, these are the top two contenders on the market today. There are smart TVs that support many streaming apps, and many Blu-ray players and game consoles do too. However, Apple TV and Roku support far more apps than these other options, and they make a lot more sense for people who just need streaming and don’t want any of the other bells and whistles.

Why it Matters

 

Apple TV and Roku are similar in many ways, so does it even matter which one you choose? The answer is a resounding yes. If anything, the two devices’ similarities make it all the more important to take your time and choose carefully. There are several seemingly innocuous differences, but they can mean the difference between watching what you want and having to compromise. The good news is there’s no need to buy them both. By considering the pros and cons of each, you should be able to zero in on the right one.

Similarities

 

There are many similarities between Apple TV and Roku. Both devices are sleek and compact, so they’re easy to incorporate into a home entertainment setup. They both cost around $100, and they support many of the same apps. Both used to have interfaces that weren’t very user friendly, but that’s changed. These days, the interfaces for both devices are easy to navigate and use, so it’s a draw there as well.

Now that the main similarities between these devices are out of the way, a quick look at the pros and cons of each should be quite revealing.

Roku

 

Roku is sort of like the Netflix of streaming boxes. It was the first device of its kind to gain any traction, and that’s largely due to its association with Amazon. It’s also always been a solid, effective piece of technology, and that becomes truer with each update.

One of the main advantages of Roku is that it supports the largest numbers of apps. At last count, it was well over 750, and the number goes up constantly. New apps debut on the device quickly, so this is a good choice for early adopters. Don’t worry about getting confused while searching for content; the cross-platform search feature makes it a breeze. Roku supports several live TV sources, and you can stream music through the Amazon Cloud Player app. For times when you don’t want to disturb others, the remote control’s headphone jack is very convenient.

The biggest thorn in Roku’s side is that it doesn’t have a YouTube app. Incredibly, you can’t watch YouTube videos on a Roku streaming player. If you’ve always dreamed of saving videos you find on YouTube so that you can watch them later on a larger screen, Roku isn’t for you.

Apple TV

 

Anyone who already owns several Apple products and who relies heavily on iOS devices like iPhones, iPods and iPads is well-advised to purchase Apple TV. One of the devices top advantages is that its seamlessly compatible with those devices, so you can pull content from them to watch right on your TV. This is made possible through AirPlay, which lets you stream music, videos and photos from iOS devices. Apple TV has caught up a lot in terms of the number of apps that it supports, and you can now use HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Netflix, MLB.TV and other popular apps with ease. Naturally, you can also access iTunes through the device to enjoy anything in your library or to rent or purchase videos and music. By springing for iTunes Match, which costs $25 per year, you can pull your content from the cloud at a moment’s notice. Finally, the fact that YouTube is available on Apple TV is a huge feather in the device’s cap.

The most significant drawback of Apple TV is that Amazon Instant still isn’t supported. There is no sign that it will be anytime in the near future, either. If you already have a lot of Amazon content, you’ll probably want to pass up this device.

Final Notes

 

Before purchasing either streaming box, make sure the apps you are excited about will work properly. For instance, some require authentication. With HBO GO, you must prove you are a subscriber. Some cable companies don’t allow subscribers to use the app on certain devices, so proceed with caution. With a little extra research, you should be able to select a device that lets you enjoy premium home entertainment for years to come.

What are the Best Blu-Ray Players?

With so many streaming movie services out there and plenty of devices on which to enjoy them, Blu-ray players almost seem to have worn out their welcome. However, anyone who is serious about having a great home entertainment system shouldn’t go without one. In years past, Blu-ray players were notoriously expensive, and load times tended to be pretty abysmal. Things have improved a lot, though, and some of today’s best models can be had for less than $200. Load times have improved considerably too, so popping in a disc is a lot more enjoyable.

Features to Look for when Buying a Blu-Ray Player

 

If it’s been awhile since you bought a new Blu-ray player, you may be a little rusty in terms of the types of features that are available. You no longer have to spend a small fortune to get some pretty exciting features, so don’t put up with exorbitant prices. For example, most models include built-in Wi-Fi, which allows you to use the accompanying interface to access apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant. In this way, a Blu-ray player can easily take the place of a set-top streaming box.

Additional features to insist on when shopping for a great Blu-ray player include 3-D support and the ability to play DVDs and CDs. Pass up on any player that doesn’t include them. Keep in mind that a decent Blu-ray player can essentially eliminate the need for a DVD player, CD player and set-top streaming box like Roku or Apple TV. Of course, you may still want to have separate versions of these components, but it’s nice to know that you can access all of these features from a single device.

Today’s Best Blu-Ray Players

 

All of these Blu-ray players offer comparable image quality, so there’s no need to pick and choose among them based on that characteristic. They are all fairly inexpensive as well.

  • Panasonic DMP-BDT230 – With a price that’s well below $150, this Blu-ray player is an absolute steal. That’s especially true when you consider all of the features that are packed into its sleek frame. It includes standard ports for things like Ethernet and HDMI, but it also has built-in Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to plug it in at all if you don’t want to. It supports Miracast, which allows you to mirror the screen from your smartphone or other mobile device. Discs take a mere 17 seconds to load, which is phenomenal. The remote is handy too and includes buttons for things like Internet and Netflix.
  • Sony PlayStation 3 – This one’s an oldie but a definite goody. In addition to playing all PlayStation games, including discs and downloadable games, it doubles as a Blu-ray player and streaming content player too. The latest model is exceptionally slim and lightweight, so there’s no need to clear away a lot of space on the entertainment center. If you don’t play video games, you might want to pass it up. Otherwise, it’s a terrific option.
  • Sony BDP-S3100 – Like the PlayStation 3, this Blu-ray player allows you to access the Sony Entertainment Network, which is loaded with convenient apps and features. It’s also very affordable and offers lightning-fast disc load times. Built-in Wi-Fi works very reliably, and the interface is incredibly intuitive.
  • LG BP730 – One of the most compelling things about this nifty little Blu-ray player is its incredible smartphone integration features. You can easily sync it to any NCF-enabled smartphone and can then send content to and from the phone and the player. This feature also allows you to use the smartphone like a remote, which can come in handy. The actual remote that comes with the BP730 is a little tricky to use. It includes a navigation pad and a scroll wheel, and it takes a while to get the hang of it. However, the player loads Blu-ray discs in less than 20 seconds, and there are plenty of ports.
  • Samsung BD-F75W – Considering how much pricier this Blu-ray player is than the others on the list, you’d expect its craftsmanship to be absolutely incredible. That isn’t the case, but this is still a solid choice for anyone who wants a truly first-rate player. Like Samsung Smart TVs, the BD-F75W has a “Smart Hub” from which you can access the Internet and streaming features. Thankfully, the interface is much simpler and easier to navigate than the ones you’ll find on most Smart TVs. It comes with a nice little remote with glow-in-the-dark buttons.

The Bottom Line

 

The trickiest thing about buying a Blu-ray player these days is narrowing down the huge list of affordable, feature-packed options. By knowing what you absolutely must have and doing a little research, you should be able to find a suitable option without a lot of trouble.

What Are the Best TV Accessories?

When proud homeowners have at last procured a big-screen television and a wonderfully fulfilling cable package, they may very well want to track down some accessory items that will make the experience even better. With a bit of research, individuals can find some reasonably priced items that will add style and substance to the living room.

Television Stands
Television stands are very useful devices for people who are trying to spruce up the den. Many of these stands, in fact, are carved from elegant wood and are polished to perfection. Cherry, oak and pine are all good choices. Some stands also have ornate carvings that will allow the furniture piece to fit in with the surrounding decorative scheme. In nearly all instances, men and women will want to buy a stand that has a pair of swinging doors in the front. These doors can be gently closed over the screen whenever the television is not being used. While most stands are designed to hold quite a bit of weight, buyers will still want to examine the small print to ensure they are getting something viable.

Speakers
If residents plan on setting up a home theater system with incredible surround sound, they will surely want to buy extra speakers. These speakers can be strategically placed around the room so that the movie-watching experience is taken to new heights. While some of these speakers can be mounted on the wall, they can also be set up on speaker stands near the back of the living room. When crafting a world-class sound system, most homeowners will want to consider the acoustics of the living room before they begin. This way, they can ensure that every single seating area is a prime place to watch movies, sitcoms, sporting events and awards shows. Developing a diagram beforehand can be immensely helpful.

Remote Controls
Universal remote controls can come in very handy when a new system is being set up. In fact, durable remotes can be programmed to control televisions, stereos and DVD players. This way, residents will only have to use one device whenever they want to turn on any aspect of the entertainment system. Remotes are also useful for recording shows and movies during times when family members are not home. By hitting just one or two buttons, the program in question will be recorded and stored. Men and women can then choose to watch the show whenever they have some free time. Most remotes take standard batteries and are quite easy to use.

Wall Mounts
In cases where the television is to be mounted on the wall, a number of support devices will be needed. At most local home improvement stores, individuals will be able to buy brackets, mounts, screws, nails and a variety of other items. In all cases, component parts should only be driven into walls that can handle the weight. If men and women are unsure of which wall to use, they should consult with an interior decorator or a handyman. Experts will be able to develop an engineering plan so that the mount will not damage the drywall. For big-screen televisions that are considerably hefty, reputable mounting kits will be required.

Cables
Most televisions will require a series of durable cables so that they can be connected to the correct input boxes on the wall. In many cases, these cables can also be hooked up to the DVD player. If the cable is to be redirected to other parts of the house, then a splitter will also be required. Individuals should be sure that they buy a quality splitter from a reputable store. If the splitter does not contain the proper electronic components, the picture quality will be below average. Once the cables have been hooked up to the various devices, they can be run along the edge of the room so that family members and guests do not trip on them. Placing the cables under the carpet or behind pieces of furniture will work best.

Cooling Devices
Men and women who plan on using their televisions quite a bit may also want to buy calibrated cooling devices. The best models provide ventilation for the video and audio components so that the devices do not overheat. If people have spent large amounts of money on plasma televisions and state-of-the-art speaker systems, then they will want to protect these delicate machines at all costs. Cabinet vents and basic temperature controllers are both superb options.

Choosing the Right Products
Whether television enthusiasts are interested in stands, speakers, mounts, remote controls or cables, they should look for high-quality products that are in pristine condition. As long as these accessory items are treated well, they should remain in great shape. Families will be able to enjoy their home theaters in style.

Why Should You Limit Your Child’s TV Time?

Although there is certainly nothing wrong with children watching television in small doses, particularly if the shows that they watch are educational, it isn’t a good thing for children to watch too much TV. In fact, there are many reasons why parents should limit the amount of time that their children are allowed to watch television each day.

Obesity

Children with weight issues can face a lot of problems, both now and later on down the road. Not only can obesity cause children to be unhealthy, but it can also lower their self-esteem and establish poor habits that can stick with them for a lifetime. When children spend too much time in front of the TV, they often find themselves snacking more, and excessive television watching can greatly reduce the amount of time that they spend being physically active.

Violence

There are a lot of violent television shows, movies and video games out there, and children who spend more time watching TV are much more likely to encounter this type of material. When they see a lot of violence on television, kids are often desensitized to it to a point where it almost seems normal; this can cause them to think that various acts of violence are acceptable ways of handling day-to-day issues.

Irregular Sleep

Various studies have shown that the children who spend the most time watching TV also have the most irregular sleep patterns, which can make schoolwork difficult and can cause other problems. These problems are worsened in situations when children have TV sets in their bedrooms, but it can be an issue for any child who spends too much time in front of a screen.

Behavioral Issues

Elementary school students who spend a lot of time watching television are more likely to develop all sorts of problems, such as social, emotional and attention-related issues. Studies have also shown that kids who play video games regularly are often more likely to develop attention-related disorders, and bullying can be more common in elementary school kids who watched a lot of TV early in life. These issues can cause problems at both school and home.

Bad Influences

In many cases, bad behaviors like drinking, smoking and recreational drug use are portrayed as being acceptable and normal on television, which can make these things seem as if they are typical to young and impressionable minds. Children can also learn racial, gender and other forms of stereotypes by watching too much TV.

Less Imaginative Play

It is important for children to use their imaginations and to spend time playing with toys and one another, and this type of activity can be greatly decreased when children spend too much time sitting in front of a television set.

Lack of Family Time

It’s common for many families to eat dinner in front of the television or for each family member to be in a separate room while watching a separate TV show or movie, but this can cut down on quality family time. It’s better for every member of the family to disconnect from the TV for several hours a day so that the entire household can spend time together.

These are just a handful of the many reasons why it is important for parents to limit the number of hours that their children spend watching TV each day. It is best for children to watch television for two hours or less each day, and many families find that it is a good idea to limit screen time to weekends only. Transitioning to limited TV time can be difficult for households that are accustomed to spending a lot more time in front of a screen, but these changes can be positive and can help promote healthy kids and families.

What are the Best Energy Saving Televisions?

There’s a lot to love about today’s best HDTVs. When compared with their cathode ray equipped predecessors, their clearness, crispness and quality are incredible. Modern TVs are also loaded with more snazzy features than ever, which can make it difficult to narrow things down when looking for a new one. One thing people don’t often consider when shopping for new televisions is energy efficiency. It’s easy to overlook how much power a single TV can guzzle during the course of a year. Fortunately, TV manufacturers are taking steps to make the best TVs as energy efficient as possible.

How Much does it Cost to Use a TV?

 

Without knowing how much energy the average TV uses during the course of a year, it’s pretty much impossible to shop for one that offers exceptional energy efficiency. Modern HDTVs are all over the place in terms of annual energy costs. Some models cost as little as $30 per year to operate, which is roughly equal to how much it costs to operate an old-fashioned CRT set over the same period of time. However, some models cost upwards of $225 to keep running on a yearly basis.

Factors that Affect Energy Efficiency in TVs

 

Why are modern TVs such energy hogs when compared with traditional CRT models? The biggest culprit is screen size. Because HDTVs are so thin and lightweight, they can more easily boast exceptionally large screens. In general, the larger the screen is, the more energy a TV is going to use. Of course, other factors come into play as well, and some larger TVs may actually be more energy efficient than smaller models. For instance, TVs that automatically default to standby mode instead of truly shutting off use a lot of energy. Some models automatically adjust the brightness of their screens based on surrounding lighting, and that feature can increase energy efficiency by a considerable degree.

Today’s Best Energy-Efficient Televisions

 

If you’re in the market for an energy-efficient TV, your best bet is to stick with models that are ENERGY STAR certified. This means that they meet the rigorous standards of ENERGY STAR and use a lot less energy than other TVs. Of course, even within that category, there are all kinds of options. Sorting through all of the features can be very confusing. A few of the best energy-efficient TVs on the market include:

 

  • Panasonic TH-32LRU60 – With average annual energy usage of 51 kWh, this sleek Panasonic model is a great choice for folks who like to keep their electricity bills as manageable as possible. The great thing is that you don’t have to skimp in terms of screen size or features. This model has a 32″ screen, which makes it perfect for small- and medium-sized rooms. It’s an especially popular choice for kids’ rooms. Its LCD screen has an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness based on the lighting in the room. Over the course of the year, that can add up to a lot of saved energy.
  • Coby LEDTV3216 – In addition to having a very affordable price tag, this LED HDTV is ENERGY STAR certified and packed with great features. It also has a 32″ screen, which highlights the significant impact that screen size has on a TV’s energy efficiency. Although it has a standby mode that is difficult to bypass, it operates at less than 0.5 kWh while it is engaged, so you’re not going to waste a lot of energy by allowing it to switch to that state.
  • Samsung UN46F5000AF – For those who want larger screens, there are plenty of Samsung models that fill the bill. This one stands out because it’s also a smart TV, which means that it can connect to the Internet either with an Ethernet cable or over a Wi-Fi connection. The average energy usage of this TV is 78 kWh per year, which is quite a bit higher than models with smaller screens. Still, the clarity and crispness of the images are incredible, and the automatic brightness control helps to save energy while maintaining image integrity. Because it’s a Samsung smart TV, you can use apps like Netflix without needing a set-top box.

Tips for Increasing the Energy Efficiency of Any TV

 

If you’re not quite ready to buy a new TV but want to make your current one as energy efficient as possible, make a point of completely turning it off when it’s not in use. You might have to unplug it entirely. Check to see if there’s an energy-saving mode, or reduce the brightness of the screen to the lowest acceptable level. These small steps can add up to significant savings over time.

Which Outdoor Televisions Are the Best?

When homeowners are building a grand outdoor area that is designed to serve as a meeting location for various family members and friends, they will undoubtedly want to choose accessory items that are elegant and imaginative. By installing a brilliantly crafted outdoor television, individuals can make the area quite attractive. Property owners will be able to relax on the patio or in the swimming pool as they gaze into the crystal-clear picture. As long as people purchase a television made by one of the top manufacturers, they’ll be able to enjoy hours of entertainment with their loved ones.

Choosing an Outdoor Location for the Television
In many cases, homeowners will want to install the television in a location where it will be most useful. In general, the device should be placed in an area where dozens of people will be able to view it at the same time. Televisions can be mounted on walls, placed on stone ledges or hidden behind elegant furniture pieces. Retractable roofs and climate-controlled pavilions can protect expensive electronic equipment in places where the weather is frequently hot or cold. Many families, in fact, choose to build ornate television stands in the yard. These stands often feature sliding doors made from glass and bronze. When rainstorms or other violent weather events arrive, the television will remain safely within the stand until the sun returns once again.

Sunbrite
Men and women will have a number of wonderful outdoor televisions to choose from. Sunbrite makes a broad array of products that are designed to be used outside. In fact, Sunbrite televisions have aluminum exteriors that are meant to stand up to even the harshest weather conditions. The aluminum is coated with a calibrated powder, which makes the metal especially resistant to cold. With a built-in thermostat and a quality airflow system, the television can be kept at the right temperature during both the height of summer and the depths of winter. With high-definition screens that cut down on exterior glare, Sunbrite televisions are some of the best on the market.

Panasonic
Panasonic has long been a giant in the industry and has happily lived up to its reputation in recent years. The company has used cutting-edge technology to produce televisions that will light up any outdoor area. Panasonic televisions will perform well in both rainy and dusty conditions. Many of the models use trans-reflective LCD panels, which help to produce radiant pictures. Such pictures will remain immaculate even when viewed from several feet away. Panasonic televisions are also protected against cold temperatures with a special winter setting, which provides the LCD panels with internal heat. Even when the temperature has fallen well below freezing, the audio and video components will still perform admirably.

Sony
Sony also offers televisions that are specially made for outdoor areas. The company has added heavy-duty exteriors that are designed to hold up under adverse weather conditions. Sony’s latest offering, which is a 201-inch behemoth that is ground retractable, comes with 15 speakers that are incorporated into the matrix. The television is also waterproof, which means it will remain fully functional during all-day rains. Because the television can also rotate, it can be placed in the middle of picnic areas and courtyards. Through a simple turning mechanism, the entire system can be easily turned so that individuals can view it from several different angles.

Coming to Terms with the Details
When buying a lovely outdoor television that is expected to be the heart of the entertainment center for years or even decades, prospective purchasers should pay attention to a few specific details. Individuals who live in an area of maximum sunlight will want to place the television in a shaded location. This will reduce glare and make the screen easier to see. Because most homeowners will want to avoid running a coaxial cable from the interior of the residence to the exterior, they will have to consider other options. Wireless devices, for example, will allow people to send a signal to the television. As an alternative, men and women might wish to install a stand-alone video connection somewhere in the yard. When it comes to electrical boxes, weather-resistant outlets will be absolutely mandatory. For the financially well-off, large outdoor enclosures can be constructed at the same time.

Setting a Budget
When homeowners are finally ready to make a purchase, they should set a budget for themselves and stick to it. Because outdoor televisions are usually equipped with extra features that will allow them to stand up to the wind and rain, they will nearly always be a bit more expensive. As long as buyers keep to their price range, they should be able to find something that will delight everyone in the family going forward.

What Are the Best Television Apps?

Television provides millions of families with entertainment choices that can be accessed from home. Additions to basic television services can enhance the viewing experience to provide a greater range of choices that are available when a person is ready to view. Television apps are useful for letting people learn about television shows, view exclusive material and catch up on shows before new seasons start.

Accessing Television Apps

Television apps are not available on every television. Interactive TVs including smart TVs are specifically designed to allow a person to access the Internet through a menu on the television. Users can then navigate through this menu to download applications that may be used to learn more about TV shows and catch up on shows.

The apps described below may be available on formats other than televisions. These apps often allow people to access information about their favorite television shows from cell phones and mobile devices, but the best viewing format for quality and screen size is a television.

The Best Television Apps

Accessing the best programming and learning more about upcoming shows can be done through useful television apps. Learn more about the best television apps before downloading anything to determine whether these apps fit specific needs.

Netflix

Netflix is a streaming app that often offers access to recent seasons of select television shows. This app is ideal for getting caught up on the last season of a show before the new season starts. Netflix also streams a number of exclusive series that are only available to Netflix members. Unlimited streaming is available for a monthly fee.

GetGlue

People who like TV shows and social media can experience both by using the GetGlue television app. This social media app allows people to view shows, read information about the latest story lines in their favorite shows and talk to others about the hottest programming. Rating shows through the app allows it to provide users with recommendations.

Hulu Plus

Television viewers may be familiar with using the free version of Hulu to watch older episodes of their favorite shows online. Hulu Plus offers expanded offerings including some of the most popular shows, and episodes are often available the day after they air. There are also original programs available through the app. A monthly fee is required to access this version of Hulu.

HBO Go

This app is specifically for use on mobile devices. People who are subscribed to HBO can access shows, movies and documentaries through this app. There are also exclusive extras that can be viewed, and the fact that the app is made for use on mobile devices means that busy people who are constantly on the go can keep up with acclaimed HBO series.

Sports Apps

The availability of particular sports apps varies according to the television that is being used, but every sports fan should be sure to download at least one app that offers access to games, scores and other important sports information. One example of a sports app that provides these features is NBC Sports. This app has even offered users access to a live streaming version of the Super Bowl.

AccuWeather

While it is not an app that pertains to viewing television programs, the AccuWeather app allows people to save time when they want to know about the weather in their immediate area. The app can be used instead of tuning into the Weather Channel in order to learn about the daily forecast. There is no need for people to wait for a news station to get around to reporting the weather when the AccuWeather app is downloaded.

Pandora

Televisions are not just for viewing television shows and movies. The high-quality audio in newer televisions makes them ideal for listening to music. Pandora allows users to access radio stations based on certain bands or types of music that they enjoy. The songs played on these stations are selected based on the musician or group associated with the station. People can listen to old favorites and sample the newest music in their favorite genre by using Pandora.

Televisions bring entertainment right into the homes of millions of people across the country. Using every feature that a TV has to offer is a matter of understanding how to access these features. Apps can be downloaded on televisions that have access to the Internet, and many of the apps available on these TVs allow users to catch up on shows and learn more about upcoming programming. Apps are available on TVs and mobile devices to offer convenience for busy families who want to stay in the loop while they are away from home.

What Are the Different Types of Televisions?

No two television models are alike. Consumers have more choices than ever before across a wide range of prices, but selecting a television remains a confusing process for millions of TV viewers. The television is the single most important part of any home theater system, so picking out the right one is essential.

Cathode Ray Tube

The CRT, or cathode ray tube, has been around since 1897, and it’s been used in television sets since 1934. CRTs are complicated compared to newer LCD and plasma displays, and they rely on three separate electron guns to shoot beams of electrons of different intensities, which show up as red, green, and blue shapes. Once those electrons hit the television’s fluorescent screen, they appear as a single image.
Consumers who want to purchase CRTs will have to look hard to find them. Most major manufacturers have ceased production entirely, and the only new CRTs still being produced are for medical devices. They’re large, heavy, and inefficient, and there’s really no reason to choose CRTs over comparable LCD displays.

Digital Light Processing

DLP, or digital light processing, projectors were first designed in 1987, and now they can be found in most movie theaters. They’re still used in rear projection TVs that are at least 50 inches in size, but just like CRTs, DLP TVs are bulky and heavy.
However, DLP projectors are a much better choice for TV viewers who want to see shows and movies on the big screen. By aiming the projector at a white wall or projection screen, DLP users can easily display images up to 15 feet across, which isn’t possible with today’s television sets.

Plasma

Plasma displays represent a paradigm shift that swept through the television industry around 2000. Overnight, thin became a buzzword. No longer would consumers need to deal with TV sets that were 18 or 24 inches thick. Screen sizes would continue growing, but TVs would quickly become light enough to hang on a wall or fit in an entertainment center.
While plasma TVs generate a lot of heat, they can display video in HD resolutions such as 720p and 1080p with a wide viewing angle. High refresh rates keep motion blur to a minimum, and deep blacks bring colors out compared to early LCD models. However, some plasma screens can develop image retention, which is typically caused by a static image such as a DVD menu or standby screen.

Liquid-Crystal Display

In recent years, manufacturers have focused most of their efforts on refining LCDs, and most TVs sold today use liquid-crystal displays. Thanks to a huge economy of scale, LCDs are more affordable than other types of televisions, and a standard 40-inch LCD TV can be purchased for as little as $400 today — about one-third of what it would have cost five years ago.
LCD TVs use a thin layer of liquid-crystals to display an image. A 1080p LCD TV contains more than 2 million individual pixels, which display colors independently from one another.

Light-Emitting Diode

LED, or light-emitting diode, TVs are actually LCD TVs in disguise because they also use liquid-crystal displays. Instead of fluorescent bulbs, LEDs generate light, which shines through the LCD screen to generate a visible image, and they use less electricity and generate less heat than LCD TVs.

High Refresh Rate TVs

Most cable programming broadcasts at just 30 fps, or frames per second, which is about how fast the human eye can process different images. TVs typically operate at 60Hz — in other words, they can update their images up to 60 times every second.
However, some new TVs offer 120Hz and 240Hz refresh rates. These modes change the video quality, and many TV viewers prefer 60Hz because it’s the refresh rate most familiar to them. Consumers who are considering a switch to 120Hz or 240Hz should check out high refresh rate TVs in their local electronics store before making a purchase.

3D TVs

Some TVs are equipped with 3D capabilities. Viewers will need to wear special glasses that come with their 3D TVs to experience the special effects, and they can disable the 3D mode to watch movies and shows in 2D. Unfortunately, most content only comes out in 2D, and 3D TVs can be up to twice as expensive as 2D models.

Smart TVs

Manufacturers have started marketing smart TVs that can connect to the Internet and access additional content. Cable subscribers can connect to their home networks with a Wi-Fi connection or Ethernet cable, and they can stream movies, shows, music, and other media from their computers or websites. Most smart TVs can be controlled with tablets or smartphones.

What Size TV Do You Need For a Room?

Most people want the largest television that they can afford to buy. In fact, after buying a TV, many viewers report that they should have purchased a larger one. Therefore, size is a major television-buying factor. However, the room in which viewers will be watching TV should also be a consideration.

About Picture Quality and Viewing

For the best television viewing experience, TV watchers should sit at a specific distance from their television sets. The picture detail on today’s HDTV sets is considerably better than the picture on the old analog sets. Therefore, viewers can sit closer to modern TVs. When people sit too far away from their HDTV, they may miss some of the detail that the television provides. Viewers should also avoid sitting too close to their television. If viewers are noticing the screen structure that features rows and columns of pixels that appear as small dots, then they are too close to the screen.

Recommended Viewing Range

Television viewing experts have determined a general guideline for TV placement. For instance, when consumers purchase a 26-inch television, they should watch the TV at a distance of 3.25 to 5.5 feet away while a 40-inch television provides the best viewing experience when TV watchers sit 5 to 8.33 feet away from the screen. With a large 70-inch TV, viewers should sit 8.75 to 14.75 feet away from it.

The recommended viewing distance features a range because television viewers have personal preferences when it comes to distance. Viewers should also alter the distance according to the type of programing that they watch. If a person mainly watches high-quality video, such as high definition television shows and DVDs, then he or she can sit closer to the screen to view the TV’s detailed picture. However, if the viewer is more likely to watch lower quality programing, then he or she should sit farther away from the set to avoid seeing the image’s imperfections.

About Aspect Ratio

Television viewers who watch numerous shows in the square 4:3 aspect ratio should consider purchasing a television that has approximately the same screen height as a 4:3 unit. Therefore, these viewers should not use the typical diagonal measuring method to determine their perfect screen size. For example, consumers who have a 32-inch 4:3 television will require a 40-inch 16:9 TV with a larger screen to obtain the equivalent picture size. Today, more cable companies offer programing in 16:9, so many consumers won’t have to worry about the picture size, but those who prefer standard viewing should consider it.

Tips Regarding Television Placement

Another factor that will affect viewing quality is the angle of the television placement. The best way to view a television is directly. In addition, the viewer’s eyes should be level with the middle section of the television’s screen. To acquire the proper placement, consumers will likely need a television stand to support the unit and place it at the right height. With a flat panel television, consumers can purchase a stand or a wall mount to set the television at the proper height. A wall mount provides a streamlined look and decreases the amount of floor space used for the television. It also gives the room a home theater appearance.

Safety Tips

During the television stand selection process, be sure to purchase a support system that is strong enough and large enough for the television’s size and weight. Keep in mind that an old piece of furniture, such as a dresser or a coffee table, may not be able to accommodate a large television. Also, after purchasing the TV, confirm that the unit is set on the stand or wall mount properly. It should also be balanced from left to right and from front to back. Most televisions are front heavy, so do not place them too close to the stand’s front edge.

TV Picture and Room Lighting

Natural and artificial lighting can greatly affect a television’s picture. When lighting is placed accurately, it can create a better television viewing experience because it prevents eyestrain and enhances colors. In most cases, lighting creates a negative result as it adds glare to the screen. Lighting can also make the television screen’s colors appear dull and faded. When a room features a lot of light, there are several steps that viewers can take to decrease its impact. For instance, before selecting a spot for the television, assess the room for potential glare to set the TV in a section of the room that avoids it. Consider adding blinds or drapes to the room’s windows to block the light. Consumers can also buy LCD televisions as they feature anti-reflective screens.

Acquiring the Best TV Viewing Experience

Consumers can obtain the best television viewing experience by purchasing a unit that is the right size. They can enhance their TV entertainment further by placing it in the right spot at the proper angle.

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