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Category Archives: Household

Digital Transition Happens Tomorrow

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By Shane McGlaun

The digital transition finally happens tomorrow. I am looking forward to it because that will mean that those analog airwaves will be available for the wireless companies to start building out that nationwide broadband plan they talked about. I would love to get off my crappy DSL provider and onto a faster network.

The transition was originally supposed to happen back in February but 5.8 million homes weren’t ready for the transition leading President Obama and the government to postpone the transition until tomorrow. Despite the delay, there are still a huge number of homes in America unprepared for the transition.

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Harman Kardon Enters Blu-ray Market

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By Shane McGlaun

There are gobs of Blu-ray players on the market today. I still think one of the better players is the PS3. I like that it has all the features you want from a Blu-ray player, can be updated with new features and plays great video games all for less than many other high-end Blu-ray players.

If you don’t want a PS3 there are certainly enough options available in the Blu-ray market and now there is one more brand to consider. Harman Kardon has announced its first Blu-ray player called the BDP1. You may recognize the Harman Kardon brand from the line of speakers the company has sold for years.

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Talking Wireless Grill Thermometer Helps Cook Steak

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By Shane McGlaun

Being a guy in the south cooking on the grill is a way of life. We don’t wait for good weather; all we need is an open flame and a pair of tongs. The cardinal rules are don’t overcook the steaks and keep the wife away from the grill.

Most guys know that when you are cooking a good steak, you don’t just cut it open to see if it’s done. You have to use a thermometer. The catch is that if you are inside cooking something else and the grill flares up you can have a burnt steak quickly.

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Pioneer Offers “Works with iPhone” A/V Receivers

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By Shane McGlaun

I have several iPod accessories around the house and each time I dock my iPhone I get that wonderful “this accessory is not iPod compatible” message. That little message means you can’t place calls while the iPhone is docked in the accessory, but I assume calls will still come in. I haven’t had that happen yet.

Pioneer has announced a new A/V receiver series that are certified to work with the iPhone and iPod touch. The receiver models include the VSX-819AH, VSX-919AH, and VSX-1019AH receivers. Users can plug their iPhone or iPod into the receivers and use the full-color GUI to browse album art and control music playback from across the room with the A/V receiver remote.

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Samsung Touch of Color Photo Frame is Thin and Sexy

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By Shane McGlaun

Digital photo frames may seem boring, but anyone who takes lots of digital pictures will find that the gadgets are a great way to do something with all those pictures other than letting them sit on your computer or memory card. The price of digital photo frames are coming down as well making them more affordable.

Samsung has announced a new digital frame that is under an inch thick and sports an 8-inch screen. The screen has a resolution of 800 x 480 and a contrast ratio of 500:1. Despite the small size of the frame, it packs 1GB of memory inside.

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Dish Network Adds Remote DVR Scheduling Feature

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By Shane McGlaun

One of the features that I like about my DirecTV DVR is that I can access it via my iPhone and set shows to record from anywhere I can get a Wi-Fi or cellular signal. The DVR doesn’t even have to be connected to my Internet connection to use the app.

Dish Network has announced its own remote access program called simply Remote Access. They even offer an iPhone App just like DirecTV. The service allows users to access their DVR from anywhere in the world and schedule recordings. The catch with the Dish Network app is that the DVR has to be connected to the Internet.

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Epson Announces New Ensemble HD Home Theater Kits

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By Shane McGlaun

I really like home theater gear and have wanted a projector set up in my living room for a long time. The thought of a massive image in HD resolution for watching the UFC and playing games makes me giddy. The problem is that getting all the gear together to set up a projection system can be a pain and it’s expensive.

Epson has announced new Ensemble HD home theater kits using the latest 1080p HD projectors from Epson. The new Ensemble kits include the firm’s 3LCD 1080p front projectors, motorized 100-inch screen, integrated surround sound, AV controller with built-in DVD player, universal remote, and the components needed for installation.

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Dish Network Announces New Nationwide HD Channels

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By Shane McGlaun

I have been feeding on a steady stream of HD TV and movies for years now and I can’t stand to watch SD programs. It would really suck to have to go back to SD programs and thankfully, DirecTV has all the channels I like to watch in HD.

The HD lineup was the reason I chose DirecTV vs Dish Network for my new house. Dish Network is trying to improve its HD offerings though and has just introduced seven new national HD channels. I wonder if that means they got that satellite that failed to reach orbit correctly last year repaired.

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Viewsonic brings full 1080p HD Goodness to Smaller Screen Size

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by Shane McGlaun

Back when I was a kid getting a better picture on the TV Friday nights for watching Dukes of Hazard and The Incredible Hulk meant making my brother stand on one leg with tin foil in one hand and rabbit ears in the other. Today we have HD images and I have become so accustomed to the great picture quality I can hardly stand to watch SD programs.

The problem is that for people with smaller rooms and not enough space for a big 1080p TV there were few options other than a SD TV. Viewsonic has announced a new 22-inch screen TV that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 offering full HD 1080p image quality. The set has integrated ATSC/NTSC/QAM digital tuners, so it’s ready for the summer transition to all digital broadcasts.

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