Is Apple TV Right For You?

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Apple TV is essentially a little black box that you plug into your computer. From here you are instantly connected with hours of entertainment in up to 1080p HD. You can enjoy live sports, the latest TV shows, an endless selection of blockbuster movies, the news, and more, all in high definition on your television set. You can even manage your photos, music, and other content from your Mac or iOS through AirPlay.

You can choose from a range of new releases from iTunes, where you can rent or buy and even go behind the scenes through iTunes Extras. With Apple TV you can go beyond iTunes, however. You can also enjoy the programs from HBO, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. Apple TV gives you a world of entertainment accessible effortlessly through you fingertips. Channel surfing is a thing of the past and you never have to be out of the loop at work or school with the hottest new events and TV shows.apple-tv-itunes-store-access

On Apple TV there is something for everyone. Whether you like reality TV shows, staying up with current events, crime dramas, movies, or cartoons for the kids, everyone in the family will be happy. Most families have at least one sports fan, and he/she will be completely satisfied with Apple TV too. Apple TV has clips and highlights from big names everyone knows like NBA, ESPN, NHL, and MLB. Live games are also available so that you can be on the same page as all of your friends during important sporting events.apple-tv-youtube-app

In this fast pace and changing world, especially with all of the important and historical debates and events taking place this year, having your go-to news is also important for many people. Apple TV enables you to watch CNBC News, Sky News, Bloomberg TV, ABC News, Wall Street Journal Live and of course The Weather Channel. Everyone can get their ideal entertainment needs met with Apple TV.apps-apple-tv-interface

Apple TV also has fun and smart capabilities which allows you to do a lot more than just watch movies, TV, sports or the news. With AirPlay you can wirelessly play videos, pictures, and music from your Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad on your television screen. Guests can also use AirPlay to connect to your Apple TV and with iCloud you can store, watch, and share content with your family.apple-tv-image3

Do people like Apple TV? CNET gives it an editor’s rating of four stars and a user review of three and a half stars. Overall CNET gives it 8.3 out of 10. With all of the Apple TV’s outstanding capabilities it is not the only little black box like it on the market. Roku is reported to have more content sources like Amazon Instant and others. What does make the Apple TV stand out is its AirPlay features. If you own other Apple devices like one or more iPads, iPhones, or a Mac, then Apple TV might be an amazing choice because you have so many other options. You cannot wirelessly connect to devices through Roku.

The Latest in TV Technology

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TVs have been taking the world by storm since they became the primary source of news and entertainment in homes in the 1950s. Just a few decades later, in the 1990s, over 98% of American homes had a TV set. Today, new technology is being invented regularly to raise the bar for in-home entertainment standards.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

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This year, brightness is a big deal. In 2014, there were televisions that offered an “amazing” 750 nits of brightness, which was a big step up from the 400 nits most had come to expect. Now, there are many manufactures creating televisions that exceed a thousand. This jump is a big deal in the TV industry and proposes even sharper images for a more life-like experience.

HDR televisions are still a little ways in the future as they are being perfected, but tech gurus are expecting to one day have complete HDR systems on the market. This will mean a change in how shows and movies are filmed in order to take full advantage of the dynamic range these televisions would offer. Basically, by using local dimming technology, an HDR TV would bring out the whites of a picture while keep the blacks as black as possible. In the end, this will result in a dynamic and a truly amazing presentation.

With contrast ratio being one of the most important aspects of picture quality, many are keeping their eyes on Dolby Vision as TV lovers around the world anxiously await the arrival of such life-like televisions.

Quantum Dots

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Also known as “nanocrystals,” quantum dots are tiny particles. When supplied with energy, the dots glow a particular wavelength of color based on their own size. In 2013, Sony experimented with the technology with their W900A television. They used quantum dots and arranged them in a tube. A blue LED light was used to light up the screen, and the blue light also acted as an energizer for the red and green dots, which created a full, rich color spectrum on screen and fantastic picture quality. QD screens far exceed the quality of HD technology.

OLEDs

OLEDs, or “organic light-emitting diodes,” hold the title to producing the highest-quality picture so far on flat-panel displays. But, manufacturers are still in working with the technology and currently, any TV with an OLED display is too expensive for the everyday household. In fact, many TV manufactures have already stated that they will be focusing on 4k LED displays instead as OLEDs have so far proved unreliable and expensive.

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This isn’t actually bad news for the industry of TV tech, as 4k displays can actually match the quality of an OLED with proper manufacturing and good settings. Sony and similar brands have announced they will be experimenting with the color gamut of their upcoming makes and will likely be employing QDs or similar means. Their attempts have the goal of solidifying color and making the pictures more dynamic. Many have already introduced their curved-screen TVs to the market, but the advertisements do little to explain the technology, which has many consumers (unaware of the purposes) disliking the idea and misunderstanding the purpose of the new screen shape.

With more experimenting and proper marketing, along with a model introduced at a lower price point, 4k TVs cool well be the new standard for the television industry. Leaders like Samsung have kept their plans under wraps, but from what we’ve seen so far this year, we can only expect an increase in picture quality and better models in the years to come.

Declining Trends

With all the talk of new technology this year, there are also some declining trends in the world of television. Most famously, plasma screens are being continuously phased out. At a much slower rate, so are 1080p displays. While the HD trend won’t die overnight, OLEDs, QDs, and other technology will soon be making its way into the consumer marketplace and increase the standard of picture quality.

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Recap

2015 has already seen a lot of changes and interesting developments in the world of TV tech. We can only expect more to come in the next few months as manufacturers silently compete to be the innovators in the new age of television. While it’s unlikely any OLED screens will come on to the market anytime soon, there’s a good chance that makers like Sony and Samsung will take advantage of quantum dot technology and pioneer television into the new standard of picture quality.

Could Your Next Pet Be Exotic?

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Exotic or Domestic is the first question to ask yourself? Do you want a pet that is unusual or the more regular? There is a wide range of pets to choose from, besides the common dog, cat, or hamster choices.

However, exotic pets come with more responsibilities, thus the pet owner has to be ready and willing to do everything the pet needs. These pets may demand more time and plenty of attention, but are worth it, if you are an exotic pet fan.

There are many exotics pets to choose from. Prices can range from 100$ to $138.00 and sometimes there are legal obligations (requiring special license, etc.) to buying certain types of pets. So do the research first!  Research should include: the state laws for exotic pets (specific to the type you want), imported or breed in U.S. what the pet requires, health concerns (for pet and pet owner), what are the risks, and what are the advantages. Then decide if you really want to devote all that is required for the pet.

Kinkajous

The kinkajous are a nocturnal rain forest native. Their food source is fruits and eggs. Treats could be marshmallows and gummi bears.

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Sugar Gliders

Sugar Gliders are small marsupials from northeast Australia. These are also nocturnal, but still very social (so be ready to stay up late to play). These are recommended to buy in pairs for the social reasons.

 

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Facebook Founder Named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

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Time Magazine has declared Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg its Person of the Year for 2010.  The 26 year-old Zuckerberg beat out other eclectic and compelling personalities like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Chilean Miners, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the title.

The Person of the Year is selected by the magazine for being someone who has had the greatest influence on our culture – good or bad – in the last twelve months.  Zuckerberg was chosen “for connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them, for creating a new system of exchanging information and for changing how we live our lives”.

With Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has created an empire.  The site has almost 600 million users (that means that about 1 out of 12 people on the planet have a Facebook account) and the number of people logging on is growing every day.  People interact with the site in 70 languages and the company has offices in 11 countries including India, Ireland, and Australia.  Zuckerberg’s net worth was calculated at 6.9 billion dollars in 2010 (an amazing increase of 4.9 billion dollars over last year) and he is number 212 on the list of the world’s richest people.  The movie based on his life, The Social Network, was also a critical and box office success this year.  Not bad for a guy who dropped out of Harvard.

Time has been publishing a Person of the Year issue for over 80 years and Zuckerberg has been added to the long list of names that includes powerful figures such as President Obama, Bono, President Bush, and Martin Luther King Jr.  While there’s no question that Facebook has changed the way we connect with each other, it remains to be seen if history will remember Zuckerberg as a person who made our lives better or someone who helped make us more socially isolated.  What do you think?

Is the Ipad a Bad Idea?

It’s pretty easy to agree on the fact that Apple is taking over the world…well, the technological aspect of it anyways. With launch after launch of new products, improved products, refurbished products, and accessories to match all of these, the company is reaching a level no other company can say they’ve reached just yet. Apple’s most recent creation? The ipad. A laptop computer that is all touch screen and all excitement. But is this computer just for show, or does it actually measure up to its competition?

Something to take into consideration is price. Although the appearance of the ipad is more “spectacular” than just a normal laptop brand, the price of its competitors is significantly lower at only $399 (Toshiba 15” at Best Buy) compared to the apple price of $499 for their cheapest version of the product. So are the holiday’s more about saving money in this recession…or are people really buying into the advancements just to “keep up”?

Apparently so. It has been proven that the sales of the Apple Ipad are eating into sales of low-end laptops and when asked why it was a common answer for people to say that they just wanted the Apple because they felt more comfortable with the name brand as opposed to the other companies that were less frequently heard from. But reviews all agree that the Apple Company has not produced a bust whatsoever, and the Ipad is agreeably a good product to have in your home. The only thing that is important to consider is that although a great product to keep in your home, it is not a great product to rely on for anything more than “spectacular” entertainment.

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