What’s here to stay and on it’s way!

May 23rd, 2011 by The Consumer Geek No comments »

1. 3D TV’s – yes it will stay, how will it evolve? Well I’m sure we will eventually be losing the glasses. Viewing pleasure has yet to be pleasing
but most importantly the content will soon. Vendors and studios are spending a ton of money on 3D technology, please be patient.

2. streaming content (internet tv) – With Google TV coming into the fray, we now have many more ways to deliver “streaming content”. We’ve always
had the ability to hook up our pc’s to the tv but now people are looking for better ways to control the streaming content and Google TV may be the
start of it all. Networks are posting webisodes and extra content over the web, it’s only a matter of time.

3. One Wire A/V solution – integrators have found new ways to push and extract internet, audio, and video over one cable such as Cat 5 and your electrical system.
Cat 5/6 has been promising but we have yet to see the cost of these “compression/decompression” modules to come down.

4. Wireless HD – wireless HD solutions are available but great ones cost more than $800 which includes a transmitter and receiver. Best Buy is currently offering
a $300 wireless product by their home brand Rocketfish and looks to be the best contender. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Rocketfish%26%23153;+-+WirelessHD+Adapter/9620828.p?id=1218132817676&skuId=9620828

5. Integrated Home Automation – Security, smart thermostats, lighting, surveillance cameras… Yes it’s still around but the greatest caviat now is
the utilization of smart phones and other similiar devices such as the iPad. With new applications available you can now control your home from a remote
device no matter your location away from home. (as long as you have some sort of internet connectivity)

6. webcam/videoconferencing – Ok we know it’s been around but more and more people are soaking it in with grandparents, college kids, and even party
goers who want to see if the party’s worth attending.

What’s next??? Home Health – with so many new games and gadgets aimed at your movements and additional high speed internet capabilities, companies are now
taking aim at home health technology.
here are just a few “home health” technologies.

remote monitoring system for seniors, includiong your vitals with iphone support – http://www.halomonitoring.com/
remote monitoring system for seniors with automated alerts, wellness reporting, cognitive tools and real-time communication between caregivers, family and the senior. -http://www.grandcare.com/
emergency alert system for seniors – http://www.logicmark.com/pages/home.html
computerless email – http://www.presto.com/ and http://www.mycelery.com/
lets not forget that apple has also already thought of the visually impared – http://www.apple.com/accessibility/iphone/vision.html

Black Friday TV’s Worth Considering

November 18th, 2010 by The Consumer Geek No comments »

It’s Black Friday and you need to know what TV’s are worth even considering and what’s within your budget or will fit your room, we’ve got the answers. Here I will list my top picks and a few others just to appease the crowd that may not like a certain brand or are willing to deal with glare etc. First off when it comes to large flat panel TV’s I do not even consider those with a 60hz refresh rate. With a 60hz refresh rate you will notice blur during almost any action scene or sports event so in my opinion it’s not even worth considering. Another big issue to be concerned with is glare, I hate glare and would not recommend a TV that has it but most TV’s with glare have a greater color contrast because of it. In my opinion no TV should have glare but if you don’t care I’ve listed a few that are worth considering.


The Top Picks

Best 40 – 46” TV’s

Budget Deal
Sams Club – Hitachi 42″ LED LCD 1080p 120Hz HDTV – $498

Best Deal Period
Best Buy – Samsung 46″ 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV (Model # UN46C6300SFXZA) w/Blu-ray Disc Player – $999.98

Best 50 – 55” TV’s

Budget Deal
Best Buy – Panasonic VIERA 50″ TC-P50U2 1080p Plasma HDTV – $699.99

Best Deal Period
Sears – Sony 52″ Bravia 1080p 240Hz LED HDTV – $1,499.99

Best 3D

Budget Deal
Sears – Samsung 50″ 720p 600Hz 3D Plasma HDTV – $899.99

Sears – Samsung 55″ 3D 1080P 240HZ LED HDTV – $2,199.99


And here is the full list
with a few other mentionable…


Sears – Panasonic 46″ 720P LCD 600HZ Plasma HDTV – $499.99
Sears – Panasonic 42″ 1080p 600hz Plasma HDTV – $549.99
Sams Club – Hitachi 42″ LED LCD 1080p 120Hz HDTV – $498 http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=prod1401567


Best Buy – Samsung 46″ 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV (Model # UN46C6300SFXZA) w/Blu-ray Disc Player – $999.98


Walmart & Best Buy – Samsung 46″ 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV (Model # LN46C600F3FXZA) – $798


Walmart – Sony Bravia 46″ 1080p 120HZ LCD HDTV KDL-46EX400 – $698.00


Best Buy – Panasonic VIERA 50″ TC-P50U2 1080p Plasma HDTV – $699.99


Sears – Samsung 50″ 720p 600Hz 3D Plasma HDTV – $899.99


Sears – Sony 52″ Bravia 1080p 240Hz LED HDTV – $1,499.99


Sears – LG 60″ 1080P 600HZ Plasma HDTV – $1,499.99

55″ LED

Sears & Best Buy – Samsung 55″ 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV (Model # UN55C6300SFXZA) – $1,499.99


Best Buy – Toshiba 55″ 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV (Model # 55HT1U) – $969.99


Sears – Samsung 55″ 3D 1080P 240HZ LED HDTV – $2,199.99

We’re Back!

November 11th, 2010 by The Consumer Geek 2 comments »

We’re back and ready to help you make the right purchase just in time for the holiday season.
The Black Friday ads are already leaked and I’ve started my “must have” list but I’m wondering…

What are you looking for?

Let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll let you know the best bang for your buck.


March 29th, 2010 by The Consumer Geek 1 comment »

So you’re an avid reader and wondering what’s an amazon kindle, sony reader, and all this stuff about iPad taking over the world? Guess what I’m here to help.

Kindle is an Amazon product which immediately should grab your attention considering Amazon was made to sell books on the internet. Amazon has the largest digital book catalog, will this last for long? No, as publishers recognize the “E-book” demand most books will be available to any medium. Amazon has taken it upon themselves to create a type of “Notes” which they may decide to sell on an individual basis and lets just consider them “cliff notes”. These Notes allows you the note taker to share through Amazon. While Amazon allows people to rate them.

Sony Reader, well lets just say Sony always stays with competition. Sony has decided to line themselves up with everyone else and jump in. Sony really has to do some catching up but as always they do very well. While Sony’s list isn’t as extensive it is something to make mention of.

iPad! This reminds me of a comedian who once said “Where the Pads at?” haha. Apple has placed themselves nicely. While the iPad is a lightweight Netbook/iPhone/iPod they have also created a device that will also provide the ability to read books just the same. I’d watch out for this one. Amazon obviously recognizes that people will want to use the iPad and has already made a Kindle app for the iPhone. I’m sure they’ll be making one for the iPad also in order to retain customers since publications is the way they came into this world.

Long story short… Do you love to flip pages, smell the book, feel the weight of all the pages you’re going to rip through? I’m the same… But E-readers will be here to stay, get with it!


Amazon Kindle $259

Sony E-Reader $244

iPad $499

Cost of each book?

Amazon $9.99

Sony $9.99

iPad – TBD – but i’m sure it won’t stray to far from the competition.

Let me remind you that iPad is just like the iPod Touch/iPhone and will allow you to view e-books as apps whereas many are made available for free through the Apps Store.

3D Televisions

March 10th, 2010 by The Consumer Geek 3 comments »

So alot of people have been asking me about the new 3D TV’s. Most people I speak to have the wrong impression and assume that the TV will automatically make the image appear in “3D”. Well the truth is that the latest 3D televisions coming out will try their best to reproduce the image in a “3D format”. Yes the 3D format is what you think it is, a blurry image that you will have to use 3D glasses with. Oh and yes Panasonic is working on coming out with a TV that will not require you to wear glasses but that is not in the immediate future. Please remember if you’re looking to purchase a 3D TV that you will also have to purchase the glasses which will be around $150 each. Additionally the glasses are specific to the manufacture and cannot be used with other “3D” TV’s. So if you buy a 3D TV and plan on having everyone over for a Superbowl Party get ready to charge everyone $150 bucks for their glasses or get ready to dole out some cash for the extra people you’ll be having over.

» Read more: 3D Televisions

Presto Heat Dish

January 12th, 2010 by The Consumer Geek No comments »

Recently I received a question from one of my visitors, “How can i stay warm when i’m used to it yet it’s freezing down here?”. The entire question included “at an economical price and when I don’t need heat that often!”.

Turns out people in warm places like Florida get cold too! The thing people learn is that even though space heaters work they aren’t efficient enough and you can’t run more than one in the same room, “Usually!”.

Here’s my recommendation: The Presto Heat Dish
my reasons:
1) It’s efficient!
2) It heats YOU, not everything else around you!
3) It’s economical!

The Presto Heat Dish can be found at your local Costco  for a nominal price of $67.99.

TV Accessories

December 3rd, 2009 by The Consumer Geek No comments »

Over the recent start of the holiday shopping season i’ve had alot of questions about tv’s, which to get and what accessories will i need along with what’s the difference between 720p and 1080p etc.

Well I am here to help. To keep all things simple remember that the big box stores make most of their money on the accessories such as cables etc. Be aware that if you are looking to hook up your brand new HDTV via HDMI, todays standard is 1.3a category 2. Be sure to get an HDMI cable with the standard specs additionally you can get them for a great price at monoprice.com and cables2go.com. The big box stores will charge at least 10 times the price you’ll pay online.

If you’re looking to mount your new LCD or Plasma and have a costco or sams club membership they always have great prices on their wall mounts that beat the big box stores.

TV Buying Guide Rules

November 19th, 2009 by The Consumer Geek 5 comments »

So there you are, standing in front of Best Buy’s wall o’ HDTVs. Which one do you buy? There are just so many different factors and terms: LCD, LED, plasma, 3D, DLP, 1080p. No worries. Follow these five rules and you’ll end up with the perfect HDTV for you.

Rule 1 – Buy for your room

Forget the LCD vs plasma debate for just a moment. It might not matter. Your room might choose your HDTV for you.

LCDs generally counter glare better than plasmas because of their matte finish. Most plasmas have a glossy screen protector over the screen, which while a great defense against flying Wii remotes and children, reflect everything like a mirror. However, if glare isn’t an issue at all and in fact, the room is a little on the dark side, buy a plasma. They thrive in darker environments where their rich colors and contrasts can really show off.

Also consider how close you sit to the TV. It’s often the rule of thumb to buy the biggest TV you can afford or that will fit in a certain area, but standard definition content like basic cable look terrible on larger HDTVs and it’s very obvious when you’re sitting close. Large TVs can also overpower a room and cause headaches and eye strain.Remember your home probably has a lot lower ceiling than retail stores like Best Buy and Walmart so the actual size of the TV might be deceiving at when you’re shopping.

Thankfully most retail stores have liberal return policies. Just be prepared to pay a restocking fee or pick-up charge if you simply return the HDTV and not buy another one.

Rule 2 – Buy the picture that looks the best to you

There is one huge advantage brick and mortar stores have over Internet retailers: demos. Walk into a Best Buy and you can see how different TVs look compared to others. This is important.

Everyone’s eyes are different. Perception is different. You can not solely rely on Internet TV reviews when buying an HDTV. You need to see it in person. Stand there. Let your eyes wonder and pick out a TV that looks good to you. Here’s what you need to look for:

  • Black blacks
  • White whites
  • Not vivid colors, but realistic
  • No motion blur when objects are moving fast
  • The glare factor
  • Angle (picture on some are hard to see from different angles)

Let a salesman point certain things out to you but you’re the one that’s ultimately going to have to live with the TV. Buy the one you like, but keep an open mind.

Rule 3 – Buy a familiar brand

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard, all TVs have problems. Generally speaking, a Sony HDTV will hold up just as well as a Panasonic, Samsung, or Vizio. Modern HDTVs do not have any moving parts and most use the same display panels and components anyway.

You need to accept that there’s a possibility that any number of items might go wrong with your new HDTV no matter whose logo is on the front. A good rule of thumb in the TV world is that if you haven’t heard of the brand and it’s less expensive than other options, it’s probably that store’s house brand and something you might want to avoid. If you’re really concerned about your new investment, buy an extended service plan.

Rule 4 – Don’t be afraid to buy online

Brick and mortar stores have the demo advantage, but online retailers will beat them every day in the price game. Go to Best Buy and pick out the TV you want and then shop online for it. As long as the online retailer has cheap shipping and a good return policy, you have nothing to fear. But also don’t be afraid to ask the Best Buy to match or come close to the online price. You might be surprised.

Rule 5 – The TV is only as good as the source

You’re buying an HDTV so it needs high-def content. Your standard cable will look like poo on it and yes, it will cost more each month from your content provider. Consider this extra cost when you’re shopping for the TV. It’s not a bad idea to call up your cable or satellite company before hand to find out the extra cost.

Cable subscribers generally have it the easiest, especially if they already have a digital cable box. Likely all they will need is a different box. But if you have a satellite, you may need all new equipment including a different dish. The install cost might be nominal though.

Don’t be afraid to shop around either. You might find a better deal.

Sony PS3 Presales at KMART

August 18th, 2009 by The Consumer Geek No comments »

Sony PS3 Slim

Sony PS3 Slim

If you’re looking to get a ps3 for bluray anytime soon…. they’re coming out with a slim version of it… and kmart right now is the only place doing presales http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/ProductDisplay?storeId=10151&partNumber=018W014436760001P&adCell=W2&catalogId=10104

8/5 Plasma TV Deal of the Week

August 7th, 2009 by The Consumer Geek No comments »

Looking for a Plasma, less glare than the Samsung and less money, then get one of these Panasonics!

50″ for $1,399 at BestBuy http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9236294&type=product&id=1218064394819

edit: Thanks to my friend Pat, if you’re willing to purchase online and wait a month or two for delivery you can find the 50″ for $1,197.70
free of taxes and shipping costs at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B001U3YJTY/ref=ord_cart_shr?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance

54″ for $1,699 at BestBuy http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9280164&type=product&id=1218073533060 

or $1,469.00 online at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-VIERA-TC-P54S1-54-Inch-Plasma/dp/B001UN6ES8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1249678352&sr=1-1

Panasonic Plasma TC-P54S1 or TC-P50S1

Panasonic Plasma TC-P54S1 or TC-P50S1