Archive for November 5, 2019

Guest Post: Hisense-Breaking SmartTV Myths for Black Friday

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 5, 2019 by itnerd

While technically an American phenomena, Black Friday — and the requisite shopping deals that come with it — has invariably filtered north.

It may not coincide with a Canadian holiday, but retailers in this country have jumped into the habit of slashing prices and offering deep discounts on the last Friday of November, giving Canadian shoppers the chance to start checking items off their Christmas list without breaking the bank and having to deal with the hassles of border crossings. But whether shopping in Canada or the United States, it is recommended consumers do a little research lest they get lured into a deal that is too good to be true, and turns out to be exactly like that.

“Home electronics are one of the more sought after products on Black Friday, but not all are created the same,” says Meaghan Wilkinson, Director of Marketing for Hisense Canada. “Most consumers are doing their research before they commit to buying a TV or other device, but even in that process you have to be cautious as not everything on the Internet is true.”

To help you out when looking at that next big screen TV on Black Friday — whether to wrap and give as a gift or for your own personal use — Meaghan wants to break the following myths:

  • MYTH: You shouldn’t connect your smart TV to the Internet.

FACTS: For optimal use of a Smart TV, connection to the Internet is critical.  Not only to access all your favourite movies, apps and TV shows , but you will miss bug fixes and software updates that are sent to your TV only when there is an active Internet connection. This isn’t unique to TVs. Your cellphone, video game system, computer, tablet and pretty much any other “connected” device will get updates from time to time. The idea that manufacturers are using these updates to sabotage their own products is pure hogwash.

  • MYTH: Any TV will do for any use.

FACTS: Everybody has different TV habits. Some are movie buffs, while others love their weekly sitcoms. Sports fans are tuning in to see their favourite teams and video gamers are potentially spending hours in front of their set. The reality in today’s TV marketplace is there is a TV with features that are best suited to each. Movie and sitcom fans would do well with a Smart TV that gives them quick and easy access to their favourite streaming services. Movie fans should look for nothing less than 4K ULED or Quantum Dot technology for resolution better than they would get in a theatre. A TV that will communicate with your home theatre system is also a plus for optimum sound. High resolution does the sports fan good as well. They should also look for a TV with higher hertz (Hz) — the higher the number, the less drag there is in the action. For video games, go for high hertz and low latency.

  • MYTH: Major manufacturers support all their products being sold on retailers websites.

FACTS: Most online retailers have marketplace “partners” that piggyback on the retailer’s online portal to sell from their own stock. Be wary when shopping here. You may be buying an older model, a foreign model or something that is refurbished. And in each of those cases, it is unlikely the manufacturer’s warranty is still valid. This is certainly a case where a deal that looks too good to be true just may be.

For more information, please visit hisense-canada.com.

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The IT Nerd Holiday Gift Guide For 2019

Posted in Products on November 5, 2019 by itnerd

Last Updated: 11/8/2019

The holidays are just around the corner and I have a short list of suggestions of a high tech nature that should help you on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or on December 24th. If you think that there’s something else that should be on the list, drop me a note and let me know.

Roku Premiere-$49.99

The new Roku Premiere is a simple way to start streaming in HD, 4K Ultra HD or 4K HDR. It features a powerful quad-core processor and comes in a low-profile form factor. In the box a Premium High Speed HDMI cable is included plus remote control with popular streaming channel shortcut buttons and a power cord.

Roku Streaming Stick + – $89.99

Powerful and portable, the Roku Streaming Stick gives the gift of entertainment on-the-go all in a powerful stick. With thousands of channels there will be something to watch for any student whether it’s Sports, Movies & TV shows or News. Choose your favorite program with the included point-anywhere remote, or just use the Roku app on your smartphone to control the action. Check out the review here.

Roku Express – $44.99

The new Roku Express is five times more powerful than its predecessor and offers easy HD streaming at an affordable price. A great gift for anyone, the Express comes with a remote control that makes finding something to watch a snap. With over 150,000 movies and TV shows available (including tons of free content), you’ll be sure to find something that the student in your life likes. Check out the review here.

TCL 4K Ultra HD Smart LED Television, 65″ – $900

TCL’s 6-Series combines stunning 4K HDR picture performance and the award-winning Roku TV smart platform in a bold, brushed metal design for a superior TV experience. Dolby Vision delivers greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors. TCL’s Contrast Control Zone technology individually optimizes the image across up to 120 zones to yield striking contrast between light and dark areas. The 6-Series models’ iPQ Engine provides precise colour replication while HDR Pro Gamma significantly improves HDR performance in any setting. Check out the review of the 43″ version of this TV here.

Hisense R6107 Series 55″ 4K UHD Roku TV with Wi-Fi – $700

The Hisense R6107 Series 55” UHD Roku TV is an easy, convenient way to stream what you love. Watch just about anything whenever you want from free channels, paid subscriptions, or rent or buy — all on demand.

Safe by HUB6– $299

Everyone needs security. But home security systems charge ridiculous monthly fees for services that provide questionable protection. Safe by Hub6 uses the security system hardware you already have and frees you from long-term contracts or monthly fees. It redirects any alerts triggered by your system to your phone, friend, or HUB6’s Professional Monitoring when you need a back-up.

Science Jr STEM Kit

The new Science Jr STEM kits from LittlePassports.com is a different sort of gift. They’re stimulating, educational, entertaining subscription kits encouraging kids to love science, tech, engineering and math. Subscriptions start at $18.95 a month.

Roomba s9+

The Roomba s9+ with Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal offers customers the deepest clean yet through a combination of design enhancements, advanced 3D sensors and a powerful new cleaning system.

  • Hugs edges and gets into corners with new PerfectEdge Technology that finds dirt where it hides.
  • Offers the most powerful cleaning throughout the entire home with 40X the suction over previous generation Roomba vacuums.
  • Features an Anti-Allergen System that traps and locks dirt, debris and allergens from escaping from the robot or its Clean Base, preventing the release of dirty air back into the home.

 Pricing Details:

    • Roomba s9+ with Clean Base™ Automatic Dirt Disposal – $1,649.99 CAD
    • Roomba s9 – $1,299.99 CAD
    • Clean Base™ Automatic Dirt Disposal sold separately – $499.99 CAD

Braava jet m6 – $699.99

Ideal for multiple rooms and large spaces, the Braava jet m6 helps tackle all of life’s messes on hard floors. Simply attach a mopping or sweeping pad and the robot automatically takes it from there to give you fresh, clean floors.

  • Uses iAdapt 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM technology and Imprint Smart Mapping to get to know the home’s floor plan, giving users total control to choose which rooms are cleaned and when.
  • Features Maximized-Edge design to help the robot get into corners and along edges.
  • Tackles sticky messes, grime and kitchen grease with Wet Mopping mode; and captures dirt, dust and pet hair using electrostatic force in the Dry Sweeping mode.
  • Imprint™ Link Technology enables cleaning automation between the Roomba i, s, and 900 Series Robot Vacuums with the Braava jet m Series Robot Mop. Imprint™ Link Cleaning is a feature that lets your Braava jet m Series Robot Mop to begin mopping after your Robot Vacuum has completed vacuuming.

Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum with Clean Base™ Automatic Dirt Disposal takes convenience to a new level – automatically emptying into an AllergenLock™ bag that holds 60 days of debris and traps 99% of pollen, mold and dust mites – so you can forget about vacuuming for months at a time.

  • Using Imprint™ Smart Mapping, the Roomba i7+ robot vacuum remembers multiple floor plans and room names so users can customize cleaning jobs, and direct the robot to clean specific rooms by voice, when paired with Alexa enabled devices or the Google Assistant, or via the iRobot HOME App.
  • With Imprint™ Link Technology, the Roomba i7+ can coordinate vacuuming and mopping jobs with its mopping robot sibling, the Braava jet m6, for an extra level of clean.

Pricing Details:

    • Roomba i7+ with Clean Base™ Automatic Dirt Disposal – $1,349.99 CAD
    • Roomba i7 – $999.99 CAD
    • Clean Base™ Automatic Dirt Disposal sold separately – $399.99 CAD

Roomba e5 – $499.99

The Roomba e5 robot vacuum features a premium 3-Stage Cleaning System that uses Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes, Power-Lifting suction and a high-efficiency filter to help thoroughly clean every day.

  • The Edge-Sweeping Brush concentrates on edges and corners as intelligent navigation and Dirt Detect™️ technologies help the robot get around furniture and focus on areas that need it most.
  • The washable dust bin design allows users to simply rinse away dirt and debris left behind.
  • The iRobot HOME App allows users to control and schedule cleanings, monitor cleaning activity, view cleaning history, and directly access customer support. The app also updates the robot with the latest software, so it’s always up-to-date with the latest features.
  • All Wi-Fi connected Roomba robot vacuums are compatible with Alexa enabled devices and the Google Assistant.

Merkury Innovations Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulbs Color + White – 2 Pack – $34.98

Customizable colour and white light that can be controlled from your smartphone. Great replacement for your regular 75W bulbs throughout your home as they can switch between white or thousands of vibrant colours.

Google Nest Hub$169

A hands-free assistant that can play videos, music, control compatible devices throughout the house, and keep your calendar organized – all while doubling as a digital photo frame.

Nintendo Switch – $399.96

Get the gaming system that lets you play the games you want, wherever you are, however you like.

Nintendo Switch Lite$259.96

A new version of the Nintendo Switch system that’s optimized for personal, handheld play. Nintendo Switch Lite is a small and light Nintendo Switch system at a great price. With a built-in +Control Pad, and a sleek, unibody design, Nintendo Switch Lite is great for on-the-go gaming.

Roomba 690 Wi-Fi Connected Vacuuming Robot$379.98

Connect to clean from anywhere with the Roomba® 690 robot vacuum. The patented 3-Stage Cleaning System is specially engineered to loosen, lift, and suction everything from small particles to large debris from carpets and hard floors. Dirt Detect™ sensors alert the Roomba robot vacuum to clean more thoroughly on concentrated areas of dirt.

Sonos Move – $499

Sonos’ first-ever Bluetooth enabled speaker, perfect for the holiday travelers that are always on-the-go. I took a first look at it here.

Sonos One – $249

This is the Sonos brand’s small but mighty speaker for streaming all your favorite audio content.

Sonos Beam – $499

A soundbar that will make your movie nights more epic, and your Yule Log sound the best it ever has.

SYMFONISK speakers – $149 to $249

A multi-functional line of speakers created in partnership with IKEA to make you rethink how you can decorate with sound.

Don’t forget to bookmark this page as I will be adding to it with more gift ideas. And I’ll be announcing updates over on Twitter.