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Gifts for a "Couch Potato"
... a Guy Who Loves Movies & TV



 

Movies and Other Thoughtful Gift Ideas For the Electronics-Savvy
By Chris Robertson

If you're stumped when it comes to finding gifts to buy your friend or loved one who's into entertainment and electronic stuff, don't worry. There are now thousands of products available online, from movies to software to more memory for their PC. In this ever-changing age of technology, you should never run out of gift ideas for holidays, birthdays, and other special gift-giving occasions. Here are some great gift ideas to get your wheels turning.

Movies and Entertainment Gifts

If your loved one is always determined to have the best and latest technology, then he or she is probably a movie and entertainment fan. Grab some of their favorite DVDs, or get them a box set of some of their favorite classics. You might even give them a new DVD player or video/DVD camcorder so they can film their own home movies. You can also give them a new TV if you want to buy a more elaborate gift. There's a constant flow of new - and old - movies being released on DVD. This provides a never-ending stream of gift ideas for the movie buff.

To get creative, include a few bags of microwave popcorn with the movies in a package. Or, include some gift certificates to order carryout pizza while watching their new movies. They can enjoy a fun movie night on you!

Computer-Related Gifts

For the computer-savvy friend or loved one, give the unique gift of more memory or storage for their hard drive. Or, maybe they have recently mentioned a new software program they need. Just as with movies, computers are always being upgraded or new ones released with more of this or that. So, choosing a gift for the computer fan doesn't have to be difficult. By shopping for computer-related gifts online, you can usually save money on great brand names.

Other ideas for computers are a new innovative keyboard or even a new computer desk and chair. If they have a home office, give items to help them organize such as a new file cabinet or desk organizers. The possibilities are endless!

The Gift of Music

For the music fan, gifts might include their favorite music CD or a new radio for their home or vehicle. With music CDs, you can also pick and choose their favorite songs on singles if you'd like to give them a variety of tunes. Another gift idea is a new MP 3 player that enables them to download songs from the Internet. This is a dream come true for the music fan who also enjoys surfing the Internet!

These are just a few gift ideas. There are many other products related to movies, computers, and music that would make great gifts. Just remember, thoughtful gifts are usually those a person can use or enjoy on a regular basis. Use online resources to find that perfect gift today!

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Learn more about Movies and Electronics Gift Ideas or Majon's Gifts and Collectibles directory.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Robertson
http://EzineArticles.com/?Movies-and-Other-Thoughtful-Gift-Ideas-For-the-Electronics-Savvy&id=388651


 

 

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Digital Video Recorder - Record Your Favorite Shows With Ease

By: Ted Belfour

It's been a long time since our primary television-recording dilemma was a simple matter of choosing between VHS and Beta. The intervening years between the much-lauded advent of the videocassette tape recorder and these days of astounding recording choice have been busy ones for those in the consumer electronics industry, with the result that the lay person simply wanting to tape their favorite show while they go out for the evening can feel a little unsure about which way to turn. With videocassettes quickly becoming a thing of the past, the television recording public are feeling the urgency of familiarising themselves with the new methods of saving their favorite shows for later. So let's take a quick look at what makes digital video recorders so great.

Digital video recorders work, in very basic terms, by copying the shows you want to see later directly on to the hard drive stored within the device. This very conveniently eliminates the need to store a multitude of cassette tapes, or even DVDs, and allows you to say a not so fond farewell to those hurried moments of scurrying around at the last moment, desperately trying to lay your hands on a blank tape before you miss the all-important first five minutes of your show. Most of the hard drives included in these digital video recorders are rather large, meaning that you can store almost as many shows as you would like - you'll never again have to wait for re-runs to see that episode you loved so much.

But surely this capacity to store shows on the digital video recorders hard drive is something of a disadvantage too - doesn't it eliminate also the portability of the cassette tapes we used previously? Does this mean that we can't share shows that we've taped with our friends, or bring the recording with us when we visit their homes? On the contrary, digital video recorders are more share-friendly than ever. Shows stored on the unit's hard drive can be transferred to DVDs, offering you that same convenience or portability you enjoyed before. But digital video recorders can also allow you send the shows you have taped over the Internet, meaning that sharing recordings is more instantaneous than ever before.

The barrage of new technology that hits us almost every day can undoubtedly be daunting, but much of it is actually quite easy to master. You don't necessarily have to understand the nitty-gritty of a digital recorder's innards to be able to enjoy the simple convenience it offers. And once you master the recorder's simple operations, you'll never go back to those burdensome cassette tapes.

    Author Bio
Dave is the owner of myvideodigitalrecorder.info and digitalvideorecordercomparison.info websites that provide information on digital video recorders. Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

 


 

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Twice I have given my husband a film festival. This is how this very inexpensive gift works. Pick a theme (once I picked baseball movies and another time black and white scary movies; mysteries, silly comedies, segments of a mini-series, recent releases -- really anything you know he'll appreciate). Do a little research to find several movies that fit the theme and that are available at your videostore or library. We actually owned a couple already and borrowed a few. Then type or write up a pretty playbill listing all the titles and the days you'll watch them together. It is a gift that keeps giving (ten Friday nights for us) and it shows your man that you can take an interest in the things he finds interesting. more great ideas at flylady clutter-free gifts

 


 

 



 

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What Television Shoppers Need to Know

With all the changes in technology and program content, buying a tv set is not as simple as it once was. While it is easy to be tempted to buy the one that looks prettiest in the advertisement or on the showroom floor, it's not always the best fit for your circumstances. The following will help you make a better informed decision, and using Myshopping.com.au you can make detailed comparisons between set sizes, different technology, brands and vendors.

TV Measure where you will be watching.

It's important that the set you buy will fit in the space where you want to put it, and that it's visible from where you want to sit. Therefore, it makes good sense to measure the space where the set will go. You need to measure the width, the height and the depth of the space, so that you can choose a set that will sit comfortably in that space, with sufficient ventilation and edge space for installation and cleaning. You should also measure the distance to your cable socket if you have an external aerial, and be sure to allow sufficient space for rear panel audio and video cable connections so that they can be easily connected and disconnected.

Getting the right sized screen is a balance between the dimensions of the room and your viewing habits, and your choice of technology. A regular tv has a screen aspect ration of 4:3, (that is, the dimensions are four units wide by three units high) and its size is given as a diagonal measure across the screen. The most comfortable viewing range for a regular tv is to be a distance away from the screen that is three to six times its given size. For example, a 48cm regular tv is best viewed further away than 116 cm and closer than 232 cm.

Watching high-resolution DVD and digital TV on a wide screen set however, provides much sharper images than regular sets, and this means you can sit closer and experience a more immersive, theatre-like picture. With a wide-screen tv, you can sit as close as 1.5 times the screen's diagonal measurement and not notice any loss in quality. Sitting farther away than three times the screen however, means you're likely to miss out on the immersive 'theatre' feel, even though image-wise, the sharper pictures will be clearer from a greater distance. Conversely, what this means, is that for the same given room space, you can install a significantly larger tv if it's wide screen. So in today's market, you are faced with one major deciding factor:

Regular TV or Wide Screen

While the regular tv dimensions are 4:3 (see above), a wide-screen set has an aspect ratio of 16:9 (16 units wide, 9 units high) and this is the same shape as many cinema screens and movies. Wide-screen sets are more expensive per square cm of screen than a regular tv, and more regular TV is watched than DVDs and movies, so 4:3 sets continue to be a popular choice. However standards a re changing rapidly and almost all digital, flat-panel and rear-projection tvs are wide screen. While television stations frequently broadcast many movies in digital/wide screen format, a large amount of station-produced content is in regular format, but this too is changing. So it makes some sense to seriously consider wide screen.

Either way, there is some compromise to consider because one rectangle doesn't fit exactly into another. Wide-screen program shown on a standard tv has black bars, known as letterbox bars, above and below the wide-screen image. The alternative to this is to sacrifice some of the picture at each edge of the screen, and get the full depth of the picture. When you watch a program formatted for regular tv on a wide screen, black bars, known as windowbox bars, appear on either side of the picture. One alternative to this is to lose some picture at the top and bottom of the screen.

But one of the features of a wide-screen tv, is the ability to stretch, crop, or zoom the regular 4:3 image so that it fills the screen, ultimately distorting the image or losing some of its content.

Picture Quality, Audio Quality, Connectivity

Using an online shopping comparison such as Myshopping.com.au doesn't give you the personal feel of looking at the tv set on the showroom floor. However, once you've narrowed down your choices according to size and manufacturer specification, it may pay to look at some sets so you can judge picture quality for yourself.

So what makes a good picture? One of the first considerations is contrast: in order to have clear sharp and bright pictures, the screen itself must be dark. Screens that are two 'green' or 'grey' will not produce high definition images. Do this with any surrounding televisions turned off and an even light in the room.

A second consideration is the flatness of the picture tube. If you are looking at an LCD or Plasma screen, this is already flat, but with picture tube technology, flatter tubes result in less glare from windows and lamps, and less shape distortion. A flat tube screen will give you a better viewing experience.

If a tv doesn't have a comb filter, its resolution will be limited to about half the full potential of a DVD. While comb filters affect only composite-video or RF connections, sets with a comb filter can usually provide all of the resolution of DVD and will not have distracting 'rainbow' images where highly contrasting colours coincide. Comb filters include glass, digital, and 3DY, and different types provide different levels of quality, but ultimately, it's better to have one than not.

Digital and High Definition TV means that the ability for a tv to display a progressive scan image is also factor that affects picture quality. A progressive scan image is a feature of digital tv broadcasting and DVD imaging with a more film-like look to it than normal video.

For optimum television watching, you need to consider the quality of the sound too. It is now quite common for people to integrate tv and hi-fi equipment into a more complete home entertainment system, giving a more dynamic home theatre experience. Digital and High Definition tv and DVD, sound quality is similar to that of CDs, so it makes sense that audio connectivity allows you to connect into surround sound or other hi quality sound systems. It's worthwhile to check to see that the tv has a least one set of stereo audio inputs and one set of stereo audio outputs, as well as video input and output connectors. On the input side, check for RCA-composite, S-Video, and component video inputs. You can frequently find an additional set of audio and video inputs and/or outputs on the front or at the side of the tv, a very convenient location for more temporary connections, such as game consoles, web tv or video camera equipment. It can be terribly inconvenient if you are limited to only connections at the rear of the set, or only one set of inputs and outputs, which can often mean unplugging and reconnecting permanently installed equipment.

If you are intending to use a set-top digital receiver, make sure the tv has the correct connections, and that they are compatible with the receiver equipment. Using Myshopping.com.au you can search through a great number of brands for the correct specifications. Ideally such connections should be made with Fire Wire, DVI-D with HDCP or HDMI connectors.

Plasma or LCD

While there are still quality CRT televisions (tube style) being manufactured, the current television technology being pursued by manufacturers is Plasma High Definition or LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). The main advantages these two technologies offer includes the smaller space taken up (mostly in depth) for a bigger picture, less heat (and therefore less electricity consumed) generated for a bigger picture and the appearance of compactness through digital technology. But what are the differences?

In the Plasma tv over a million tiny glass cells are charged with a mixture of neon and xenon, behind which are coloured phosphors that emit light when energized. Each cell has a red, blue and green phosphor. When Plasma cells are charged, they emit invisible UV light. that strikes the red, green and blue phosphors on the back of the display, creating the pixels that form the image you see on the screen. LCD however, is a suspended liquid between two transparent panels that, when activated by voltage, re-position themselves so that they either allow the light to pass through the panel and or block the light, a similar process to turning on and off millions of light bulbs. The light source is provided by fluorescent tubes behind the panels. Both the lit and unlit crystals create visible pixels composing the image on the screen.

Many independent reviewers believe that manufacture's specifications of Plasma tv is not accurately portrayed. LCD appears to be both brighter and offer more contrast, whereas Plasma appears to have higher definition colour, superior viewing angles and faster response time providing crisper screen movement. Plasma uses more power than LCD, but may provide a more theatre-like viewing experience. Use Myshopping.com.au to compare the latest brands of Plasma and LCD televisions.

Remote Controllers and Accessories

All tv sets come with remote controls. Some come with what's known as the Universal remote control, a remote control that can control all of your media hardware. The remote control should be easy to use and it should address all of the tv set's functions. Many sets do not have function controls on the tv itself, which could cause problems if the remote controller is lost. Also, not every universal remote can control everything. Most are pre-programmed with a set list of codes, and if the codes don't match your older or off-brand gear, then you're out of luck. A few are learning models that can accept the IR codes from your other remotes and, thus, control any kind of gear.

A number of other features can be taken into account when considering your tv purchase. These might include picture-in-picture (PIP), or picture-outside-picture (POP), commercial skip timers, channel blocking (called the V-Chip), and tuner extras to make channel selection and switching easier. Additional accessories that you might need include additional cables, a good power surge protector and a stand. Service may also be a consideration and in some circumstances, an extended warranty or service package may be a good investment.

Search Myshopping.com.au for the different specifications and price ranges of the latest tv technology, where you not only compare the world's leading brands, but also the service and support of the people who sell them.

Author Bio
Andrew Gates is a writer for Australian comparison shopping site - www.myshopping.com.au helps you compare television (TV) and buy online from top-rated online stores. Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

 

 

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Classic TV Shows - Bring Home the DVDs and Cherish the Collectibles
By Ben Anton

TVLand and Nick-at-Night are not the only places we find classic television shows. They are cropping up more and more places. Classic TV collectibles are popular items on auction sites such as Ebay. Enter "Classic television show collectibles" into your Google-powered search engine and you will find around 170,000 possibilities.

Run through a few of those results and you will find everything from classic television DVDs, lunch boxes, costumes, watches, salt and pepper shakers, vintage posters, and dolls. A quick search on amazon.com found "The Best of Donny and Marie (DVD) Volume 1 (1976)." There are websites and online stores whose sole purpose is to sell classic television paraphernalia. These sites are capitalizing on the baby boomer's affinity for nostalgia. Collectors are scooping up the vintage collectibles.

There are companies who are bringing back the collectibles by manufacturing "New Vintage" collectibles. New metal lunch boxes with Donny and Marie, Superman, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and even the Dukes of Hazzard are popping up all over the place. With true vintage lunch boxes going for hundreds of dollars, these "replacements", although lacking authenticity, are an affordable option for those who just want to revisit the good old days of classic television.

The release of classic TV DVDs has made it possible for people to sit back and enjoy hours of their favorite shows from yesterday. The appeal of these shows for many is the "down-home" nature of the comedy. They don't rely on profanity, off-color remarks, or blatant sexual angles for their humor. They remind us of a simpler time. Donny and Marie, Sonny and Cher, The Partridge Family, The Walton's, The Brady Bunch, and many more shows take us back to a time when it was okay to say things like "Gosh" and "Golly." It was more than okay to love your family and country. It was expected. It was safe to turn on the television with the family and enjoy a nice show together.

The collectibles associated with these shows are gaining in popularity. As many from those generations begin to find more time for hobbies and have a little extra disposable income, the collectibles are becoming more desirable. Donny and Marie dolls, which were released in August 1976 with an accompanying "TV Studio", are popular finds. Sonny and Cher costumes are popular at costume parties. The Partridge Family memorabilia is making a strong comeback, as well.

Some of these classic television shows are enjoying a rebirth due to remakes of the originals. The Brady Bunch surged forward after a new generation was exposed to a less-than authentic version of the show in the 1995 version. Even with the tongue-in-cheek style of this movie, many people began seeking authentic Brady Bunch memorabilia and collectibles. The market for these items soared. The same held true for the Scooby Doo collectibles after the 2002 release of the movie. This one was so popular a sequel was made. This remake has brought about a whole new market for Scooby Doo collectibles, new and old alike. After the movie was released classic Scooby Doo DVDs were flying off the shelves. With the popularity of these classic television remakes it is not unrealistic to expect many more to follow.

As with any commodity, as the demand increases, the price will rise. Many collectors search for pieces to round out their collection for a more intrinsic value, rather than simply price. A collection of classic television show collectibles may be worth a substantial amount of money, but it is the nostalgia that holds the true value. You can't put a price on the memories those collectibles will elicit, or the feelings locked deep inside that are released when you hold that Donny and Marie lunchbox just like the one you had as a kid.

To find that special classic TV DVD or other collectible it may be as simple as hitting search on your search engine. Whether it is a find at a garage sale or a purchase off the web, it is the joy of releasing that inner child and finding that peace that simple joys bring that makes classic television collectibles true treasures.

~Ben Anton, 2007
The author invites you to visit our site and read more about classic TV shows on DVD like The Sonny and Cher Show, The Donny and Marie show and other classic television variety shows. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ben_Anton--- http://EzineArticles.com/?Classic-TV-Shows---Bring-Home-the-DVDs-and-Cherish-the-Collectibles&id=789893

 

 


 

 

 


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