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Archive for the ‘advice’ Category

Netflix Streaming

netflixEveryone knows about Netflix and their signature red envelopes, though no one like waiting for their DVDs to be delivered through the mail.

Little known fact, you don’t have to wait.

In addition to their DVD/Blu ray delivery via mail Netlix also streams movies and TV shows over the internet to your computer, and starting with the $8.99/month plan you get unlimited usage of the streaming service.

You do need a high speed internet connection, and the selection of movies and TV shows available for streaming is not nearly as robust as the actual physical DVD selection that you can have mailed to you, but the watch instantly selection is constantly being updated.

Also, you don’t have to sit at your computer desk to watch movies. Many different devices support Netflix streaming as well so you can still watch whatever you want on your TV.

Supported Devices include:

Roku Digital Video Player

Playstation 3

Xbox 360

TiVo HD DVR

Also supported Blu ray players and even some TV’s have Netflix streaming support built into them.

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zune-hd-black

Just as the Iphone dominates the Smartphone market, so does the Ipod touch when it comes to portable media players. However there’s a new challenger to the Ipod touch’s position as the best PMP on the market, the Zune HD.

Although Microsoft is not focusing on making an Iphone competitor anytime soon, ever since the launch of the first Zune in 2006 they have been trying to grab some of that portable market share from apple.

So is the Zune HD worth a look if you’re buying a new MP3 player?

See for yourself:

Digital Trends :

Gizmodo:

Engadget:

Cnet:

The consensus across the board seems to favor the Zune HD as a Media player and the Ipod Touch as an all around entertainment device.

Digital trends sums up this view nicely:

“Taken solely as a personal media player, the Zune HD outshines the iPod Touch in many ways. It’s lighter, brighter, well-engineered, solid, and if you want to pump 720p movies to your home high-def set, the Touch simply cannot compete. But for those who see the iPod Touch as more of a blank slate than a purpose-built PMP, and intend to use it as such, the Zune HD comes nowhere close to replacing the sheer flexibility and utility of Apple’s wonder box. And for those folks, 75,000 apps in the App Store may as well be 75,000 different reasons not to buy the Zune HD. But we didn’t come here to treat the Zune HD as a wannabe PDA, and with the categories rated as such, the Zune HD simply makes a better device.
As an all-around entertainment machine and productivity device, Apple’s iPod Touch remains the reigning champion of the touch screen.

For someone with no interesting in piddling around with apps, looking solely for the ultimate personal media player, the Zune HD truly makes a better buy.”

So, if you want a new MP3 player, seriously consider the Zune HD.

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Where do college students typically go to buy things for their technological needs?

Best buy?

Walmart?

Circuit City?

Radioshack? (or “The Shack” because its hip)

Most likely you will find what you’re looking for at any of these places, but just because these Brick and Mortar stores tout things like “price match guarantees” doesn’t mean they are giving you the best price’s on electronics. Place’s like Best Buy will not match the price of an online-only retailer where more often than not, you can get big savings.

Certainly there are things where the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is fairly even across the board even with online-only retailers. However when it comes to things like accessories and cables the mark up at Brick and Mortar stores is several times what you can get things online for.

For example, this 8′ HDMI cable at Best Buy is $79.99, but the same quality/same length HDMI cable at an online retailer is $9.60; with shipping from online the total would come to around $15, whereas with tax the cable at Best Buy would be $85.59 thats a difference of over $70 just for a simple audio/video cable.

And its not just cables either.

Accessories for your Ipod? This Ipod FM Transmitter is  $85.59 with tax at Best Buy vs $70.84 with shipping and tax from Amazon.

Looking for a new Cellphone? A Blackberry Perhaps? Best Buy and Verizon want $149.99 for a Blackberry Tour 9630 with a new account. Go online to Newegg and get it for $29.99.

Shop around, the web doesn’t always have the best price’s but more often than not you can find a deal online from a reputable retailer.

Some online retail sites:

Newegg – A great retailer, competitive prices great service and fast shipping (one of their warehouses is in Edison, NJ so ground shipping regularly gets me my order in 2-3 days.)

Tigerdirect – another good online retailer with competitive prices and good service, never had a bad experience.

Amazon – an obvious one but Amazon constantly prices their products competitively and has great service.

Crutchfield – is a great site, they specialize in audio/video for cars but sell other electronics as well. They offer tons of information to help shoppers decide what product they need and has competitive pricing.

These are just a few sites I use, things like Nexttag are great resources to comparison shop with before you actually head to the store to and spend more money than you have too.

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