Your Local Channels Right on your Computer Screen

Even with the convenience of modern computers and internet technology, there is still charm and appeal in the 20th century technology of the television. Being able to flip through numerous channels and discover new shows as you go along is something that is hard to give up on, despite all of the new innovations that you can acquire over the World Wide Web. However, there is a way to get the best of both worlds, and that is by getting the television into your computer.

First off, there are online streaming services that can make your favorite local TV channels available on your computer screen. Some of these channels are free while others are paid services. The drawback with the free ones is that you don’t really have a say on what gets streamed, which is something you won’t experience with paid services since you’ll get to choose your shows. If you’re adamant on watching TV on your computer, then it shouldn’t be much of a problem to pay for a streaming service that won’t cause you more than subscribing to your average cable company.

Watching TV on Computer

Those who are looking for cheaper opportunities can consider sticking an antenna or cable to their computer, although you’ll need some special hardware courtesy of TV tuner capture cards. These special cards that can be installed in the PCI port of your motherboard should have ports for various cables like coaxial and RCA component. You can then connect your coaxial cable there and use the software included with the card to start streaming television on your computer.

Also, there are also external versions of capture hardware that can be plugged into USB ports, and they can be just as convenient if you know how to use them. If extra hardware is too much of a hassle for you, then you might as well go for on-demand services as they’re the next best thing to actual television. With such services, you can call up programs whenever and however you want. Not bad at all, right?

Now let’s move on to the HDTV, which is something that eliminates the need for any sort of conversion since it’s already in digital format. All you really need to do is to find a service provider that allows HD digital television to be accessible both to your TV and computer. Because this format does make use of HDMI cables, you have to take note that while you don’t want to get cheap cables for the job, there is absolutely no need to spend big on those premium cables that are said to be the best for HD signals. Remember that it’s all the same with transmitting zeros and ones whether you use expensive or the middle-of-the-road cables.

Go with any of these options and you’ll have your favorite television channels right on your computer screen. Depending on the method, you should get your money’s worth as long as you get to enjoy your shows while still making the most out of your computer.

5 Secrets to Avoid Astigmatism from Prolonged Computer Usage

Prolonged computer usage can greatly contribute to eye strain. Also known as asthenopia, eye strain is an ophthalmological condition that results when the eyes are subject to serious fatigue for a long period of time. This symptom, together with photophobia (eye sensitivity to light) and headache, are some of the main signs of astigmatism.

Astigmatism is a fairly common eye condition that’s closely associated with blurred vision. The cornea of a person with astigmatism is not curved properly – one half is usually flatter than the other. Though not considered a disease and is congenital in nature, astigmatism can develop from an eye injury or an eye operation. The causes of astigmatism are yet to be fully understood and not all degrees of the condition are easily detected. Moreover, astigmatism can increase over time; therefore, a thorough examination by an optometric physician will greatly help. If you already know that you are suffering from astigmatism, here are some tips that should help you take better care of your precious eyes.

Eye Strain due to Computers

1) Wear the right corrective lenses.

If your job requires you to work in front of a monitor for long periods, consider getting lenses that are designed for computer use. Moreover, get your eyes checked to get the right corrective lenses. Take  these necessary precautions if you are planning to purchase a brand new computer because, well, its natural for people to spend a lot of time with something we just bought. Forcing your eyes to work without protection will only pressure them to work harder, causing further unwanted stress.

2) The 20-20-20 Rule.

Look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. And use artificial tears (eye drops) to refresh your eyes every time they feel dry.

3) Give your eyes some break time.

Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and relax. Do not squeeze your eyelids. Breathe deeply and easily. Allow your eyes to rest for 3 to 5 minutes to let your eye muscles relax. This alleviates eyestrain.

4) Have a proper diet.

Yes, eating the right food will improve your eye’s health, but all of this will be futile if you continue to abuse your eyes to endless strain. Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, apricots and salmon are examples of food that contribute to healthy eyes.

5) Sleep well.

I cannot emphasize this point any further. Our body repairs itself during sleep, including our eyes. The right amount of sleep gives our eyes the time it needs to relax. Apply a washcloth soaked in warm water to relieve tired eyes.

As the old adage says, “The eyes are the windows to the soul”. Our eyes are definitely one of the most important organs in our body and therefore it should not be taken for granted. Follow these simple rules and your eyes will thank you for it.

Top 5 Best Gaming Laptops of 2012

2012 has paved another exciting road of ups and downs for the world of Gaming, but perhaps it was all the way up for hardware development, especially for gaming laptops that let gamers play their favorite games in most satisfying way possible. Here are five of the best ones that you can get on the market today, regardless of their price tag.

Dell XPS 15

Dell’s newest horse in this unending race to be the best is no slouch at all. The XPS 15 is classified by Dell as not just a gaming laptop, but also a multipurpose machine that has a 2.1GHz quad core processor, a 8GB of RAM, and a 750GB storage for only $1,700. That’s not bad for something that can be anyone’s workhorse in gaming and multimedia work.

Alienware M17x R4

Alienware M17x R4

The Alienware brand is synonymous with gaming power, and this laptop is probably the one that gives the most value to your money if you are looking for an elite gaming laptop. For 2.5 grand, you’ll get an Intel Core i7 3720QM 2.6GHz quad core processor, a Nvidia GeForce GT 680M video card, a 8GB of RAM, and a half terabyte storage, all weighing in at 9.6 pounds. Sure, it comes with a bit of heft, but it’s still light enough to carry around and blow people away.

Eurocom Scorpius

This offering by Eurocom is classified as a desktop replacement, and its heavyweight specifications makes it stand out in the crowd. The awesomely-named Scourpius sports an Intel Core i7 3920XM 2.9GHz quad core that’s coupled with 8GB of RAM and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M graphics card. What separates it from the rest of the group is its superior, robust build quality, making other laptops look like paperweights waiting to happen. Also, the sheer speed that this thing can get up to is absolutely no joke, even if compared to other high-end laptops of its class. 5,297 price tag, hat the Eurocom Scorpius is the most expensive laptop in this list.

Maingear Pulse 11

The most portable item in the list, the Maingear Pulse 11 weighs only 3.7 pounds, and although it only has an 11.6-inch screen, it does have an Intel Core i7 3912QM 2.1GHz quad core, which is quite a powerhouse in such a tiny package. No doubt that you will love its speed, but it must be noted that the Maingear Pulse 11 isn’t really something for mass file storage. For such a small yet powerful machine though, you only have to shell out $1,350, which is a pretty good price if you’re really looking for an ultraportable gaming laptop. In its form factor, this one is the best in its class.

MSI GT70 0NC-011US

The least expensive among the five and one of the high-end laptops in the current MSI product line, the MSI GT70 combines both power and value in one package. Surely, this is more than enough for even the most hardline of power users and hardcore gamers out there. With its $1,300 price tag comes the combined power of an Intel Core i7 3610QM 2.3GHz quad core processor, a 16GB of RAM, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M, and almost a terabyte of storage. You even get a Blu-Ray drive at that price, so it’s not too shabby at all.

“To be Android or not be Android?” That is the Question

With the Samsung Galaxy S3’s recent newfound fame as the world’s best-selling smartphone, a lot of mobile phone aficionados could be considering the switch to Android. Heck, knowing how fast people act nowadays when it comes to the latest trends, it’s safe to assume that a great chunk of the population has alreadybought a model from their favorite mall or trusted online store.  Nonetheless, if you are one of those who are still on the fence, here are some points to consider.

1)  Google Maps

Because the mobile phone has become an all-around device, we expect much from it. One reason that decreased the hype for Apple’s iPhone was its wonky maps. Thousands of iOs users have made negative comments about Apple’s maps. Google clearly has an upper hand in category as they already have an extensive map in the bag. To add to that, the search giant has recently included 3D mapping and offline maps in their features. A point for Android on this one!

Samsung Galaxy S3

2) Removable Batteries

Though this feature is not exclusive to Android phones, this can still be considered as a great plus about an Android phone. We all know how smartphones eat a lot of battery life especially when we are using several apps at a time. An extra battery in hand saves you time from having to recharge, especially when you cannot afford to be away from your phone.

3) Interface and Applications

This criterion depends on your taste. Android has seven home screen pages where you can place your most important apps. Moreover, Android allows you to have widgets on your home screens including the calendar, reminders and daily weather updates. Though not exactly a newsworthy innovation, these things can be really helpful for you during certain situations. Android also allows you to install non-market apps. Nonetheless, though Android offers more apps than the Windows Phone, Apple still offers much more applications on its AppStore. This means not all mobile apps have an Android counterpart.

4) Browser Syncing

iOs6 now offers iCloud Tabs which allows you to unify your browsers across Apple devices. On the other hand, Android users can make use of Chrome Beta for Android to sync tabs, bookmarks and even search. This gives the million Chrome users convenience and flexibility on their devices.

5) Updates

Because of Android’s extensive army of mobile phones, not all updates of its OS are compatible with all phones for the reason that some handsets are not compatible with the newer software. However, if you are planning to make the switch to a rather high-end Android phone, you might be able to upgrade to new software. You can always check beforehand to be sure.

The battle of operating software for mobile phones is far from over. Whether you go Android or not, one thing is for sure: we can all look forward to better software and user experience in the future as Android, iOs and Windows go head-to-head in the mobile market.

Reasons Why Choosing LED TV is Better than Choosing Plasma TV

Choosing between an LED TV and a Plasma TV nowadays is a tough call. Surely, there are lots of factors to consider, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will guide you through the reasons why LED TV deserves to have the crown.

1) Type of Display

One of the most basic differences between plasma HDTV and LED HDTV is the type of display. Notice that when you turn off the lights in your room, you will see the color black rendered as the inkiest black. This is because plasma TV does not require backlighting and the screen lights up itself to create top-notch quality images. LED screens, on the other hand, use light emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the display. Black portions of LED TVs are somewhat dark grayish. But if you’re not too meticulous about this, choose the LED backlit TV because of its unmatched energy efficiency. With the same screen size, a plasma TV eats up to two to three times more energy than the LED TV.

2) Picture Quality

Though the LED TV may not be good in showing darkness of blacks, it showcases far finer details than the Plasma TV. LED TVs have more prominent white levels that reach a maximum point of 382.62 cd/m2 white level. They also perform well in the contrast and color accuracy. Pictures appear to be more vivid and brighter.

LED TV

3) Life Span

Plasma TVs won’t win the battle when it comes to life span, which is expected to not exceed 100,000 hours. This is because the plasma screen burns faster and there’s permanent etching in the color being displayed on the screen. Having a Plasma TV run for ten straight hours would result to a faster permanent burn-in. In contrast, LED technology does not have this burn-in susceptibility or ghosting issue. LED TVs will continue to function well as long as the light bulbs work fine. And you can even have the backlight replaced.

4) Noise

CRT TVs typically omit a buzz sound in the background because of the air pressure. Similarly, plasma TVs tend to produce this minimal noise because of its nature is of a glass substrate enveloped with rare natural gases compressions. At higher altitudes above 6,500 feet, expect that air pressure noise to become louder. So definitely, if you don’t want to be distracted, choosing LED TV is a better idea as it’s not affected by the increase or decrease of the surrounding air pressure.

5) Screen Thickness

Thinness of the screen accounts for a huge part of aesthetics in TVs. Though it may not be the most important aspect for comparison, it still places a good deal. The screen thickness is noticeable and the LED TVs’ super-thinness looks visually striking, especially when mounted on the wall. You can also have it concealed as part of your home theater, which is something you can’t do with plasma TVs. At least, for now, plasma TVs has a thicker back.

If your budget can reach the price of an LED TV, there’s no question to be asked. Choose LED TV over the heavy power hog plasma TV for a great cinematic experience. Think of both functional and graphic considerations and remember to regard long-term benefits.

Ainol Novo 10 Hero Tablet PC

The Ainol Novo 10 Hero Tablet PC is one of the fastest and well-built Tablet PC’s in the market today. Boasting an AmLogic 8726-M6 CPU clocking the Cortex-A9 dual core at 1.5GHz, this device is a beast at computing tasks. It doesn’t fall short on the graphics department either. Equipped with a Mali-400 GPU, the gamer inside you is sure to have a delightful surprise! It has a total of 1GB Ram for enhanced multi-tasking and flawless gaming. With a more than adequate 10.1 screen with resolutions up to 1280*800, you can enjoy seamless HD movies and TV shows anywhere you go! You can even connect the tablet to a larger high definition monitor through an HDMI cable. Of course, a tablet PC would not be complete without wireless connectivity, and it is here where the Ainol Novo 10 Hero Tablet is able to showcase its dual core prowess in surfing the web and multitasking through other computing tasks.

Operating on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Ainol Novo 10 Hero Tablet provides the latest and most up-to-date applications in the market. It also grants you access to an unlimited variety of games, social networking applications and other useful tools through the free-to-download clients that were already pre-installed. With 16GB of internal memory that’s expandable up to 32 GB, you are never going to run out of space to install your apps, store your music and download your movies. In fact, it already comes pre-packed with a number of great apps such as ES File Explorer, Google Search, Google Maps, Browser, Gallery, Clock, Market, Calculator, Calendar, Video and Gmail.

Ainol Novo 10 Hero Tablet PC

Another awesome thing about the Ainol Novo 10 is that it is also designed for people who don’t speak any English. The tablet is pre-configured with several language settings including Czech, Dansk, German, English, Spanish, Russian, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polski, Greek, Portuguese, Svenska, Turkey, Korean, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

The Ainol Novo 10 Hero Tablet comes with 2 built-in cameras: a 2.0 mega pixel camera at the back and a 0.3 mega pixel camera in the front. This is very convenient for video chatting and conferences. Experience a smooth exchange of videos between you and your friends through messaging applications such as Skype. With the capacitive touchscreen, navigating the web through the browser of your choice is a very enjoyable experience. Unlike other tablets that are only limited to resistive touch screens, the Hero is integrated with a 10.1-inch capacitive 5-point multi-touch LCD screen.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, an 8000 maH, 3.7v battery pack is thrown into the package! Maximize your productivity with over 8 hours of continuous usage. Reach up to 5 hours of non-stop hardcore gaming. Or until your eyes give up. Whichever comes first. No matter. The Ainol Novo 10 Hero Tablet is free of the disease that most Tablet PC’s in the market suffer from: weak batteries.

To further enhance your wireless capabilities, the Ainol Novo 10 Hero Tablet is capable of supporting external 3G dongles (not built-in) for E1916, ZTE AC2736, HUAWEI E1750, HUAWEI EC122, HUAWEI EM770W. The package includes one earphone and a USB cable. The tablet is fairly light, weighing in at 620 grams and sizing up at 265 x 180 x 9.9 millimeters. Port extensions are as follows: one TF card slot, one mini HDMI port, one micro USB port and one 3.5 millimeter earphone port.

Overall, the Ainol Novo 10 Hero Tablet PC is a great device that will 1) up your productivity at work and 2) support your entertainment needs by delivering stunning graphics for gaming and seamless movie-watching on high definition. Take a leap into a whole new technology and satisfy your craving for a high performance tablet!

5 Ways to a Gamer’s Heart

Falling for a gamer or even being with one seems really cool. But if you are not really into games, admiring or being with one can be a bit challenging. Of course, there is this dilemma of not being able to fully understand him and his interests. What if you cannot really understand where he is coming from? What if you cannot follow?

What you don’t really have to worry about is the fact that you are not really into computer games. Even if the person you like is a hardcore gamer, there are some particular ways through which you can connect with him and soon find a way to his heart. And here they are:

Winning a Gamer's Heart

1) Open your mind.

Fine – gaming is not really for everyone. But if you really want to win a gamer’s heart, you better open your mind and embrace the possibilities. Do not set your mind and tell yourself that there’s no way you are ever going to be into gaming. And instead of dismissing gaming as a waste of time, try to think of it as something else, as a passion or even an expertise perhaps. Widen your perceptions! Also, it would be helpful for you to also get to know the benefits of gaming. With sincere curiosity, try to discover the love gamers have for gaming.

2) Try to understand.

Sometimes, it’s quite easy for an outsider to judge the members of a particular group. When you don’t know much about what they do and the reason behind their actions, it can be difficult for us to hold our biases and prejudices. Often times, this is the issue between gamers and non-gamers. Non-gamers have the tendency to judge gamers most especially if they do not appreciate even a single thing about gaming. Some even dismiss their interest as a pointless “addiction.” This, of course, is offensive on a gamer’s part. So, if you want to get close to a gamer, make sure that you never judge him even if you don’t really appreciate what he is into. Instead, try to understand him. Think of him as a person who loves their craft the same way musicians love their music.

3) Show some interest.

Just because you are not into a particular hobby or sport does not mean you cannot be interested in it in any way. So even if you are not really into playing such games, let him feel that you are eager to know even a little about it to have an idea of what it is all about. It is a simple way of telling him that you are interested in every aspect of his humanity.

Gamer Couple

4) Do not be jealous.

The thing is, in some relationships, computer games create conflict. This is because computer games are usually time consuming and, well, pretty addictive. It is usually hard for anyone to stop a particular hobby once he has developed the necessary skills. Or once he’s acquired that special item. Or once he’s reached that certain level. You get the point. Instead of expressing jealously towards the game, try to involve yourself in his quests. Who knows? It could be your next ultimate bonding.

5) Be supportive.

Do not ever say he is just wasting his time. Never antagonize him for being so fond of games. Support the guy for Pete’s sake! Show him that you appreciate his interest and talent when it comes to gaming. When he wipes the entire enemy team by himself, cheer for him! When he makes the game-winning shot, congratulate him! If his controller gets busted, give him a new one! Oh, trust me. He’ll love it.

Sometimes, computer games seem to belong to a different realm, most especially from the point of view of a non-gamer. This is the reason why non-gamers appear to be alienating at times. And yes, it is not easy for non-gamers to deal with this fact. But to think of it, such a dilemma can actually be resolved if people are patient enough to understand them. So, if you are ever planning to get close to a gamer, make a way to his heart by being there for him. Open your mind! Try to understand him and his passion; show him that you are interested to know more about his world. If you can do it, surely, you can win his heart.

5 Things to Consider when Buying the Latest Smartphone

We have reached the age where people have opted to use larger bags to make space for all the latest gadgets that they just had to buy. Now they are cursed with the burden of having to carry this heavy load wherever they go. Can we consider this as another example of the popular “First World Problems” meme?

But alas, the solution to this problem has already been invented. All hail Smartphones, the technological landmark of this generation. Now, we can have almost everything that we need in one device. I’m not surprised at all at how more and more people are becoming interested in the greatness of Smartphones.

And as time goes by, newer phones with cooler features are also being released in the market. This fact makes people, even the ones who already have their Smartphones, tempted to shell out a wad of cash for such worldwide trends. Sure, there is really nothing bad about having the latest thingamabobs out there. But when it comes to purchasing such things, being sure about the worth of whatever you are going to pay for still matters.

Shopping for a Smartphone

The following is a list of things you may want to consider when buying the latest Smartphone.

1) Quality Above All

Because of the ongoing competition between the various manufacturers of Smartphones, there are already some companies who ventured in low-cost phones which more or less attracts more buyers. Imagine Smartphones that are very cheap. Sounds amazingly awesome, right? But of course, you still have to be very careful. Remember, not all cheap goods are smart buys.

2) Price

Although very cheap gadgets are sometimes too suspicious, let us not forget the fact that there are also gadgets that are way too overpriced. Yes, I am talking about those items that cost too much but are practically identical with the ones with cheaper market value. So, stop thinking that it is all about the price. Know that just because an item is so expensive does not mean it is automatically the best version available in the market.

3) Applications and Functions

Never ever go to stores when you do not know what you need. That is a rule. With all the cool Smartphones there staring at you and your wallet, it is certainly tempting to just randomly select something without really getting to know what applications or functions it has. So, if you are planning on buying the latest Smartphone, ask yourself first about what you really need and want. Decide on the specifications and never forget to study these gadgets on online stores first for further investigation. This way, you can avoid purchasing a phone with features you do not really need or getting a phone that could not give you what you need.

Buying the Latest Smartphone

4) Efficiency

Another thing that should be taken into consideration when buying the latest Smartphone is the gadgets’ efficiency. Do not just dwell on the gadgets’ cool features. Think of other aspects as well. Is it user-friendly? Does it have a long battery life that could help you during long and busy days? Can you sell it at a good price when a superior version is inevitably released? By asking yourself these questions and answering them honestly, you can make sure that you are going to have a wise buy.

5) Reviews and Feedback

One of the best blessings of this generation is the faster transmission of information. Of course, this has been helpful in consumerism. Now, we can easily know what others think of certain products before we even before we can lay a hand on them. Through this information and reviews, indeed, we can avoid purchasing things we can regret about in the future. So, if you are planning to buy something soon, don’t hesitate on reading honest and objective reviews of the product online. Take note of its strengths and weaknesses; they can help you weigh things before you make your final decision.

Buying a Smartphone can be really exciting. But at the same time, it can also be challenging because of the endless amount of choices that are presented in the market. And to guarantee a wise buy, you better be smart in choosing your next Smartphone.