Choosing a Smart TV | Top 10 2015

Choosing a Smart TV | Top 10 2015

Given that we spend so much of our time online these days and our lives are meant to be fully connected and integrated, it is easy to see why Smart TVs are the big thing for 2015. This style of TV gives you all the benefits of a standard television but with the ability to be connected to the internet, there is a whole lot more scope for fun and entertainment from this very modern style of television set.

smart tv

When you think about the increasing number of streaming and download options for TV shows and programmes, it makes sense that more people are choosing a TV which allows them to be connected to the internet, gaining access immediately to their favourite shows and a whole host of undiscovered gems. For this reason alone, Smart TVs have jumped to the top of the pile when it comes to having fun but when you think about the wide array of Smart TVs to choose from, how do you go about finding the one that is right for you?

There are a number of things you should take on board when looking for a new TV and one interesting thing is that while curved screens will cost you more money, many people believe that they actually provide you with fewer options and benefits. The curved screen provides you with fewer viewing angles so if you have a busy home or you like to invite your friends around to watch the big match or a popular reality TV show, you may find that you all end up fighting for valuable space in front of the TV. There have also been reports that some curved TVs cause viewer fatigue more quickly, so this is something to bear in mind as well.

Don’t get caught up on ratios

You may also read a lot about contrast ratios and find yourself being bamboozled by the information. The important thing to remember is that there set industry standard for contrast ratios, so it is not possible to judge every one by the same standard. With this in mind, you don’t need to get caught up in the bigger or better numbers, you should just allow yourself to view what is on offer from the individual TVs and see what best suits your needs. You should also think about the size and scope of your room.

There is an argument to be made for buying as big a TV as your budget will allow but in some homes, this would be a terrible decision. There are great quality Smart TVs which aren’t as big as some of the options in the market, but this doesn’t mean that they are lacking anything in comparison to bigger TVs. It may be that the smaller sized TV is actually better for your home, so think about that before you decide to splurge on the biggest Smart TV you can find.

Smart TVs are the standard now

When it comes to buying a TV though, you definitely should be going for a Smart TV as opposed to a standard TV. This style of TV is going to become the standard and it will help you to make much more from your television set. Streaming and downloading is at the heart of modern entertainment and with HDMI plugs, you will also find that these screens are ideal for the best quality video games and consoles. Another thing to remember is that because your screen is hooked up to the internet, it is essentially a computer, which means that you can benefit from software updates, helping to extend the life and quality of your TV. This offers a tremendous level of value for money in a Smart TV, which means that it is a purchase that can more than justify itself.

When it comes to finding the Top 10 Smart TV’s for 2015, you will find that the following TVs are all great choices:

  1. LG 98UB980V 98 Inch 4K Ultra HD 3D LED TV
  2. Panasonic TX-85X942B 85” 4K Ultra HD 3D LED Smart TV
  3. Samsung UE65HU8500 65” CURVED 4K UHD 3D Smart LED TV
  4. Sony BRAVIA KDL55W829BBU Smart 3D 55″ LED TV
  5. Sony KDL50W829BBU ‘W8′ Series 50” Full HD 3D Smart LED TV
  6. Panasonic VIERA TX-48AS640B Smart 3D 48″ LED TV
  7. Philips 49PUS7809 LED 4K Ultra HD 3D Smart TV 49″
  8. Lg 55LB700V Smart 3D 55″ LED TV
  9. Toshiba 47L6453DB Smart 47″ LED TV
  10. Sharp LC32LE351K 32 Inch Smart LED TV

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.

Gift Ideas For IT Professionals

WhoaaWhat do you give the person that just downloads everything they want? CDs and DVDs are out of the question – it’s all digital now. And software is often far too expensive for the casual gift.

So we thought we’d do some research and see if we could find some IT goodies that an IT pro would actually want. We have to admit that some of this might be toeing the line when it comes to being a novelty item, but we’ve tried our best to include a number of different items at a wide variety of prices in our list. Check out our recommendations and let us know what you think.

The USB Bracelet

We have to confess, with the rise of the Cloud, there is a lot less in the way of USB drives going around, but we still sort of love them and we’re sure that, much like floppy discs, we’ll soon be considering USB sticks a thing of retrospective beauty. And that’s what makes this idea so great.

These smart little unisex bracelets, made with real leather, clip together, not with the traditional hook lock, but with a USB stick. They look nice and if you’re giving it as a gift, you could always copy some of your favourite memories on to it. Even IT Pros can be sentimental, you know.

Ultimately though, this is a practical but aesthetic way to keep the most precious memories and secret files safe and at under £20 for 8GB of secure storage, it’s a steal.

Portable Phone Charger

The stereotypical IT professional is loathed to be without a connection to technology in some form, and with the birth of the smart phone, it is increasingly easy to be in touch with a range of different apps, the internet and people all across the world. Sadly, it is also the rise of the smart phone that has seen a huge decrease in the length of battery life. I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if some of us had a Nokia 3210 lurking around here somewhere that was still boasting three bars of battery power.

The portable phone charger is an IT Pro’s saviour. If your particular IT pro likes to go trekking, foraging or festival-ing (unlikely, I know), they will enjoy the freedom that a portable phone charger can bring them. And with prices ranging from £20 – £80 for varying levels of effectiveness, you have an excellent selection to choose from.

The Smart Watch

There are a number of these hitting the market at the moment, and all with different niches. Additionally, this might just be the kind of thing any self-respecting IT pro might avoid buying for themselves. Smart watches have had a bumpy introduction to the market, and in fairness they are more of a luxury than a necessity at the current stage but that is what makes them good gifts.

Watches have always been good gifts anyway, so a technology fuelled watch for a technology fuelled person makes sense – they can sync it with their phone and they’ll be in IT Nirvana. Just make sure you know what phone they have before you start looking! With watches ranging from £70 up to over £200, it isn’t a cheap gift, but it certainly makes it a memorable one.


This might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re commuting into a big city every day, a bit of music can really start your day off right, especially if it blocks out the noise of all your fellow commuters. Now, we’re not talking your average headphones – we’re talking a nice set, like Bose or Olufsen and Bang – expensive yes, but highly appreciated by the average IT pro. The only people that would possibly appreciate this more are the musicians themselves.


For a more specific type of IT professional, perhaps one that likes to get a little creative in their spare time, the Cintiq is an excellent, albeit more pricy, gift. The Cintiq is a tablet unlike other tablets that allows you to draw directly onto the screen – fantastic for drawing enthusiasts.

This isn’t a gift for the faint of heart though. With varieties of Cintiq starting at £300 odd up to over £1000 for the 24 Inch screen version, this could be taking a hobby to a whole new level – but on the plus side, it offers the user an excellent chance to really up their skills and produce incredible pieces of art.

Alex Viall is the Director of one of London’s leading IT support companies- Mustard IT. Alex has many years of experience of working in the IT industry and aims to deliver a first-class service to all clients.

Geek Gift Ideas

Gift shopping for seasoned technophiles can be a trying endeavor. Savvy techies and dedicated gamers are usually first in line for every new gadget, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to find something they don’t already have. Here are six awesome gift ideas for technogeeks, gamers, and inquisitive minds of all ages:

Neurosky Mindwave Mobile Mindplay

Neurosky’s Mindwave headsets capture and digitize brainwave signals, allowing users to control a game with the power of their minds. The user-friendly EEG headset is compatible with Apple and Android products and comes bundled with a variety of brain training games and applications; many more educational activities are available for download as well. The Mobile Mindplay headset is a great tool for developing better focus and concentration in both children and adults.


M.O.J.O. Micro-console

This compact console is an versatile multimedia system enabling users to play mobile games, watch television, listen to music, and download and share photos, tweets, and more. Despite its small size, the M.O.J.O. boasts 16GB of internal storage with additional slots for micro SD cards and USB ports that allow movies and other media to be downloaded from a personal computer to the television. It includes a wireless, Bluetooth ready controller equipped with extra media buttons for volume control and playback and a travel clip to connect the controller with a smart device for use anywhere.

VUZIX Video Eyewear

Ideal for frequent travelers, Vuzix Video Glasses look like normal sunglasses, but they have a special secret. The lenses are portable movie screens that connect to mobile phones, tablets, and computers, allowing wearers to enjoy a virtual theater experience anywhere. Both the Wrap 920 and Wrap 1200 models offer a big-screen experience in either traditional 2D or 3D projection. Video Glasses are stylish and feature individual focus adjustments, so there is no need to wear prescription eyeglasses while enjoying entertainment with Vuzix.


Created by gamers for gamers, the Boomchair is a video game seat designed to fully immerse users into the action. Built-in speakers, subwoofers, and vibrational motors react to sound and action, allowing one to hear–and feel–every explosion onscreen. Compatible with nearly all video gaming systems and multimedia devices, the Boomchair is comfortably designed with breathable padded mesh, features adjustable volume and vibration controls, and folds down easily for storage.


Cold winter weather certainly puts a damper on using a smart phone outdoors. With iGloves, frozen fingers and mistyped texts can be history. iGloves contain a unique conducive material woven into the finger and thumb tips that directs a small electric current from fingers to touchscreen without scratching or damaging the sensitive surface. iGloves are made from soft, warm acrylic and are designed to fit most hand sizes.

FitBit Force

The FitBit Force is a lightweight, bracelet-style device that helps track one’s health and fitness goals. FitBit Force features a miniature LED screen that displays steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned. At night, it even tracks the quality of one’s sleep. It has a built-in watch with a gentle, vibrating alarm and includes support for Android and iOS devices to allow users to take advantage of FitBit’s variety of online fitness tools.

From secret movie theaters to telekinetic gameplay, technological gifts inspire, enhance experiences, and defy expected boundaries. What better gift to give than one of limitless possibility?

Tiffany Tran loves all things geek. For more great articles on gaming culture and much more, Tiffany recommends visiting

Gadgets and Accessories Made from…. Wood

Everywhere we look, we see gadgets cloaked in shiny plastic and sleek metal–but there’s still a lot to be said for the simplicity and natural beauty of wood. Maybe it’s the gradual shift toward “greener” aesthetics, or a wish to get back to the basics, but we’re seeing more and more electronics that mix today’s technology with the rustic look of wood.

Wooden USB Drives from OOOMS:     wooden usbs

This Netherlands-based company has created USB sticks made from, well….sticks. To make these unique pieces, the creators find sticks that are the color and shape they want, and craft them into flash drives with capacities ranging from 2-16 GB.

Wooden records:

wooden records

Artist Amanda Ghassaei recently invented a system that uses lasers to etch music into a wooden disc, creating a playable record. She pulls audio from .wav files, and uses a custom processing script to assemble a vector graphic PDF. Then, she uses a laser cutter to etch the data into a wooden disc. Sound quality isn’t the best due to the cutter’s low resolution, but it’s still a unique and stylish way to show off your music library.

A Wooden Mouse:


Actbrise Electronics’ accelerometer mouse is made by hand from Chinese flowering ash, which has a grain that resembles the ever-present storms swirling on the largest planet in the solar system. When holding this spherical mouse in hand, you’ll see that the cursor moves at the speed and in the direction indicated by the mouse’s tilt. The “Jupiter Mouse” is not only stylish, it gives you a new way to operate your computer.

Wooden Earbuds:

earbudsGriffin Technologies’ offering is made from scraps of exotic wood; the design is eco-friendly and offers accentuated bass and vocals without distortion. The frequency response ranges from 20Hz-20kHz, and impedance is 16 ohms; all this performance is packed into a natural, stylish package.

The Level 11 Computer:

level 11 computer

Designer Jeffrey Stephenson made this box with a retro, minimalist feel. The Level 11 is an Intel-based, solid-state computer that gets its power from a P820 Pico-ITX motherboard and a 1.2 GHz 64-bit CPU. With its optical drive, the au naturel computer runs a 64-bit Windows 7 OS. The Level 11 gets air through stainless inlet vents at the bottom of each cherry wood box.

Wooden Multi-Console Gaming System:

gaming system

 Pinball wizard and console modder extraordinaire Ben Heck decided it’d be a good idea to cram a Wii U, an Xbox 360, and a PS3 into a wooden cabinet. His creation allows all three consoles to work through one TV connection, and it includes a wooden switch that allows users to switch between units with ease. Each system’s housing is made of custom-cut wood, giving this gamer’s dream a rustic finish.

We all love our technology, but sometimes we just want to get back to nature and back to basics. The wooden gadgets on this list combine the tech we all want and love with the warm, natural feel of real wood. With any of the tech toys on this list, you’ll have the most stylish game room or office in town!

Amy joins us from UK Oak Doors; specialists in high-spec, sustainable oak doors. Amy manages their online marketing, placing a particular focus on creating content for their blog, and has recently worked with a number of guest bloggers including Jo Ridout from A Passion for Homes.

Image credits:



Mobility and Business Travel

 Being on the go has become a reality with globalization happening all around us. Businesses are looking to expand their networks internationally and this requires a lot of travelling. Many businessmen are at the mercy of developing technology that entertain and guide them during their travels. Developers are regularly looking to win over this target market because there are countless travelers requiring products on a daily basis. There are several items that have specifically been created for travelers. This piece will focus on these items and what makes them a must have for business travelers.


The Powerbag

One of the biggest concerns for the average traveler is their smart phone’s battery life. The recent generation of smart phones is quite handy, but the battery life tends to range between mediocre and average. For this reason, business travelers are constantly seeking out recharging options that enable their phone’s to last longer. The Powerbag is one such solution.

This is a portable bag that enables the user to quickly connect their smart phone to a port. The Powerbag can accumulate enough energy to provide four complete recharges before being refreshed. This is a remarkable tool to have while one is travelling through foreign countries. Having a phone that is not working can be a distressing experience.


Business travel requires a lot of attention to expenses that mount during a trip. These expenses can be hard to keep track of and lead to unnecessary frustration and inconvenience. The NeatReceipts solution is a mini scanner that keeps track of all expenses that are made during a trip. All the user has to do is scan the receipts or documents and watch as the scanner takes care of categorizing the files. It is a simple way of doing one’s expense reports without having to sit down and sift through all expenditures.

neat receipt


Business travelers often worry about losing their luggage at the airport. No one wants to be left stranded in a new country without their possessions. Luggage can easily get misplaced and this little device ensures the owner knows where the luggage is. If it gets shipped to another country, the TrakDot will know its whereabouts. It’s a neat way of knowing where the luggage is at all times.

How does one go about checking the location of the luggage? TrakDot comes with an alert system that makes sure the owner receives a little message about the luggage. This message can be received a variety of ways. There are apps associated with the product that can be easily installed on one’s smart phone. For those looking to avoid apps, there is the regular e-mail alert that can be sent. It is a smart way of ensuring the luggage is not lost and one does not have to stress over its location.

Importance of Technology

These are just some of the items that are available to business travelers. It is best to remain prepared for what can happen in foreign countries. Technology has constantly been improving in order to help travelers on their journey.

This guest article was provided by Mark Gomez, retired jet-setter and streamlined traveller.

Windows In Your Pocket

For most people the only computer operating system they have ever used is a Microsoft Windows system. However, when it comes to smart phones, people tend to be more familiar with Apple products and devices which feature third party mobile operating systems. The fact is that Microsoft has been a little bit late in the game when it comes to developing an effective and popular mobile operating system that is utilized en masse. However, just a few years ago Microsoft released its first version of Windows Mobiles through a partnership with the Taiwanese company, HTC. At that time, Windows on a phone was considered revolutionary and most people didn’t know what to think. However, it quickly became clear that Windows Mobile could quickly become a major competitor in the smart phone operating system market.


A Steady Evolution

Windows is and, for a long time, always will be the top computer operating system manufacturer. But many people are drawing away from their computers to their smart phones, leaving a dent in the sale of the Windows operating system. While it might not be much of a dent, Microsoft has been making moves to try and move their hegemony over the operating system market over to the mobile platform, and it seems to be going smoothly. While most people are not familiar with the Windows Mobile 7 platform, they are familiar with the computer based version and, for the most part, find it easy to use. The same can be said for Windows Mobile 7, as well as Mobile 8. While Windows Mobile 8 may not be the giant leap that most people expected, it does showcase a change in the aesthetic value of the system and shows steady advancement from its first incarnation.

More Powerful than Before

While manufacturers like Apple and Blackberry have long been on the case of a mobile operating system and therefore further along in their evolution, the one real advantage that other, more established mobile phone manufacturers had was the power that was provided to their operating systems. The HTC Windows Mobile 8x features a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor and 1 GB of Ram, which make for a very fast device and plenty of storage space for things like multimedia and apps. And while the apps that are offered on the Windows 8 platform may not be as numerous as Apple’s iTunes store or the Android Market, the usability and impressively PC like feel of the phone (complete with a full version of Internet Explorer) allows for Windows Mobile 8 to make up where it falls behind in terms of social networking and other apps.

Completely Affordable

When Apple released its iPhone on the formerly limited contract that it held with AT&T a lot of normal people were left out of the loop and not able to own one. However, when it comes to the HTC Windows Mobile 8x there should never be a problem with feeling like you cannot afford or that it is out of your grasp. At prices that rival even the cheapest of top tier smart phones the HTC 8x is perhaps one of the most convenient of smart phones since it is available with both a contract and as a pre-paid device. Buying the phone by itself will not set you back up to £900 as would an iPhone and not being bound by a contract helps to avoid potential credit crises when you cannot meet your financial obligations in relation to your mobile phone bill.

As a tech writer for uSwitch, Laura Ginn reviews thousands of products to see which offer the most value for price. She highly recommends the HTC Windows Phone 8X Blue (

Getting to grips with Smart TV

The television was first invented in the 1920s when John Logie Baird, although he did not do it singlehandedly, was credited as the first person to show moving images. However, in less than 100 years, TV has developed at a rate of knots with black and white sets being turned away in favour of colour and people shunning plasma for LED.

One type of television that was greatly overlooked in 2011 and 2012, because of the rise and fall of 3D, was the Smart TV. Now, it seems that people are starting to catch on as it rises in popularity.


To help you get to grips with the new technology, here are five things you need to know about Smart TV.

What exactly is it?

The idea of smart television has been around for the past 20 years, but has only recently started hitting the shelves. A Smart TV is essentially a television set that can connect to the internet and display more features. The difference is similar to that between a standard mobile phone and a smartphone.

What are the connectivity options?

In order to make your television ‘connected’, you’ll have to hook it up to your broadband. You can use an Ethernet cable, but this means the TV has to be next to the router. Most new models have Wi-Fi compatibility so you just need a wireless dongle.

Other connectivity options include USB ports – the same as those found on your computer – and HDMI ports.

Why do I need to be ‘connected’?

When you’re settled down for the evening watching the TV, how often do you have your smartphone or tablet in your hand? It’s more common for people to interact with the show now, perhaps sending a Tweet or playing along with an app but Smart TVs allow you to download apps direct to the TV so you can simultaneously watch a show and access social networks without changing devices.

What apps are there?

The most common applications found on Smart TVs at the moment are Facebook, Twitter, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Skype. Some, such as those with Toshiba Cloud TV, may also have online streaming services, such as LoveFilm or Netflix.

Can I video-call?

As previously mentioned, Skype is one of the most popular built-in apps. All you need is a webcam, which can easily be plugged into the TV’s USB port. This allows you to call family and friends and see them on your TV screen at the same time.