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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Don't Procrastinate For Petey's Sake

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Internet Access at Home

After procrastinating for months, I finally hooked up my Panasonic TVs and Blu-ray Players to the World Wide Internets. They gives me unlimited access to Amazon Video on Demand, weather forecasts and for my money, the best thing ever, Pandora Radio. I have been using Pandora for years, but only through my woefully inadequate computer speakers. Now I listen through my Definitive Technology tower speakers, which is much better.

After setting up some new stations, I learned that there are tons of bands that sound like Foghat and Molly Hatchet. It is like listening to one endless Southern Fried Rock K-tel album, without the pops. Even my parakeet Petey (yes that Petey, the stunt keet  from Dumb and Dumber and The Birds, but just an extra in that one) enjoys it. After  years of stunts though, Petey likes it loud due to severe hearing loss in both ears. I got the Lady Gaga Heartbeats ear buds for the little bugger.

So my suggestion to you is, if you have a TV that does connect the Internets, do not dilly dally like I did. Put on some Foghat and go for a slow ride.

-Blake B.

Netflix Streaming Becoming More Popular

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Neflix recently reported that 61% of subscribers are now streaming instantly to their PC or TV. This number is up from 55% from the previous quarter, and up from 37% from a year ago. Online viewing has increased with the addition of the $8.99 a month plan that allows customers to take out one DVD at a time with unlimited internet streaming.

Another reason for its increase in popularity is the expansion of compatible devices. Adding the ability to stream from all Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii video game consoles has opened up the option for streaming Netflix’s online library to millions of people.  Certain online connected Blu-ray players from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony also allow users to watch netflix programming instantly.  You may also find Netflix built into LCD TVs from Sony and LG as well.

With Netlfix becoming a viable option for many people to watch TV, and Hulu just now starting to provide similar services, it’s going to be interesting in the future as more people will detach themselves from cable and satellite providers. Tell us which service you use or what you think will be the future of cable and satellite providers.

-Brian E.

Register for Your Special Event At Abt!

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

It’s almost summer and love is in the air. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and brides are registering. Abt is the premiere destination for anything in the home, from TVs to cool electronics to appliances for all budgets.

Instead of registering for the standard china and silver every bride registers for, check out the bridal registry at Abt or on Abt.com. Register for things you will use every day, like a new LED TV or Energy Star appliance.

It’s not all about electronics and appliances at Abt. There is a gourmet shop full of incredible products like Le Creuset, small appliances like stand mixers and food processors. Abt also has a Time Watch Boutique with watches and Tumi wallets and tote bags—perfect for a honeymoon!

Abt’s registry isn’t just for brides and grooms. If you are celebrating a special occasion, housewarming, holiday, or anniversary, register at Abt. It’s easy and our award winning customer service specialists are available everyday in the showroom, on the phone, or available via web-based live chat.

-Kelly B.

Energy Star 4.0, New TV Standards for 2010

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

April 16th, the day the Energy Star Rebate program for appliances began and ended in IL, consumers saw the importance and popularity of the Energy Star rating system. Not only is the Energy Star revolution going to make this world a better place, but also it will make paying energy bills each month a little less daunting.

Just a few days ago, May 1st, Energy Star standards changed for TVs. Previously, a 50” TV could meet Energy Star 3.0 requirements as long as it didn’t consume more than 318 watts. Now under Energy Star 4.0’s stringent standards, the same size TV can’t exceed burning more than 153 watts—just less than half of Energy Star 3.0 requirements. Energy Star 4.0 will also demand TVs not burn more than one single watt of energy while in sleep or standby mode.

Major TV manufacturers were prepared for the new Energy Star requirements. Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and others are all producing TVs to meet the new stricter standards.

What does this mean for you? By burning less energy, you will reduce your monthly energy bill as well as release fewer greenhouse gasses into the environment. The new Energy Star standards will reduce energy consumption by 40%.

Energy Star 4.0 requirements are far from where they need to be. If you are hesitant to purchase an Energy Star 4.0 model anticipating Energy Star 5.0, consider that you will have to wait until May of 2012. Manufacturers will have until then to produce TVs that are 60% more energy efficient than models produced prior to May 1, 2010.

-Kelly B.

A Guest Blog From Internet Sales Specialist Tim S.

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Earth Week is a good time to look at what we all can do to help our planet. Often times, helping the planet also helps our pocket books! Take a moment to look at what is probably the most used piece of electronics in your home: The TV.

If you don’t need to buy a TV now, there are several things you can do to reduce how much energy you use watching TV:

1. Watch TV with a DVR. A digital video recorder allows you to record your favorite shows onto a hard drive. By doing this, you can watch your favorite TV shows and fast forward through the commercials. For every 30 minutes of programming on TV, there are 10 minutes of commercials. By fast forwarding through commercials, you can immediately cut how long your TV is on by 33%!

2. Do you fall asleep with the TV on in your bedroom? Most TVs have a sleep timer. Start using it when you go to bed and you’ll see a couple of benefits. First, the TV won’t wake you up at four in the morning when someone selling a Snuggy starts talking waaaay too loud. Second, you’ll eliminate the hours your TV is on when no one is actually watching it.

3. Check to see if your TV has a power saving mode. Many brands have included this feature lately. It reduces the brightness and power consumption of your TV. Turning it on makes the picture a little less bright, but the benefit is that the picture is often more realistic and has better depth.

4. Try and limit the number of TVs on at any given time. Watch TV as a family instead of everyone watching in different rooms. If you’ve got a family of four all watching four different TVs, only watching one TV cuts your energy consumption by 75%!

5 And, of course, there is the ever unpopular watch less TV! Maybe go outside and hug a few trees instead!

If you do need to buy a TV now, you should definitely check out the Sony environmental set or the Samsung LED sets. Those use the least power of any TV out there.

Happy energy savings, all!

By Tim S.

Watch the Big Games in Style

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

The NCAA Final Four semi-finals and championship games are around the corner. Is your TV up to par, or is now the time to consider a new one? Abt’s weekly specials section has seven TVs in stock and available for Chicagoland delivery before the big games.

Michigan and Butler tip off at 6:05pm ET Saturday evening (4/3), and West Virginia battles Duke immediately following at 9pm ET. The winners will fight for the NCAA championship on Monday, April 5th—time to be announced.

Abt delivers to Chicagoland customers every day, except Wednesday and Sunday; Indiana and Wisconsin deliveries are Tuesday and Saturday only.

Speak to an Abt sales specialist in-store, on the phone, or on-line via web-based live chat about a new TV for the Super Bowl of college basketball.

-Kelly B.

Spring Forward

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Spring ahead with Abt. We are having a Pre-Spring Customer Appreciation Sale now through March 14th, the start of Daylight Savings Time.

Every year we lose an hour of sleep by setting our clocks ahead one hour, but we gain energy-saving environmental benefits. By better utilizing the daylight hours we save energy; everyday in March and April there is a potential to save energy equivalent to 100,000 barrels of oil. In California alone, people save a combined 11 million kilowatt hours of energy during Daylight Savings Time, enough to power 1600 homes. Just think of the collective impact on the environment. It may seem like a small amount, but over time it really adds up.

Each year when Daylight Savings Time approaches, the Abt sales specialists field hundreds of questions from customers on changing clocks and time keeping devices in the home.

It can be time consuming and frustrating if you are not familiar with how to change all of the different clocks in your home, especially because clocks aren’t the only time keepers that need to be reset. Many appliances and electronics in the home will need to be changed as well. Ovens, Microwaves, VCRs, DVD players, older TVs, watches, and clock radios will all need to spring forward. If you need help setting your clocks, come into the store or give us a call.

Come to Abt Saturday or Sunday for the Pre-Spring Customer Appreciation Sale and speak with a sales specialist with any of your questions.

-Kelly B.

What Will You Buy on Black Friday?

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Consumer Reports did a poll about the most wanted products this Black Friday. The poll showed that 70 percent of the 1,001 adults, who participated, planned to purchase consumer electronics, and 71 percent plans to buy clothing.

Almost surprising, more than half of the Black Friday shoppers polled will be purchasing an electronic for themselves. Not as surprising, approximately three-quarters of the same shoppers polled will be purchasing an electronic for someone else.

Of the electronics on shoppers lists, 22 percent intend to purchase an mp3 player or an iPod, 46 will buy a specific video game or accessory, 21 percent will get a video game console, 20 percent are looking for a laptop or netbook, and 13 percent are on the hunt for a TV.

Thinking of all of the crowded retail outlets, 53 percent of the polled consumers expected on-line retailers would have competitive bargains just like the crowded malls; while a shocking 28 percent of the 1,001 polled shoppers plan to physically visit a store. Thus proving, on-line shopping is quickly becoming a preferred method for shopping.

More than one out of every five adults plans to purchase a TV either Black Friday, during or after the holiday season. Out of those shoppers, over half are looking for a TV 40” or larger. HD or a better picture, size, specific programming needs, adding additional TVs to the household, and desire for a flat-panel TV are the main reasons for TV purchases this season.

-Kelly B.