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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for November, 2008

Start Your Holiday Shopping Early And Save $$$

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Our Pre-Black Friday sale, which is running now through Thursday night online, is the perfect way to get a jump on your gift buying this holiday season while also enjoying some great savings. In addition, we’ll be adding new product specials daily through the weekend and also for our Cyber Monday sale, so you might even find a few things that you want to get just for yourself, too.

Traveling by car? The TomTom ONE 125 Car GPS Navigation System (on sale for $99) will provide the best route to get you where you’re going quickly and safely, with its easy to read 3.5″ LCD touchscreen and large speaker for clear voice instructions. When you get to your destination, the Nikon D60 Digital Camera with 18-55MM Lens (on sale for $574.95) will help the serious shutterbug capture those special holiday events with amazing clarity and color. It features 10.2-megapixel DX-format CCD imaging sensor, fast startup, and split-second shutter response, along with in-camera image editing and an enhanced retouch menu.

Other specials include everything from iPods and watches to appliances and HDTVs. Click here to see the full list of our Pre-Black Friday specials, and check out our homepage to see how you can save an additional $20 on your purchases (hint: it involves PayPal).    —by Graham W.

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New Buying Guide for Cell Phones

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

SIM, Wi-Fi, Edge, Symbian, WAP, and 3G. You know what all of these have in common? They’re all newly discovered creepy rainforest creatures. Well, they could be, or they could be current and former members of the band U2, but they’re really terms you should know if you want to make an informed decision when you buy your next, or your first, cell phone.

Our new Cell Phones Buying Guide tells you all about those strange terms and also goes into the differences between flip phones, smart phones, and candy bar phones and why you might prefer one style over the others. You’ll also learn about the different operating systems and all the great new features you may not be aware of yet on the latest models like the iPhone, Google’s Android phone, and others.

Take a few minutes to look over this guide, then check out our great selection of cell phones from popular brands like Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, and more. You’ll have no trouble making the call on which phone is perfect for you.      —by Graham W.

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Gift Ideas For The iPod Nano Owners In Your Life

Friday, November 21st, 2008

If you know someone who has one of the new iPod nanos, there are lots of accessories that can make their nano experience even more enjoyable. Plus, they make great holiday gifts and are available in all price ranges. We asked Mark Fijalkiewicz in our Apple Store to recommend some of his favorites.

“The first thing I suggest that people get for their nanos is a wall charger, like the DLO Power Bug USB AC Adapter ($16), which will charge iPods and other USB device from any AC wall outlet. For protection, the Ifrogz Wrapz ($9) are made with polished silicone and are available in all the colors of the new 4G nanos. Another good case is the Marware Black Sportsuit Convertible ($24), which has both a detachable armband and a detachable clip for added versatility.

Marware Black Sportsuit Convertible

“The iHome Clock Radio Audio System For iPod ($88 for silver, $94 for black) is an inexpensive dock that enhances the nano’s sound, plus it comes with dual alarms and a nice backlit LCD display. Moving up a bit in price, the Boston Acoustics Dou-I AM/FM Clock Radio With iPod Dock ($199) delivers great stereo sound with a nice amount of bass, and it’s also one of the nicest sounding radios I’ve heard.

 

iHome Clock Radio Audio System (with previous generation iPod)

“For earphones and headphones, Skullcandy makes a variety of styles at reasonable prices, like the Skullcandy SC-INKD InkD Earbuds ($19.95) or the Lowrider Headphones ($39.98). At the higher end are the Bang & Olufsen A8 Headphones ($160), which combine the usual Bang & Olufsen style with great sound and comfort.”

Bang & Olufsen A8 Headphones

To see all the iPod accessories available at Abt, click here.    —by Graham W.

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Mitsubishi LaserVue Is World's First Laser-Driven TV

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

When you hear the word “laser,” the first thought that probably comes to mind is a weapon that some super villainous madman is using to try to take over the world. Or an outer space battle between humongous starships. Or eye surgery. But you probably wouldn’t think about televisions.

Until now. The new Mitsubishi LaserVue 65″ Black DLP HDTV, now available at Abt, utilizes laser beams to produce rich, complex colors and an immersive depth of field, delivering two times the color of many of today’s HDTVs. On top of that, the LaserVue is environmentally friendly, consuming approximately one-third the power of LCD TVs and about one-fourth the power of plasma TVs.

“Bringing laser TV to market is a significant industry accomplishment, and we’re very proud to be the only TV manufacturer to date that has delivered on the promise of a laser-driven TV,” said Frank DeMartin, vice president of marketing for Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America.

While the LaserVue doesn’t come cheap (as in, it costs nearly $7000), the depth of the images can astound you. “The new LaserVue TV is very impressive,” says Abt sales specialist Rafael Pena. “We did a side-by-side comparison with other top HDTVs, and the LaserVue by far provided the best reproduction of colors. This TV must be viewed in person to be believed.”

Click here for more information on the amazing Mitsubishi LaserVue TV. If you’d like to see the entire line of TVs available at Abt, just click here.    —by Graham W.

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Gourmet Shop Gift Ideas Under $100

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

If you’re looking for unique holiday gifts this season, our Gourmet Shop has a great assortment of items for people who love to cook or entertain regularly. You can find the Gourmet Shop in our Atrium area, or you can also shop online. We asked the Gourmet Shop’s Rebecca McShea to recommend a few gift ideas under $100, and here’s what she came up with:

“The Peugeot Rennes Electric Pepper Mill ($85) and the companion Peugeot Rennes Electric Salt Mill ($85) are things that people would love to have but wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves, which makes them great gifts,” says Rebecca. “The salt mill is great for grinding sea salt, which lots of people think tastes better than regular salt.

Peugeot Rennes Electric Salt and Pepper Mills

All-Clad’s Marble Cheese Board ($100) is perfect for people who like to entertain a lot. (Okay, this isn’t exactly under $100, but close enough). The board is a beautiful white marble, and it comes with a stainless steel trivet and three stainless steel tools (wedge, knife, and fork). It works as a wonderful display for cheese and other appetizers for dinner parties, and its silicone feet protect your tables.

All-Clad Marble Cheese Board

Waring’s Pro PC100 Black Wine Chiller ($88) is so popular, it’s been hard to keep in stock. You can keep it in your living room or dining room and always have a bottle of wine perfectly chilled to have with your dinner, after dinner, or to serve to your guests. It has 33 preset wine temperatures that you can use for red and white wines and for champagne or sparkling wines. People really love this.”

Waring Pro PC100 Black Wine Chiller

If you’d like more gift ideas, check back here throughout the holidays as we continue to tap into the knowledgeable minds of our salespeople for popular items in all categories and all price ranges.    —by Graham W.

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Tumi Luggage Now Available At Abt

Monday, November 17th, 2008

You are about to travel, and you’ve already picked up a new cell phone, MP3 player, and headphones at Abt, but now you’ve noticed that your luggage is looking kind of shabby. So what should you do? Just head on back to Abt and visit our Time Boutique, which we’ve recently expanded to display our new line of Tumi luggage and accessories.

Tumi is known throughout the world as a leading brand of luxury travel, business, and lifestyle accessories, which are famous for their design excellence and technical innovation. Inside the Time Boutique you’ll find Tumi carry-on bags, wheeled garment bags, laptop bags, purses, wallets, travel kits, and other items to make your travel easier and more stylish. With the holidays arriving soon, you’re sure to come across some great gift ideas, too.

Planning on heading out to the links? Tumi’s got you covered there as well, with its Alpha golf bag and Alpha golf carry cover.  Just be sure to also pick up the Tumi money clip to help you hold all those winnings from your side bets.       —by Graham W.

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New Buying Guide- Wireless Speaker Systems

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Have you thought about how great it would be to have a surround-sound system to go along with your HDTV so you could set up your own home theater area? Just think of how amazing those movies and sporting events would sound with the action coming at you from all directions. One thing that might be stopping you, though, is the thought of all those speaker wires getting in the way and tripping you as you try to walk through the room.

There’s a great solution to this problem, however. It’s called a Wireless Surround Sound Speaker System, and we have a new buying guide to serve as, well, a guide to all the details and terms you need to know to make an informed decision on exactly which type of system will work best for you and your budget.

The Wireless Speaker Systems Buying Guide doesn’t knock you over the head with technical terms that require an engineering degree to understand. It’s designed to provide you with information in plain, straight-forward language so you’ll know exactly what you want when you’re ready to make a purchase. After you read the buying guide, click here to see all the different types of speakers available at Abt. —by Graham W.

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DTV Transition Test Generates No Panic

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Good news. Everyone in the Chicago area survived the “soft shutdown” of analog TV signals during two five-minute tests conducted yesterday by local TV stations to alert the public about the coming apocalypse—I mean, digital television (DTV) transition. There were no reports of widespread panic, screaming, looting, running for bomb shelters, or fits of uncontrollable weeping. Just so you know, Chicagoans are tough that way.

 This didn’t happen.

In Tuesday’s blog we told you all about the whys and hows concerning the tests (scroll down if you missed it). There are many people throughout the country who are still unaware of, or unprepared for, the switchover from analog to digital TV signals that will take place in February.

The diversity and size of the Chicago market challenges us to communicate this upcoming change to digital television in every manner possible,” said Emily Barr, president and general manager of Chicago’s ABC 7 Television. “By conducting this 5 minute test twice in one day, we believe we will provide viewers with a significant opportunity to test their readiness for digital television. Our collective mantra is to leave no viewer behind.”

If you know someone who might be left behind, click here for more information you can use to help ease their way through the transition. —by Graham W.

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Trade In Your Old Gear For An Abt Gift Card

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Keeping up with the latest technology can be challenging—and often expensive—so anything that can help you grab the hottest new electronic gadgets and still get some value for your old stuff is a welcome relief. That’s where the partnership between Abt and CExchange comes into play.

CExchange

Now you can trade in your unwanted audio/video gear and receive an Abt online gift card. Cameras, cell phones, DVD players, computers, MP3 players, and many other electronic items can be exchanged for much more value than you might have thought, and the process is simple. Just visit our CExchange web page, where you’ll find easy to follow steps that show you how to appraise the value of your items, ship them, and receive your gift card in return.

Don’t just throw out that old stuff while it still has some value. That would be just plain—what’s that word? Oh yeah, the opposite of smart.      —by Graham W.

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See If You Can Pass The DTV Transition Test

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Tomorrow is going to be a great day to find out if you’re ready for the digital television (DTV) transition, which is now just three months away from taking place. That is, it’ll be great if you live in the Chicago area, where local TV stations are planning a preview of the analog TV signal shutoff by staging a “soft shutdown” of their analog signals.

On Wednesday, most of Chicago’s over-the-air, full-power television stations, in conjunction with the Illinois Broadcasters Association, will conduct two tests in which they will replace normal programming on their analog feeds with a full-screen graphic containing information about DTV educational resources. According to Nielsen surveys, Chicago has approximately 300,000 households that receive their TV signals exclusively over the air.

The five-minute tests will take place at 6:53 a.m. and 5:23 p.m., and will alert those who receive analog signals that their television sets are not ready for the DTV transition. A “crawling” message will appear on digital broadcasts and will state that television sets receiving this message are ready for the digital conversion, but that viewers should check all of their TV sets to make sure they are DTV-ready. To see our digital conversion boxes, which will allow your analog TV to receive digital signals over the air, click here.

Participating stations include WBBM (CBS 2), WMAQ (NBC 5), WLS (ABC7), WGN, WTTW, WFLD (Fox), WCIU, WCPX, WPWR (My 50), WGBO (Univision), WSNS (Telemundo), and WXFT. “This concentrated effort by the Chicago TV broadcasters speaks volumes to their commitment to alerting the public that over-the-air viewership can and will be interrupted come February 17, 2009 if simple, proper steps aren’t taken to update those TV sets that still rely on ‘rabbit-ears’ or roof antenna systems,” said Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association.

For more information, see our DTV Transition Guide, and check back here on Thursday for a recap of the public’s reaction to the test.     —by Graham W.

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