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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for October, 2015

Happy Halloween, from Abt!

Friday, October 30th, 2015
halloween 2015 collage

A small assortment of the many crazy costumes in this year’s contest.

 

Every year, employees at Abt vie for the coveted top honors in the annual Halloween Costume Contest. At stake are cash prizes and, more importantly, bragging rights.  Today marked another successful contest, with over a hundred employees coming to work decked out in a variety of wild costumes, from superheroes to classic pro wrestlers. This year, we’re asking for the public’s help in choosing our costume winners. Visit the gallery at the Abt Facebook Page and like your favorite costumes. Feel free to like multiple entries, or share your favorites with your friends. We’ll announce the winners by the end of next week.
Also, for any of our local fans that are looking for some Halloween plans that are fun, safe, and warm (there’s rain in the forecast!), we invite you to bring your little ones to our in-store Halloween Party. We’ll be making crafts, providing free prints of your kiddos in costume, and, of course, trick-or-treating. It runs from noon til 5PM, so feel free to stop by any time between then. Hope to see you there. Happy Halloween!HalloweenParty_2015

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Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend. Remember to Fall Back!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

This weekend is always a bit of a bummer for anyone who loves long summer nights, because Sunday morning is the end of Daylight Saving Time. That means that it gets dark an hour earlier, which means that winter is on its way! You should change your clocks Saturday night (the switch officially happens at 2:00 AM in your time zone) though most of your devices—like your computers, smartphones, and many appliances—will update their time automatically.

daylight-saving-time-fall back

Daylight Saving weekend is often used as a reminder to check or change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, to ensure they’re working in case of an emergency. Upgrading to a smart smoke detector like the Nest Protect can give you extra peace of mind, since the connected device will send an alert to your smartphone when its battery is getting low. Or, opt for a hard-wired model (with battery backup for operation during power outages) and stop worrying about dead batteries altogether.

While you’re checking your smoke detectors, we also suggest two other quick home-monitoring tips that will improve the quality of your life. First is to change the air filter in your furnace. It’s suggested that the filter be changed anywhere from twice a month to once every two months, depending on usage. Regardless of how often you do change the filter, this weekend is perfect for it because most of us likely forgot to do it at the end of last season, and we probably have not yet fired up the heat this season—though we will very soon. As a matter of fact, it’s not a bad idea to give your furnace a test run this weekend, just to make sure it’s working fine. You don’t want to find out the unit has malfunctioned when it’s freezing outside.

Our second suggestion is to change the water filter in your refrigerator or whole-home filtration system. The average household should change the filters every six months to ensure their water is still being filtered properly. Combining this task with the others mentioned will keep you from having to remember the last time your replaced the filter. Need help finding the proper filter for your fridge? Check out our Refrigerator Water Filter Finderor give one of our appliance specialists a call at 888-225-5800.

Fridge Water Filter Finder

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Halloween is a Real Treat!

Monday, October 26th, 2015

We’re whipping up some spooky Halloween treats this year, and they are frightfully delicious.  Abt’s Gourmet Shop can provide you the essential cooking gadgets to help make your party a hit. To get the ideas going, we posted some recipes for you. Try them out, if you dare…

 

Graveyard cups

This spooky treat consists of delicious chocolate mousse, Oreo cookies and bones! A hand mixer will work best for this dessert, making it so decadent and creamy. Check out our line of hand mixers in our Gourmet Shop.

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Ingredients

 For Chocolate mousse

  • 5 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup very cold heavy cream
  • 3 large egg white at room temperature

 For Graveyard topping

  • 1 cup crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1 package Milano cookies
  • Candy bones
  • Brown icing (used for writing on Milano cookie) or edible writing pen

Directions for Chocolate Mousse

1. Fill up a saucepan with 2 in of water and have water simmer over medium heat.

2. Place chocolate and ¼ of heavy cream in a large heat safe bowl (Put remaining cream in the fridge for later use). Hold the bowl over saucepan making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula until smooth, mixed in with cream. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, set aside to cool for a bit.

3. Place egg whites in a second large bowl and use a hand mixer or whisk by hand to whisk egg whites for about 3 minutes.(Make sure mixer and bowl do not have any traces of fat or oil, or else whites will not whip properly). Set aside when done.

4. Clean and dry your beaters or whisk. Place the remaining ¾  cup heavy cream into a third bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form.

5. Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. Gently stir in the rest, try not to deflate the whip cream. Then gently fold in the egg whites into the chocolate-cream mix until there is no more blobs of egg whites or whipped cream. Do not over mix.

6. Pipe mousse into serving cups using a pastry bag and let it chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Directions for Toppings

1.Using a food processor, dump Oreo cookies in and crush the cookies until they have a soil-like texture. Best if there are little clumps of cookies in mix. Put the crumbs in a bowl then set aside. This will be used as dirt.

2.Take a Milano cookie and break it in half. Using brown icing or an edible writing pen, write RIP on both halves.

The Final Touches

1. Remove cups of mousse from fridge once chilled.

2. Sprinkle crushed Oreo mix on top

3. Sprinkles candy bones on top of Oreo crumbs

4. Stick RIP Milano cookie in mousse

 

Cheddar Cobwebs

Cobwebs? Don’t let that fool you. This snack is filled with cheesy goodness and super easy to make!  Take a look at our turners and spatulas to mix up and scoop up your cheddar cobweb mix!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated yellow cheddar
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, toss cheddar with flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Drop mixture by tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets, flatten into 3 in rounds (6 rounds per sheet)

2. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and bubbling. With a thin spatula, transfer crisps onto a plate to cool.

(more…)

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Abt Halloween Costume Contest

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

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It’s almost time for the annual Abt Halloween Costume Contest, and this year we’ll be doing a little extra something, which will require the help of our customers, and will give entrants a chance to double their prize money. In addition to the store vote, we will be opening up the voting to the public. For three days after the photos are posted to Abt’s Facebook page, we will be asking our fans to vote on their favorite costume by liking that photo. At the end of the three-day period, the photos with the most likes in each of the costume categories  will win an additional cash prize. Taking part is easy. All you have to do is:

  1. Share a link to Abt’s Halloween gallery (we’ll email that out once the photos are uploaded)
  2. Add the hashtag #AbtHalloween2015
  3. Include a short comment about the contest, requesting that your friends find your photo in the gallery and like it.

halloween gallery

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10,000 Cupcakes For the Cure

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Have you taken part in KitchenAid’s quest for 10,000 Cupcakes? It’s a fun, simple way to participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the overall fight against breast cancer.

To participate, all you have to do is bake some cupcakes, snap a photo, and share it to Twitter or Instagram with the tags #donate and #10000cupcakes. For every cupcake photo tagged during the month of October, KitchenAid will donate $1 to Susan G Komen.  It’s a chance to share your passion for baking and contribute to a good cause at the same time.

We spent a day handing out cupcakes throughout the store, which resulted in lots of smiles.

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CEDIA 2015: Our Favorite Products

Friday, October 16th, 2015

While the Consumer Electronics Show is the most publicly popular expo in the electronics industry, a lesser-known show occurs every fall, where companies show off their wares to a more focused crowd. The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association Expo is a time for industry heavy-hitters and newcomers alike to show off new tech that might seem niche to the general public, but is often the foundation of complicated, custom projects around the world. As a retailer with a substantial custom audio and video design department, the CEDIA Expo is a chance for us to keep up with the cutting edge of home entertainment and automation tech. Here are a few of our favorite things from the show:

Kaleidescape Strato 4K HDR Movie Player

kaleidescape strato

If you’re building the ultimate home theater, you need to start with the ultimate video source. Kaleidescape is best known as the maker of award-winning video servers and players that allow for easy cataloging, storage, and viewing of large catalogs of movies in both digital and physical formats. Kaleidescape products have offered perhaps the best option in the entire industry for anyone interested in serious storage and viewing of high definition movies. Well, they just upped the ante with the announcement of the new Kaleidescape Strato movie player. The Strato is the first and only video player in the world capable of playing 4K Ultra HD HDR (High Dynamic Range) content. By storing files locally (either by downloading them in advance or ripping from a physical source), the Strato offers a lag-free, no-buffering video stream, for a truly cinematic viewing experience. The Kaleidescape Strato also supports current lossless multichannel audio technologies like Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio. It is expected to be available by early 2016.

Sony 4K Home Theater Projectors

Sony VPL-HW65ES Projector

If you’re serious enough about your home theater to invest in Kaleidescape’s 4K player, you’re going to need a way to view that 4K goodness, and sometimes a TV just isn’t big enough. Thankfully, Sony’s got you covered, with a trio of 4K-capable home theater projectors.  Both the VPL-VW665ES and the VPL-VW365ES use Sony’s SXRD 4k panels to display a native 4K picture, i.e. with no artificial interpolation or manipulation applied. The Sony TRILUMINOS engine provides a vibrant picture with rich, accurate colors, and integrated professional calibration features ensures the picture stays that way. While both look to be stellar projectors, the VPL-VW665ES is also capable of receiving and projecting HDR 4k content with a 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, for that added wow factor in the projected image. Both of these projectors should be available this month.

But if you’re looking to put the local cinema to shame with your personal home theater, you might be more interested in the Sony VPL-VW5000ES, which is already being called “the ultimate home theater projector.” In addition to  killer specs like the ability to play 4K HDR content at 60 fps, the 5000ES leverages a laser light source to provide a staggering 5,000 lumens of brightness, compared to the 1,800 lumens created by the lamp in the 665ES. The high level of brightness allows the high-end projector to create an almost limitless contrast ratio, on par with that of an OLED display. Some added benefits of the laser light source are a quicker start-up time, consistent brightness over the life of the light, as well as a lifespan much longer than that of a traditional mercury lamp. The VL-VW5000ES is scheduled to hit the market in spring of next year. In the meantime, you can find out more about it in this video:


*(Updated 9/6/2016: Video from Abt at CES 2016)

 

IC Realtime’s IC720 Video Camera

ic 720

You know those crazy scenes from police shows, where the IT guy uses a computer program to “rotate” some surveillance video to find the identity of a bad guy, even though the camera was pointing in the opposite direction? Well, we might be closing in on a day where that’s not so unbelievable. The IC720 video camera, from security camera company ICRealtime, brings a new dimension to video footage. By using a pair of opposing panoramic lenses, built-in gyros and a system that involves 23 different patents, the IC720 captures 360° of completely immersive HD video, with no blind spots.  It records literally everything surrounding the camera, and presents it an interactive video allowing viewers to change perspective at any time. And while IC720 could work well as a security camera, it’s bound to find a large following in the world of adventure sports, real estate and tourism companies and beyond. We’re looking forward to seeing more videos like this one (hint, click and drag your mouse anywhere on the video, or tilt your device if you’re on mobile).

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Columbus Day Sale

Monday, October 12th, 2015

columbus dayc3

 

Check out our site and shop for awesome deals during our Columbus Day Sale. There is still time to save big on HDTVS, computers & tablets, laundry packages, and more.  Also, free shipping on most products! Click here for more details

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Sony’s One Day Specials!

Friday, October 9th, 2015

100815_sony

Need to upgrade your TV or your sound system? Well today is the day! Shop now and save big on Sony’s One Day Specials! Low prices on select Sony models, only good for today.

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10,000 Cupcakes, One Great Cause

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

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This month, we’re joining KitchenAid as they “Cook for the Cure” in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As part of the campaign, they’re on a quest to get at least 10,000 fans to bake cupcakes and share photos of them on Instagram or Twitter. For every original cupcake photo shared, KitchenAid will donate $1 to Susan G. Komen. Click the link or the photos below to find out more about Cook for the Cure, and remember to tag your cupcake photos with #10000cupcakes and #donate.

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