Tips for buying your next
By Willie E. Brake
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
It’s a new year and I predict in 2019, a big technology shift will finally begin. Let’s start with the television set. If you don’t have a flat screen or are looking for another one, the week or so before the Super Bowl can be a great time to upgrade your television, as you can find the type of deals that you may have passed over during the holidays. Buying a new television can be an intimidating endeavor. You need to figure out your budget, the right screen size and which manufacturer to select.
But not television deals are created equal, and now more than ever it pays to look at more than just the sticker price. If you’re shopping for a television before the Super Bowl or any time for that matter, don’t worry if you are not familiar with the technical jargon. You won’t need a dictionary to make an informed purchase because a reference of common TV tech terms has been compiled in an easy to use format.
4K TV – Also referred to as ultra-high definition (UHD) televisions. 4K televisions offer four times the resolution of a 1080p HD television, and as a result the picture is incredibly clear. 4K TV’s can also upscale regular HD to UHD for near ultra-high definition quality.
Full Array – Unlike an edge-lit TV, where LEDs are placed around the perimeter of the TB, a full array television has LEDs behind the entire screen.
Local Dimming – Most full array televisions offer local dimming for added control over the backlight and better contract, resulting in a clearer picture.
High Dynamic Range – Televisions with high dynamic range (HDR) reproduce a wider range of contrast and brightness levels, resulting in richer color. You may also see more televisions branded with technologies such as HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, which are essentially two improved types of HDR.
OLED – OLED (pronounced “oh-led”) TVs are incredibly thin as each pixel is its own light source, therefore no backlighting is required. These TVs deliver unprecedented contrast ratios and exceptional black levels compared with LED-backlit TVs.
QLED – Instead of embracing OLED, Samsung has gone all in on TVs powered by its own “quantum dot” technology which offers several benefits, including a wider, more true-to-life color palette. While not as thin as OLED TVs, QLED televisions are generally less expensive.
Refresh Rate – Usually measured in hertz (Hz) and the higher the number, the smoother the motion will be. Refresh rate is important for fast action content such as team sports, video games and blockbuster movies. Generally speaking, a 120Hz TV will handle motion better than a 60Hz television.
Smart TV – Almost all newer TVs can connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi to provide on demand content, such as access to video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.
I recommend that you measure your wall space before buying your new television or use painter’s tape on the wall to envision the area of your new television to ensure you buy the right size. Bigger is better in most cases, plus the bezels around the screen on the televisions today are a lot smaller than before, which allows you to get more screen out of the TV size. As it relates to how far back to sit from your TV, it is a personal preference but a general rule of thumb is 1.5 to 2.5 times that diagonal screen size. So, for example with a 60 inch television, you can sit anywhere between 7.5 to 12.5 feet from the screen.
Willie E. Brake is a Computer Expert and Industry Analyst at All About Technology, a Certified Minority Business Enterprise and Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, based in Detroit, Michigan.
Tips for conquering 2019 with greater financial confidence
(StatePoint) Many Americans will start the New Year with specific goals or resolutions in mind. While resolutions are often broken where your finances are concerned, they don’t have to be.
Use these tips to tackle 2019 with greater financial confidence.
• Set a specific goal. Setting goals for the year may actually boost your confidence about achieving them. In fact, those who set a financial goal for themselves in 2017 were more likely to feel that their finances had improved over the course of the year, compared to those with no financial goal, according to research from Lincoln Financial Group. Whether it’s saving more for retirement or paying off a debt, setting a goal is a great place to start.
• Make a plan. Having a financial plan in place can help you prepare for life’s surprises and face them with confidence. A financial plan doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should cover everything that’s important to you at this specific stage of your life. A financial advisor can provide an objective voice to help you stay focused on your goals while balancing your risk preferences and time horizon. They can also provide education to help determine if and when to fine-tune your plan. If you already have a relationship with an advisor, the New Year is a great opportunity to schedule time to review your plan and make any necessary adjustments.
• Consider sources of protected lifetime income. Eighty-two percent of pre-retirees are concerned about what will happen to their investments if the market drops. Build peace of mind into your retirement income plan by incorporating different sources of lifetime income in addition to Social Security. Do you have a pension? Have you considered incorporating an annuity as a portion of your plan?
“Diversifying your portfolio to include a source of protected lifetime income, like an annuity with optional benefits, can help to safeguard savings and provide for predictable income in your retirement,” says John Kennedy, head of Retirement Solutions Distribution, Lincoln Financial Group.
• Strategize taxes. Recent changes in tax laws have some concerned about how taxes will impact their finances and retirement income this year. Discuss tax-smart strategies with your advisor to help increase your income and keep you on the right track.
More information, tips and resources can be found by visiting www.lincolnfinancial.com.
To make 2019 a financial success, stay focused on your goals and don’t work without a plan. Also, consider consulting a professional who can provide financial and tax advice, and can help you strategize ways to be successful.