With so many different home electronic products available, it may be easy to get overwhelmed when shopping for these items. Technology is always advancing and it is important to understand the basics of home electronic needs. Hopefully this article will help you feel a bit more prepared when purchasing these goods.
In the past decade, digital cameras have revolutionized picture taking. Instead of having to develop film, digital cameras can immediately show the pictures taken, for review and deletion if desired. A person can take thirty pictures, for example, but decide to only keep and print three of them. The camera can simply be connected to a computer for printing, or items like card readers or USB cables can be used to print the pictures as well. There is also quite a range in price for these cameras, so it is fairly easy to find one that will fit in any budget.
Much of the determination of price deals with megapixels. A picture is made up of pixels, or dots, and the higher the megapixel (mega meaning million), the higher the detail and quality of the picture. For just the avid picture taker, a relatively low megapixel number will suffice. For those that are wanting to print larger pictures, or perhaps are even hoping to sell their photographs, a larger megapixel will probably be necessary.
Another type of digital camera that many professional photographers use is the Digital SLR (single-lens reflex). These cameras tend to operate more smoothly and quicker than regular digital cameras. They also produce a clearer picture with a higher quality. However, they are quite a bit more expensive than regular digital cameras, and seem to be more for people who are professional photographers, or have a deep interest in photography. They are also much more technical and require a deeper understanding in order to use them for their best capabilities.
Moving on from digital cameras, if live video is of interest there are many different camcorders available as well. Gone are the days of the large VHS camcorders, and instead today small pocket-sized digital camcorders can be found on the electronic department shelves. Just like digital cameras, camcorders range in prices all the way from under $30 to well over $1000. Deciding what type of camcorder to buy depends a lot on what your camcorder needs are. Many of the smaller, cheaper camcorders are standard definition (SD) cameras. However, with the increase of high definition (HD) televisions, HD camcorders are dominating the camcorder market. They also are typically the more expensive type of camcorder. Just like digital cameras however, the smaller, cheaper models may be perfect for the person just wanting to capture small events on video. For those looking to create many memories, or even professional videos, then a more expensive model with higher capabilities may be necessary.
If music is your interest then it is important to understand digital audio players. A MP3 player is a portable device that stores music. There are various storage capacities depending upon the memory space, which determines how many songs the device can store. Just like most other home electronics, there is a wide array of prices available. For just basic music listening, there are options available for under $50. Some MP3 players get very fancy and have video capabilities, photo storage capabilities, FM radio, and color options. The more options and memory capabilities you choose, the higher the price you will pay.
Apple is the creator of the iPod which is perhaps the most well-known MP3 player. The iPod became so popular due to it’s capabilities to connect to and be used with iTunes, which is an online purchasing site for music downloads. Just as the other MP3 players, iPods vary in size, memory storage, video capacities, colors, types and so on. They also have numerous accessories that can go along with them and enhance their uses.
Televisions are a fairly common staple in most households. Many families probably have more than one television in their home. TV’s have undergone some definite changes in the past few years. Now when shopping for a TV and looking for a good value item, you are likely to encounter terms like “LED”, “LCD”, and “Plasma”. Gone are the boxy sets that we were once used to, and in their place stand very thin sets. Now that television channels have switched to HD, the old, standard TV’s are becoming useless without a digital converter box.
The most common televisions today are LCD and plasma TV’s. While they may look similar in appearance, the way they function is quite different. Without going into a lot of technical terms, some of the advantages of a plasma television are a wider viewing angle, and the ability to view fast motions better. Advantages to LCD televisions are they have less glare in direct light and they are less expensive in general. LED televisions are basically advanced LCD televisions, with a much higher sticker price. Naturally, there are varying sizes and prices for each type of television.
Many of the newer flat screen televisions can be mounted to a wall with the proper tools and hardware. There are still typical television stands available, as well as corner stands, and even some designed specifically for flat screens. Integrated mount stands can be the best of both worlds, with an actual stand for accessories, but also mounting hardware for the actual TV.
As far as watching movies on your TV goes, the VHS player is nearly non-existent. It is still possible to purchase one, but it often is combined with a DVD player. There are numerous types of DVD players currently on the market. There are portable DVD players, for needs on the go, as well as countless other options. The most recent addition to DVD players has been the Blue-ray Disc player. The Blue-ray has more data storage available and uses high definition capabilities. Although the Blue-ray is an up and coming electronic, the basic DVD players are still in higher demand, and likely will remain popular for years to come. They are still a bit more affordable than the Blue-ray players as well.
It’s nearly impossible to visit the electronics section of a store without passing by a large selection of telephones. While landlines are still being used by many, it is easy to find an assortment of telephones for the home. The majority of these phones are cordless, although generally you can still find plenty of options available with cords. There are basically two types of cordless telephones: analog and DECT phones. Analog phones are becoming available less and less. They have good voice quality, but shorter range. Analog phone conversations can easily be listed to by others, as their transmission is not very secure. Anyone that has ever picked up a neighbor’s conversation while on their own phone can recognize this. DECT phones, or Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication, use a frequency band that helps prevent the ease of listening to another’s conversation, by being much more secure. They also tend to have the longest battery life.
Nearly everyone today owns a cell phone of some sort. There are many different types of cell phones available today. Some choose to go with a pre-paid phone option. These phones work like any other, but there is no long-term commitment. Basically you purchase a phone, and a number of options and minutes over a certain period of time, and once those run out, you must buy more to continue using the phone. Some people find themselves in situations that lend better to that option.
Others choose to go with contract phones. This option involves picking a cellular phone service company and picking a plan of minutes and options that works best for you. You will pay a fixed rate each month, as long as you don’t go over your minutes or features. There are various plans depending on your uses with the phone, and range in price based on minutes and capabilities. Generally, the contract with these companies last for one to two years and there is a penalty for ending the contract sooner. The phone that you purchase will have to be compatible with the service provider that you choose. Some phones are called “unlocked” phones, and can be used with any provider. It is much smarter to buy an unlocked cell phone from a retailer rather than to try and unlock a phone by yourself. It’s always a good rule of thumb to check with the provider you are using or going to use before purchasing an unlocked phone. Some phones just have basic calling features, while others have the ability to be used as a computer. It is important to decide what your phone needs are before making a purchase.
Researching your home electronic needs will help you become more informed and make wiser decisions when it comes to your purchases. Shop always for electronics that are good things at good value. Don’t be afraid to ask questions so that you fully understand what you are buying when it comes to home consumer electronics.