With televisions, HDMI is the most common connector. But if you want to connect a computer to your TV (or you've got a new computer monitor), the options tend to be HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, and sometimes old-school VGA.
Each connection has its pros and cons, and perhaps the best cable to use with your display is more than just "what it came with."
Here are the differences.… Read more
There is potentially a lot going on between these modes, and learning what they're doing can help you find what the best mode is for you. … Read more
When I was little, my bike had a sparkly white banana seat. I thought I was the epitome of cool. I was wrong. The Phantom Frames kids' bikes on Kickstarter are cooler.
Phantom Frames are crafted from polycarbonate and light up from the inside with LEDs, so the whole frame of the bike is a glowing creation. It looks interesting in daylight, but darkness really makes it stand out. As a safety advancement, it's nifty. As an eye-catching ride, it's even better.… Read more
At the start of this year, rising efficiency standards mandated an end to the manufacture of 75-watt incandescent lights -- putting out less than 15 lumens per watt just doesn't cut it anymore. Fortunately, LED bulbs are looking brighter than ever, with many energy-efficient options offering light outputs comparable to their incandescent predecessors.
Cree's just-announced 75-watt replacement LED is the latest offering for homeowners looking for better brightness, and after spending some time with one, I'm convinced that Cree has yet another winner on its hands. The bulb carries the familiar design of other Cree lights, with … Read more
While Samsung released dozens of different televisions in 2013, Sony did what turned out to be the right thing by announcing just four series of TVs at the start of the year. Though more followed later on, the initial distillation did lead to a less-confusing lineup in 2013.
The most mainstream series in that lineup are the "R" models, namely the R520/R550. The two are basically identical but for 3D on the R550. The series is solid performer, and while it does have a couple of other gimmicky features, it succeeds in providing excellent bang for the … Read more
UPP, or Unilateral Pricing Policy, is a way for TV manufacturers to force retailers to keep manufacturer-specified pricing. As in no crazy discounts to move stock, no doorbuster deals, and no (let's be honest here) price competition. The price is the price is the price. Break that price, and you risk that company banning you from selling its products.
Shockingly, this is legal. Read on for more info.… Read more
The smart home options just keep on coming. The latest is the Connected by TCP Wireless LED Lighting Kit, which will set you up with three LED bulbs, the "Gateway" hub that serves as their collective brain, and a handy remote control. Setup is a breeze -- just plug in the Gateway, screw in the bulbs, and download the free TCP app to your Android or iOS device. You'll be controlling your new lights within minutes.
As smart lighting kits go, there isn't a lot to dislike about what TCP's offering here. Each bulb gives … Read more
That's the term for the delay, in milliseconds, between a TV receiving a signal and the results of that signal appearing on the screen. Those milliseconds are irrelevant for TV shows and movies, and they don't even matter for most games -- the majority of gamers probably wouldn't even notice if their TV was laggy. But if you're an attentive, skilled gamer, especially one who plays "twitch" games like Call of Duty, Halo, or fighting games, especially in online multiplayer environments, input lag can mean the difference between virtual life and death.
CNET just started testing for input lag this year, and so far we've corralled a bunch of 2013 TVs. Here are the best five TV so far, plus one projector, in ascending order of lag in Game mode -- or the least laggy picture mode, if Game isn't an option. For reference, we grade under 40ms of lag as Good, 40 to 70 as Average, and more than 70 as Poor.
Update, November 11, 2013: Since we last updated this roundup, no TV has cracked the Top 5. In response to reader demand, however, I posted a table at the end of the article that gathers the lag scores of every TV and projector we've tested so far. It will be updated periodically.
Philips seems to have its Hue smart light bulbs on an ever-expanding trajectory. The newest entrant: the BR30 Connected Downlight Lamp, available as either a standalone bulb for $59, or in a set of three for $199, which includes the Hue Bridge wireless hub.
Other than their bulb design, the smart home basics of these BR30 lights are similar to those of the original Hue Connected Bulb. Connect the Hue Bridge to your wireless network, and then use your smartphone or tablet to control the bulbs with the Philips Hue app. Programming options include an expansive range of colors, from … Read more