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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Decorative Boxes Reviewed In 2018Last Updated January 1, 2019
№1 – Combination Lock Jewelry Box Organizer With Large Mirror 2 Trays 23 Separate Compartments
№2 – Golden Seashells Decorative Box Handmade with Swarovski Crystals
№3 – Alef Elegant Decorative Themed Nesting Gift Boxes -3 Boxes- Nesting Boxes Beautifully Themed and Decorated – Perfect for Gifts or Simple Decoration Around the House! (Flowers &Castle)
Want to catch up with the news headlines, get an update on the weather, or find out if your team has won? By pressing the red button on your freesat remote, you can get the information you want through easy-to-use menus. Or how about switching stages at music festivals, or tables at snooker tournaments? Interactive TV is as fun as it is informative!
There’s a huge choice of entertainment with freesat including movies, music, sport, lifestyle, children’s, shopping, news and more. With over 200 channels available (many in HD), including your favourite radio stations, you’ll never be bored. Finding what you want is easy too, thanks to the electronic programme guide.
Freetime brings new features to Freesat, including: a roll back guide that lets you ‘turn back time’to watch programmes that have already been on, a Showcase section with handpicked programme recommendations, enhanced On Demand and recordings. The Freesat mobile companion app also offers the ability to plan, record and manage programmes and directly control the TV
Social Sparkling Wine
Social Sparkling Wines are certified organic, only 8calories per can, low sugar, and gluten and sulfite free. Oh, and did we mention they come in three delicious flavors, like hibiscus cucumber, toasted coconut almond, and grapefruit ginger. photography by BLACK BOX
The term “streaming stick” is a bit of a catchall, as it includes everything from tiny set-top boxes to devices that cannot function without the assistance of your mobile device or computer. The only common factor is that they all plug in directly to your TV’s HDMI port rather than using a separate cable.
The Chromecast, however, is an unusual beast. Rather than providing its own interface and remote, the Chromecast relies on users “casting” content and controlling playback from compatible apps running on their phones, tablets or computers. Our primers explain why Chromecast is unique.
What to Stream
You’ll want to put your streaming stick or box to the test right away. We’ve done the digging for you and recommend you start with our list of the best shows to binge watch list. That’ll take you at least 3days, hours and 1minutes to get through (assuming no breaks for sleep or food). To get local news and weather you’re going to want to pick up an HDTV antenna. We have rated them and selected the best of the best.
The table above shows you the best Android TV boxes today. We hope it can help you in choosing the best Android TV Box for your needs and budget. We will now move on and briefly introduce Android TV to you so that you can get a better understanding of what it is.
Android TV isn’t just a novel entertainment device. In a broader sense, it’s an ambitious scheme to put the content of all types from anywhere onto your TV. An update of the earlier Google TV system, the budding platform is designed to better integrate Android-based content and apps across more than just phones.
Google’s designers think of the new platform as recharging their effort to bring to TVs and consoles the same content streaming features that conventional Android mobiles already have. That’s why Android TV has been showing up in different smart TV as well as set-top versions over the last year or two. Although Google has stopped selling its Nexus Player, the company is still working to expand its presence beyond mobile ecosystems and recast its brand at the center of everyone’s living rooms and collaborated with Xiaomi to launch their new Mi Box.
In many ways, this specialized TV-oriented platform is competing directly with other pervasive computing schemes from Google, such as its Google Cast wireless streaming adapters, as well as boxes running (mostly) plain-vanilla Android OS. The models we reviewed here have met the majority of our criteria for a good Android TV or a similar regular Android OS entertainment experience, which we list as follows. Best Budget Android TV Box
China’s Xiaomi has just started marketing their own take on Android TV in their new Mi Box, apparently as a partner of Google. It has the latest Android TV features and apps, including video and music sources from streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Google Play.
This is actually the first device marketed directly by the tech giant in the U.S., and it is relatively unusual for it displays 4K HDR video. Its specifications include the new Amlogic S905X-H quad-core 2GHz ARM processor (Cortex-A53), 2GB RAM, 8GB flash-based storage, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, plus a default Android 6.0 installation (Marshmallow).
At the rear of its small casing are just a few standard ports, aside from a jack for the provided power adapter, comprising one each of HDMI 2.0, USB 2.0, and 3.5mm audio. There is, however, no micro-USB port that you can use for powering the Mi, using either a regular USB charger or else a spare USB port on your TV as is usually done with many Chromecast-like devices. It’s great that the Mi Box’s included Bluetooth remote does not have an old-school interface full of buttons and is easy enough to learn.
On the voice-enabled remote are the standard power, home, and back buttons, along with a d-pad with the usual controller-style select button in the center. There are additional volume up and down controls as well as a key for activating the voice-command system. It worked fine when we first set up the Mi Box, and continued to connect without issue or interference afterward. An HDMI cable is packaged as well.
This model supports the newest USH playback standards, including H.26HEVC MP-(level 5.1) format in 4K resolutions at 60fps, VPProfile 2, HDR(without Dolby Vision). If you have the appropriate subscriptions, you will be able to access just about every digital media file and streaming format available to consumers.
The system in facts mostly refers to paid apps and other items found in the Play store. This happens even when the movie or music title you’re searching for is already available at lower cost or even for free on cloud services such as Netflix. Now, of course, Google is in business to push its own or its partners’ content whenever possible. But the problem is that this particular iteration of Android TV allows you limited ways of searching for and pulling in selections according to preferences that you can set.
That said, DIY users could always try technical methods for unofficially installing regular Play Store apps or even stuff unapproved by either Google or Xiaomi. The APK file of an app if available can be copied to a remote share or folder like that on USB flash drives, for sideloading in the Android TV filesystem as it’s usually done on rootable Android devices. Users who are already invested in Android’s mobile ecosystem will likely be tempted by its ability to duplicate on their TV screens much of the experience they’re already familiar with on their Android phones and tablets.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Android TV itself as a subset of Google’s mobile ecosystem has its usual mix of issues. The Mi Box’s UI and search functions mostly prioritize first party or Google partner content from the Play Store by generally ranking them at the top of most result tables. Its section for recommendations rarely suggests the content of much relevance to what you’re currently experiencing, although the app recommendations can be more useful.
This model can also act as a Google Cast receiver, enabling it to work with applications that support Cast but not Android TV standalone boxes. Compared to Google’s similarly-priced Chromecast Ultra, standalone media players like this have the advantage as they can duplicate the majority of the Ultra’s Cast functions with the addition of Android TV’s richer UI and universal search and streaming features.
Android TV and Media
This is far from the only set-top device to be deficient in certain services. What makes things seem worse than they are is that its content recommendations aren’t too useful for finding new media of the kinds you prefer. The clean but spare menus have the effect of making the limited catalog of apps appear smaller than it already is.
Still, Android TV is the first entertainment ecosystem to provide info on movies and shows currently playing in real time. The system already offers particularly good search for associated information from IMDB that many times can result in unexpectedly pleasing options that you’d have never found otherwise. To help tide you over the relative lack of good native apps, you will be able to cast to your TV the screens of the majority of Android and iOS apps that are compatible with Google Cast, particularly the critical everyday services for which native apps aren’t yet available.
TV remote not included
The Fire TV’s minimalist case houses a quad-core MediaTek CPU that’s said to perform 75% faster than the earlier model. A PowerVR GX6250 graphics card along with 2GB of system RAM provides the system with hybrid media and gaming capability. A good 8GB of internal storage is standard, which can be expanded via microSD to a maximum of 128GB of flash storage. Gigabit LAN provides for the best possible Ultra HD streaming in tandem with dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Media and Gaming
The animated tutorial that runs upon first use to list the main features is a good idea. It immediately makes the system more welcoming and accessible and we wish this would appear on more media players. The FireOS UI is uncluttered and easy to use and the large graphics and dark scheme of its screens should not give you trouble, as they are readily viewable from several feet away under most indoor lighting conditions.
The Fire TV enjoys a further advantage in its highly efficient codec, as it is also effective at streaming lower-resolution Full HD content. This Android TV box can efficiently stream 1080p at the half the data transmission rates that normally obtain over most network connections. Full HD videos load faster and render seamlessly and with less lag on slower internet connections, a performance feature that has no real downside any way you look at it.
Software and operation
Kodi is justifiably famous for letting its users access streams from ‘unofficial’ sites and pulling all in through a relatively easy-to-use UI. Buyers who are not familiar with the app and its suite of add-ons should research on online. There’s a slight learning curve, and you may have to tweak the default settings with the help of expert forum advice in order to have all video types to play with the issue.
As a result of the way Kodi works in retrieving some types of online content, access to certain channels may not be reliable or even feasible at times. Some could be dubious sites that ISPs in their commercial wisdom have decided to block or reduce bandwidth to, i.e. torrential sources of content and other DCMA-unfriendly IPs. Nevertheless, once you get things right and put it through its paces, it will open up your TV experiences like nothing else.
The hardware is capable of flawlessly rendering content encoded in H.26HEVC MP-(level 5.1) format in 4K resolutions at 60fps, which is impressive enough for a standalone player and streamer. It can channel DRM-protected according to the HDMI 2.0 and HDCP2.standards. Average in-game framerates peaked in the 35-3FPS range, which is decent enough for 1080p scenes. For those who are technically-focused, the T95Z attained Geekbench scoring of around 2090, while wireless bandwidth testing reported downlink speeds of about 3Mbps Down and uplinks of 1Mbps.
The T95Z performed very well with locally streamed 1080p and 4K video, using Kodi and its capable add-ons. Its powerful cortex-A5processor and graphics along with its plentiful RAM afford it huge advantages over previous boxes based on earlier ARM designs.
Android for your TV and what they can do together
Android TV and regular Android media boxes are basically small computers that run Google’s ubiquitous mobile OS as content hubs, pulling media files and streams from external sources. You can view these as standalone players and streamers that happen to run differing versions of the Android OS and access different subsets of its Play Store ecosystem.
The software side is much the same as that found on the vast majority of phones, tablets, and other mobiles worldwide. It’s usually based on an Android version that’s a generation behind that found on the latest phones, such as Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or6.0 (Marshmallow). The good news is that if you’re already familiar with Google’s mobile OS on your phone, you should have no trouble learning to use and exploit most apps that can run on your particular box.
One thing though, a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard will afford better ease-of-use with many apps aside from the Kodi or Plex apps, which are useable enough with regular Android remotes. A mouse/keyboard setup can be a necessity in anything involving configuration, search, and installation and operation of numerous native apps.
That’s because you will be using what is basically a touchscreen version of the OS that’s been repurposed for HTPC use. As many Android input elements and prompts were originally designed for touchscreen manipulation, a mouse can be handy for doing things faster and more simply. Since conventional Android media boxes do not offer the full Android TV scheme, your experiences with these will likely not be as polished, especially when compared to that of the latest Google-powered Smart TVs.
Android TV boxes, regular set-top boxes (STB), and ‘Kodi’ boxes
There are many terms that may be new to you that are mentioned on various Android sites and forums, and you’ll need to figure out which are important. Whether it’s called a TV box or streaming set-top box, or else a Kodi box, these all tend to work much the same outside of their custom home screens and launcher modules.
Don’t let the terminology confuse you, these things similarly designed to find and pull in free or paid content from shares on your local network or from streaming sites for display on your TV. This guide presents enough details so that you can learn the essentials and start searching for a model that meets your needs for entertainment and information.
Device and software integration
To be clear, the model that’s best for you is basically the one that enables access to the streaming media sources you care most about and can afford. If you’re planning to use it mainly with Kodi or Plex applications, then there’s a wider array of models open to you as many newer conventional boxes can easily handle their server requirements. However, if you’re hoping to stream much of the content you’re looking for, you must take note of the channels and sites that are made officially available through the built-in software and the various app stores.
DRM on different media platforms
It’s a fact that Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes are here to stay. How these are implemented in various commercial services can limit the types and quality of content that they specifically make available to various Android and iOS devices. What system you choose and how you update and configure your accounts on it will determine whether you will be able to enjoy low-definition but mostly free content, or else UHD versions of popular shows and movies that will bring the cinematic experience into your living room.
For Android TV boxes to be capable of streaming 4K Ultra-HD content from commercial services, they require not just certification from Netflix but also Widevine Level licenses from Google in order to play DRM-protected 4K as well as 1080p streaming movies and TV shows. HBO Now also requires Microsoft’s Playready licensing in addition. In other words, you’ll have to choose the right hardware/software package if you want to access more than just standard-definition and/or free content from the major services.
Features to look for at a minimum
Certain minimum features are must-haves for a next-generation Android TV device, and we list these in accordance to both users’ needs as well as market availability. The models we reviewed should have each met all or most, and we had made sure to point to any item that a model failed to support or that the manufacturer has not yet made available.
What goes into an Android TV box or conventional Android media box
In answer to the question, you’re probably asking, of what makes a box an Android TV device, well here’s our take. Manufacturers design unique launchers and implement proprietary skins and UI elements, providing their own models with a custom look and feel that’s different from that of other Android TV or conventional Android devices. All hope to provide a pleasing experience with their set up while you’re lounging in your living room and facing your big TV from several feet away.
The bigger brands tend to follow Netflix’s screen and operating schemes as these are already widely used, given that Netflix currently hosts the most popular and streaming media services in the world. It makes sense for its rivals to mimic Netflix’s UIs, as new users of their models will then find it easier to learn the built-in functions and specialized apps.
But if you don’t care for the launcher and screens that your new box implements, you can usually find ways to improve the experience. Android is a highly modifiable operating platform, and you can usually find and install another compatible launcher and use that in place of the default. Just remember that there are functional differences between Android TV integrated into a Smart TV and an Android TV player as well as a regular Android media box that you can buy separately, particularly in terms of the available OS updates and the selection of apps.
Do not Buy Swords Online Until You Read This! “DISCOVER the real deal on how to buy swords online that some unscrupulous sword merchants would prefer you didn’t know …”
When I first decided to buy swords online, Ill be the first to admit that I really had no idea what I was doing.
And as a consequence, like most first time sword buyers, I ended up wasting a lot of my time and money on crappy sword-like objects that should have never even been drawn from their scabbards
Just take a look at some of the “survivors” from my first collection to see just how bad they were! (pictured left). categories and types of swords that exist. And the second is an easy to follow guide to commonly used sword terminology
Plus you’ll also find out how to get the very best deal when you buy swords online, including:
Your First REAL Sword
I think there are two main reasons why its better to buy a REAL sword than a purely ornamental “sword-like object” (SLO).
Firstly, lets face it, it’s a whole lot cooler to hang an authentic sword on the wall than a cheap, lightweight wallhanger that for all its functionality, might as well be made from plastic
Effortless cutting through a water filled milk jug.
Unfortunately, most swords for sale on the internet aren’t designed to take ANY abuse (read as ‘use’) at all. And I still cringe when I think of that cheap, nasty wall hanger sword that flew out of the handle and over the neighbors fence one bright, sunny summers day
Just see for yourself a “re-enactment” of this sword that I have dubbed “the little helicopter” flying through the air at around 40mph…
A sword helicopters loose into the air like a missile. NOT a good thing, and hard to explain to the neighbours…
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated event – these swords can fail in all manner of ways, as this video compilation will show..
VIDEO: Sword Fails Compilation “A piece of that tip just got me O’dell…”
It’s because of swords like these that when you buy swords online for the first time, it’s a good idea to you get yourself either an “entry level historical sword” or a “beater”, sometimes lumped together in the rather crude category of “battle ready swords”.
Entry level historical swords are basically affordable replicas of historical swords. They look like historical swords. They handle like historical swords. And if you play with them too hard, they’ll break like historical swords too…
At the other end of the spectrum, “beater” swords don’t always look a lot like the historical swords they are based upon. And due to a heavier and thicker than historical blade, they tend not to handle exactly the same either. But a good beater is considerably more durable than any historical sword ever was and can take on a wider range of targets without fear of failure.
As such beaters make a great choice for many beginning sword collectors, but essentially it is a matter of personal taste…
The Difference Between a REAL Sword and a Decorative ‘Sword Like Object’…
There are basically three main differences between REAL Swords and Sword Like Objects (aka “Wallhangers”, “SLOs”,”crappy swords”, etc)…
REAL Swords have been properly HEAT TREATED
Real swords (at least these days) are for safety reasons always properly heat treated and tempered to create a blade that is not too brittle and not too soft. If a sword is described as carbon steel but there is no mention of how it is heat treated and you don’t know about the manufacturer – there is a chance that it hasn’t been heat treated at all. And if it hasn’t been heat treated, it doesn’t qualify as a real sword.
REAL Swords have a FULL TANG
The weakest point of most modern swords is the handle, in particular the metal insert into the handle attached to the blade known as the tang. Unless a sword has what is known as a full tang it is loose from the handle like a helicopter blade when swung with even moderate force (and for obvious reasons cannot be called a functional sword).
The three essential characteristics described left are of course a bit simplistic. But they are solid basics. even more detail about what to look for you can find it in the second article,
Just one thing though…
When you buy swords online in this price range, you DO need to be careful.
While we do our best here to test and review swords to identify the real winners most manufacturers tend to produce products with certain distinct characteristics, and in this price range, there are really only a handful that make functional swords that strike a good
For discussions and information on real swords, check out the:
SBG Sword Forum categories and types of swords that exist. And the second is an easy to follow guide to commonly used sword terminology
I hope this information on how to buy swords online has been helpful.
A non-standard downrod is used when the ceiling height is greater than feet. See our downrod sizing guide to determine which length you will need for your ceiling height.
A sloped application is intended for room where the ceiling slants at 3degrees or higher. The fan installs into the ceiling with the use of an adapter, like this Modern Fan sloped ceiling adapter.
Lastly, look for a ceiling fan with a blade span that matches the room’s square footage and height. If you choose a fan that is too small for the space, it will struggle to move air. If you choose a fan that is too large for the space, not only will be off putting, but it will waste too much energy.
Sizing Tips: Here are some additional dimensions to consider when you buy a ceiling fan a new ceiling fan.
CEILING FAN LIGHTS
To add lighting or not to add lighting, that is the question. Choosing a ceiling fan with lighting is a matter of personal preference. If you plan to install the fan in a space with good natural lighting or sufficient light fixtures, buy a ceiling fan without a light kit.
If the space could use a boost of general lighting, choose a ceiling fan with a light kit. Today’s fans offer a range of lighting sources, including halogen, fluorescent, and LEDs.
Fluorescent light sources use 7percent less energy than incandescent light sources and have an average lifespan of 10,000 hours. Ceiling fans with CFL bulbs emit cool or warm lighting.
LED light sources consume very little energy and have an average lifespan of 50,000 hours. These ceiling fans with energy-efficient bulbs emit cool or warm lighting.
Antique Ceiling Fan Designs
Antique and vintage style ceiling fans complement traditional and vintage home decors. They often feature decorative filigree and scrollwork on the motor housing and blade brackets. Many light kits include a warm globe light. To achieve a vintage-inspired look, buy a ceiling fan that features an antique-style and pair it with American Empire furniture, floral prints and textiles, and warm brass and copper finishes. A warm pastel palette ties the space together.
Contemporary Ceiling Fans
Contemporary ceiling fans are a great addition to any modern and transitional space. The modern style ceiling fans feature clean lines, smooth metallic finishes, and minimal adornment. Buy a ceiling fan with a contemporary feel and pair it with casual contemporary furniture (avoid wood carving and adornments), natural textiles such as cotton, linen or wool, and chrome, nickel or stainless steel hardware. A bold color palette and geometric accents bring the look together.
Rustic Ceiling Fans
Rustic ceiling fans pair well with country, mission and western interiors. These rustic-inspired ceiling fans feature straight lines and dark wood finishes with homespun accents. To achieve this look, buy a ceiling fan with a rustic look and pair it with lodge-style furniture, checkered or striped prints, handmade accents, such as baskets, carved wooden bowls, and pottery, and hand-forged metal accents. Soft, muted colors, rough hewn wood and hand-forged metal accents round out this look.
Tropical Ceiling fans
Tropical ceiling fans complement coastal, island, and nautical home interiors. The island-inspired fans feature bamboo, natural palm leaf, and rattan blades with distressed wood finishes. To achieve this look, buy a ceiling fan with a tropical feel and pair it with rattan furniture, bright colors and natural patterns, tropical flowers and plants, and handcrafted items.
CEILING FAN EFFICIENCY & AIRFLOW
The motor is the heart of any ceiling fan, and it determines the airflow and efficiency of your ceiling fan. You don’t have to have to be an electrical engineer to understand a fan motor, but it’s the most important part of any fan. Consider the factors below the next time you buy a ceiling fan:
High airflow ceiling fans circulate more air and consume less energy than standard fans. These fans are ideal for garages, warehouses, and outdoor spaces, such as your patio and porch. When you buy a ceiling fan with high airflow you get an added bonus: high-airflow fans are known to drive away mosquitoes and other backyard pests.
Ceiling Fans with Remote Control
The handheld remote control offers the most convenience of all the fan control options. The lightweight and portable control operated within a 30 to 50-foot range, making it ideal for high ceiling fans and hard to reach places. Handheld remote control ceiling fans are also ideal for bedrooms.
The fan speed wall control option allows you to operate the fan speed, direction and lighting with the press of a button. The stationary remote has a range up to 40 feet, making it ideal for families with kids. A wall control is ideal for kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms and multipurpose rooms.
XIKAR XiFiberglass Cigar Cutter
Complete with a lifetime warranty, the Xikar Xihas that classic teardrop shape – and because it’s made with composite materials, still nets you a great performer without bringing you perilously close to your budget limit as some of the Xiselections might.
CAO Champions Collection
CAO has been churning out an incredibly diverse variety of cigars the past few years, but it’s worth noting the brand’s roots. I can remember when cigar lovers were kicking in the smoke shop doors to get their hands on the CAO Criollo, for instance; I remember my first Italia, too. If your cigar buddy needs a primer on the highly rated (as in 90+) legends in the CAO stable, present him with this cigar gift set.
Famous Gift Set
Need an all-in-one solution? This Famous gift set takes pretty much all thinking out of the equation, especially if your giftee has shown interest in the non-infused cigars from Drew Estate. Fourteen smokes, along with cutter and lighter – consider the HumiJar a gratis perk, as it’s built for the cigar smoker who’s pretty no-frills. And who doesn’t have the attention span to maintain a regular humidor. Just drop the Boveda in, reseal, and let them smokes rest until you’re ready to light up.
Plasencia Reserva Organica Nesticos
The Nesticos by Plasencia is absolute proof that good things really do come in small packages. These tasty little flavor bombs are the world’s very first certified organic little cigars. At 3/1x 36, they may be diminutive in size but are big in deep rich Nicaraguan flavor. These sticks are just perfect for when you don’t have a whole lot of time to enjoy a premium smoke, but crave some truly great tobacco taste. It’s also the ideal cigar for a short car ride or while walking the dog. Bigger than a cigarillo but smaller than a full size stick, these Nesticos make a great cigar gift for anyone who wants a quick blast of wonderful (and natural) tobacco flavor.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Decorative Boxes wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Decorative Boxes
- №1 — Combination Lock Jewelry Box Organizer With Large Mirror 2 Trays 23 Separate Compartments
- №2 — Golden Seashells Decorative Box Handmade with Swarovski Crystals
- №3 — Alef Elegant Decorative Themed Nesting Gift Boxes -3 Boxes- Nesting Boxes Beautifully Themed and Decorated – Perfect for Gifts or Simple Decoration Around the House! (Flowers &Castle)