Tag Archives: HD

Internet Televisions Crush Household TVs

Guest writer David Samuel takes a look at the ongoing changes in viewing habits. 

In a nation renowned for its couch potatoes, you would expect TV’s in U.S. households to be more popular than ever with the plethora of recent technology advancements including HD TVs & 3D TVs. However, for the first time since 1992 U.S. households’ containing a television has declined by over 2%. While the decline is small, the shift in power is immense.

This change can be explained by the explosion of high-speed internet – from 2007 to 2009 broadband internet connections across American households increased by nearly two thirds; this is the most recently available data.

In January 2010, the Consumer Electronics Association (CE) revealed that sales of televisions fell by 1%, while sales of internet-enabled televisions increased by a monstrous 150%. Households across the globe with broadband internet connection are progressively turning to the internet as their principal media portal.

It’s estimated that in 2011 internet TV’s as well as 3D TV sales will grow by over 60% in the U.S due to increased content from videos games, TV events, Blu-ray films and HD sporting events. Other electrical equipment, such as high definition audio units, is also increasing in popularity due to this demand.

The internet generation is no longer buying traditional televisions and are instead opting to stream media over the internet. In the future more households will have a mission control like layout, where both the TV and internet will be consumed. But, what will this cocktail media viewing unit be called? I quite like Media Viewing Device (MVD) – that’s my call – what’s yours?


David Samuel is an electronic media consultant, with over 13 years’ involvement with some of the leading electronic retailers. David’s awareness and market intelligence make him one of the best equipped experts around. While specializing in HD TVs, David’s knowledge covers a wider spectrum of consumer electronics.

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Filed under Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Internet TV, Tech Net News, Video

Don’t Wait Until Your Hard Drive Goes “Clunk-Clunk” – Check It Out Now With These Two Free Tools

Hard Drive DiagAll modern Hard Drives are equipped with a feature known as S.M.A.R.T. technology that provides real-time hard Drive analysis, including the ability to report on developing problems and potential issues.

The big question is: can you read the warnings S.M.A.R.T. technology provides? If you understand what – Reallocated sector count – Value 200, Threshold 140, Raw Value 0, means – you’ll have no need for either of the following free tools. But, if all that’s gobbledygook to you – you’ll find these tools a great addition to your utilities toolbox.

Your Hard Drive is the workhorse of your computer, and either on of these free tools can make it easier than ever, to diagnose what’s really happening inside it’s complex environment.


PassMark Software, whose applications including BurnInTest 6.0 and PerformanceTest 7.0 , we’ve recommended here previously, offers a well laid out, free hard drive application, that’s worth considering.

DiskCheckup, utilizing S.M.A.R.T technology, will allow you to monitor the SMART attributes of your hard drive. Best of all, if the application detects a potential problem, you’ll get advanced warning through either a standard “warning window”, or (now this is cool), an email message.

Bonus: DiskCheckup can track changes to S.M.A.R.T attributes over time, and make a extrapolated ‘prediction’ as to the failure date of the HDD.

Setup, and application configuration are novice user simple, and the GUI presents an uncomplicated environment.

Everything you might want to know about your HDD – including drive geometry, serial number, model number, media rotation rate, and a broad list of supported features. Click on graphic to expand.


The configuration window offers very few, but nevertheless, important choices.


DiskCheckup provides a wealth of information on S.M.A.R.T attributes. Click on graphic to expand.


If you’re not familiar with interpreting the data  generated by the application – you can relax.  The application includes a well laid out help file.

System requirements: Windows XP, 2003 Server, 2008 Server, Vista and Windows 7.

Download at: PassMark Software

DiskCheckup is free for personal use. Company licenses can be purchased for $15 USD per license.

HD Tune:

HD Tune is no slouch when it comes to analyzing S.M.A.R.T. information from your Hard Drive. The gathered information, which includes data on the Hard Drive’s attributes as well as the Hard Drive’s health, is presented in an easy to understand format.

HD Tune’s additional functionality includes the ability to scan for errors, and a Benchmarking utility which you can use to give your Hard Drive a workout, and then analyze the results.

Drive information screen. Click on graphic to expand.


The HD Tune Health screen provides a no nonsense assessment of your HD’s S.M.A.R.T attributes. There’s nothing ambiguous here – it’s either OK, or not. Click on graphic to expand.


If you’ve ever wondered just how well your hard drive performs, then you’ll appreciate the Benchmark test included in HD Tune. Here’s an example of a test I ran for this review. Click on graphic to expand.


Checking your HD for errors is quick and painless. Click on graphic to expand.


The available settings are minimal – as they should be. Click on graphic to expand.


System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7.

Download at: HD Tune – (scroll down for the free version).

HD Tune is free for personal use only.

Note: Hard Drive diagnostic software is offered free from all the major Hard Drive manufacturers. Check out their sites.

Western Digital Support


Seagate and Maxtor

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Maintenance, Hard Drive Problems, Hard Drive Tools, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free CD/DVD File Recovery Tool – CD Recovery Toolbox Free

So how many coasters do you have that started life as critical backup CD/DVD’s, or the CD/DVD’s that you entrusted to store a lifetime of photo memories? Well if you’re like most of us, you may have more than one.

As a long term file storage medium, CD/DVD’s are, in effect, all-purpose, durable and, generally inexpensive. The difficulty in relying on this storage medium however is; they aren’t always as reliable as we sometimes seem to think.

An Internet friend, the owner of Aplus Computer Aid in Menlo Park, California, – a very competent Techno Geek – was telling me just this week, “An older system of mine decided that it would not boot into Windows (XP), and then—with a determination that would make a Missouri mule proud—resisted all resuscitation efforts. No problem (I said to myself.. it was still early in the day). I’ll just re-mount a “ghost image” backup from the DVD’s I made last week.”

He went on to say “One of the 4 DVD’s was “corrupted”. As in “unreadable”. As in.. that backup is totally useless to me. Four wasted discs. Caught me a little off guard, too… I pay extra to buy the best blanks, and the company to which I am alluding has never given me a “bad burn” before.”

So you’re not alone in turning what you may consider to be, unusable/unreadable CD/DVD’s into expensive coasters. But there is a solution that can help you to recover damaged data that you may have considered unrecoverable. Stepping into the picture is CD Recovery Toolbox, a free CD/DVD file recovery tool.

This small, free application was designed to recover damaged files on CD, DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray disks. It can recover files that have been lost as a result of physical damage to the disk, (scratches, chips, and so on), or as a result of a bad or inaccurate recording.

The program scans damaged CD and DVD disks and produces a listing of files and folders on the media, which it can recover. Be aware however, that depending on the degree of damage, there may be files that the application cannot recover.

In testing this product’s file recovery ability on a severely scratched and chipped disk, I’m happy to say that it recovered 934 files out of a total of 936, that Windows could not read, and it did this in less than 2 minutes

Data recovery is generally a complex process but even beginners will have an easy time with this application based on it’s step-by step wizard, which makes the use of the tool very simple and convenient.

Quick facts:

  • Recovers files/folders from CD and DVD’s
  • Recovers files larger than 4 Gb
  • Detects lack of free space on the designated storage hard

Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2K/XP/2K3/Vista

Download at: Download.com

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Filed under CD/DVD Recovery Tools, Diagnostic Software, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools