IF YOU THOUGHT all the buzz in the technology
world was focused on smartphones and tablets,
wait until you lay your eyes on the latest in home
Specifically, televisions aren’t just getting bigger
and thinner—they’re getting smarter, more beautiful and less expensive, too. In short, there’s never
been a better time to replace your aging flat-panel
television—or, dare we say it, that tube TV you don’t
want to part with. Here’s a quick look at what’s on
the cutting edge.
Your next TV will be a whole lot sharper.
Usually referred to as “ultra-high definition” (UHD),
or sometimes 4K, TVs, these next-generation televisions offer four times the resolution of a top-of-the-line 1080p HDTV.
That is, instead of a screen that has roughly 2
million pixels—the little dots that make up the
image—these televisions boast more than 8 million
pixels. For the techies out there, we’re talking 3840 ×
“What does that all mean?” you ask. In plain
English, UHD TVs present images so lifelike and
clear it’s like peering through a giant window. As
a result, there’s also a greater sense of depth; consider it as close to 3D as you can get without wearing
There isn’t a lot of UHD content out there yet—
except for some Netflix shows, You Tube channels
and specialty hard drives preloaded with UHD
movies—but keep in mind that all of these TVs can
“upscale” all content to UHD for near-ultra-high-definition quality. We’ll see more and more
true UHD programming as this new format grows
The new curved screens
Some companies, such as Samsung and LG,
have begun selling curved UHD TVs that bend
toward the user for a deeper, more cinematic viewing experience. Shaped like a lightly concave movie
theater screen, these TVs have edges that are closer
to you than the center; sitting in the sweet spot
gives you a more immersive picture, and viewing
from the side is great, too.
The Costco Connection
Costco sells a wide variety of TVs with these
latest features in the warehouses and online at
Costco.com. The selection offers TVs in a range
of sizes from leading manufacturers to meet your
At Costco, your TV investment is protected
in two key ways. First, Costco extends the manufacturer’s warranty to two years from the date of
purchase. On top of that, you can purchase a protection plan for an additional three years through
Square Trade, totalling five years of coverage. The
plans cost $29.99, $59.99 or $89.99, based on the
TV’s selling price. The Square Trade service covers
all mechanical and electrical failures.
For more information on Square Trade, go to
Costco.com and search “Square Trade.”
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The Costco Connection
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Marc Saltzman, a leading
contributes to more than
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is the author of 15 books.
These TVs start at 55 inches and go all the way
up to 85 inches in some models. Samsung has also
added extra tech to many of its curved TVs: The
Multi-Link feature lets you split the display into
four separate screens, perfect for multitasking,
while Multi-View allows two people to each watch
something different on the same TV at the same
time (each one wears special glasses with integrated earbuds).
Smart TVs go online
Most new TVs today—even entry-level models—allow you to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi.
Expect this technology to be embedded in virtually
all televisions going forward.
Smart TVs allow you to access online content,
be it video streaming services (such as Netflix and
You Tube), social networking sites (such as Facebook
or Twitter), photo galleries (such as Flickr and
Picasa) or on-demand news, weather, sports scores
and other personalized information.
Simply choose which apps you want to see and
access on your TV screen—and organize them as
you wish for easy access.
Many smart TVs give you a full Web browser,
too, so you can use a search engine or visit and
bookmark websites, and many have an integrated
camera for video calling and gesture/voice support
to complement a traditional remote.
All in all, these new-generation TVs do a lot
more than the standard stand-alone varieties of the
past. Smart TVs are a nice merging of modern display and Web technologies. C
The latest in TV
Huge, curved and stunningly clear
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