Ways to Get Rid of Your Old TV

In with the new, out with the old. With electronics, disposal techniques are a little more complex, especially with TVs. Due to their size, TVs are extremely large appliances to throw out. In some states, it is illegal to throw out your television set along with regular garbage, due to the polluting effects of such devices. In such cases, how can you legally and safely do away with your old TV set? Here’s how.

Donate Your TV to Charity
You may be throwing out that ancient CRT TV, to make way for a sleek plasma screen. Or maybe you are throwing out your LCD TV for a high-end HD model. The bottom line is, you are disposing of a working, perfectly fine or OK TV set, as you intend to replace it with a better model. Then why throw it? Try to donate it instead. First ask around your neighborhood. Try your local church or community center or an old age home. A useless TV to you can mean a beautiful new television to someone else. You can even drop off your TV at a Salvation Army or Goodwill Center. Some reuse organizations that accept TV sets in a working condition are:

  • Second Harvest Food Bank
  • Habitat ReStores
  • Salvation Army
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Amvets
  • Excess Access
  • Freecycle

Trade In Your TV
Some stores and electronic brands offer a trade-in policy on electronic goods brought from them. Trade-in terms and conditions differ from store to store but on purchasing a new TV set, they will take the older set from your hands. Some stores have exchange drives, where you can exchange your old set and get a discount rate on the new one. Or you can even sell your old TV set to the store. Get in touch with the store you purchased the TV from or contact the TV’s manufacturer directly, to find out if they have any programs regarding old TVs.

Sell Off its Parts
From the CRT tube to the antenna, your TV set is made up of small and big electronic parts internally. Your TV set may not work as a whole machine but such internal parts can still work independently. So they could be used in another appliance, like a radio or to fix another TV set. Take your TV to local electronic repair shops to sell off the internal parts. Parts from your TV can be used to repair or fix a number of other appliances and repair shops are always on the lookout for spare parts.

Recycle Your TV Set
An estimated 13.4 million TVs are thrown away each year, according to the CEA (Consumer Electronic Association). Imagine the number of TV sets collecting on landfills or such a large amount of sets being burnt to destroy them. Imagine the degrading impact on an already delicate environment. Do your bit for the environment by disposing your TV set in a green manner. Here are some ways to do so:

Contact the TV’s Manufacturing Brand
Some major electronic brands have recycling programs for their electronic products, where you can drop off the product and they will trash it in a non-hazardous manner. Brands which have a take-back electronic recycling policy are:

  • LG (Zenith and Goldstar TVs included)
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Mitsubishi
  • Panasonic
  • Sharp
  • Toshiba
  • Vizio

Check out Retailers
Brands like Best Buy and Staples will recycle your TV set for a minimal fee. Best Buy’s recycling program will accept any electronic device of any brand and in any condition and will handle its recycling in an environmentally friendly way.

Visit your Local Recycling Center
Check if they will accept your old TV or at least, help you dispose of your TV safely. Some cities or states have annual or bi-annual e-waste collection drives, so you can drop off your TV set at the sites mentioned.

Search the Web
If you are still stumped as to where to recycle your TV, never fear. There are many helpful organizations and programs present online, that will help you track down the nearest recyclers. E-cycling Central, MyGreenElectronics and Earth911 are just a few online sites to visit. The Electronic Recycling Association is very helpful in handling electronic recycling and has select drop off locations and pickups of electronic goods. They will even donate your TV set to a needful charity, if it is in a working condition.

If you are recycling your TV set, try to make sure that your TV is recycled responsibly, i.e., it is not just exported to a Third-World country and thrown on a dump over there. Such “out of sight, out of mind” behavior isn’t recycling, it is e-waste dumping. Be responsible, do not just throw things out. Put away any electronic item, be it a TV or a mobile phone, in a correct and safe manner.

Ways to Choose an Energy-efficient Television

Shopping for a television can be exciting. But with so much technical information to take care of, choosing the right one can sometimes become a daunting task. Nowadays, televisions are getting bigger and better. They are displaying sharper images, and boast of superior sound quality. In short, currently, televisions are offering the best TV viewing experience.

The box-shaped old generation televisions, that used cathode ray tubes have almost become obsolete, and have been replaced by their flat-screen counterparts. However, these sleek TVs gobble up a large amount of energy, and if you make an ignorant purchase, then be ready to expect a hefty energy bill.

Generally, people choose a TV on the basis of a few parameters. Preference is normally given to the size of the screen, picture quality, price, and sound clarity, in no particular order. While these parameters are useful, the one that is important and often ignored is energy-efficiency.

Some tips to look out for, when choosing an energy-efficient television, are given below:

Type of Technology

There are three types of TVs available today; Plasma, LCD, and LED-backlit LCD. According to the amount of energy they consume, it can be said that plasma is the least energy-efficient, followed by LCD and LED-backlit LCD. Before we take a look at the details regarding energy consumption, it is important to note that energy consumption of a TV, besides the screen size and technology, will also depend on the number of hours the television remains switched on.

Plasma TV is the least energy-efficient, and uses around two to three times more power than an LCD. A 32-inch plasma TV will use around 125 watts/year, 42-inch will consume around 188-464 watts/year, and if the screen size is between 50 to 56 inches, then the power consumption will be between 191-474 watts/year. This, in spite of the fact, that current Plasma TVs are more energy-efficient than their older versions.

Energy consumption figures for LCDs indicate that a 32-inch screen will consume about 98-156 watts/year, a 42-inch screen will consume around 91-236 watts/year, and if the screen size is 50 to 56 inches, then it is believed to consume 210-322 watts/year.

A 32-inch LED-backlit LCD TV may consume around 50-95 watts/year. A 42-inch model may consume around 80-155 watts/year, while, 50 to 56 inch LED-backlit TVs can consume about 100-210 watts/year.

The figures indicate that LED-backlit LCDs consume around 70% lesser power than plasma TVs and 30% lesser than LCDs.

The figures mentioned above are obtained from CNET TV Energy Efficiency Guide

Check the Energy Guide Label

Since 2011, the FTC has required that every TV display a yellow and black Energy Guide Label. The label estimates the cost of running that device for one year. The numbers are derived assuming a fixed price of electricity and daily usage in number of hours. The label also estimates the yearly electricity use of that particular model in watts.

While the Energy Guide Label serves as an indicator of energy consumption in the United States of America, in many other countries, Energy Rating Label (ERLs) are used.

Size of the Screen

Bigger-sized flat-panel TVs consume more energy than smaller-sized flat-panel ones. Another point to be remembered here is that, the prices of plasma TVs are reducing, as more and more people have started opting for LCDs and LEDs. Due to this reason, a larger plasma television is available at the price of a smaller LED.

But don’t fall into the trap, where you may think, “Why not opt for a bigger screen if I’m getting a 40-inch plasma at the price of a 32-inch LED?” Remember! The plasma consumes more power, and if it is of a bigger size, it is bound to give you a bigger energy bill.

Knowledge About Technology Can Help

A plasma television uses gas (Xenon and Neon) to form a pixel. As electricity excites the gas, it turns into plasma. In the plasma state, electrons of the gas emit ultraviolet light rays that falls on the red, blue, and green phosphors, and develops the colors of that pixel.

In an HD plasma, there are 3,000 pixels. The images are more bright and vivid. It provides a wide viewing angle and can handle fast motion images in a better way. The plus is that it offers better energy-efficiency than the CRTs, but the minuses are plenty.

They are heavy! If you want to wall-mount them, be careful, and make sure that the supporting aids are strong enough. Plasma TVs generate a lot of heat, they tend to become hotter when running continuously, and have small fans mounted on them to draw air, to keep them cool.

LCDs (Liquid-Crystal Display) use the capacity of liquid crystals to modulate light. The liquid crystals do not emit light directly. The light is produced by a series of cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). These CCFLs are very efficient. Thus, making the LCD’s a better option than plasma screen TVs.

In an LED-backlit LCD, the cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) are replaced by LED-backlighting. This replacement helps to reduce the energy consumption even further, and still provide better contrast and brightness. It retains the color range the CCFL LCDs can offer, and also provides a rapid frames per second frequency with amazing image rendering.

LED-backlit LCDs also have longer life and can be made super-thin. They generate significantly less heat while running, and are lighter in weight than a CCFL-powered LED. But the one point that may deter many from opting for it, ‘they are a bit pricey’. But I think that’s justified, because in the long run, the maintenance costs and monthly bills would be considerably less.

A general thumb rule would be to check the specifications, and look for the golden words ‘uses less than 108 watts of power’. However, buying an energy-efficient television is only half the job done in your quest to cut down on your electricity bills. It’s important that you pay heed to small measures to save electricity, such as unplugging the device from the wall socket when not in use. This will at least save 10% of your annual bill. So, go ahead and choose an energy-efficient television set and take your own little step in conserving the environment. It will prevent the leaking electricity from increasing your bill.

Ways to Decide What to Watch

There are so many movies and TV shows, and so many ways to access them, that it can be difficult to decide which ones will be worthwhile and which won’t. If you’re like most people, your friends and relatives are constantly recommending that you get involved in this or that TV show, or that you check out this or that movie. In general, you probably know what you like. If a friend recommends a show you know you will hate, you probably won’t bother looking into it. Cop dramas are not for everyone, after all. But, with some exceptions, most of us have a pretty wide range of genres we’ll consider, and a recommendation from a trusted source might even spur us to try something outside our comfort zones. So, if we have time to watch a new TV show or are wondering what movie to rent, how can we sort through 100 recommendations to arrive at the one that’s most likely to please us?

The principle of critical mass might provide one good answer. Although the term ‘critical mass’ could mean different things depending on the context, in this case, critical mass is a point when the number of voices in favor of a particular movie or show are so numerous that we just can’t ignore them anymore. For example, let’s say you have three friends, Bob, Sue, and Marsha, who regularly tell you about the latest series to catch their attention. In addition, you read reviews on five different websites. Maybe two of these websites also give you recommendations based on your individual ratings and viewing history. Just to make the situation more interesting, suppose your mom also likes to tell you about the shows she’s watching, and she loves it when you get interested in something she told you about, because it makes her feel useful.

Given this scenario, you can imagine that certain information would be more reliable than other information. For example, Marsha’s recommendations might not be high on your priority list if you and she tend to have very different taste in television. You might value Sue’s recommendations more highly if the two of you have a history of liking the same stuff. Sometimes, the factors determining how highly you value a certain recommendation are more complicated. Your mom basically only likes soap operas, which you hate, but since she’s your mother it’s sometimes hard not to give her recommendations a try just to make her happy. With the more impersonal sources, the case is similar. You’re probably more likely to take a recommendation from a website that’s accounting for your personal taste with some complicated algorithm thank you are to take advice from a random, snooty film critic (even if the critic is famous or well respected).

With all these factors involved, it’s easy to see how some movies and shows might reach critical mass well before others. If Sue and Bob, whose opinions you trust, rave about a movie, and then two days later it shows up on both of your online personalized recommendations lists, that might be enough to make you rush out and rent it as soon as possible. If your mom and Marsha both recommend the same movie, that might outweigh the more reliable recommendation, and instead you might consider picking a movie that got a good review from a couple of critics you like. Of course, there’s no easy equation to plug all these factors into, but understanding the decision-making process in this way, could help out next time you’re feeling indecisive about the hundreds of on-demand options available.

If you can’t decide between Movie A and Movie B, and if all other factors are equal (meaning you’re not in the mood for one or the other based on genre or whatever else), ask yourself this―which one is, at this moment, closer to critical mass? Of course, neither of them has yet actually achieved critical mass, because if it had, you would have watched it already. It’s likely, though, that one of these movies is closer to that point than the others, and that might be just as good a reason as any to give it a whirl.

Tips on Getting Cheap Satellite TV

Satellite TV is a hot favorite amongst all those who are addicted to browsing innumerable television channels, and have a plethora of channel choices to take a pick from. There is a channel for all sorts of television watchers. There is a channel that promotes life changing products such as slimming belts or hair growth pill pops, for those who refuse to get enough drama from their own lives that they seek out an enhanced dose of it on TV, for the health conscious, for the food lover, for the discoverer and explorer and for the goth and for the romantic at heart; well there is a channel for all, and to cater to every need.

How Does a Satellite TV Dish Work
The Dish Network and DirecTV use a satellite TV dish with a satellite receiver, also known as the receiver decoder, in accordance to what the customer chooses. A satellite TV dish consists two specific parts; namely, the reflector and the feed horn. The dish is mounted on the shingle roof, where the reflector serves as the recipient of the signals. These signals are reflected on to the bowl, from where they seep right into the feed horn. Thus, it is the feed horn where the signals are received. The signals that are received, are pushed through the Low Noise Block (LNB) mode. This is where high frequency signals are converted to low-frequency. The signals converted into low-frequency are finally, carried through the cables to your TV sets. The satellite receiver decoder plays a significant role as without it, only the signals would be received; however, they would be in the form of a code, thus no image processing would be conducted in this fashion.

Satellite TV may not be affordable for some, as the installation and the number of channels provided in a package may become too costly an affair. There are companies that provide services at affordable rates. They are Dish Network and DirecTV. The installation costs, as well as the channel package that is chosen by you as a subscriber, is affordable.

How to Get Discount Satellite TV
Getting discount satellite TV may be the best option when looking out for an affordable price in the market. Conduct a thorough research for finding the best deals in terms of affordability and receiving channels of your choice; all in all, it should be a value for money deal. You may take national promotions into consideration when you are looking out for cheap and discounted TV. There are companies that will be ready to provide a subscriber or the first few sign ups to strike a deal on free dish installation. There are special offers that give an opportunity to the customers for a free upgradation of the system as well.

Things to Look Out For
When you have decided to have a cost-effective satellite TV provider, you need to choose the service provider that caters to your needs and gives you the channels on demand. Look out for what the provider has on offer.

☞ To cut down the costs of the subscriber, Digital Video Recording (DVR) boxes are installed for free. The DVR boxes provide high-definition channels. With this facility at hand, you may be able to record your favorite shows on TV and enjoy them to the fullest due to the clarity they provide.

☞ There are no over-and-above installation charges. No extra costs are involved for installations, however the installation applies for 4 to 6 rooms only. The subscriber thus, may not have every room wired for the services.

☞ Look out for the channel package that is cost-effective and also include the channels that you watch often. There are basic channel packages offered for an affordable rate.

☞ You may also subscribe for a package that has a list of movie channels to provide to the viewers. There are music channels that are allotted in the channel packages with digital quality sound.

☞ Also, look out for services that have a customer care service, to guide and assist you with certain operative procedures that you may not understand. With Dish and DirecTV, a 24×7 customer care service is provided.

Getting a cheap satellite TV requires you to decide if you are looking out for low costs on channels or channel packages. Dish Network is a very cheap satellite television service. You have 60 channels inclusive of local channels from computer to TV at $32 to $33 per month. On the other hand, the DirecTV programs may cost approximately $42 from computer to TV. Thus, you may choose either Dish or DirecTV as your satellite TV service provider, as both of them offer services and channels at lower costs.