Get the skinny
on LED TVs
As seniors, my husband
and I are trying to navigate the labyrinth of modern technology to find the
best solution for communication while travelling
in our motor home. What
do you suggest?
By Marc Saltzman
JUST WHEN YOU think
you’re beginning to understand the latest in television
jargon, TV makers start
throwing around another
tech term to learn: LED. It’s the acronym du jour,
and you’ve likely seen advertisements for new LED
TVs, for instance.
While some gadgets can
perform multiple functions—such as a smartphone, which can also be
used to pick up your
e-mail and serve as your
■ Gadgets for
GPS navigation unit—for
your scenario it might be
best to pick up dedicated
devices that each specialize in a task.
LED TVs are LCD (liquid crystal display) televisions, but they have light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
behind the liquid crystals instead of fluorescent tubes.
Why does LED matter? These newer LCD televisions can create a picture with much darker blacks,
giving the image more depth, as well as higher brightness levels, more vivid colours and a thinner frame.
An inexpensive laptop
is easier to use for reading and typing e-mail,
surfing the Web and
doing online banking than
a cellphone, and many
trailer parks now offer
Before LED backlighting, LCDs were lacking in
the contrast department because, even when a pixel
was showing the colour black, the florescent light
was still on behind it, resulting in a shade of grey.
Plus, fluorescents lack a wide range of colours.
Marc Saltzman, a leading high-tech reporter,
contributes to more than three dozen prominent publications, appears on radio and TV,
and is the author of 13 books.
LED-backlit TVs typically cost more than regular LCD TVs, but are preferred by movie lovers,
gamers and style-conscious shoppers looking for an
ultra-thin panel. Another advantage: LED TVs consume less power than plasma TVs and LCD TVs lit
with fluorescent tubes.
sand in the camera at the
beach, simply wash it off
in the lake or sink. Some
camcorders are waterproof, too.
Since you need a
phone, shop around to see
which carriers have the
best roaming rates. Some
phones have a GPS chip,
but there is usually a
monthly fee. A stand-alone dashboard GPS
unit doesn’t require any
Keep in mind that some LED TVs are “edge-lit
LED,” which refers to models with an arrangement
of LEDs only along the edge of the screen instead of
across the entire back of the display.
Costco carries a variety
of LED TVs and gadgets
to help you outfit your
cottage or make the
most of your vacation.
To summarize, pick
up a reliable laptop, a GPS
navigation unit and an
easy-to-use mobile phone
that suits your needs
Question for Marc?
Spring into new gadgets
Send your technology and
computer questions to:
Spring has sprung, which means many Canadians
with a cottage or cabin will open it for the season.
A smartphone is
like a digital Swiss Army
knife, as these pocket-size devices can perform multiple functions. Along with the ability to
make calls, if need be, they can also function as a
music or audio-book player, video recorder, gaming
system and e-mail device (in case the office is trying to
Q& A with Marc Saltzman
The Costco Connection
While spending time in nature and playing
around with gadgets might sound like mutually exclusive concepts, a few tech toys can make cottage life
even more interesting for you and your family.
415 West Hunt Club Road
Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5;
or fax to 613-221-2283;
or e-mail to
A waterproof digital camera is ideal for capturing
memories at the cottage—especially if you want to
take it swimming, fishing or water-skiing. If you get
If you enjoy reading but don’t want to lug a box of
paperbacks and hardcovers to the cottage, an elec-
tronic book (e-book) reader is a great complement to
morning coffee on the deck. You can store hundreds
of books on something thinner than most magazines,
plus you can enlarge the text if you like.
More in archives
On Costco.ca, enter “connection”;
at Online Edition, search
If you need to get some work done while you’re
away, take along a laptop or netbook so you don’t
need to be tethered to the wall as with a desktop PC.
Get work done, read messages or play games while
unwinding on a rainy Sunday afternoon. If you don’t
have a high-speed connection at the cottage, you
could always tether to your mobile phone for
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will answer selected
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