Get a great deal on a new TV for the Super Bowl!

sony LED EX645 TV
Sony TV: Just Add Ravens!

With my beloved Baltimore Ravens about to smash their way back into the Super Bowl this weekend, I’m making sure that my at-home Super Bowl experience is going to be nothing short of amazing! But that doesn’t mean simply heading out and blowing a bunch of money on a new TV. Instead, this year I’m taking a look at a few models that are ON SALE this weekend. I’ve also got some tips for TV shopping, mounting a TV to a wall, and more to make sure your viewing experience this weekend will be PERFECT!

And don’t forget—Ravens fans in Baltimore can join me LIVE on the TODAY show and display their support by joining me from 6am-9am at the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre this Friday, February 1st!


Black Friday Deal Guide: Home Theater

Toshiba Black Friday Home Theater TV Deal
The 40″ Toshiba

For some reason, it seems like half the Black Friday deals we’ve seen out there are for TVs. Maybe because compared to laptops or smartphones, it’s hard for TV manufacturers to compete on features, and instead they compete on price. That means many stores will have a good deal on a TV this Black Friday, so if a different deal is what you’re really after, make that store your priority and plan to try to pick up a TV at that location.

Of course, there’s more to a home theater than just TVs, especially in the age of TV-via-the-Internet, so we’re bringing you some of our favorites for the entire experience too. If you have any questions about any home theater gadgets, feel free to ask away in the comments!

TVs (from Smallest to Largest):

32” Apex HDTV: $147 from Target

This LCD TV normally retails for closer to $250. It’s not a smart (aka web-enabled) unit, and it’s not the fanciest TV, with a 720p display and 60HZ refresh rate, but it can take HDMI and S Video input and is a solid deal at under $150.

40″ Toshiba HDTV: $179.99 from Best Buy
 This is a budget model, and there’s a reason this is one of the leading deals from Best Buy: normally these TVs retail at over $400. It’s also an LCD HDTV, with 1080p resolution, and HDMI inputs. Again, this isn’t a top of the line unit, with a refresh rate of only 60HZ, but it is affordable budget TV.

40″ Samsung Smart HDTV: $449.99 from
This is also a 40″ model, but a high-end one, with superior frame refresh and clarity on top of the 1080p display. Plus the TV is WiFi-enabled for streaming content. Suggested retail on this TV is $799, for a $300 savings.

50″ Sony Smart HDTV: $899 from Sony Retail Stores
Here, it’s all about the smart TV plus size.  This web-enabled lets you stream movies, photos, music and videos straight to your TV from the internet, in 1080p HD. Normally retails for $1299.

65” VIZIO LED Smart HDTV: $998 from Sam’s Club
This is an 65″ LED TV for under $1,000, which is impressive, as is the refresh rate of 120HZ. This TV is also web-enabled for access to all your streaming media, and features all the top-of-the-line features you’d expect. Normally retails for around $1400.

Other Key Home Theater Components:
Blu-ray Players:

Take  your pick, there’s an LG for $38 at Sam’s Club or a Toshiba for $39 at Best Buy. The Toshiba is “web ready,” meaning that if you want to spend an additional $30 – $50.

Black Friday Roku HD Home Theater DealRoku Box: $59.99
The Roku is a great alternative to a web-enabled TV or Blu-ray. Roku allows you to stream content, like Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon, games, and live sports. We recommend the Roku 2 XD, which lets you stream in 1080p HD. Normally $79.99, it will be available at for $59.99

Home Audio:
Harman Kardon 500W 5.1 Home Theater Receiver: $250 at Best Buy
This stereo receiver is $250 off its normal retail price of $500. It features 5 channels with 100 watts per channel, plus six HDMI inputs, Dolby TrueHD, and more.


Google Fiber TV: What You Need to Know

Google Fiber TV has finally launched, and sure, it’s only in Kansas City for now. But don’t expect that to last: Google is coming for your cable provider.

At its most basic, the premise is simple: TV and Internet access from the same provider. It’s the same idea cable companies have been using for years, except the provider here is Google, and they’re promising insanely fast Internet speeds. Specifically, 1000 Mb per second, or 100 times faster than today’s average broadband, with no cap in the amount of data subscribers can use.

Google as an ISP seems like a logical leap. But what does a Google as a TV intermediary look like? Right now, Kansas City residents will receive an HD-compatible set-top box capable of receiving 160 channels (though no ESPN, HBO or Time Warner channels). As part of the monthly TV package, users will also receive a two terabyte drive capable of recording up to 500 hours of HD content, plus a bonus Nexus 7 tablet to serve as a remote.

The complete package (fiber + TV) will run KS  residents $120 a month, while Internet-only service will be $70. That may be more than a typical Comcast, Time Warner or even Verizon ViOS bill, but for unlimited streaming and the opportunity to escape the entrenched cable providers, we’ll be surprised if there aren’t a lot of KS residents who think it’s worth it.

More about Google Fiber.


Win a Western Digital TV Live by Tweeting, Commenting, and more! Details inside, contest runs through June 15th

With the Western Digital TV Live, you’re in control of your entertainment options. You can stream the latest movies and TV shows straight to your TV without the hassle of connecting a computer or upgrading to a smart TV. The WD TV Live puts HD content from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more in the center of your living room experience.

Videos on your home network? Bam, now they’re on your TV. Turn your iPhone into a remote control? There’s an app for that. Show off your photos on the big screen? No problem. Music from your Spotify or personal collection? The Western Digital TV has you covered. And all that over wireless B/G or even N networks, or ethernet if you prefer. You can even use your wired or wireless USB keyboard to quickly and painlessly enter the name of the show you want to watch.

For the full specs, be sure to visit Western Digital’s information page about the set top box. Once you’ve realized you can’t live without this bad boy, enter our contest. There are a ton of ways to enter, from Tweeting to commenting on blog posts, and each time you enter you get more raffle tickets for the big drawing.

So don’t delay! The earlier and more often you enter, the better your chances of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway