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Choosing the best cable for you: Thunderbolt versus USB 3.0 versus USB 2.0

May 10, 2013

usb_30We all know that USB 3.0 is meant to be faster and more efficient for data transfer than 2.0, but should you really invest in upgrading your home or office to meet the new standard? Who wins in Thunderbolt versus USB 3.0? Whether or not you should upgrade your existing set-up or not has been hotly debated in recent months. Let this guide help you navigate the pesky question of whether or not upgrading is right for you.

First, let’s deal with USB 2.0 vs. 3.0. If your hardware only supports USB 2.0, you won’t be seeing accelerated data transfer, but you’ll be paying a premium for your USB 3.0 cables. If you want faster file transfers and you’re using older systems, it may be time to upgrade your hardware before you deal with your cables. It’s important to remember that your file transfers are only as fast as their individual parts allow them to be. So if your desktop or laptop is equipped with USB 3.0, and you’ve just purchased a USB 3.0 cable, you won’t see faster speeds if you’re linking them to an external drive that still operates on USB 2.0.

If you’re comparing Thunderbolt versus USB 3.0, the competition becomes more interesting. USB 3.0 is more ubiquitous, but Thunderbolt is faster and more reliable. Ultimately, if you need professional components that only work for Thunderbolt, you should go that route. But if you don’t have any special demands, the USB 3.0 products should work just fine for you.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About HDMI Cables

Mar 19, 2013

HDMI LogoHDMI cables are becoming the most common audio visual cables on the market today, but what makes them so special? This blog takes a look at some of the features of HDMI cables and what makes them so popular with today’s electronics.

HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. These cables are a relatively new addition to the world of audio video cables. They were originally designed in December 2002 and have been available since late 2003. Recently the cable celebrated its 10th anniversary, with over 3 billion devices using it as the standard connection.

What makes the HDMI cable unique is that it can carry uncompressed video and audio data between devices. In the past separate cables were needed to carry video and audio signals. This cable not only allows the transfer of both, but it does so without needing to compress or convert the signal. This means that the best picture and sound quality can be maintained between devices.

HDMI cables are also backward-compatible with DVI connections. The older DVI standard was also used to carry digital video signal. HDMI cables can interface with DVI ports through the use of a connector, but the video feed does not require any signal conversion. Images can easily be transferred without loss of quality.

How to get your AMC Shows without Cutting the Cables

Sep 7, 2012

If you’re a DISH Network or DirecTV subscriber who enjoys a little MadMen, The Walking Dead, or Breaking Bad, you’re probably more than a little frustrated. While it’s not farfegnugen, a pleasurable drive, to getting your favorite shows back on TV we can offer these tips to bidding your time and making your displeasure known.

cable cutting alternatives

Rewatch the Series – Can’t watch your favorite series, but can’t switch providers either? Make your support known by making an oath to keep watching – whether by iTunes, Netflix or DVD until things change. Besides, there’s always the HD, BluRay, and commentary version to watch, right?

Protest in style. Hold a huge viewing of your favorite AMC show in your fully outfitted entertainment room. Have everyone who attends sign a video petition by recording a message to send to the networks as to why you miss your favorite AMC shows. 

Drop the TIVO – One reason that cable companies are squabbling over the rights to air popular shows and stations is the lack of advertising when people don’t even see the commercials. Give the commercials a chance to help out MadMen. If you’re still a video cable junkie and gotta have your shows taped, just promise to not skip the commercials.

Join the Mass Protests – From zombie hoards in New York City to video spoofs there are thousands out there ready to protest with you!

There’s no need to cut the video cables and take to pirating, hold out there! is waiting for the return of vintage ad men, zombie attacks and with you!

Everyday Inventions from Extraordinary Women

Oct 28, 2011

Earlier this month, we told you about the many both technology innovators that were in fact female, not male! While women did a lot for television, computers cables and more, they also were responsible for many other practical inventions as well that are still used today.female technology

However, women account for many more practical inventions that we still use today such as:

Windshield Wipers and Wiper Blades (1905)- by Mary Anderson.
Car Heaters (1893)- by Margaret Wilcox.
Kevlar (1964)- by Stephanie Kwolek made bullet proof vests possible!
Disposable Diapers (1950′s)- by Mary Donovan.
Liquid Paper (1951)- by Bessie Nesmith.
Chocolate Chips /Chocolate Chip Cookies (1930)- by Ruth Wakefield. Specifically she invented the famous Toll House Cookies!
Street Cleaning Machine (1900)- by Florence Parpart.
Circular Saw (1812)- by Tabitha Babbitt.
Cooking Stove (1867)- by Elizabeth Hawk.
Fire Escapes (1887)- by Anna Connelly.
Life Raft (1882)- by Maria Beaseley.
Dishwasher (1886) – by Josephine Cochran.
Refrigerator (1914)- by Florence Parpart.
Submarine Lamp and Telescope (1845)- by Sarah Mather.
Electric Hot Water Heater (1917)- by Ida Forbes.
Satellite Propulsion System (1960-) – by Yvonne Brill; the system helps satellites stay in orbit for longer periods.

The next time you use your windshield wipers or take a bite into a chocolate chip cookie, remember they were brought to you courtesy of a woman! In fact, Grace Hopper popularized the the term “debugging,” so the next time someone goes to fix your computer connections, think of Grace removing an actual moth from a computer! Women have contributed just as much as men when it comes to inventions. We champion women being involved in technology and hope to carry more women-invented products in the future!

Kindle Fire, the Cables and Connections on Amazon’s Latest eReader/Tablet

Oct 20, 2011

There is always something new and hot out in electronics, but the biggest thing that may be on many Christmas lists is Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire isn’t any old eReader, it’s the first color tablet device from Amazon’s Kindle line, with a multi-touch interface and the ability with watch movies, TV shows, play games, and of course read newspapers, books, magazines and more!3.5 mm stereo audio jack

So let’s take a look at what’s in the newest eReader. While it’s not out yet, this is what we do know.

  • It uses a USB 2.0 micro-B connector cable, much like our 5 pin micro B connectors.
  • The sounds comes from top-mounted stereo speakers, and you can hook in headphones using a 3.5 mm stereo audio jack.
  • The U.S. power adapter supports 100-240V.
  • As a color monitor is uses backlit, IPS (In plane switching) just as the iPad does, allowing you to go from horizontal to vertical orientation.

If the Kindle Fire is on one of your Christmas Shopping lists this year, try to order now! Before the Kindle is released November 15th they’re still offering it at a reduced price. This way you save and are able to buy all of the neat accessories, covers, and load it up with games and apps!

Great Achievements in Technology by Women

Oct 7, 2011

So often we think of tech as a guy thing. Women are however taking names and operating systems on par with any man. In fact throughout history women have been accomplishing great things for telephony applications, software and so much more!

In the 1800′s and for a large part of the 1900′s women were not able to get patents in their names, so many inventions are given credit to men. That makes it hard to make an accurate list of early inventions by women so it?s hard to say how many other inventions should be credited to women.

Female Inventors throughout History


1842-Ada Lovelace is known as the first computer programmer.
1942- Hedy Lamarr co-invented an early form of spread-spectrum broadcasting.
1942 -Grace Hopper along with Howard Aiken programmed The Harvard Mark 1 and II computer.
1952- Grace also developed the first complier for computer programming language which lead to COBOL.
1954- Erna Schneider Hoover developed a computerized telephone switching system as a researcher for Bell Laboratories; she was awarded one of the first software patents.
1965- Mary Allen Wilkes was the first developer of an operating system (LAP) for the first minicomputer.
1971-Ema S Hoover is responsible for the feedback control monitor for stored program data processing system.
1980′s- Rachel Zimmerman developed a software program using symbols that enables non speaking persons such as those with severe physical disabilities, to communicate when she was only 12 years old.
1993- Krisztina Holly along with two co-inventors, invented the stylus which allowed consumers to order items by scanning a bar code with the use of a stylus which in turn fed the information to the seller through a touch tone phone. She also co-invented telephony software – Visual Voice.

This is just a short list that includes the technology contributions from women. There really would be no reason to have to test LAN connections if people like Ada Lovelace hadn?t first worked on programming computers, and where would our compression termination tools be used without telephony applications from Krisztina Holly. What better way to celebrate then taking a look back at inventions by women!

Transferring Your Summer Videos to the Computer With FireWires

Sep 30, 2011

Did you know that FireWire cables are similar to USB cables? The difference? FireWire cables have a faster transfer rate and are the most preferred method when it comes to transferring large files.

A Little About FireWires
fire wire cablesFireWires were developed by Apple in the 1980′s and vary by speeds, some at 3.2 Gigabits per a second and others at 6.4 Gigabits per a second. They’re used for networking computers and creating digital video connections. Cable boxes use FireWires to stream On Demand Programming.

So why use a FireWire to upload your summer videos? Summer videos are memories that will be cherished for years to come. So you want the very best connection. The file size of raw digital video from a vacation camera is so large, it’s recommended to use a FireWire instead of a normal cable. Therefore, by using a FireWire, you’ll be able to transfer the video much faster than that of a normal cable and it results in minimal – to no loss in information and quality. And no loss of information or quality is what you will want for those summer memories!

There are many other devices that use FireWires such as:

  • Digital cameras
  • External Hard Drives
  • Older model iPod’s and MP3 players

FireWire cables are a great way to efficiently and quickly transfer videos as well as pictures and music. This way you’re protecting the information and quality of those important keepsakes!

10 Facts to Celebrate TV Cable Month

Sep 15, 2011

Cable TV is a staple in many homes in the U.S. and around the world, and it’s one of the most common forms of entertainment and news. As part of our TV Cable Month celebration, we?re sharing some fun and interesting cable TV facts!component video splitter adapter cables

Did you know?

  1. In 1948 John Walson of Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania invented cable TV.
  2. His company’s name was Service Electric and is known today as Service Electric Cablevision INC.
  3. CATV was the original name of cable. It stood for Community Antenna Television.
  4. Cable TV is now a community antenna. (Local antennas were originally used but those in mountains areas were not able to receive nearby network stations.)
  5. Walson put antennas up on hills and ran cables to homes in his area.
  6. Each TV was connected by a separate long cable to the antenna.
  7. Amplifiers were used to help make the signal stronger because the cables were so long that it weakened the signal while traveling.
  8. The signal went through as many as 30-40 amplifiers before reaching a household TV.
  9. If one amplifier failed out of the entire chain, then you lost the entire picture.
  10. Currently, cable can be displayed on more than one device using component video splitter adapter cables. The video splitter cable also allows you to connect one input device such as a DVD player, cable box or satellite receivers to what is considered a two output device such as a TV or projector.

Cable has come a long way and without the experience and technical education of John Walson, who knows how we would be watching our favorite TV shows today!

Experience Sound, Retro-style with an Audio Party

Sep 8, 2011

Back in the day, listening parties were all the rage. Well, they happened at least when I was a kid. Back when a person picked up an album, you would invite your friends over to listen together. Oh the simpler times.
audio splitter
Now it’s easy to just buy music from an online store, have it shipped to the house and everyone else buys the same. The big artists still hold private listening parties to their new albums. We think it?d be fun to have a listening party at home!

Here’s what you’ll need for your listening party:

  • Surround sound audio system. Experience the music like it should be. While you can?t get a real, live concert acoustics you can get close by using audio splitters to divide the audio cleanly around the room.
  • Comfortable seating. While row like seating is perfect for the movie set up, staring at the back of a person?s head is going to take away from that experience.
  • Good eats! You can just sit there, enjoying the music and doing nothing else. Or you can make it a real party by offering delicious snacks, drinks or even a full meal.

Celebrate the release of a new album with friend in a good old listening party. It’s an even better opportunity to show off your great sound system. How do you share good music with friends? 

A Look at “Old Time” Entertainment: The Radio

Aug 29, 2011

Back before we had high tech entertainment systems with HD cables delivering high def movies, shows and play it now TV connections, there was only the trusty old radio. National Radio Day has passed, and we thought we’d celebrate by taking a look back at the original entertainment system – the radio!

  • After the Titanic disaster and WWI, investors fueled the exploration for a wireless technology. It was by 1920 that radios first entered homes and soon after took off in popularity!
  • After that, it was a fast journey to the top!
  • Radio stores in the 1920′s were a popular place to gather because people were able to see the latest in radio technology.
  • By 1930, 12 million households in America had a radio in their home and by 1939,that number jumped to 28 million!
  • Eventually, the 1930′s became known as The Information Age.

hd cablesHowever, the stock market crash and depression made an impact on the radio industry putting a lot of radio companies out of business. Only the large companies survived. Soon the radio was viewed as a centerpiece of the family room and provided entertainment and news. From 1928-1950 radios evolved and went from large and bulky pieces to beautiful pieces of furniture in a family room, just like you now see a home entertainment system arranged. Radios were also transformed into frequency-modulated (FM) radios to avoid the static interference.

Some fun radio facts:

  • The first commercial radio broadcast topic was on the election results for 1920.
  • On October 30, 1938 the “The War of The Worlds” presented by Orson Welles caused panic amongst listeners.
  • “Old time Radio” is the term used to describe entertainment programs broadcast to the public from the 1920s-1960s.
  • In the 1930s the first daytime series materialized, featuring romance- which appealed to the typical American housewife.
  • The word soap opera was used because soap products sponsored the series.
  • The “Jack Benny Show” began in 1932.
  • Most “Old Time Radio” shows were aired live up until the late 1940s.

If you want to learn more about the history of the radio and see how far we’ve come, why not visit The National Capital Radio and Television Museum in Bowie, Maryland!

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