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Here’s what you need to know before you shop for a new TV on Black Friday

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Holiday Shoppers Seek Out Deals On Black Friday

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Black Friday is a popular time to buy TVs, but it can also be intimidating if you don’t know what you need.

There are so many TV specifications that make shopping for one overwhelming and confusing. It’s like an acronym assault. What is HDR? What does 8K mean? What’s the difference between LCD, OLED and QLED displays? How important is the brand?

The discounted TVs on Black Friday may not be the best of the best. “TVs you’ll find on Black Friday are typically going to be entry-level sets,” says Paul Gagnon, vice president and industry advisor for the market research company The NPD Group. Gagnon, who has been covering the TV industry for 25 years, says especially when discounted, it’s important to make sure the TV you’re buying has all of the features you need.

Here’s a guide to explain all of those important features so you can find the TV that’s best for you.

What is 4K?

4K TVs are the standard these days. If you’re not sure what 4K means, it describes the picture resolution. TVs with 4K have four times as many pixels as standard 1080p resolution sets. But keep in mind most live broadcasts still aren’t shot in 4K, so you’ll mainly see the benefit in apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, or if you subscribe to YouTube TV with the 4K premium bundle.

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When picking between resolutions, you might see specifications like Ultra HD, UHD, or 4K. They all mean the same thing.

What is 8K?

8K resolution has double the resolution of 4K. It amounts to four times the pixel count of 4K and 16 times more pixels than 1080p.

While that might sound enticing, you probably won’t enjoy any of the benefits of 8K since there isn’t any content shot in 8K yet. Not to mention 8K TVs are pricey. Be prepared to spend over $2,000.

What is HDR?

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HDR, otherwise known as high-dynamic range, allows your TV shows and movies to look as intended by the studio that produced them if they’re shot in HDR. You’ll get more light in darker scenes, meaning it’s easier to see the content. Most 4K TVs have HDR compatibility too.

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There’s a wide range in the quality of HDR TVs. Expensive ones can look great, while cheap ones may not. If it’s done right, HDR can actually be a more important feature than 4K.

Good HDR comes down to brightness and contrast. When the light parts of the TV image are brighter it improves the color and makes the picture look like it has more depth and the movies and TV shows can look more lifelike. Let’s say you’re looking at a movie with a shot of the ocean, you’ll be able to see the nuances and textures of the wave, the deepest blues and the white caps, making you feel the realism of the scene.

But HDR performance can vary drastically from TV to TV. Make sure the TV you buying has a brightness of at least 400 nits — a measure the intensity of brightness — since sometimes TVs with levels lower than 400 get marketed as HDR TVs, too. 600 nits or brighter is better, with the best-performing HDR TVs hitting 1,000 nits or more.

You’ll see a lot of different types of HDR marketing. HDR10 is most widely used because it’s an open and free technology standard. Pretty much all TV sets marketing HDR support will work with HDR10 content.

There’s also HDR10+ which is supported by most of the major streamers, except for Netflix. Keep in mind though, TVs can receive updates so if a manufacturer decides to hop on board with HDR10+, the company can add that capability to your TV without you needing to do anything but update the software.

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What does the refresh rate mean?

People will be able to play Xbox Game Pass games over a cloud connection on 2022 Samsung smart TVs.

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A TV’s refresh rate is the number of times per second it can reset and display an image. Most TVs today offer either 60 Hz, meaning the display refreshes 60 times per second, or 120 Hz, refreshing 120 times per second.

The latter is more expensive but can be better if you watch lots of fast-moving content, like sports of action movies. When refresh rates are low, it creates motion blur, which makes a moving picture look fuzzy.

This number is especially important for gamers. The latest consoles, like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X offer 120 Hz refresh rates, but you’ll need a true 120 Hz TV in order to see graphics as clearly as possible.

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If you’re hooking up a gaming system that uses a higher refresh rate, “make sure the TV has an HDMI 2.1 input,” Gagnon says. That’s the port that will support these fast refresh rates, he explains.

What is the difference between LCD, OLED and QLED?

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series in QLED

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Almost every TV today uses either a liquid crystal display (LCD) or an organic light-emitting diode screen (OLED). The latter is capable of producing the best picture quality while LCDs generally cost less but can still give you a great picture.

OLED is a newer technology. It doesn’t have a standard backlight. Instead, each pixel is illuminated on its own. The best quality LCDs, on the other hand, have local dimming, meaning parts of the screen can get dim without impacting the brightness on the rest of the screen.

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“LCD’s biggest advantage is that it’s by far the most affordable of all of the technologies,” says Gagnon. “The very high-end LCD TVs do a pretty good job of coming close or matching the performance of OLED displays.”

With OLED, “then you’re talking about typically what is the highest performance display. So it’s going to have higher contrast levels, and better color performance.” It will also be easier to watch the TV from multiple viewing angles, and it will probably have the fastest refresh rate, Gagnon explains.

There’s also QLED, which stands for quantum light-emitting diode. A QLED TV is essentially an LCD TV with quantum dots. Quantum dots are tiny tiny molecules that, when hit by light, emit their own differently colored light. Because of this technology, QLED TVs more accurately emit colors, which improves the overall picture quality.

With QLED, “you get better color performance, you also get a little bit of an efficiency improvement, meaning the set can be a little bit brighter, and oftentimes these tend to be TVs that include other features, for example, higher refresh rates and more HDMI inputs,” Gagnon says.

What about Smart TVs?

iTunes running on a Samsung TV

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Almost all TVs are smart now, so no matter what brand you choose, you’ll probably have apps that come preloaded on your new TV. You can connect an external streaming device to any TV, like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, a Roku box, or an Apple TV. If you do, go for one that features 4K and HDR, as long as that’s what your new TV supports. That way you’ll ensure you have the best viewing experience possible.

When it comes to using the preloaded apps on your TV, it’s important to know that smart TV stores, where you can download apps for your TV, vary depending on the TV’s brand. Samsung TVs will let you access the Samsung Smart TV store and LG TVs have the LG Content Store. Other brands partner up with streamers you’re familiar with. TCL, Hisense, Toshiba and other companies team up with streaming providers you know like Roku, Google and Amazon.

It’s less important to find the TV that has the smart service you like built-in and more important to find the best quality TV. You’ll always have the option to add a streaming device externally to the TV if you favor one company over another.

If you are relying on the TV’s built-in applications, Gagnon suggests making sure the Smart TV you’re buying supports all of the streaming apps you frequently use. And if you have an iPhone and like to screen mirror, make sure your TV supports Apple’s screen mirroring. If you’re an Android user, make sure your TV supports casting, Google’s version of sharing content from a phone to a TV.

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Google, Oracle, Amazon and Microsoft awarded Pentagon cloud deal of up to $9 billion combined

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The Pentagon said Wednesday that Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle received a cloud-computing contract that can reach as high as $9 billion total through 2028.

The outcome of the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, or JWCC, effort is in line with the U.S. Defense Department’s effort to rely on multiple providers of remotely operated infrastructure technology, as opposed to relying on a single company, a strategy promoted during the Trump Administration.

A Department of Defense spokesperson told CNBC by email that “JWCC is a multiple award procurement composed of four contracts with a shared ceiling of $9 Billion.” 

An increasing tally of businesses have also sought to rely on more than one cloud provider. In some cases they rely on specialized capabilities on one and the majority of front-end and back-end workloads on another. At other times, they come down to cost. Having more than one cloud might make organizations more confident that they can withstand service disruptions brought on by outages.

Originally, the Pentagon had awarded the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, to Microsoft in 2019. A legal battle ensued as Amazon, the top player in the cloud infrastructure market, challenged the Pentagon’s decision. Oracle challenged the Pentagon’s pick as well.

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In 2020, the Pentagon’s watchdog conducted a review and ruled that there was no evidence to conclude that the Trump Administration had intervened in the process of awarding the contract. Months later the Pentagon announced it would stick with Microsoft for the JEDI deal.

Last year the Pentagon changed its approach, asking for bids from Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle to address cloud needs. But the General Services Administration stated at the time that only Amazon and Microsoft seemed to be able to meet the Pentagon’s requirements.

Read more about tech and crypto from CNBC Pro

Wednesday’s result is a boon in particular for Oracle, which analysts don’t see in the top tier of companies offering cloud-based computing services. Oracle generated $900 million in cloud infrastructure revenue in the quarter that ended Aug. 31, a small fraction of the $20.5 billion total for Amazon’s cloud subsidiary, Amazon Web Services, in the third quarter.

All four of the technology companies have won indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, or IDIQ, contracts, meaning that they can involve an indefinite amount of services for a specific period of time.

“The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defense with enterprise-wide globally available cloud services across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge,” the Defense Department said.

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Correction: A prior version of this story said each company was awarded a contract of up to $9 billion, but that number represents the combined total for the four.

WATCH: Roughly 75% of our customers use multi-cloud and data centers, says VMware CEO

Roughly 75% of our customers use multi-cloud and data centers, says VMware CEO



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Infinix Zero series launch set for December 20 in India: Check details

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Infinix has scheduled a launch event on December 20 for its upcoming Zero series phones. The Zero series is expected to have different phones and may have the Infinix Zero 5G 2023, which was released in the global market recently. Also Read – Infinix Hot 20 Play goes up for sale on Flipkart: Check details

The Infinix Zero 5G was launched with a new Dimensity 1080 chipset by MediaTek for under Rs 20,000. Let’s take a look at the details. Also Read – Infinix Hot 20 Play with a 6.82-inch 90Hz display and 6,000mAh battery unveiled

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Infinix Zero series launch, Zero 5G 2023 specifications

Infinix Zero series will launch on December 20 in India. The brand hasn’t confirmed what device it is releasing, however, the recently launched Zero 5G 2023 may land in India. Alongside this, we may also see the Infinix Zero Ultra smartphone. Also Read – Infinix Hot 20 5G launched with 120Hz display, dual cameras, and 12 5G bands

The Infinix Zero 5G 2023 sports a 6.78-inch punch-hole IPS display with a Full-HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2460 pixels. The screen has thin bezels on three sides and a noticeable chin at the bottom. The panel has a 120Hz refresh rate.

It features a triple camera system at the rear with a 50MP main lens and two 2MP sensors. On the front, it has a 16MP camera for taking selfies. The rear camera is capable of shooting 4K videos at 30 fps, mainly owing to the chipset inside.

The smartphone is powered by the newly released MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC paired with Arm Mali-G68 MC4 GPU. It has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

Both the RAM as well as the storage is upgradable via virtual RAM and microSD card. It supports 5GB of virtual RAM and up to 256GB of additional storage.

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As far as the battery is concerned, the device packs a 5,000mAh cell with support for 33W fast charging. The battery can be charged via the USB Type-C port at the bottom. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio.

It has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth for connectivity. The smartphone boots on Android 12 OS out of the box and has XOS 12 on top.






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Tecno Phantom X2 series arrives in India: Check price, specs

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Tecno Mobiles hosted a global launch event today. At the event dubbed as ‘Beyond the Extraordinary’, the company launched the Phantom X2 series smartphones which includes the Tecno Phantom X2 and the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro. The newly launched smartphone series is powered by MediaTek’s newest Dimensity 9000 chipset. The highlight of the series, however, is the retractable rear camera, which the company says gives users more flexibility and clarity in clicking portrait images. It is worth noting that the Tecno Phantom X2 series is the successor to the Tecno Phantom X that is available at a price of Rs 25,999 in India. Also Read – Tecno launches Megabook S1 laptop: Check price, specs, availability

Tecno Phantom X2 5G, Phantom X2 Pro 5G price and availability

As far as the pricing and availability are concerned, the 8+256GB variant of the Phantom X2 5G costs 2699 SAR or 932 USD (Rs 76,829 approximately), while the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G costs 4399 SAR or 719 USD (Rs 59,270 approximately). The Phantom X2 series will be arriving in Saudi Arabia first. It will be coming to all other markets, including India by the end of this month. Also Read – Tecno Pova 4 with a MediaTek Helio G99 SoC launched in India at Rs 11,999

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Also Read – Tecno to launch Phantom X2 series, Megabook S1 laptop today: How to watch, watch to expect

Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G specifications

Coming to the specifications, the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G comes with a unibody double-curved design with 3.5D glass at the back along with CNC metal middle frame. As far as the display is concerned, it comes with a 6.8-inch FHD+ curved flexible AMOLED display, a screen refresh rate of 120Hz, a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels and a touch sampling rate of 360Hz and 93.5 percent screen-to-body ratio. In addition to that, it also features support for Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, P3 Wide colour gamut and it comes with TUV SUD certification.

Coming to the internals, the Tecno Phantom X2 is powered by the 4nm MediaTek Dimensity 9000 5G system-on-chip with Arm Mali-G710 MC10 GPU and HyperEngine 5.0 for gaming. It offers 17GB of LPDDR5 RAM, which includes 12GB of installed RAM + 5GB of virtual RAM that is coupled with 256GB of UFS3.1 storage. It runs Android 12-based HiOS 12.0 and it is backed by 5,160mAh battery with suport for a 45W quick adapter, which Tecno says can charge the phone up to 50 percent in 20 minutes.

Coming to the camera, the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G sports a triple rear camera setup consisting of a 50MP primary sensor, a 50MP sensor and 13MP sensor. The rear camera also features support for optical image stabilisation technology, seventh gen IMAGIQ 790 ISP, fifth-gen AI processor APU 590 and quad flashlight. On the front, it has a 32MP selfie shooter with support for an adjustable flashlight.

For connectivity it has dual SIM 5G support, Wi-Fi 2.4G, 5G and Wi-Fi 6, BlueTooth 5.3 and GPS.

The Tecno Phantom X2 Pro 5G will be available in Mars Orange and Stardust Grey colour variants.

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Tecno Phantom X2 5G specifications

There aren’t many differences in the Phantom X2 Pro 5G and the Phantom X2 5G smartphones. Both the devices feature a similar display and design and a powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 5G SoC that is coupled with 5,160mAh battery with suport for a 45W quick adapter and Android 12-based HiOS 12.0. Connectivity options also remain the same.

Where these two phones differ is in terms of the camera and storage. The Tecno Phantom X2 5G offers 13GB of LPDDR5 RAM, which includes 8GB of installed RAM + 5GB of virtual RAM that is coupled with 256GB of UFS3.1 storage. On the camera front, the Phantom X2 5G sports a triple rear camera setup consisting of a 64MP RGBW primary sensor, a 13MP sensor and 2MP sensor. The rear camera also features support for optical image stabilisation technology, seventh gen IMAGIQ 790 ISP, fifth-gen AI processor APU 590 and quad flashlight. On the front, it has a 32MP selfie shooter with support for an adjustable flashlight.

As far as the colour variants are concerned, the Tecno Phantom X2 5G will be available in Moonlight Silver and Stardust Grey colour variants.

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