DVD vs. Blu-Ray: You’ll Be Surprised Who the Winner Is

While many consumers might assume that Blu-ray is superior to the DVD format just because it’s new, they’d be hard pressed to explain why Blu-ray tops the older format. In fact, in a head-to-head matchup between Blu-rays and DVDs, the older format has some critical advantages over its newer rival.

Boy holding DVD and Blu-Ray

More than a decade after its introduction, just 44 percent of U.S. households with broadband Internet access own a Blu-ray player, according to Fortune Magazine. The DVD market remains extraordinarily resilient, with about 87 percent of households owning a DVD player, according to Statista.

Among electronics connoisseurs – the kind of folks who insist on a non-region DVD player and know exactly what parts of the world require a 110 to 220 converter to safely use American gear – DVDs remain highly popular because of a number of advantages this format holds. DVDs and DVD players have distinct advantages in price and availability, and there are a number of lesser known advantages this resilient format has over its newer rival.

Girls Watching Movies

DVDs vs. Blu-Ray

If you’re on the fence concerning whether to purchase a Blu-ray player or upgrade your current DVD player to a newer model, consider these facts before committing to a purchase:

  • The picture is great, but not that great. It’s easy to see the difference in quality between Blu-ray discs and DVDs, but the gap between them isn’t as profound as some technophiles would have you believe. Higher-end DVD players can provide picture quality close to that of a Blu-ray player and at a much lower cost. When choosing between DVD and Blu-ray, ask yourself, “Do I really need to see my favorite Hollywood stars’ pores that badly?”
  • There’s a price advantage. DVDs and DVD players remain significantly less expensive than Blu-rays. On average, Blu-ray discs tend to cost $10 more than DVD versions of the same film. In fact, some great DVDs of popular Hollywood films can retail for less than $5. In today’s challenging economy, saving money is important. Sticking with DVDs will help you shave a few dollars off of your monthly budget.

The price gap between DVD players and Blu-ray players is even greater. An average quality Blu-ray player will set consumers back about $250 to $300, while a high-end device will cost thousands of dollars. Top quality DVD players can be found for less than $500, and average quality devices can be purchased for under $50. This big price gap makes a DVD player the better choice for a cost-conscious consumer.

  • Blu-ray is buggy. Although it’s been on the market for a decade, Blu-ray continues to be problematic for its users. There are widespread complaints about Blu-ray playability issues centering around load times for the players. Blu-ray also poses some technology difficulties. While DVD players are fairly simple to operate, many Blu-ray players come with added features that require a high-speed internet connection and a fair degree of technical savvy to enjoy.

DVD players have evolved. Top quality up-converting DVD players can provide a viewing experience very close to the quality offered by Blu-ray players. If you’ve already invested quite a bit of money in your current collection of DVDs, upgrading to a better DVD player may be a better move than purchasing a Blu-ray player and buying new copies of your favorite movies.

DVD Player

  • Blu-ray availability is not universal. Most films are available in DVD format, while Blu-ray still has a lot of catching up to do. Most new releases are on Blu-ray, but there are generations of beloved movies that have yet to see a Blu-ray release. Owners of DVD players have a much broader selection of viewing options to choose from than folks with Blu-ray players.

Jewel Cases

  • You’ve already made a TV investment. There’s really not much point in investing in a Blu-ray player unless you also own a high-end television set. A widescreen HD television is a pretty significant home theater investment, often costing $1,000 or more, and that’s on top of the $250 you’ll pay for a Blu-ray player. For most consumers, a DVD player will provide good quality picture and sound at a reasonable price.
  • DVDs remain highly convenient. DVDs are a great medium for portable media storage. While digital download is rapidly taking up a greater share of the video market, there are lots of situations where digital download just isn’t a practical option. For example, if you’re going to an area with little or no internet connection, or if you want to strictly control the types of content your children watch. In these situations, DVDs remain the portable storage media of choice for video content, thanks to their ubiquity, low cost, and convenience.
  • Blu-rays are going to be a short-lived fad. If anything truly supplants DVDs, it’s going to be direct digital downloads. The adoption of this technology continues at a rapid pace, as more and more communities gain access to fast internet speeds. At best, Blu-ray is just a placeholder technology between DVDs and digital download technology. Its expense and the inconvenience involved will likely keep it from being a major format.

History of DVD

DVD's Sign

The DVD was originally developed by Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Philips in 1995. The technology was preceded by other optical disc formats, such as LaserDisc, which was developed in the late 70s and popularized in the 80s. The DVD was a compromise between Philips and Sony, which had developed competing products. Computer giants IBM, Apple, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft told the companies that they wanted a single format, prompting the companies to agree upon a single format for DVD products.

DVDs quickly became the format of choice for home video viewing. DVDs provided better picture and sound quality, a better data lifespan, and interactive features unavailable on the then-dominant VHS format. VHS stored data on magnetic tape, and this format was responsible for the rise of the home video industry, as it provided the first easy and convenient means of watching recorded videos in a home format. VHS first hit the market in the mid-70s and reached its peak popularity in the 80s and 90s. VHS still has some residual popularity, thanks to its comparative ease in recording, compared to DVD.

History of Blu-Ray

Blu-Ray Sign

Blu-ray was developed in the early 2000s, and the first consumer Blu-ray players and discs hit the market in 2003. Blu-ray was developed to allow the storage of high-definition and ultra-high definition video. The name refers to the violet laser used to read the disc.

Because a violet laser is used instead of a red laser, information is able to be stored at a greater density on Blu-ray discs, thus allowing them to accommodate high definition and ultra-high definition video.

Blu-ray has seen adoption by not just the home video industry, but also the video game industry, which uses Blu-ray discs to store information for modern games with high-quality graphics.

The average household spends about $1,500 on home entertainment each year, including electronic devices and video content. To make that investment worthwhile, consumers searching for Blu-ray or DVD players need to find a supplier with a good track record of providing quality electronic products. There are many DVD and Blu-ray players on the market, and, while many are good, there are quite a few cheap knock-offs being sold.

110220 Volts provides a variety of consumer electronic products, including step up transformers, DVD players, voltage regulators, GSM cell phones, multisystem televisions, and much more. For quality electronic products made for a global customer base, shop 110220 Volts for dependable products from proven manufacturers.

For quality electronic products made for a global customer base, shop 110220 Volts for dependable products from proven manufacturers.

Overseas Wedding Must-Have Items!

Planning a wedding is a challenge that isn’t for the faint of heart. Planning a destination wedding overseas requires even more attention to detail. There are many things that people who decide to get married abroad may not think about when planning. Really, how often do stateside wedding planners need to consider 220 110 voltage converters or having documents translated? Not very often!

destination wedding

Legalities

The first thing you have to do is make sure that it is legal to be married in the country where you’re looking to travel. Some countries require a residency before a couple can legally marry. If the destination of your dreams won’t legally recognize your marriage, consider having a civil service at the courthouse in your hometown for legal purposes. Then have your big wedding ceremony overseas. Don’t allow small details to slip by unnoticed, but don’t let anything derail your plans for your dream wedding overseas.

On-Site Planning

It can be very difficult to arrange a wedding when you’re an ocean or several continents away. Hire a wedding planner in your destination location who can take care of details like arranging the catering, lodging, photographers, and musicians. You can handle as much as possible from home, but working with your wedding planner via Skype and email will make the process smoother and more likely to be free of snags.

Travel Arrangements

Passports, airline flights, immunizations, and other small but important prerequisites will need to be addressed for all the guests. This can be even more challenging if all the guests are leaving from different locations. Organization is a key factor in pulling off the task of getting everyone where they need to be when they need to be there. Your wedding planner may be of some help with this, but a travel agent is better. They can make arranging travel itineraries a breeze for a destination wedding.

Currency

Exchanging currency is an important part of planning for a wedding overseas. Exchange rates through Forex companies are often far better than those at local banks, so exchange before you go if at all possible. Many foreign countries are not equipped to accept American money and will refuse to do so at the point of sale.

Weather

Prepare for the weather and plan your bridal wardrobe accordingly. Some places overseas have very wet seasons and cooler temperatures, so you shouldn’t assume anything when it comes to what to expect in an exotic locale. If you want a beach wedding, make sure your destination is one that offers a reliable climate, or figure out and book an alternative indoor option at your destination just in case.

Paperwork

You will need more than just a passport to get married overseas. The paperwork is important because, without it, your marriage won’t be valid. Furthermore, it almost always takes a bit of time to obtain necessary documentation, so plan ahead and start early on collecting your documents. Of particular importance, include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Proof of any legal name changes
  • Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage
  • Translated documents from non-English speaking countries
  • Travel and Wedding Insurance

It is a grand adventure to have your wedding in a foreign locale, but it’s also a lot of work. From electrical devices to hotel registration, every little detail must be covered. Let 110220Volts.com help you make sure you’ve covered all the possible voltage regulator problems that may occur so that your big day goes off without a hitch!

Travel and Wedding Insurance

13 Tips for Traveling Light on an International Vacation

When you are thousands of miles away from home in another country, the last thing you want to do is drag around multiple suitcases. Not only is it inconvenient, it can also lead to higher baggage fees at the airport. International travelers need to pack smart by including only items they need, such as limited clothing and handy gadgets like step down voltage converters to better enjoy their trip and to avoid being hit with higher fees.

International Travelers

Airline fees, including baggage fees, have been increasing, in recent years, as airlines have raised these fees to maximize profits. Between 2009 and 2014, three airlines increased baggage fees by 67 percent, according to a congressional report cited in Fortune Magazine.

According to Time, in 2015, airlines made more than $40 billion in ancillary fees – fees other than ticket sales charged to customers. United Airlines posted the largest revenues from fees, earning $6.2 billion. Spirit Airlines is the company most dependent on ancillary fees, deriving 43 percent of its 2015 revenue from them. Baggage fees made up a nice chunk of airlines ancillary fees, accounting for nearly $4 billion in revenues in 2015.

Carrying excessive luggage doesn’t just hurt your wallet, it can also be detrimental to your health. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 72,000 people suffered injuries that resulted from handling luggage. Handling heavy luggage puts men and women at high risk of back, neck, and shoulder injuries.

Traveling Light

Traveling Light

International travelers can avoid excessive baggage fees and injury by packing light. If possible, you want to travel only with your carry-on luggage and one checked bag. For travelers going on an extended trip, this may seem like a challenge, but, with some creativity and adaptability on your part, it’s an achievable goal.

International Vacation

  1. Start with a list – Begin planning your trip by creating a list of everything you think you need to bring. Once you’ve finished that list, go through it item by item, re-evaluate, and find things to eliminate. By creating a list and winnowing down your packing choices to the bare necessities, you’ll be more organized when you pack and less likely to take along unnecessary items.
  2. Get a reasonably sized 220 to 110 converter – International travelers need voltage converters to safely charge their American-made electronic devices. International travelers should search for the smallest, lightest-weight converter possible to take up minimal space in their luggage. Converters are very important, as higher voltage electrical outlets are incompatible with most American electronics without them. With a converter, you’ll be able to safely power up your cell phone or laptop.

220 to 110 Converter

  1. Ensure clothes are compatible – You can maximize your wardrobe selections and minimize the number of clothes you must take with you by picking neutral shades. Neutral shaded clothes can be mixed and matched with a variety of other clothes, providing you with greater options. Business travelers should choose white, black, and blue shirts, pants, and blazers that work well together.
  2. Use packing accessories – There are a number of packing accessories that can help travelers make optimal use of the available space in their luggage. Compression bags allow travelers to shrivel their clothes into tiny, vacuum-sealed bundles that take up minimal space in luggage. Storage cubes can also help travelers better organize their luggage.
  3. Layer your clothing – If you’re traveling to Norway, Iceland, or another cold climate, you’re going to need layers of clothing to stay warm. You can reduce the number of clothes in your luggage by wearing your bulkiest outerwear item on the plane. If you get hot on the flight, you can always remove your heavy coat and keep it in your lap or in the overhead storage bin.
  4. Limit your shoes – Shoes can take up a lot of room in your luggage and add significantly to its weight. When traveling abroad, take only two pairs of shoes along – a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of more formal shoes. By following tip No. 3 and packing neutral-toned clothes, you can ensure that your shoes will match your outfit.
  5. Ditch the wheeled luggage – Wheels make your bags heavier and more awkwardly shaped. Also, if you’re traveling to Europe, they’re entirely impractical because many streets and public spaces are paved with cobblestones. The luxury of wheeled luggage also makes us more likely to pack extra, unnecessary items.
  6. Take advantage of hotel laundry – Most hotels you visit will have laundry stations or services. Even if they don’t, laundromats are likely nearby. Reduce the number of clothes you take with you by carving a few hours out of your vacation to do laundry in the places you’re visiting. Laundry detergent and other essentials should be easy to buy from the hotel or a nearby store.
  7. Avoid last-minute packing – Be sure to finish packing a full 24 hours before you leave for your trip. When we pack at the last minute, we tend to throw items willy-nilly into our luggage, resulting in unnecessary items being added. By taking the time to pack early, the process is more orderly, and you make your choices more deliberately.
  8. Choose multi-functional items – If items can do more than one job, they’re golden because, instead of packing two items, you can get away with just packing one. For example, if you have a towel that can also serve as a blanket, it’s a great item to take along on your trip.

Multi Functional Items

  1. Pack vertically – You should pack all of your items vertically so that the inside of your luggage looks like a filing cabinet. This will allow you to arrange the items within more logically and also provide you with more convenient access to your items. Packing vertically also makes it easier for you to inspect your luggage to find unneeded items you can take out of the suitcase.
  2. Pack your lightest items last – When filling your suitcase, save your toiletries and personal care items for last. These items, which typically include liquids such as shampoo and conditioner, need to be packed toward the top of your luggage for easy access during safety inspections at airports. Remember that the Transportation Security Administration restricts travelers to three ounces, and pack accordingly.
  3. Make sure you know your airline’s baggage policies – Various airlines have differing policies regarding baggage. Some have high fees for checked luggage and may even charge fees for carry-on luggage. For example, Spirit Airlines can charge as much as $100 for carry-on luggage. Knowing your airline’s luggage policy lets you know exactly what to expect and how much space you have to work with when packing.

By packing light and only taking necessary items abroad, you can ensure that your baggage fees are kept to a minimum and that you don’t have to haul ungainly luggage around foreign airports and cities. According to ValuePenguin, the average daily cost of an international trip is $271 per day. By lightening your load while you travel, you can shave off some of the cost of your international vacation or business trip and use the money on more enjoyable expenses like dining and sight-seeing. You can find other great international travel tips by using your smartphone or other device to shop for coupons and deals.

Moving Heavy Luggag

110220Volts carries a wide range of consumer electronic products, including 220 to 110 converters, multisystem TVs, code free DVD players, personal care items, GSM cell phones, and more. Customers can shop 110220Volts with confidence, as the company strives to provide the highest quality, most reliable electronic products.

Sources

  1. http://time.com/money/4501949/airlines-41-billion-fees/
  2. http://fortune.com/2016/03/10/airline-fees-crackdown-senate/
  3. http://www.virginiaorthopaedicspecialists.com/2015/12/traveling-tips-to-avoid-back-injury-while-moving-heavy-luggage/

Important Travel Tips for Vacationing in Cambodia

In recent decades, Cambodia has become a beloved vacation destination for travelers the world over. The country’s unique culture, rich history, and desirable location in Southeast Asia make it rewarding enough to visit, but the fact that it’s possible to visit the country on less than $50 per day adds an even greater appeal to a Cambodian vacation.

If you’re interested in visiting Cambodia but aren’t sure what to see or how to prepare, we’ve put together this great list of helpful tips for making your Cambodian vacation go smoothly.

Cambodia travel tips

Make Sure to Visit Angkor Wat

Originally built between 1112 and 1152, Angor Wat is the largest existing religious building in the world. Putting the great Western religious monuments like the Sistine Chapel to shame, Angkor Wat is the physical representation of Mt. Meru, the sacred mountain where the gods of the Hindu faith reside.

The temple is the legacy of the Khmer kings of ancient Cambodia, and a source of intense national pride for Cambodians to this day. In addition to its vast size, Angkor Wat also features over 3,000 stone carvings of apsaras, or “heavenly nymphs,” carved into its walls.

Be Sure to Visit Bamboo Island

An hour off the coast of the town of Sihanoukville lies Bamboo Island, one of the most unique and interesting places in all of Cambodia. It’s a small island, one that takes only 10 minutes to walk across, and it has no electricity except for a brief few hours in the evening.

What Bamboo Island does have, however, are lots of chances to interact with locals. If you’re able to get space in one of the island’s bungalows, you’ll get the chance to dance, eat, and talk with the local community in an incredibly personal and enriching way. Don’t pass up this unique chance to experience a unique local culture.

Enjoy the Night Life

Given Cambodia’s geographic location and jungle setting, most people wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it can get very hot during the day. Don’t worry, though – the heat doesn’t keep people from enjoying themselves. In order to avoid spending too much time in the oppressive heat, Cambodians make up for it with a bustling nightlife.

Cambodia vacation tips

Ride a Tuk Tuk

The tuk tuk (also known as the auto rickshaw) is one of the primary modes of transportation in Cambodia. These three-wheeled taxi cabs are common in the developing world, and they are likely to be one of your main modes of transportation while staying in the country.

Don’t Forget the Voltage Converters

Like many foreign countries, Cambodian electrical outlets are a different shape and voltage than those commonly found in North America. In order to keep your electronics powered while visiting the country, you’ll need to bring voltage converters that let you plug your American electronics into Cambodian outlets.

110220Volts is the best source for quality Cambodian voltage converters. Find them on our site, or contact us at 800-827-9978 today.

Travel Tips to Make Your Fiji Vacation Great

Fiji is a beautiful island in the South Pacific that attracts many visitors every year, and for good reason. Along with its beautiful natural settings, it has a rich and wonderful culture and more than enough attractions to keep even the most discerning tourist entertained during their travels. If you’re thinking of visiting Fiji anytime soon, we’ve got some important travel tips on what to see, what to do, and what to bring.

Try the Kava

Kava (also known as yaqona or grog) is a traditional drink served in many places in Fiji. It’s made from the ground-up roots of the pepper plant and contains very high levels of vitamin B, a natural anti-depressant and muscle relaxant. After a few cups, people report feeling relaxed and calm, with their anxiety and depression melting away (don’t worry, though: kava is both non-alcoholic and non-narcotic).

Drinking kava might take a little getting used to at first, as it numbs the lips and tongue for a short period of time. Once you get used to it, though, kava is a unique and rewarding local drink that everyone should make an effort to try.

Fiji vacation tips

Drink Bottled Water

Like in many non-first world countries, the water available on tap in Fiji isn’t always up to the standards that travelers from the U.S., Europe, or Australia are used to. While the water in Nadi and Suva (both located on Fiji’s main island) are considered safe to drink (as will be the water at tourist resorts), Fijian water may still have a strange taste that takes some getting used to.

Fortunately, bottled water should be in abundant supply, including the famous Fiji brand bottled water, which draws its supply from an underground aquifer of pure, fresh ground water.

Support Local Shops

One of the best parts of visiting Nadi, one of Fiji’s main tourist centers, is patronizing the shops run by locals. Fijian merchants are renowned for their generosity and friendliness; they’re likely to invite you into their store to have a cup of kava and spend some time talking with them.

Of course, it’s considered very rude to take a shopkeeper up on their generosity, and then not buy something from their store. If you accept a shopkeeper’s hospitality, be sure to buy at least one thing in return for their time and attention.

Fiji travel tips

Bring Voltage Converters

One thing that catches many tourists by surprise when traveling to Fiji is that their electrical outlets are a different shape and produce a different voltage than North American electronics are made to work with. Given the importance of modern electronics like smartphones and laptops, it’s safe to say that having voltage converters on hand for your Fiji vacation is an essential step for every traveler.

If you need safe, reliable Fiji voltage converters, there’s no better source than 110220Volts. Browse our online catalog today, or contact us at 800-827-9978 for more information on our products.