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How to watch Wales v Italy: 6 Nations rugby live stream
Posted by Mike Moore on 11 March 2018 10:00 AM

This weekend's 6 Nations rugby wraps up today as Wales take on Italy.

The hosts return to Cardiff after a chastening 37-27 loss to Ireland last time out that may well have put paid to their hopes of winning the tournament overall. 

Warren Gatland has rung the changes from that side, making ten alterations to his starting line-up as Wales look to put in a strong performance in front of what will no doubt be an enthusiastic home crowd.

Among the changes are debuts for flanker James Davies and Elliot Dee, alongside returns for Taulupe Faletau, George North and Gareth Anscombe.

Italy are looking to avoid yet another 6 Nations defeat, and look to keep much of the same team as Conor O'Shea looks for consistency, although Tommaso Boni misses out with injury.

If you've not managed to get tickets for the big game, and can't get to a TV, here is TechRadar's guide to watching all the 6 Nations rugby action online, wherever you are in the world.

1. How to watch Wales v Italy 6 Nations rugby online

This is the best way to watch Wales v Italy 6 nations online - from absolutely anywhere in the world - without any commercial breaks:

2. How to watch the Wales v Italy 6 Nations rugby in the UK in its entirety:

If you’re in the UK and if you have a TV licence, then BBC iPlayer is where you should go for the 6 nations as the official broadcaster for the tournament; you may be asked to register for free in order to watch it though but it is a doddle and once you do it, you can enjoy it almost anywhere: on your mobile, your media player, tablet, your web browser, streaming device, gaming console, TV, cable and satellite operators etc.

3. How to watch Wales v Italy 6 nations rugby in the US in its entirety:

As mentioned above, if you're not based in the UK and want to watch the 6 nations rugby live, you won't be able to access live coverage. In the US,  NBC’s Sports Gold subscription streaming service will be showing all of 2018' 6 nations tournament live. The channel's Rugby Pass costs $59.99, but also includes a whole heap of other rugby action, including Premiership Rugby and the 7s World Cup. 

Photos courtesy of

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The best business projectors in the UAE for 2018
Posted by Nick Rego,Henry Casey on 11 March 2018 07:23 AM

If you're regularly making presentations in your line of work, then making sure you buy the best business projector that suits your needs will be essential.

Getting the right business projector can help transform your presentations and meetings, making them more engaging, interactive and professional.

In our list of the best business projectors of 2018, we've selected a large range of projectors, from compact devices that are easy to pack away and take with you on the road, to full-featured business projectors that feature a range of connectivity options and boast stunning image quality.

As well as listing the best business projectors, we also have our very own price comparison tool that will help you find the best prices as well.

Buying a projector for work means you're looking for different features than if you were buying a projector for entertainment purposes, so super-high resolutions and millions of inputs aren't going to be high on your 'must have' list. 

Unfortunately, plenty of offices often cheap out in when buying business projectors, or not doing their research, and investing in headaches for years to come. So now is a good excuse as any to review our favorite options for your office's projector unit.

The Epson EB-1795F is a great business projector that’s ultra-portable with great image quality. It offers a variety of different connectivity options to avoid fumbling for cables, and with a bit of prep in an office, almost any device can connect to it within seconds of it being turned on. 

The Gesture mode is a thoughtful idea, but doesn’t quite play out as effectively in real life. Aside from this, the EB-1795F is a reliable business projector that can easily travel wherever you go, and is up and ready to use in mere minutes. 

Epson EX7235 Pro

If your meetings are never in the same location often, you're going to want a no-nonsense projector that's easy to carry. For that, we can recommend the Epson EB-S04. Weighing in at 2g pounds, and measuring 297‎ x 234 x 77mm, it also comes with a carry case included, which makes this a great business projector for people often out on the road. It supports connecting via USB, WiFi, VGA, HDMI, or the mobile MHL. Not only is it easy to move around with, it's extremely easy to use, so much so that booting and choosing your input source only took a mere 34 seconds in our testing. This is all with an intensely strong lamp, which maxes out at 3000 lumens.

It is ideal for those who need a simple, portable projector for anything except for streaming video, as we experienced quality issues there, with output being either grainy or stuttering. So it's not the best projector for watching films on, but as a business projector, it's excellent.

ViewSonic Pro8600

If you're looking to present in a bright room, or shopping with no worry about price, ViewSonic's Pro8600, weighing 8.5 pounds and measuring 13.1" x 10.4" x 4.3" (W x D x H), and Pro8520HD, also 8.5 pounds and a very similar 13.1" x 10.4" x 4.8" (W x D x H) are especially relevant. The Pro8600 retails for about $1700 (around £1125, AU$2068) online, and the Pro8520HD can be found online at a bump up to around $1799 (around £1190, AU$2188).

Both machines run very loud and very bright, thanks to the Pro8600's 6000 lumen and the Pro8520HD's 5000 lumen capable lamps. So if you're looking to make presentations to people who drift off when the lights go out, make sure you consider these options. Neither are great with USB, but if you're looking to present video, both have HDMI slots - the Pro8520HD actually offers two, if that's something you would need.

Both projectors render HD color video beautifully, although Pro8520HD arguably over-saturates the colors. While the video on the Pro8520HD is of great quality, you're going to need to have any audio pretty loud, thanks to a whirring fan that hovered around 79 decibels in our testing. While the Pro8600 suffers the same noise pollution - its fan reaches 65 decibels - it does feature a useful ECO mode that can dampen the noise. As you would expect from projectors marketed on their HD quality, these units can get an image large enough for native HD proportions.

Usually when you choose a portable business projector you have to make a few sacrifices in order to have such as small device - but that's not true with the Epson EB-S31.

Epson has an excellent reputation with business projectors, and it has brought much of its expertise to the EB-S31. Its 3,500 lumen brightness is much brighter than many other portable projectors, and means you have more flexibility when setting up the EB-S31 in environments where there is still ambient light.

The EB-S31 is small and light enough to carry around with you on business trips - but it also has a very large projection size - up to 300 inches - which makes this an incredibly versatile portable business projector.

Sony VPL-FHZ55

The Sony VPL-FHZ55 is designed to be installed once and not moved for a long time. At 26.5 pounds nobody will be volunteering to move it between floors, or even carting it between rooms. It measures 15.3" x 19.8" x 5.8" (W x D x H) and we believe it best positioned on a ceiling, even though that will make it even harder to ever move. With all that size, there is a lot to say about it.

Noteworthy for being the first 3LCD projector - a projection chip technology popularized by Epson and Panasonic - with a lamp-less treatment, thanks to a blue laser light source deployed by Sony. For all that above hype and hubbub, the enormous price should not shock you.

It's seriousness isn't just from a top-out of 4,000 lumens, but the fact that it can go for 20,000 hours, reducing the routine expense of replacing burnt out lamps that projectors generally include.

It is connector heavy, as it should be with that price-tag. The right-hand side is a full set of BNC/component inputs, an RGB D-sub 15-pin slot, DVI-D, monitor output and an HDMI input. On the opposite side is S-video, composite video, various analogue audio ins and outs, an RS-232C control jack (beloved of Crestron control systems, among others), the DC inlet, and wired LAN.

Unfortunately, as we notice all too frequently even with the best reviewed units, there is no built in WiFi for the VPL-FHZ55, though it can be networked. And the last thing we'll note is that the VPL-FHZ55 needs some room. To fill our 80-inch test screen we had to place the VPL-FHZ55 about 11.5 feet away!

The Asus ZenBeam E1 is a beautifully designed pocket projector that's small and light enough to carry around with you if you often make presentations on the road. 

Despite its small size, it can project images up to 120 inches in size, and it has a built-in 6,000mAh battery that can power the projector for up to 5 hours, which makes it rather flexible, as you don't have to worry about finding a plug socket to power the device. In a rather nice touch, the projector can also double as a power bank for other mobile devices.

The Asus ZenBeam E1 isn't the most powerful portable projector, but its versatility, ease of setup and eye catching design gives it a place on our list of best business projectors.

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Best shows on Netflix for UAE (March 2018)
Posted by Abbas Jaffar Ali,Nick Pino,Marc Chacksfield on 11 March 2018 07:08 AM

Best Netflix Shows: Welcome to TechRadar's guide to the best shows and TV series you can stream on Netflix in the UAE.

Want to know what the best Netflix TV shows and best Netflix series are right now? Well pull up a seat, you’ve come to the right place. 

We've scoured the video streaming service to create a guide to the best Netflix shows in the UAE right now. We'll keep this list constantly updated with the latest television shows that you should be watching and also tell you why.

  • March update:  Jessica Jones: Season 2 has landed, and makes our list of the best shows on Netflix!  

To that end, we’ve chosen over 30 Netflix shows that you need to watch. Whether you are into meth-laced dramas (Breaking Bad) or fear-inducing dystopias that hit far too close to home (Black Mirror) there’s something for you on the list. 

With so much choice, however, it can be tough to find that next great show. But that's why we're here. We've binge-watched hundreds of hours of TV so you don't have to. (I know, I know, some heroes don't wear capes.) 

But more than great shows, Netflix is inventive. It’s trying new things, such as Klingon subtitles on Star Trek: Discovery and is a big advocate for 4K and HDR content. Oh, and it finally did something it said it never would - allow you to download many of its shows to watch Netflix offline

There’s never been a better time to bag yourself a Netflix subscription and binge watch, so get stuck into our gallery and let us know if your favorite show isn't on the list. Without further ado let's dive into the best shows on Netflix! 

Netflix has had a rocky road with sci-fi adaptations - the Wachowski's Sense8 had grand ambitions but didn't quite hit the sweet spot for everyone. Altered Carbon is hoping to change that, with its unique blend of dystopian science fiction. Based on the book of the same name by Richard Morgan, the show has sparks of brilliance ( Joel Kinnaman is great) but is also occasionally ridiculous in its outset (James Purefoy hams it up throughout). It strives to be more than it actually is but we admire what it's trying to do. Oh, and it looks fantastic in 4K.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

 Margaret Atwood is having something of a resurgence at the moment, what with the incredible The Handmaid’s Tale adaptation and now this, a superb take on her novel Alias Grace. Grace is another cutting social commentary that’s wrapped in a mystery, centred on servant Grace Marks who is sentenced to life in prison for the apparent murder of her housekeeper. The plot will keep you guessing, the design of the show is sumptuous and there’s even a surprise cameo from David Cronenberg.  

Given that Archer is set at the International Secret Intelligence Service (unfortunately abbreviated as ISIS), recent terror atrocities have meant the animation has been getting headlines for the wrong reasons. But don't let this unlucky nomenclature put you off. Archer is a brilliant send-up of spy movies of yore, complete with some of the best voiceover talent - many of which have been pruned from the cast of Arrested Development. While the fifth season 'reboot' wasn't the success it should have been, Archer is still one of the best cartoon comedies around.

Seasons on Netflix: 8

Freddie Highmore was one of the sweetest child actors around in his younger years, playing cherubic children in the likes of Finding Neverland and the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now he's a fully fledged adult he's taken a much darker turn as future Psycho psycho Norman Bates in the show Bate Motel. A prequel of sorts to the Psycho movies, Bates Motel is a fantastic spin on the horror tale, ramping up the relationship Bates has with his mother - a cold and calculating Vera Farmiga - and sprinkling breadcrumbs along the way that point to how he became who he became. 

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad. That’s a sentence we never thought we would write, but it’s now three seasons and it is flawless TV. It doesn’t have the menace or fear that propelled Walter White in Breaking Bad, instead it takes its time to paint a picture of Saul Goodman, someone that was in Bad mainly for comic relief. In his own show, though, creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have created a well-rounded, means well character whose descent into criminality is a slow burn. Although some characters have started to appear from Breaking Bad, the show doesn’t beg for the appearance of Walter White or Jesse - it’s now it’s own thing and we can’t wait for Season 4.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

There's no better person to portray not-so-distant future dystopias than Charlie Brooker. He's been holding a warped mirror up to the ridiculous nature of the world's media for years, mixing cutting comments with comedy, but Black Mirror sees him entering darker territory. Each series is just three episodes long but they are all standalone treats, twisting reality in their own unique way while commenting on things we seem to hold dear today - namely technology and television.

Seasons on Netflix: 3 

More addictive than the meth pushed by Walt and Jessie, Breaking Bad is brilliant binge-watching television. The initial plot is simple: a straight-laced teacher is told he has cancer and to make sure he leaves his family with the best possible life, he turns to drug making and dealing. There's method to his madness as he ends up being pretty good at it. Creator Vince Gilligan has created such a good group of characters, he is currently mining the same world again with Better Call Saul. But that has some way to go reach the highest highs that Breaking Bad offers.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Castlevania is a new anime-lite animated series from comic book writer Warren Ellis that expertly transcribes the franchise's history for the small screen. It's bloody, brooding and a bit outlandish at times, but what else could you expect from a series about vampire hunters and an army of the undead? 

While there's still plenty of room for improvement when season two rolls around, the first season of Castlevania is without a doubt the best adaptation the series has ever seen, and well worth the one hour and twenty minutes it takes to watch all four 20-minute episodes.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The words 'food porn' get thrown around a lot these days, and typically are preceded by a hashtag and proceeded by us viciously rolling our eyes. But Chef's Table is the real deal – 4K footage of some of the best chefs in the world making their signature dishes and doling out morsels of philosophy to keep your mind just as engaged as your stomach. 

Parts of the show come off as a bit too heady for the source material and are prone to veering a bit off course (there's multiple scenes where a particular chef talks about polygamy for some odd reason) but overall most of the chefs come off as genuinely eccentric masters of their craft. 

Seasons on Netflix: 3

When it comes to superhero movies, Marvel are bossing DC thanks to the rich tapestry it has weaved with its cinematic universe. Its TV shows, which now include Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, just keep getting better.

Daredevil is superb television, regardless if you are a superhero fan or not. Matt Murdoch's (Boardwalk Empire's Charlie Cox) rise from blind lawyer to vigilante is brutal and steeped in realism. The reason it works so well is that it doesn't shy away from being violent - each crack and crunch is a world away from Ben Affleck's terrible movie version. And special mention has to go to Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, his best role since the tortured Private Pyle.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

What would Jack Bauer do if he was the president of the United States? How can you go wrong with a premises like that. Except that it's not really Jack Bauer but Kiefer Sutherland.

America's fate rests in the hands of a low-level official after an attack on Washington decimates the government in this gripping political thriller.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

If your life needs a bit more blood and poetic justice in it, check out Dexter, a show about a Miami detective who not only solves homicide cases, but commits them, too. Known previously for his work on HBO's Six Feet Under, Michael C Hall's devious, semi-sociopathic persona shines through in his role as the lead character. The show manages to cut deep, often giving you a dozen reasons to care about a man who kills for all the right reasons.

Seasons on Netflix: 8

Alison Brie already proved she had comedic chops in Community but GLOW cements her as a comedy genius who can turn on the seriousness when she needs to. In GLOW (gorgeous ladies of wrestling) she plays Ruth Wilder, a struggling actress in '80s LA who turns to women's wrestling to make a star of herself. The show is a look at the underground sensation of ladies wrestling, with all the wit and gender stereotype reversing you would expect from the maker of Orange Is The New Black. It's a great, highly original watch, with a superb cast that includes British singer Kate Nash.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

If there ever was a poster boy for Netflix, House of Cards would be it. Funded completely by the streaming service, Cards' first season boasted direction by David Fincher and acting by Kevin Spacey and was addictive television. The reason: Netflix positively wanted you to binge watch, putting all episodes up at once. Now going into its fifth season, Netflix's Card trick is still impressive and shows just how far Netflix has come, given it's shot in both 4K and HDR.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Jessica Jones is back! The ass-kicking private detective of Hell's Kitchen, New York, is back on the streets, taking on the demented villains of the Marvel universe's underworld.

A more adult show than the likes of Daredevil and Luke Cage, Krysten Ritter's take on the titular hero is a gritty and violent one. Sex, booze and bust-ups, this one's not for kids, but great adult-orientated superhero action nonetheless.

Check out our Jessica Jones review

Seasons on Netflix: 2

This awkward rom-com has been penned by Judd Apatow and it's yet again another hit for Netflix Originals. It's a similar bedfellow to Master of None, but it improves on the themes of dating, love and city life with characters that are more rounded and a touch more believable as they fail, give up and start over again in rapid succession. Community's Gillian Jacobs is great as the prim Mickey, while Paul Rust is effortless as slacker Gus. The show stealer, though, is Apatow's uber talented daughter Iris who plays a frankly horrible child star.

The 'will they, won't they?' shenanigans continue in the second season - those expecting a plot-heavy season will be disappointed, though, as Love meanders through its storylines - which is no bad thing (and more realistic) if you ask us.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Marvel has created a rich cinematic universe and although some of its TV shows (cough, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter, cough) have struggled to stay on their feet, others like Jessica Jones and Daredevil have flourished. 

Luke Cage is more in the same vein as Jessica Jones and Daredevil, with less light-hearted superhero fun and more hard-hitting themes, violence and grit. Viewers who lamented the fact that they didn't get to see more of him in Jessica Jones will enjoy the opportunity to find out more about what makes his character tick here. And don't worry if you haven't watched Jessica Jones, it's not a requirement to understand or appreciate anything about Luke Cage. 

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Mad Men is more addictive than the cigarettes Don Draper is trying to market us. If you've never watched it, essentially Mad Men is a show about everything we now consider taboo in glaringly harsh light. Set in 1960s America, inter-office intercourse is par for the course, along with ashtrays overflowing with cigarettes, sexism at the highest levels and a complete disregard for morals so long as it serves the characters on their climb to the top of the corporate ladder. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his assistant Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) shock and entertain us by showing the lifestyles of the advertising executives who got the public to buy cigarettes long after they knew the health risks.

Seasons on Netflix: 7

True crime stories are so hot right now, evidenced by the immense popularity of the podcast Serial and HBO's The Jinx. Netflix's original series Making a Murderer however, is probably the hottest of them all, documenting and recounting the trials of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, two working-class Americans accused of the murder of 23-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. Over its 10 episodes, the show exposes the failings of the Wisconsin justice system in blood-boiling detail. Having spent 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Steven Avery is exonerated based on new DNA evidence. However, shortly after his release, he becomes the prime suspect in Halbach's murder, and Avery is put through the ringer once again by law enforcement figures that seem to have it out for him. What follows is an anger-inducing sequence of events that involve forced confessions, unconvincing (and possibly planted) evidence, dodgy lawyers and a complete presumption of guilt from almost everyone involved. Compelling, infuriating and tragic, we guarantee you won't be able to stop watching Making a Murderer once you've started.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Master of None takes Ansari out of Amy Poehler's shadow and brings him into his own, showing audiences a side of the comedian that anyone in their mid-20s or early 30s can relate to. Like Louie, Master of None covers the oddities of everyday life, incorporating all the heartfelt moments and awkward situations that come with the territory. 

If you haven't watched it, now's a good time – the second season just arrived.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Narcos is that wonderful thing: a TV show that doesn't scrimp on controversy. Based on the exploits of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar, the show examines the criminal's rise to the top of one of the biggest drug rings the world has seen, while constantly trying to avoid the clutches of the DEA.

Uncompromising, uncomfortable but completely unforgettable, Narcos is exactly the sort of thing that Netflix should be commissioning. It's also the sort of thing that HBO would have snapped up just a few years ago - which is very telling as to where television is today. 

The third season of Narcos is out now! 

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Renowned US talk show host David Letterman is making a comeback with this monthly talk show which sees him have in-depth discussions with some of the most well-known faces in the world. Rather than short skits, Letterman sits down with people such as George Clooney and Barack Obama for hour long conversations with a new one added every month. 

This month he sits down with Malala Yousafzai, and learns more about her  incredible journey.

Parts on Netflix: 3

The fifth season of Orange is the New Black is finally here and we couldn't be happier about it. 

If you've never heard of the series before, here's the premise: Set in a woman's prison, Orange doesn't shirk the big issues of violence and rape but manages to mix these with a heady dose of black humor. It's even more popular than Cards which is a surprise as Netflix's advertising has always been very Spacey heavy.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Netflix's latest TV drama has been tipped as the next Breaking Bad, but it doesn't quite deserve that accolade. One of the main reason is that Jason Bateman's Marty Byrde has already broke bad, helping a Mexican cartel to fudge their figures. This means the descent that was so brilliant in Walter White isn't really seen here. But that doesn't mean that show isn't worth a stream - it's a tense, occasionally terrifying watch that mashes stereotypes and cultures as the Byrde family leave their home in Chicago for the Ozarks in Missouri. 

Also, let's be honest, whatever Bateman is in is always worth a watch, even when he isn't winking at the camera Arrested Development style. Here's the crazy part. He's not even the best part of the show. The real scene stealer is the ever-brilliant Laura Linney. She acts, directs and produces in this series, proving she's the real star of the show.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Santa Clarita Diet is sort of like if the show Dexter met Modern Family. It stars Drew Barrymore as the stereotypical TV mom, with one simple, but quite interesting difference: she likes eating people. 

Season 2 returns on March 23rd, and leaves many questions yet to be anwered. What turned Sheila undead? Has Joel boarded the crazy train? Are Eric and Abby just friends? The questions -- like the bodies -- are stacking up. 

This brand-new show on Netflix is a great send up of the family sitcom, taking all the tropes that make Modern Family and the like so successful, then turning them on their head, and then eating their head. And be warned: when things are eaten it's all very grizzly – so much so that it could give The Walking Dead a run for its money. That said, it's probably best to put the kids to bed first. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Before we continue on with recommendation, Shameless comes with a warning: this show, a dramedy about a poor family in Chicago, really is shameless. Frank, played by William H. Macy will scheme his way to his next drink ... even if that means taking his own kids' lunch money. If you have ethical problems watching less-than-admirable people doing whatever it takes to make ends meet, Shameless isn't for you.

All that said, those that don't mind a bit more ... unscrupulous cast of characters will seriously enjoy Shameless's grittier, sex- and money-driven take on the Modern Family comedy.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

It shouldn't work but it really really does. This modern retelling of the Sherlock Holmes stories is as good as it gets. Benedict Cumberbatch is everything you want in a Holmes - someone that wallows in wit, weirdness and warmth. While Martin Freeman plays Dr Watson as he plays all his characters - he's the everyman that has to learn how to deal with his extraordinary colleague. Episodes are scarce but each one is feature length, which gives them time to breath. Let's just hope these two superstars can find time in their busy schedules to keep doing the show.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

After a century of silence, war erupts between the Federation and Klingon Empire, with a disgraced Starfleet officer at the center of the conflict.

If you haven’t begun watching Discovery yet, take it from the son of Spock that it is one heck of a series. And did we mention that it streams with Klingon subtitles?

Now celebrating its 50th year anniversary, Star Trek is a movie and TV phenomenon that has no signs of slowing down. The original series, The Next Generation, Voyager and Deep Space Nine have all landed on Netflix but, if we're being honest, it's really just the first two series that are the best.

Watching it now, the original Star Trek maybe full of creaky sets and suspect acting but the show was bold, colourful and slathered in '60s sci-fi innovation. The first series is superb, with perhaps the greatest-ever TV double act: William Shatner's Kirk and Leonard Nimoy's Spock. Kirk is all bluster and pomp, Spock is cool, calm and authoritative.

Unlike the original series, the Next Generation took a few seasons to get things right but it still fantastic viewing. Patrick Stewart is effortless as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the rest of the crew are - including Data, William T Riker and Geordi La Forge - up there in stature with the original crew.

Seasons on Netflix: 3 (Original Series); 7 (The Next Generation)

When it comes to TV and movies, the '80s is the nostalgia decade of the moment. Whether it's Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special that plays like a Steven Spielberg film, if Spielberg still made films like he did in the Eighties, or The Goldbergs and Red Oaks mining the decade for laughs, filmmakers can't get enough of the shell suits and Sony Walkmans.

Stranger Things is another brilliant homage to this era. Leaning heavily on Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King the story revolves around a small town, a group of friends, a missing person and a dodgy science lab. Writing anything else would give away the myriad twists in a show that is full of brilliant creepy fun.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Is The Crown Netflix's crowning glory? Not quite, but it is a sumptuous look at one of the world's most famous families: the Royal family. 

Charting the early years of the relationship between the Queen (Claire Foy) and Prince Philip  (former Doctor Who Matt Smith), the show was written by Peter Morgan and, at £100 million, is one of the most expensive TV series ever made. Which means there's enough pomp and ceremony to keep those pining for a Downton Abbey replacement happy.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Fresh from giving horror anthologies a new spin with American Horror Story, creator Ryan Murphy has taken this idea and expanded it into the world of crime. The first series of American Crime Story focuses on the very public case of OJ Simpson and the death of his wife Nicole. It's superb TV, dramatising what was one of the most engrossing true stories to come out of the '90s. Cuba Gooding Jr is great as OJ but it's the supporting cast that steals the show. Sarah Paulson, David Schwimmer, John Travolta and Courtney B Vance ham it up to the max and it makes for some of the most entertaining television in years.  

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The OA rounds off what has been an exceptional year for television on Netflix. Co-created by and starring the ever-brilliant Brit Marling, the show consists of eight episodes that rival Stranger Things for, well, strangeness. Marling is a blind woman who comes back after disappearing for many years. Her sight is restored and she has a tale to tell. Although there are eight episodes they vary wildly in length - from 70 minutes to 30 minutes. The whole thing has been made to make you feel uneasy and it does a great job of that.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

If you're a child of the late '80s or early '90s, you might remember Voltron as being the source of morality for animated TV alongside the likes of GI Joe and Transformers. Voltron Legendary Defender, a new series produced by the masters of animation at Dreamworks, is very much a continuation of that trend, adapted for modern audiences and with way better voice acting. 

While the show is obviously geared towards a younger audience, it has moments that older mecha fans can enjoy, too. Plus, let's be honest, are you really prepared to watch Finding Nemo for the hundreth time? No? Introduce your kids to Voltron and you won't have to worry about it.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

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The best noise-cancelling headphones in the UAE for 2018
Posted by Abbas Jaffar Ali,Nick Pino on 11 March 2018 06:49 AM

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's round-up of the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy in 2018.

Far from being the niche product of a few years ago, noise-cancelling headphones have since exploded onto the mainstream. Now, you can find them lining airplane aisles the world over, not to mention buses, trains and nearly any other form of transportation prone to loud, low rumbling.

It's not hard to see why they're so popular: Noise-cancelling headphones massively reduce background noise, meaning that the rumble of a plane's engines or a train carriage don't get in the way of your music. 

This not only makes your music clearer and easier to hear, but it also means you can listen to it at a lower volume, which your ears will thank you for. 

Even in their most basic form these headphones are still much better than a traditional pair of headphones in terms of keeping outside sound at bay, but if you opt for one of our top picks for the best noise-cancelling headphones, you'll get a pair that will also make your music sound pretty good in the process. 

Talk about a win-win. 

How to buy noise-cancelling headphones

So what do you want to look for when looking for a pair of the best noise-cancelling headphones? Look for anything with the words "active noise-cancellation technology" on it.

Active noise cancellation involves some pretty interesting processes to cancel out sound. Along with the padding which passively blocks sound, microphones planted in the ear wells of headphones actively analyze the ambient noise level and reflect sound waves back into your ear that work to zap the outside noise. The goal is to hear nothing but the music, or whatever it is you're listening to.

Active noise cancelling headphones are more effective at what they do, but the downside is that this noise cancellation requires batteries in order to function, which means you'll have to remember to keep them charged.

Now that you know all that, you're ready to choose a set. Let's take a look at the best noise-cancelling headphones around:

Additional resources:

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are an excellent revision of an already great pair of headphones: They sound great, deftly wield noise cancellation technology and cost just as much as a pair of Bose QC35s. They might have a slightly shorter battery life than Bose’s flagship over-ear headphones, but Sony’s WH-1000XM2 outclass the QC35 in terms of performance and feature-set.  

You’d want to pick these Sony headphones over the Bose because not only do they provide the same level of awesome noise-cancellation, but they have three neat tricks that Bose just doesn't have on its headphones: One is an ambient noise mode that only lets in mid-to-high frequency tones (announcements over a loudspeaker, for instance) and another being Quick Attention mode that allows you to let in all outside noise without taking off the headphones. (The latter is perfect when giving a drink order on a plane or speaking to a coworker for a brief moment before diving back into your work.) The last trick Sony has up its sleeve is the LDAC codec. Alongside the widely adopted aptX HD standard, LDAC enables Hi-Res Audio playback using the 1000XM2.

Great-sounding, feature-packed and just as affordable as the competition? The Sony WH-1000XM2 are our all-around pick for best noise-cancelling cans.

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM2

Bose QuietComfort 25

The Bose QuietComfort 25 are the best noise-cancelling headphones we've ever used. We say that as a publication who strives for maximum performance per dollar when purchasing headphones. We say that as someone who believes that, in most circumstances, you can find a cheaper product that performs as well, if not better, than a more expensive option if you do some research.

But, in the case of the Bose QuietComfort 25, that's simply not true. They are still the best noise-cancelling headphones on the planet in 2018.

If you want the same level of excellent noise-cancellation as the Bose QC35s but want to save a bit of money, consider opting for the last-generation QC25s. (The biggest sacrifice you'll be making is wireless.) 

Nevertheless, the QC25s are a finely-tuned set of headphones that provide over 35 hours of very good noise-cancelling performance with one AAA battery.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 25

Bose QuietComfort 35

They're a little more expensive then the Philips NC1, but the Bose QC35 headphones offer wireless connectivity, so you can be free from cabling as well as background noise. 

They're also a much better sounding pair of headphones than Bose's previous (wired) attempt, the Bose QC25s, and their battery life is long enough for all but the longest of flights.

They also come with a cable in case you want to use them with a device that doesn't support Bluetooth. 

At AED 1,275 the QC35s sit firmly at the premium end of the spectrum, but if you want the best noise-cancelling headphones available right now at any price then there are few out there that can compete.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35

If you prefer on-ear noise-cancellation, then the AKG N60NC Wireless are a great pair of headphones. 

At their mid-range price point the headphones offer fantastic value for money, with great sound quality and a level of noise-cancellation performance that's on a level with the much more premium entries on this list. 

These are a fantastically compact pair of headphones, and offer a very complete package for the price. 

Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless

With noise-cancelling tech just as effective as that in headphones from rival Bose, and with a more musical sonic ability, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are a definite contender for the noise-cancelling crown. More affordable and easy to travel with, these lightweight headphones are a great value all-rounder, whether for flights, commuter trains or busy offices. 

Design-wise, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCs seem a more slimmed-down, lighter and more focused effort than the bulky and expensive alternatives from Bose and Sony; and crucially, the HD 4.50 BTNCs are just as good with audio, and almost as good on noise-canceling. Whether you're after noise canceling for long-haul ravel, for the commute, or just to stay more productive in a noisy office, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCs are worth considering. 

Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The PXC 550's greatest strength is their sound. Other wireless noise-cancelling headphones might offer a better user interface or better noise-cancellation technology, but ultimately none of the above match up to the sound quality of these Sennheisers. 

However, that said, there are a couple of irritations that prevent us from being able to fully and unreservedly recommend them, such as unresponsive touch controls  These annoyances aren't quite deal-breakers, but there are definitely other noise-cancelling headphones out there that don't suffer from the same issues.

Read the full review: Sennheiser PXC 550

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The Samsung Level On Pro Wireless are one of the few headphones we've tested that feel like they're meant as a package deal for another device. Yes they'll work with every Bluetooth and 3.5mm jack-equipped handset on the market, but you're better off sticking to a Samsung device in order to squeeze every ounce of aural goodness from the Ultra High Quality (UHQ) audio codec.

It's one of the comfiest pair of cans on the market, and they're also much cheaper than a lot of the competition. If it had a better sound quality for the vast majority of cell phone users it would be an easy recommendation but, as it stands, really makes the most sense at checkout when purchased alongside Samsung's Next Big Thing.

Read the full review: Samsung Level On Pro Wireless Headphones

With the second generation Plantronics BackBeat Pro, Plantronics went back to the drawing board to fix many of the issues owners complained about the original. The BackBeat Pro 2, therefore, manage to keep all the great things about the original and improved upon its shortcomings, like its bulk and weight. 

In terms of value, the BackBeat Pro 2 are basically a steal. With the BackBeat Pro 2, you’re getting a travel headphone with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the ability to pair two device as once and, most importantly, good sound quality for the cost. If you don’t want to drop $350 (£290, AU$500) on the Bose QuietComfort 35 or $400 (£330 or AU$700) on Sony’s flagship MDR-1000X, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 should be on the top of your shopping list. 

Read the full review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

We're constantly reviewing new noise-cancelling headphones, but let us know on Twitter if there is a set that you'd like us to take a look at.

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Best TVs for 2018: which TV should you buy?
Posted by Nick Rego,John Archer on 11 March 2018 06:40 AM

Best TV Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's round-up of the best TVs you can buy in 2018.

When we buy a TV, we aren't expecting to replace it in a year's time like a mobile phone. 

No, the biggest screen in your home is meant to last you, ideally until the next big technological leap comes along that convinces you it's finally time to upgrade. 

So it's important to make the right decision when it comes to buying a new set. You want to get something that supports all the technological standards that are going to be important over the coming years while ignoring the gimmicks that will cost you dearly before fading into obscurity in a short couple of years. 

Do you need a TV with Dolby Vision, or is HDR10 enough? What's the deal with 10-bit color? Actually, come to think of it, what even is HDR?

Our guide to the best TVs available is here to help you separate the wheat from the chaff to let you find your next set if money is no option to you.

If you're looking for a buying guide that deals with TVs that only support the new Ultra HD resolution, check out our guide to the best 4K TVs

In the mean time, if you're looking for the best-of-the-best TV out there today without limits or stipulations then this is the place for you. 

Here's a summary of our list of the best TVs around:

  1. Sony XBR-ZD9
  2. LG Signature Series OLED W7
  3. Samsung Q9F QLED
  4. Sony Bravia XBR-XE90 Series 
  5. Samsung KS9800 Series
  6. Sony Bravia A1 OLED

"So, should I buy a TV now or wait it out?"

We hear this question a lot. Like most technology, TVs are getting incrementally better all the time, but recently there has been a huge flurry of progress as manufacturers have rushed to embrace new display standards including Ultra HD and HDR.  

Thankfully, things seem to have settled down a little in this department, and the majority of TV manufacturers now support these next generation of features, including newer versions of HDR such as Hybrid Log Gamma. 

So long as your next TV purchase supports these technologies (looking for an Ultra HD Premium certification is a good way to go), we reckon you won't be kicking yourself in six month's time when the next batch of sets arrive 

That said, we'd be remiss if we didn't let you know about the cool technologies that are just around the corner in TV tech. Chief amongst them is support for the new HDMI 2.1 standard, which as well as allowing support for 8K at 60 frames per second and 4K at 120 will also allow for FreeSync to be supported over HDMI. 

It's cool technology for sure, but unless you're seriously into your gaming then we reckon you're safe making a purchase now. 

  • Want better audio? Check out our guide to the best soundbars available.
  • Once you've decided on a panel, make sure you read our guide on how to set up your TV to make sure you're getting the most out of it.

From the moment we laid eyes on the the XBR-65Z9D we’ve been desperate to get our hands on one. It is, hands down, the holy grail of television for 2017: a TV able to combine the extreme, high dynamic range-friendly brightness of LCD technology with a backlight arrangement capable of getting LCD closer than ever before to the stunning light control you get with OLED technology.

This backlight arrangement comprises more than 600 LEDs that sit behind the 65Z9D’s screen that are capable of outputting their own light levels independently of their neighbors. This should enable the TV to produce more of the extremes of light and shade associated with new high dynamic range (HDR) technology while suffering less than other LCD TVs with distracting clouds, stripes or halos of unwanted, extraneous light.

As if this wasn’t already attraction enough, the 65Z9D also sports Sony’s new ‘X1 Extreme’ video processing system and the latest version of Sony’s reliable Triluminos wide color technology for unlocking the extended color spectrums associated with HDR sources.

The LG W7 OLED is truly something special. Not only is it one of the thinnest TVs to ever grace our vision (it’s 2.75mm thin), but it’s also one of the most gorgeous. When fed the right kind of content – in this case, 4K HDR10 or Dolby Vision video – it truly shines. A super-slim design alone wouldn’t have been enough to warrant the extra cost to upgrade to LG’s latest panel. But the thin frame on top of a Dolby Atmos soundbar on top of four types of HDR support on top of the magnetic mounting system on top of the new webOS 3.5 operating system surely did the trick. This incredibly gorgeous TV isn’t without its faults (see: motion handling, its sticker price and soundbar issues), but in terms of sheer picture performance there’s nothing else like it right now. 

Samsung KS9500

It looks like someone on Samsung’s TV design team has been watching 2001: A Space Odyssey. The 65-inch Q9 is a ringer for that film’s mysterious black monolith thanks to the way both its front and back sides are completely flat and feature ultra-robust, polished finishes. Ultra HD HDR playback is what the Q9F was created to do and, given Samsung’s potent HDR track record, it's no surprise to find that it does it supremely well. Even though the Q9F has 4K HDR optimisation in its DNA, it’s capable of looking seriously good with high definition standard dynamic range content too.

sONY kd-75xd9405 DEALS

The X930E Series builds on last year's X930D series in a few important ways, the first of which is by including one of Sony’s new X1 Extreme chipsets. These are around 40% more powerful than the original X1 chips, and introduce separate databases to help the TV analyze noise and upscale sub-4K sources to the screen’s native 4K resolution. Add in an apparently much-improved sound system and Sony’s Triluminos technology for delivering today’s wider color ranges and the X930E series seems to tick all the right boxes. 

Unfortunately, though, even an improved version of Sony’s Slim Backlight Drive can’t completely hide the fact that with current edge LED technology there’s always a backlight-based price to pay for all that HDR-sating brightness. 

When it came out, the KS9800 produced the most dramatic demonstration of what new high dynamic range technology was capable of. Its brightness in particular was unprecedented, which helped it deliver a much fuller sense of HDR's expanded light range and color capabilities than we'd ever seen.

The screen features that helped it excel with HDR also made the UN65KS9800 gorgeous to behold with standard dynamic range sources, and it even sounds fantastic despite having no visible speakers. That said, it was expensive.

But instead of going straight for Samsung's flagship from last year, consider LG's E6 or G6 OLED TVs as well. The OLED screens deliver superior black levels, avoid backlight bleed issues and excel with standard dynamic range content, but the UN65KS9800 delivers more punch, dynamism and detail with HDR.

If LG's OLED isn't your thing, spend some time checking out Sony's version.

The 55A1 – and the A1 OLED series overall – are crowd pleasers in just about every way. Their ‘picture only’ design has been beautifully realized, managing to be simultaneously subtle and dramatic. 

Their vibrating screen delivers a far more powerful and effective sound performance than I’d thought possible, too. The real stars of the show here, though, are the A1’s exquisitely detailed, contrast-rich and colourful pictures. 

These prove emphatically what we’ve long suspected: More brands using OLED technology can only lead to good things. 

Only it's exceptionally high price tag prevents it from toppling LG's budget panels.

Continue on to page two to read about what to look for when buying a TV! 

What TV technology is best? Which is the best LCD TV? Which screen size is best for your living room? What's the difference between LCD and LED TVs?

The answers aren't always obvious. In fact, buying a new TV can be stressful even for the tech-savvy - there are so many brands, so many features, so many screen sizes, colors, technologies and flavors to choose from.

So which one is right for you, your family and your living space? In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about buying a new TV.

What types of TV are there out there?

There are a lot of different screen types out there, all working in different ways to produce the same results. Each technology has its own unique strengths and weaknesses so here are some basics to consider:

Until recently, all LCD TVs were backlit by always-on, CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent) lamps. This ageing technology has been superseded by the superior LED method on more expensive sets, but is still standard on some cheaper models.

LED TV: Direct LED
These displays are backlit by an array of LEDs (light emitting diodes) directly behind the screen. This enables localised dimming – meaning immediately adjacent areas of brightness and darkness can be displayed more effectively – and greatly improves contrast. LED TVs are also more power efficient and capable of a wider colour gamut than CCFL sets. Because of the extreme cost of mounting these arrays of LEDs, Direct LED TVs have largely been out muscled by Edge LED...

With these TVs, LEDs of the backlight are mounted along the edges of the panel. This arrangement enables radically slender displays and offers superior contrast levels to CCFL, but can't achieve the same picture quality as directly lit LED sets. However, they do come in far cheaper which is why most LED TVs out there now use this technology.

The backlighting on OLED (organic light emitting diode) sets is achieved by passing an electric current through an emissive, electroluminescent film. This technique produces far better colours and higher contrast and also enables screens to be extremely thin and flexible. This is the holy grail display technology and only in 2014 did a bigscreen OLED TV go on sale. So it's new, it's expensive and the top brands are still struggling to get their heads around it. To date, only LG has been able to release full sized OLED TVs.

Quantum Dot

Quantum Dot
As yet we're not quite at the stage where we're going to get self-emitting quantum dot LEDs, but they're a-coming. What we do have though is Samsung producing its Nanocrystal filter based on quantum dot technology to produce a seriously improved colour palette and contrast levels that get mighty close to the pinnacle of OLED.

Plasma TV
PDP (plasma display panel) TVs use glass panels containing millions of tiny cells filled with a mixture of inert gases. Electricity excites the gases, causing them to illuminate the pixels across the screen. Plasma, while arguably superior to LCD in terms of contrast and colour accuracy, is only viable on large (42in+) screens and has been dropped by all but a handful of manufacturers. You'll be lucky to find one on the shelves these days.

Curved TV
Some manufacturers are now making TVs that have slightly curved screens. But unlike old CRT TVs, the curve is inwards rather than outwards. The idea is that this makes every pixel equidistant from your eyes, delivering a more satisfying picture. However, there are drawbacks for this type of screen - the main one being that if you sit far enough to one side – more than 40 degrees or so – the curve clearly starts to affect the image's geometry, foreshortening content near to you and compressing the image's centre.

What resolution tech should I go for?

HD TVs come in two resolutions. Sets with the HD ready are required to be able to display a minimum 720p picture, and generally has a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Meanwhile, Full HD TVs have a higher resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It's highly advisable that you don't go for anything less than full HD in this day and age.

Ultra HD and 4K
The resolution of Ultra HD is exactly four times higher than full HD - 3840 x 2160. It means a far more detailed picture, with content requiring a lot more bandwidth and storage space. 4K TVs tend to be good at upscaling HD video to Ultra HD but there are currently very few options for watching native 4K content. Read more about 4K.

Potentially the next big thing in TVs, HDR produces astounding levels of visual fidelity and can be found in some of the latest Ultra HD TVs. Arguably the shift to HDR video could make a more dramatic difference to your viewing experience than moving from HD to 4K. Like still HDR images, the moving version expands the range of both the light and dark ends of spectrum, providing more detail for both. HDR needs new filming methods though - at the moment there is no way to backfill HDR into existing video. It also needs new TV tech too, with Samsung the only ones to create specific screens, though LG and Sony are going be able to update some of their existing stock to be compatible.

What else should I consider?

Buying a flatscreen television is a major investment and one that you can't afford to take lightly. Just popping into the closest store and grabbing the first plasma or LCD you see won't get you the best deal, the screen that suits your needs, or the gear you require to make the most of your new purchase.

Size matters

People tend to pick the size of their flat TV based on the amount of space they have for it, this isn't necessarily wise. Flat TVs take up much less space than you might think, so your new TV may end up a foot or two further away from your viewing position, making the picture appear smaller.

Also, with hi-def, you can have a bigger screen and the same viewing distance without worrying about seeing blemishes inherent to the source. HDTV's lack of noise means that the ideal distance to sit from the screen is three to four times the height of the TV.

how to calculate the best tv size for you

How to calculate the right size HD TV:

The trick here is to ensure that your TV is big enough to fill your line of vision, but small enough to be sharp and clear. Remember, if you intend to only watch standard-definition sources, the bigger the screen gets, the worse the image will look.

The ideal screen size can be calculated by multiplying the distance that you intend to sit away from it by 0.535 and then rounding this up to the nearest size.

So, if you sit 80in away from your TV, the ideal size is 42-inch (80 x 0.535= 42.8).

What features should I look out for?

Features are too numerous to go into here, but here are some things you should consider.

Photo viewing: If you have a digital camera, a TV that has a slot for memory cards or a USB socket for a card reader will let you view your photos onscreen.

Here are some of the things we look for when we review a screen, so you should, too...

Contrast: Bright whites shouldn't have any signs of green, pink or blue in them, while blacks should look solid and not washed out, grey, green or blue.

Colours: Look at how bright and solid they are; how noiseless their edges are; how 'dotty' richly saturated areas are and how natural skin looks, especially in dim scenes.

Fine detail: How much texture does the screen give? Does a tree look like a green lump, or can you see the individual leaves

Edges: Check for ghosting, bright halos and jaggedness, especially around curves.

Motion: Check moving objects and quick camera pans for smearing or blurring, trailing, jerkiness and fizzing dotty noise.

Image artefacts: Look for blockiness, colour bands, grain, smearing, dot crawl: anything that looks like it's added by the TV picture processing or a weak TV tuner. Tinker with a TV's picture settings before making a final decision. Factory settings are rarely good for everyday viewing.

Sony Ultra HD

What about sound?

To provide the best audio to complement the pictures, your TV should be hooked up to a surround sound system, but this isn't always an option. So, here's what we listen for when testing a TV's speakers:

Bass: Deep, rounded rumbles that don't cause the set to rattle or speakers to distort, cramp or overwhelm the rest of the sound; but that expand when needed.

Vocals: Voices should sound open, rich and clear, not boxed in, nasal or thin.

Trebles: Treble effects should sound clean, rounded and smooth in loud scenes and shouldn't dominate the soundstage.

Soundstage width/depth: A good TV should throw the sound away from the TV, to the sides, forward and back, to give an extra dimension to what's on screen, without losing any coherence.

Questions to ask before you buy

Taking the time to consider these questions will make choosing the best TV easier...

HD or 4K?

4K TVs are stunning and even though there is currently little native 4K content to enjoy, the good ones are able to upscale HD to 4K very well. That being said, unless you're buying a very large TV - we're talking 65-inches plus - full HD should be adequate.

What size do I need?

This is dictated by the dimensions of the room where the TV is going and the amount of cash you're prepared to spend. As a general rule of thumb, work out how far from the set you'll be sitting (in inches), multiply that distance by 0.535 and then round up the result to the nearest screen size. Bear in mind that a decent smaller telly is often a more sensible investment than a larger, less accomplished one. And if you're going to buy a 4K TV, you can sit much closer because of the higher resolution.

How many HDMI sockets do I need?

For a living room TV you should be looking for a minimum of 3 HDMI inputs. If you want to attach a set-top box as well as games consoles etc, those HDMI ports will fill up fast.

Can I connect my older, analogue kit?

Most new sets carry no more than two composite connections, while S-video is fast approaching obsolescence. Check that your new TV can hook up to older digiboxes, VCRs or DVD decks that you might want to plug into it.

Do I want to hang my TV on the wall?

First off, you'll need to consult a construction expert to check that the wall in question is strong enough to support a flatscreen. Then find out if the set you want is designed to be wall-mounted and, if so, ask if the relevant bracket is included in the basic package or as an optional extra.

Will I be connecting it to a home cinema?

If the answer is no, you might want to think more carefully about your set's audio performance. Look for a screen that can go as loud as you'll need without distortion or cabinet rattle. Consider how dialogue sounds and how much low-end rumble the bass is capable of.

Conversely, it's pointless paying out more cash for exceptional built-in speakers if you already have a decent home cinema system.

Happy shopping!

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What3Words CMO: tech companies can (and should) make money and do good
Posted by Andrew London on 10 March 2018 03:00 PM

One of the biggest running jokes in tech is the ‘we want to change the world for the better’ trope coming from Silicon Valley companies. With Facebook changing its entire mission statement to be about changing the world for the better, it seems like an ideal time to question whether a tech company can truly be the servant of two masters: the good of society and its bottom line. 

It seems like companies are either big, and very financially successful with bolted-on ethical  practices, or focussed on improving the world but will never make serious money. 

One company that is bucking that trend is What3Words (iOS, Android), a free location app that has given addresses to the world by dividing it into three meter square units, allocating a three word combination to each, giving you easy to remember, incredibly accurate location information. 

Smart and simple

As simple an idea as this seems, it turns out it’s been quite revolutionary for people in the developing world that don’t have a post code, or even an address. But it looks like the benefits reach far beyond humanitarian efforts.

We sat down with What3Words CMO Giles Rhys Jones at an event hosted by Tech4Good to talk about where the idea came from, how it makes its money and what’s next.

The original idea came – as many great ideas do – out of necessity. What3Words founder Chris Sheldrick was a musician and music events organiser who often struggled with corralling musicians, roadies and crew because of poor addressing. 

“Chris decided that he would use GPS coordinates because GPS coordinates are accurate, what could go wrong?” Giles said. “But it became apparent very quickly that roadies, guitarists and caterers are not best programmed to remember 18 digits.

“And the problem with GPS coordinates is if if you make a slight mistake you don't necessarily realize you've made a mistake. You mix up a four and a five, and still you end up on a hillside in Rome, just on the wrong hillside.”

They experimented with using an alphanumeric code to shorten it down, but found that brought more problems, as if you mix numbers and letters, a ‘1’ could as easily be a ‘7’, or even an ‘l’. It was back to the drawing board. 

“There was a dictionary on the table, and they thought: ‘How many words would we need [if we were just using words]?’ They worked out that three meters by three meters was the right size to be useful, and there were 57 trillion of those three meter squares in the world. To cover all of them you need 40,000 words, as 40,000 cubed is 64 trillion, which gives you enough to cover the entire world.”

Far more than just a faster pizza delivery

The fact that it covers the entire world has been revolutionary, especially for those in countries that don't have an advanced addressing system, if they have one at all. 

During the conference, Giles spoke about a program that What3Words is involved with in Durban, South Africa. A ticket machine is planted in the centre of a rural village, which people can use to print off a three-word ticket for the location where they live. They can then give that address to emergency services, potentially saving lives in situations where every minute counts. 

All of this is completely free, as is the app itself, which is amazing, but doesn’t sound great for profit margins. It begs the question: can a company both do good and make money? 

“Yes, and it should. There's a variety of different studies out there that say that businesses with purpose perform better than those without. I think that certainly at this particular point in in history, people gravitate towards companies that they have shared interests, shared belief, that they share a philosophy with.” 

Which makes sense, but the basic (and we know this is very basic) principle of capitalist economics is that value is driven by supply and demand. When you have a product that people need, you get to charge more for it. 

Obviously, when you get a product that makes a difference to people’s lives, and you charge a lot for it, you end up as Martin Shkreli. But you give it away free, and where does your profit come from?

“If you’re a large business and you can make or save a lot of money using us we charge you a fee based on volume. We ran some tests in London and Dubai and in Manchester. In London we gave two couriers 20 party parcels each, one with the three word addresses on, one with the same street addresses on, and we tracked them with GPS monitors and heart rate monitors. 

“The one with three-word addresses was 30% faster. In Dubai it was 40% faster. For a business that's a significant amount of money. UPS said that if they can save each of their drivers one mile a day that equates to a saving of 50 million dollars."

Using tech to leapfrog

One of the truly fascinating things that's happening with What3Words that it never expected is that developing countries have been able to skip vast chunks of technological developmental history thanks to having the ability to locate yourself using the app: 

"In Mongolia you can get a pizza, you can get a taxi, you can open a bank account all with a three-word address. They’ve leapfrogged all the legacy systems that we have here in the Western developed countries, and they’re into the future already."

It's clear that What3Words is successfully making good money while doing good. Obviously its business model can't be utilized by all businesses, but it's good to see an example of it in action.

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