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How to get your TV game-ready for the Super Bowl

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How to get your TV game-ready for the Super Bowl

Get ready for the Super Bowl this Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium on the Las Vegas strip.

You don’t want to settle for a mediocre TV experience.

So, it’s time to learn how to improve your current TV setup or upgrade to a new one before game day.

CHIEFS’ TRAVIS KELCE FOCUSED ON ONLY 1 RING HEADING INTO SUPER BOWL

Remote in hand in front of a flat screen (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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5 ways to enhance your current TV setup

If you’re already content with your current TV and setup and just want to gear up for the game, below are the top five ways to enhance your viewing experience:

1) Check your connection

Services like Paramount+ offer the ability to stream the Super Bowl this year. You’ll want to make sure you don’t lose the game in two ways:

Make sure you’re using a wired connection to the internet if possible. That way, you’re not depending on a Wi-Fi signal, which may be impacted by how many people are over at your home for the game and using your Wi-FI for their devices or who else is streaming elsewhere in your home. On that note, make sure you’re maximizing bandwidth by making sure your kids or spouse isn’t streaming in higher resolutions while the game is on.

MORE: BEST WI-FI RANGE EXTENDERS

A Paramount TV promo

Paramount+ promotion (Paramount)

2) Backup connection

The game is the most popular thing to watch that Sunday, so if you’ve got spotty coverage and are concerned about drops in service, you should have a way to broadcast the game traditionally (aka “over the air”), so keep an antenna ready.

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3) Adjust the sound

While the picture quality often steals the show when it comes to watching the Super Bowl, sound quality can enhance or diminish the experience. Most TVs these days have audio settings, which, if adjusted, can really enhance the game experience in your home. If you’re more interested in the commentary, then you can adjust the sound to boost the dialogue.

In most TVs, you can usually find the audio presets and adjustments under “Setting,” then “Audio” or “Sound.”

There, you can play around with the treble, bass and equalizer. Some of the presets, such as “movie,” enhance dialogue or “standard” to level out the commentary. Sometimes, it is worth checking to make sure the bass is at optimal levels, as having it too high can cause distortion. On the other hand, if you prefer to hear every impact of every play, you can turn on the bass ‘just so’ to add to the drama.

Image of a TV

TV showing setting adjustments for sound (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: TOP 10 SOUNDBARS TO ENHANCE YOUR TV AUDIO EXPERIENCE

4) Brighten the picture

To make sure that friends behind those huddled in front of the TV can enjoy the game just as much, check the picture quality of your set.

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For LEDs, if it seems too dark or dim, turn up the backlight control, which can increase the brightness behind the LCD screen.

For OLEDs, instead of just turning up the brightness, turn up the OLED light setting. Additionally, make sure you turn off the energy saver or auto-brightness control settings before game day, as it can impact screen brightness.

TV settings

TV showing settings for the picture quality (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

5) Keep the motion real

Some TVs come with smoothing or dejudder settings, sometimes referred to as the “Soap Opera effect.” It can be helpful to adjust this setting or turn it off or on, depending on your preference, before the game. On one hand, it could smooth out motions made on the field or create too much distraction by creating graphical trails from fast motions.

TV settings 2

Auto Motion Plus Settings on a TV (Samsung)

Upgrade your current setup

If you were just waiting for an excuse to upgrade your TV setup for game day, delay no more. Here are five things to look for in a new TV

1) Screen size and resolution: You want a TV that can display the game in high definition and has a large enough screen to enjoy the action from any angle. Look for TVs that have at least 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) and a screen size of 55 inches or more. Some TVs also offer 8K resolution (7680 x 4320 pixels) for even more detail, but they are more expensive and not widely available.

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2) Refresh rate and motion handling: You want a TV that can handle fast-moving scenes without blurring or stuttering. Look for TVs that have a high refresh rate (the number of times the screen updates per second) and a low input lag (the time it takes for the TV to respond to your commands). A refresh rate of 120 Hz or more and an input lag of 15 ms or less are ideal for gaming and sports. Some TVs also have features like variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM) that can adjust the refresh rate and input lag dynamically according to the content.

3) HDR and color performance: You want a TV that can deliver vivid and realistic colors and contrast. Look for TVs that support high dynamic range (HDR) formats like HDR10, Dolby Vision, or HDR10+. These formats can enhance the brightness, contrast, and color range of the image. Also, look for TVs that have a wide color gamut (the range of colors the TV can produce) and high color accuracy (how close the colors are to the original source).

4) Sound quality and features: You want a TV that can produce clear and immersive sound. Look for TVs that have a good sound system with multiple speakers and a subwoofer. Some TVs also have features like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X that can create a surround sound effect with overhead and directional audio. Alternatively, you can also connect your TV to a soundbar or a home theater system for a better audio experience.

5) Smart features and connectivity: You want a TV that can stream your favorite apps and services and connect to your other devices. Look for TVs that have a smart platform like Android TV, Roku TV, Fire TV, or webOS. These platforms can offer a variety of apps and services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Max, Disney+, YouTube and more.

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Also, look for TVs that have multiple HDMI ports and USB ports to connect your gaming consoles, streaming devices, soundbars, and other peripherals. Some TVs also have features like voice control, AirPlay, Chromecast or Miracast that can let you control your TV or cast content from your smartphone or tablet. 

Check out how to score a great deal on a TV before the Super Bowl.

Kurt’s key takeaways

There is really no bad way to enjoy the big game this year, but if you want to maximize your game viewing experience, there are many ways to enhance your current setup. And, of course, if you need an excuse to splurge, there are some top contenders that fit the bill. If you are splurging, do remember that the cost of these units doesn’t include the cost of installation. Some of these TVs need to be mounted for best viewing, which might incur additional costs.

Do you pay attention to all these details before game day, or do you just turn on the set and get lost in the game no matter what? What are your plans for this year’s Super Bowl game? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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For more of my tech tips & security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover.

Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions:

Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.

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Odysseus achieves the first US Moon landing since 1972

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Odysseus achieves the first US Moon landing since 1972

Intuitive Machines has just made history by becoming the first private aerospace company to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s surface. Following its launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last Thursday, the robotic Nova-C “Odysseus” lander built by Intuitive Machines has now touched down — also making it the first US spacecraft to successfully land on the Moon since the 1972 Apollo 17 mission.

Described by NASA as a “hexagonal cylinder” on six legs, the Nova-C Odysseus lander is carrying several science and research payloads for the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, which aims to collect important data about the Moon’s surface. It aimed for the lunar south pole, a region of particular scientific interest due to the occurrence of water ice hiding in permanently shadowed craters. Such data could prove useful before NASA’s Artemis program brings people back to the Moon in 2025.

It has a laser retroreflector array to help other spacecraft make precision landings and a radio navigation beacon to provide geolocation data to landers, rovers, and eventually astronauts. 

Image: Intuitive Machines

Odysseus captured several photographs during its journey to the Moon, including some “selfies” with the Earth a day after it launched. One image taken by the lander’s Terrain Relative Navigation camera shows the Moon from approximately 100,000 kilometers (around 62,137 miles), later followed by a close-up shot of the Bel’kovich K crater.

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Odysseus is expected to operate for 14 Earth days, after which Intuitive Machines anticipates that the incoming lunar night — a period of prolonged cold that the lander isn’t designed to withstand — will force it to shut down. Additional payloads from other, private customers aboard the lander include an “EagleCam” CubeSat camera system built by students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, and an art project by Jeff Koons containing 125 miniature Moon sculptures.

This is the first privately owned spacecraft to achieve its goal after the Astrobotic Peregrine lander, launched by United Launch Alliance last month, failed to reach the Moon.

Update February 22nd, 6:54PM ET: Updated to note Odysseus has reached the Moon’s surface.

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AT&T cell phone outage hits the US: How to use Wi-Fi calling

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AT&T cell phone outage hits the US: How to use Wi-Fi calling

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AT&T on Thursday confirmed an outage affecting thousands of cell phone users, including some customers on other networks who attempted to call AT&T users.

“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning,” AT&T said Thursday. “Our network teams took immediate action and so far three-quarters of our network has been restored. We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers.” 

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If it wasn’t bad enough to find yourself unable to make phone calls from your mobile device, some iPhones are reported to be stuck in Emergency SOS mode as a result of the outage. There are a few steps that have been reported to restore cellular connections on some phones.  

CLICK TO GET KURT’S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS, AND EASY HOW-TO’S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER 

A woman adjusts her phone settings to restore cellular connection. (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

How to fix your iPhone when it goes into SOS mode due to a network outage

Outages were reported by tens of thousands of users across the country. In particular, some iPhone users are being hit, leaving devices on SOS mode, preventing them from making calls, sending SMS text messages or using their cellular data.

iPhone’s SOS mode is triggered when your cellular connection is lost, which means you can only complete SOS calls or texts to emergency services. However, there are several things you can do to get your smartphone back online if you are affected by the outage.

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Here’s how to make calls with Wi-Fi Calling not relying on cellular service

How to make Wi-Fi calls on your iPhone

  • Click on “Settings”
  • Click “Cellular”
  • “Wi-Fi Calling”
  • Switch “Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone” on
  • Click “Enable” Wi-Fi Calling”

If you have a problem enabling “Wi-Fi Calling”:

  • Make sure you have the latest iOS software update
  • If you are still having problems, it may have to do with what type of account you have (e.g., prepaid plans might not work).  If you can, log into your carrier’s account page to confirm that your account is authorized to enable Wi-Fi calling.
iPhone screenshots for WiFi calling

Steps to make Wi-Fi calls on iPhone. (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

How to make Wi-Fi calls on your Android phone

  • Click on “Settings”
  • Click “Connections” or “Calls”
  • Toggle on “Wi-Fi Calling”
Android screenshots for WiFi calling

Steps to make Wi-Fi calls on Android. (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

How to make Wi-Fi calls on your Samsung phone

  • Click the “Phone” icon
  • Tap the “More Options” (three vertical dots)
  • Tap “Settings”
  • Tap “Wi-Fi Calling,” and then toggle the switch to the right to turn the feature on
Samsung screenshots for WiFi calling

Steps to make Wi-Fi calls on Samsung. (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: WATCH OUT FOR THIS NEW MALICIOUS RANSOMWARE DISGUISED AS WINDOWS UPDATES

For some, turning on Roaming works to make cellular calls 

You can also switch to Data Roaming to regain service, but this feature may cost extra money, depending on your cellular carrier and plan. 

Find these settings in the same Cellular area described above.

Hard Restart can help some

Or you may want to force-restart your iPhone if it isn’t responding:

  • Press and quickly release the volume up button
  • Press and quickly release the volume down button
  • Press and hold the side button
  • When the Apple logo appears, release the side button

MORE: RANSOMWARE RAMPAGE HITS RECORD HIGH WITH THE U.S. ITS TOP TARGET

How easily things can go wrong

This should be a wake-up call to check your own digital security and protection. One weak device in your world can take down the rest of your technology at home.

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Don’t call 911 unless there’s an emergency

Several emergency 911 call centers throughout the US are being overloaded with calls from people simply testing to see if their phones are working. Fire and police departments are asking that people not call 911 unless they have an emergency.

Be prepared with antivirus security protection

Whether this event was a cyberattack or not, be prepared by adding antivirus security protection to all of your devices.

The best way to protect yourself from malicious attacks and disruptions is to have antivirus protection installed on all of your devices. Having good antivirus software actively running on your devices will alert you of any malware in your system, warn you against clicking on any malicious links in phishing emails and ultimately protect you from being hacked. Get my picks for the best 2024 antivirus protection winners for your Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices

MORE: TIPS TO FOLLOW FROM ONE INCREDIBLY COSTLY CONVERSATION WITH CYBER CROOKS

Kurt’s key takeaways

A cellular network outage is a reminder of how heavily we all rely on staying connected with our mobile phones.  There are steps you can take to circumvent cellular networks so you can still make and receive calls when a disruption strikes.  

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By using Wi-Fi calling, you can communicate with our loved ones and emergency services without relying on cellular service. By installing antivirus software, you can safeguard your devices and data from unexpected malicious attacks that can also prevent you from keeping your device operating.

How do you feel about the current state of cybersecurity in the world?? Were you ready for this outage? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter

Ask Kurt a question, or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover.

Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions:

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Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com.  All rights reserved.

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It’s just $32.49 to fix your Switch’s Joy-Con drift with Hori’s Split Pad Compact

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It’s just $32.49 to fix your Switch’s Joy-Con drift with Hori’s Split Pad Compact

I love the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con, but they develop stick drift way too easily, and people with ham-sized hands like mine can’t play for long before cramps set in. They’re also pretty expensive to replace. I’ve personally settled on Hori’s Split Pad Pro Joy-Con replacements to remedy all of that, but it makes my Switch too bulky to fit comfortably in my smaller everyday carry. The Hori Split Pad Compact offer a nice balance between size, affordability, and added grip, and you can get a pair in white / yellow for only $32.49 (about $18 off) at Target.

The Split Pad Compact suffers from the same deficiencies as most third-party Joy-Con replacements: you’ll forsake rumble, NFC, and motion control, and you can’t use them individually as mini controllers. While those features are all nice, there’s no game in the Switch’s library of thousands that require them. The Split Pad Compact does have some tricks of its own, however, like programmable rear buttons and a turbo function.

Most of my friends swear by gaming headset brands like Turtle Beach and Astro, so much so they refuse to try anything else. That’s their loss — SteelSeries makes some of the most comfortable gaming headsets you can buy with their unique ski band comfort strap and thick ear padding. Plus, I think their 40mm drivers produce better sound than anything I’ve tried. That’s why I’m considering buying a second pair of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox and PC, now down to $279.99 ($70 off) at SteelSeries when you use code GET20. You can also buy a set designed for PlayStation and PC for the same price using the same code.

The headset is pricey even after the discount, sure, but it may be the last pair you’ll need to buy for a long while. The base station has an OLED display with a dial that makes it easy to manage audio levels, chat mix, and customize the 10-band equalizer (you can also make adjustments directly from the headset). Perhaps my favorite feature is the integrated charging bay for the spare battery it ships with to swap batteries midgame. I find it much more convenient than any wired charging model.

If you buy the version designed for Xbox and PC, the base station allows it to work with nearly everything. You can connect it via USB to Xbox consoles for 2.4GHz wireless, and there’s a second USB port that lets you connect other systems like a PC or Nintendo Switch. With Bluetooth, you can add PlayStation and mobile devices into the mix. There are also line-in and line-out ports for mixing in other audio sources or streaming. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is even suitable for daily outdoor wear thanks to a sleek and unassuming design, a retractable noise-canceling microphone, and active noise cancellation with transparency mode.

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