Rich Warren | Have you tried updating it?

Get more for your money without spending nickel. Just a few updates and a few tweaks from big screen TVs to smartphones will improve performance.

When you buy a new TV, choose the retailer that offers it. The TV leaves the factory set to be blurred in the display room, but it does not have to repeat the most accurate image. A good distributor knows the key settings to improve accuracy while satisfying your visual taste.

Most TVs combine more than one point of settings to provide a more realistic viewing experience if properly adjusted. You can browse the Internet for instructions on these adjustments, but if you do not understand what you are doing, it is best to leave it to the experts. Most local retailers charge a small, if any, additional charge for simple adjustments When you turn on the TV.

If left to your own devices, choose a “cinema” setting for greater accuracy, although for many people, this will bring a slightly-brighter image. Bright, deep images eventually blind their eyes and content creators do not think so.

Most manufacturers update the software and firmware that runs on your TV, at least for the first year. If you leave your TV connected to the Internet permanently to access Smart TV functions, many TVs will be updated automatically.

The disadvantage of using Ethernet or Wi-Fi to stay connected to the Internet is to send your viewing behavior to the manufacturer, who will sell the information to an advertising broker.

Some companies take advantage of the opportunity to place their own ads on your TV, in addition to the ads provided by the program provider.

If you do not use the “smart” features, disconnect your TV and connect to the Internet once a month. Go to the Configuration menu, which, if not named, is probably called by the small gear key on the remote control. Go to the “Help” or Configuration section and click “Update”. Some updates will only change the capabilities of your smart TV but can greatly improve the performance of your TV.

Similarly, smartphones often, but not always, can update themselves. Many Android phones need to be snatched away from you. Most manufacturers send patches a few times a month to once a year. Often, these security fixes go hand in hand with performance improvements.

For example, my Google Pixel 6 came with half-baked software in October. In January, Google finally released a new code that dramatically improved the phone’s overall performance. Both Apple and Android also send operating system updates once a year. Apple will update the phones operating system for five years, while Android phones will receive two or three years of updates depending on the manufacturer. They can be automatic, or you need to go into the system menu to download and install them.

Set up your Android phone to update all your apps automatically or do it manually every week. This provides additional security as well as upgrades from the app developers. If you are unable to update the airline app, you may have problems booking your next flight.

Use Wi-Fi to download updates at home, especially if you do not have unlimited data plans. Wi-Fi generally downloads the application quickly and without affecting your data plan. Turn off your phone WiFi to improve battery life when you are not down or away from home. If you are not using Bluetooth for communication, turn it off as well. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth rely on different radios in your mobile phone, and even if they are not active, they draw a lot of power.

Maintaining Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Fixed Field connections when not in use increases security when you are away from home. Malicious hackers can catch those signs to steal your personal information or install malware, let alone monitor you beyond your mobile phone provider’s capacity.

Rich Warren, who lives in the champagne area, is a long-time consumer electronics analyst. Email him at


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