Entertainment

XTREME MF-4300s review: Time to settle down

A low-risk investment for those afraid of commitment

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A TV is an integral part of every home — a centerpiece worth investing in.

That’s what I learned from the people around me while growing up. Although, I’ve never spent my life lounging on couches and watching telly until midnight, snacking popcorn and drinking soda while I laugh my heart out.

I was constantly moving, aimlessly wandering as if my life was a perpetual adventure; days spent hopping from one place to another. Little did I know, I would eventually learn to settle down.

Formerly averse to commitment, I met someone who made me want to stay. Now that I have been staying at home for almost eight months, my desire intensified even more. I started taking care of my little chateau. From buying furniture and spending on decors, to deciding to try a Smart TV — which I now believe is essential to every home.

Finding the right TV to settle down with

Smart TVs are expensive, gigantic, and requires a major decision before making a purchase. It was emotionally taxing to look at pricey, humongous Smart TVs in appliance stores. I asked myself, “Am I really ready for this?”

You could say my fear of commitment was triggered until I met XTREME’s lineup of Smart TVs. Most are half the price of what premium brands such as Samsung, Sony, and LG have to offer. In particular, the XTREME MF-4300s seems to fit what I need — without too much risk.

It’s a Smart TV, comes in an appropriate size, and a price tag that doesn’t break the bank. It’s not difficult to ease your way in the art of settling down since you’re not shelling out an insane amount of cash.

A low-risk investment

If you’re wondering why TVs are considered an investment, one of the reasons is how you need to adjust your living room to fit it in your space.

Having the MF-4300s made me realize I need to invest more in my home furniture. First off, I simply had a makeshift rack. I never really had a TV rack, considering my nomadic lifestyle.

My living room is comprised of a set of gray, textured fabric sofa, a shelf housing Buddha and gold figurines, a dedicated altar for my spiritual needs, an old speaker system to fill the house with lounge music, and a center table for my magazines.

Since the MF-4300s is a 43-inch Smart TV, my center table was more than enough to handle it. From the box, it comes with a stand you can easily set up, so long as you follow instructions and use your logic.

The TV’s bottom houses a built-in Pure Sound soundbar. For recognition, there’s a tag that can be found on the bottom right while Xtreme‘s branding is located on the middle part.

On its back, you can find the usual ports you’d expect from a typical TV, along with two HDMI and two USB ports. In addition, there’s a LAN port to make it easy for you to connect your TV directly to your router, especially if you don’t want to use Wi-Fi.

The remote is incredibly long (not that I mind) and it has dedicated buttons that let you access Netflix and YouTube.

Decent experience… for now

The XTREME MF-4300s delivered a decent experience for an affordable Smart TV. Comparing it to my previous experiences from the TVs I covered and used in studios and our office, the performance is quite stellar albeit there are compromises. But you get what you pay for, right?

Oftentimes, I found myself waiting for Netflix to fully load, which is sometimes affected by my crappy internet connection. There’s a bit of noticeable delay when using the remote control, but definitely not a dealbreaker.

Sometimes, both apps — Netflix and YouTube — decide to freeze, which can be solved by restarting the XTREME MF-4300s. Turn off, unplug and plug, then turn on again.

Frankly, it was a bit frustrating but it was one of the compromises you’ll have to consider especially since this is unlike any premium TV offerings. If you really want an extra seamless experience, better raise your budget and get an expensive one.

Just the right audio and visual quality for me

In the audio-visual department, the MF-4300s presents a decent quality for the price it commands. It uses an IPS panel with an FHD resolution of 1080p. Forgive me for not accurately depicting it, my camera wasn’t able to give the TV some justice.

Colors — despite using different presets — are a bit washed and lack vibrance. However, the overall image quality is clear especially when my Fiber internet connection is doing its job properly.

Viewing angles are satisfactory, though the faded blacks are inherently visible the more you watch at an acute angle. Light can be a nuisance, since the panel reflects it. Honestly, the best experience I had with this TV is when I used it at low light and at night. It’s quite like a smaller home theater setup.

On the other hand, sound quality is average. Surround sound was fabulous, but the lack of clarity makes it unpleasant to listen to when watching action films. It’s exceptional when you’re watching your favorite dramas and sitcoms.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The XTREME MF-4300s is definitely a utilitarian Smart TV. It doesn’t offer a sleek design, top-of-the-line performance, and a buttery smooth experience like most expensive offerings from Samsung, Sony, and LG. Simply, it provides what you need: a practical and smart television for your home.

For PhP 15,995, the MF-4300s allows you to experience the basics of a smart TV, focused on functionality rather than aesthetics. It’s a low-risk investment for those who started concerning themselves with appliances and other home stuff.

What I can certainly vouch for is how this Smart TV filled the missing ingredient in the art of settling down. A TV is indeed an integral part of every home, and it made me want to enjoy quality time with someone that I love, instead of constantly moving around. You don’t have to fear commitment and making investments anymore, especially when the risk is low and it yields a high return.

SEE ALSO: How Sony’s newest TV made me remember what matters most

Entertainment

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special is 2020’s salvation

Mariah Carey, pray for us

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Christmas Icon Mariah Carey, together with Apple TV+, released the official trailer for Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.

The holiday extravaganza will feature Carey and a fabulous line-up of superstars: Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Misty Copeland, and Mykal-Michelle Harris. Carey’s nine-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe will also have a special appearance in the show.

The Special tackles a holiday cheer crisis where only one person can solve: Santa’s great friend, Mariah Carey. Through musical performances, dynamic dancing, and groundbreaking animation, the Queen of Christmas is about to bring a holiday spectacular that will make the whole world merry.

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special will premiere globally on December 4, exclusively at Apple TV+. The soundtrack single and new music video for “Oh Santa!” will also be distributed by Sony Music and released on Apple Music and other streaming platforms on the same day. Other soundtracks will be available exclusively on Apple Music by December 4, and on other platforms by December 11.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions. It’s also available on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com/sg, for S$6.98 per month with a seven-day free trial.

For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device.

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Entertainment

BLACKPINK is new Globe Telecom ambassador

Plus more treats from Globe for the holidays

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BLACKPINK Spotify
Screenshot from BLACKPINK's Lovesick girls M/V

Announced during the Wonderful World of Globe event, K-Pop sensation BLACKPINK is now the newest brand ambassador of Globe Telecom. Specific details of the partnership have yet to be announced. But, we can expect to hear more from Jennie, Rosé, Jisso, and Lisa through Globe in 2021.

Globe also announced a few other things during the Wonderful World of Globe Event.

New data plan Surf4ALL

Surf4All, as Globe explains, is a fully convergent data offer that knows no boundaries across Globe brands. The promo gives users high GBs for all sites and a shareable GB allocation that is seamlessly accessible to up to four (4) users or devices. Now, you can share data with Globe Prepaid, Globe Postpaid, Globe Platinum, Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi, and even TM.

It can be accessed through the GlobeOne app. Currently there are two promos which are both valid for seven (7) days:

  • Surf4ALL99 — 9GB of shareable data
  • Surf4ALL249 — 20GB shared access (15GB + 5GB limited-time bonus data)

PureGo

Globe’s 917Ventures also partnered with supermarket store PureGold to give us PureGo. It’s an online grocery shopping platform that delivers groceries to customers’ doorstep with a next day delivery promise. It supports multiple payment options including GCash.

Globe for Gaming and Entertainment

Globe partnered with Riot Games for special data offers for the mobile game League of Legends: Wild Rift. But it doesn’t stop there. Globe also partnered with Niantic — makers of the once very popular Pokemon Go game. The partnership will explore opportunities in AR and 5G.

Speaking of 5G, Globe is also working with YouTube VR to bring VR experience to more people with the help of 5G connectivity.

On the more mainstream entertainment side of things, Globe also announced closer ties with HBO Go as well Filipino-centric live streaming platform Kumu.

Globe Platinum for gift-giving

In the spirit of the holidays, Globe Platinum has partnered with World Vision to create the #ForFutureHeroes program. It consists of virtual experiences in collaboration with BGC Arts Center, Electric Studio, and others that allow Globe Platinum customers to pursue their passions at home while making an impact on others.

Participation in every activity is matched by Globe Platinum with World Vision school kits filled with DepEd approved learning modules and supplies, so the children of Baseco Compound, Manila can continue their education.

Globe Platinum’s Thank-A-Hero program is also ongoing for the countless frontliners in the country. Apart from sending them treats from Auntie Anne’s, Coco, The Cookie Bar, and JCo Donuts,  Globe Platinum is also preparing a Noche Buena feast for our frontliners, to thank those who will be hard at work all throughout Christmas Eve, keeping Filipinos safe.

Globe at Home also donated modems to DepEd to equip selected public school teachers and ensure that education remains unhampered. The program continues as it now works towards raising funds to provide free WiFi modems for public school students.

For every Globe At Home Prepaid Wifi sold, PhP 100 will be donated to help fund internet connectivity of selected public school students.

Do more with GCash

Since social distancing protocols are still in effect, GCash now has Send Aguinaldo. With it, Ninongs and Ninangs (god parents) can send digital gift envelopes as aguinaldos (tokens/gifts) to their god children. They can even gift insurance thru the app’s GInsure service.

GLife, the newest GCash app feature, likewise, provides more gift and handaan options across different brands and e-commerce platforms, ranging from Lazada, Puregold, DataBlitz, Purego, Boozy, Goldilocks, Goama Games, and more.

GCash is also giving up to PhP 30 million worth of prizes just by using the app. Leading up to a few days to Christmas, consumers can get gifts just by buying load, or using GCredit to pay when they shop on their favorite online platforms. They will also get a chance to win a gift of their choice in the grand raffle.

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Entertainment

Spotify is testing its own Stories feature

Currently in testing

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Every social media platform today is obsessed with the disappearing short-form video. Stemming from TikTok’s success worldwide, everyone is developing or launching a rivaling TikTok feature — or, more subtly, a Stories feature. Even Snapchat, the platform most similar to TikTok already, has recently launched its own format. Now, joining the cast of unlikely TikTok adopters, Spotify is testing its own Stories feature.

Tagging along with its holiday lineup, Spotify has unveiled Instagram-like Stories currently exclusive to its artists. Right now, users can view videos created by artists like Jennifer Lopez and Pentatonix.

At the moment, the feature is only a test. The platform has not confirmed if Spotify Stories (or whatever the final name is) will eventually open up to ordinary users.

For every other user, Spotify can link up with other social media platforms for their Stories features. With its own Stories feature on the horizon, Spotify can cut out the middleman. However, no one knows if users will warm up to Spotify Stories in lieu of their social media platforms.

Besides a Stories feature, Spotify has also developed numerous functionalities throughout the year. Among others, the music streaming platform has introduced couple plans, searching by lyrics, and listening together.

Amid the pandemic, Spotify has risen up as a true performer this year, despite the strangeness of a Stories feature.

SEE ALSO: Spotify is adding a search-by-lyrics function

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