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.
Plunge into a dark world in Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness
A thriller series based on Capcom’s beloved franchise
Resident Evil proved to be one of the most popular game franchises of all time, spanning different console generations. For over 25 years, Capcom produced some of the most jaw-dropping, horrifying game releases that shake people to their core. Just last May, they released Resident Evil: Village to a fanfare of everybody simping for Lady Dimitrescu.
Apart from the games, Resident Evil also received several television and movie adaptations, bringing the same horror to the big screen. From live-action movies to animated TV series, these provide a good amount of fan service to long-time fans of the games. For 2021, Capcom has a new series that I believe fans will also appreciate upon release in RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness.
A series of unfortunate events
The world of RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness still revolves around the whole zombie encounter-theme the games follow, but on a rather global scale. In the year 2000, U.S. special forces were sent to intervene in the ongoing civil war in the region of Penamstan. However, tragedy struck when the helicopter fell from the sky, and the special forces were annihilated. At least, that’s what they believe happened.
Fast forward to 2006, back in the United States, a hacking incident occurs within the White House. To avert more disaster, the government invited four agents to investigate but were met with strange circumstances. As it turns out, a horde of zombies infiltrates the building and the agents, along with the U.S. S.W.A.T. team, fight them off.
It’s an anime series that tackles a ton of mystery about the events of the past, and how they catch up in present time. In essence, the agents seek to unravel what truly happened that day in 2000, and how they could avert another disaster from happening.
A familiar face returns to the scene
Remember how I mentioned that there are four agents assigned to the investigation? Well, one of them is Leon S. Kennedy, one of the main playable characters in Resident Evil 2. In this series, he looks a bit older and wears a more formal attire than a police uniform. In an interview with Director Eiichiro Hasumi, he explained to me why they picked him in the first place.
According to him, Leon’s character provides a “lot of freedom to move around” in terms of the storytelling aspect. Compared to someone like Chris Redfield, for example, Leon’s character doesn’t necessarily tie him down to any specific roles or places in the story.
As seen in his character design, Leon looks a bit more tired — as if the youth in his aura was sucked out of him. Director Eiichiro notes that he is “in a slightly bitter position” compared to his younger self. How exactly will this version of Leon deal with the crisis of Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness? We’ll find out soon enough.
Managing your expectations a bit
So, what can you expect from RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness when it comes? For starters, it’s a fully animated TV series that Director Eiichiro hopes would be easily digestible for everyone. It’s a series that reveals everything slowly, and eases you in on what’s happening with every bit of new information.
Secondly, while I’ve already mentioned Leon’s presence, you will also see Claire Redfield, another protagonist from Resident Evil 2. In the series, she serves as a volunteer for TerraSave based in Penamstan, and even does her own set of investigations. Where these investigations will take her, you’ll have to find out on your own!
Finally, there will be zombies and zombie killing, like a lot of it. I mean, it’s par for the course for the games to have zombie killing, so the anime series should include it. As for the zombies they will be killing, again, you have to watch the series to find out.
RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness will arrive on Netflix on July 8, 2021.
Smart brings 25 K-Pop acts closer to the Philippines with KCON:TACT 4U
+1 J-Pop group to complete the lineup
Some people behind the GadgetMatch team (including me) are total fans of K-Pop. With this in mind, we’re here to give you the best news for any K-Pop fan out there!
Smart Communications Inc. is bringing back the most-awaited K-Event of the year. Lo and behold, the KCON:TACT 4U virtual festival that will be held from June 19 (Saturday) to June 27 (Sunday). All you have to do is to access gigafest.smart every 8PM (Philippine time) to access the online concert. For the best streaming experience, just register to Double GIGA Video on the GigaLife App.
There aren’t just one, two, not even just ten K-Pop acts. There are a total of 25 K-Pop acts ranging from female and male groups, plus one J-Pop boy group to make it a whole lot fun, sizzling, and entertaining. Here are all the acts you should watch out! (in no particular order).
LOONA is gearing up for their latest comeback with the album ‘[&]‘. Orbits shouldn’t feel too excited about “Paint The Town” as the song wouldn’t be released within the whole duration of the virtual festival. Instead, expect them to perform their latest hits ‘“Why Not” and ‘“Star” (or “Voice”, its Korean track counterpart).
You’ll go head over heels with fromis_9‘s visuals and vocals — especially with their latest summer bop “WE GO”. This is one of (if not) the best 2021 summer releases out there.
OH MY GIRL
Another summer hit pop track in the list is OH MY GIRL’s “Dun Dun Dance” that will surely make you dance all day and all night long with its catchy tune and soothing vocals of each member.
EVERGLOW is also one of the latest girl groups to release a fresh new track last month. While it’s not as refreshing as other tracks, “FIRST” will totally make your heads and ears flip because of how powerful it is.
Speaking of powerful, ITZY’s “M.A.F.I.A. In the morning” is one of the most streamed K-Pop tracks around. With thousands of MIDZYs in the Philippines, expect them to populate the viewer count once the virtual festival starts.
Weeekly is currently one of the most popular new generation of female idols. With the ever increasing attention among the girls and their 2021 hit track “After School” plus the release of their latest collaborative track “7 Days Tension”, these cute yet refreshing bops would definitely make a lot of fans sing along and giggle with their cuteness!
Weki Meki is one of the most underrated girl groups out there that you should definitely check out. “COOL” may not be their latest track this 2021 but it’s totally catchy alongside their other releases such as “OOPSY” and “DAZZLE DAZZLE”.
Just like LOONA, SEVENTEEN is one among the K-Pop acts in the lineup that’s also gearing up for their comeback. While “Ready To Love” isn’t confirmed to be in the performance list, “HOME;RUN” should definitely be performed by these 13 amazing boys.
Stray Kids (SKZ)
Stray Kids (also known as “SKZ”) are TWICE and ITZY’s brothers! Not to confuse you with the K-Drama, but they recently won the survival show Kingdom. Expect them to perform hit tracks such as “Back Door” and more.
THE BOYZ (TBZ)
Another group in the list that participated in the survival show Kingdom was THE BOYZ (or TBZ). Recently, their song “The Stealer” is gaining rounds online — and that song should definitely be performed in this virtual festival.
Dubbed as FNC Entertainment’s “First Boy Dance Group”, SF9 will surely make a lot of FANTASYs swoon. Even non-fans would surely drool over them.
After so many years of dispute between Mnet and YG Entertainment, iKON is ready to amaze iKONICs with their amazing performances. They’re also one among the competitors in Kingdom. And yes, they’re BLACKPINK’s older brother group — and Lisa performed with them during their “Classy Savage” sing and dance craze. “Love Scenario” in 2021, anyone?
Another Kingdom competitor is none other than BTOB. Known for their angelic voices, they surely threw a punch in the survival show — even if they’re the oldest competing group out of the bunch. After years of hiatus, they’re finally back on track. Coincidence or not, they’re sub-unit BTOB 4U will make your eyes bawl with “Show Your Love”.
BTOB’s younger group, PENTAGON is also set to perform in this year’s KCON:TACT. Other than their latest track “DO or NOT”, they’re also popular for their hit song “Shine”.
If you’re one among the veteran K-Pop fans like I am, you’d know that CNBLUE is one among the classic boy bands out there. Known for their great vocals and musical instrument skills, you’d be delighted to see them again after years of hiatus. Who knows, they might perform their classic hits this 2021?
Other than CNBLUE, HIGHLIGHT is also one of the classic K-Pop groups in this list. TL:DR, they originally came from Cube Entertainment (yes, the sole agency of BTOB and PENTAGON) under the name BEAST. If it rings any bell, they’re that boy group who made a lot of fans cheer and roar for years. Their latest track surely proves it’s “Not The End” of their journey together.
From the same company as Weki Meki and other prominent actors in South Korea, ASTRO surely knows how to act hot and cool while singing and dancing in their latest track “One”. And for all Cha Eunwoo supremacists out there, you should know by now that he belongs to this group.
If you weren’t aware, this group comes from the same label as MAMAMOO and their latest group PURPLE KISS. While both weren’t included in this year’s KCON:TACT lineup, ONEUS will make viewers dance such to a groovy and psychedelic track.
ONF (pronounced as On and Off) is OH MY GIRL’s younger brother group! Not sure if “Dun Dun Dance” and “Ugly Dance” were both coincidental with their “dance” naming scheme, but this crazy awesome Cyberpunk-ish concept has continued from their last release “Beautiful Beautiful”.
Home of INFINITE, Lovelyz, ROCKET PUNCH, and DRIPPIN, Golden Child is one of the underrated groups that need to be recognized for their talent. While completely going with their concept, they still try other concepts that surely suit their group image — and “Breathe” is one of those tracks that deserve more recognition.
This 4-year-old group is also set to step their foot on KCON:TACT 4U. Among other acts in the list, A.C.E is also preparing for their upcoming comeback with the title track “Higher”. But don’t expect too much and just enjoy their latest released track, “Down” for now.
The third group from FNC Entertainment in this list alongside CNBLUE and SF9 is none other than P1Harmony. Their ultra-catchy hip-popping track “Scared” makes them look and sound distinct from their brother groups.
“Get Away” is just three months old, but Filipino VERRERs would actually want to hear this charismatic and sexy track live — even if it means of just watching it virtually this pandemic.
‘TO1’ was rebranded from ‘TOO’ and their latest comeback song surely proves how powerful they are as a group. TL:DR, they were also formed in a survival show called ‘To Be World Klass”.
A group composed of popular members from the survival shows “MIXNINE” and “PRODUCE X 101”, GHOST9’s set to have a “cinematic live” segment instead of a live performance during this year’s festival. It might be their latest track “Up All Night” that will surely make you up all night.
Ha Sung Woon
Haneuls would definitely stay online to watch Ha Sungwoon’s latest track ‘Sneakers’ especially with its refreshing summer song. If you’re still unaware, he’s one of the original members of WANNA ONE, a project group formed from the PRODUCE survival show series.
The only J-Pop act in the roster
They’re the only J-Pop act in the lineup. Also, they’re the only active group from the PRODUCE series franchise.
Not to be confused with the group ‘TO1’, JO1 hopes to be one of the most sought after J-Pop acts with amazing vocals and visuals on the line. Watching and listening to “Born To Be Wild” further proves that.
Here’s the full schedule lineup if you want to catch your faves!
Rocksmith+: Learn how to play guitar easily
With a massive song library, progress checks, and real-time feedback
I have an acoustic guitar at home, yet I’ve never really taken the time to learn it. In my younger years, I watched YouTube videos and still couldn’t place my fingers properly to strum a chord. Now, I’m pretty sure a lot of other people feel the same way, and you’re looking for easier ways to learn. Fear not, Ubisoft is here with its new music-learning service, Rocksmith+.
Announced during the company’s E3 2021 presentation, Rocksmith+ takes its roots from the 2011 music video game, Rocksmith. Essentially, this subscription service allows you to learn and play chord charts and arrangements of a wide variety of songs. Unlike the 2011 video game, Rocksmith+ has a music library that isn’t limited to just rock music.
Another great feature this service will bring is real-time feedback and progress tracking, especially for beginners. If you download the service’s companion mobile app, it will pick up any guitar you’re playing on through your phone’s microphone. This way, Rocksmith+ will keep track of the chords you know and even show you where to place your fingers for other chords.
Rocksmith+ will be available through Ubisoft Connect for the PC, Android, and iOS, and you can sign up for a closed PC beta starting today until July 22. It will also be available for both the current and next-gen consoles.
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