Taxpayers with simple returns have had lots of choices when it comes to preparing and filing their taxes online, including free options. But you get what you pay for, generally speaking, and those whose taxes require a bit more work have been forced into more-traditional (and expensive) options such as a visit to the offices of a professional tax preparation service or expensive, complex tax software that sometimes still involves CPAs and service fees. H&R Block's online service, H&R Block At Home, offers several options for taxpayers, including a free service. The Deluxe service costs $… Read more
With so many online tax services, it's hard to know which one to trust to file your federal or state taxes. For those who want a familiar name, H&R Block has been preparing federal and state taxes for clients for decades, so it didn't start from scratch when it launched an online tax service, H&R Block At Home. As with Block's traditional service, it offers different levels of service for different needs. H&R Block At Home Basic costs just under $20, so it's near the low end of fee-based online … Read more
The real audio power comes from the low end, the bass. When you feel the rumble in your chest, that's bass.
Most of us want this at home, but with myriad subwoofers out there -- and even more specs and sizes -- what's the best choice? Though the simple "the biggest, most powerful you can afford" is easy to say, the correct answer is little more complex.… Read more
A common complaint I get via e-mail or in comments on other articles involves a picture that breaks up into what look like little blocks.
Often, people incorrectly refer to these as "pixels," or blame their TV settings.
In fact, this artifact is in the source, and unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it.… Read more
All so-called LED TVs are really just LCD TVs that use LEDs for their backlight. This backlight creates the light that allows the LCD to create an image. However, there are multiple ways these LED backlights can be arranged, and that arrangement can have a dramatic effect on picture quality.
So here's your guide to all the different versions, with some funky illustrations, too.… Read more
Every year AV receiver manufacturers tend to add one marquee feature to their product lines, and this year it looks like it's MHL.
Yamaha's new 2013 line of AV receivers consists of four networked models, plus the entry-level RX-V375, with the biggest change being that the four higher-end models each includes one MHL-compatible HDMI input. The RX-V775WA and RX-V675 have their MHL port on the front -- convenient for connecting a compatible smartphone -- and the RX-V575 and RX-V475 have their MHL port on the back, which is better for connecting a Roku Streaming Stick out of sight.… Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Announced on Saturday at Mobile World Congress, the Samsung HomeSync is a home theater media hub that aims to inject a little Android OS into your TV via your Galaxy handset. Slated for April, the device can stream videos, games, and other media from your Galaxy phone to your big-screen TV through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Think of it as an Apple TV for the Samsung faithful.
Design The Samsung HomeSync is packaged in a minimalistic glossy black box, and it's about the size of three DVD cases stacked on top of one another. When placed on a flat … Read more
Choosing a sound bar largely comes down to sound quality and design, with features being far less important than when evaluating other products. That's what makes the Toshiba SBX4250 ($270 street) a bit of a hard sell: it sounds and looks just about average, but has a great feature set. There's built-in Bluetooth, for wireless audio streaming from most smartphones and tablets, plus it has a ton of inputs, with two HDMI, two optical, an analog, and a minijack. And although the sound bar itself is visually lackluster, the included remote is nicely designed.
The question is whether … Read more