22 Tips on What to Wear For a TV Interview

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Recently one of my author clients was featured on FOX News Boston. Before he was interviewed on camera he was nervous but was able to recall the media training that we put him through a few weeks earlier. That, along with a pep talk, and he was good to go.

What about YOU? Are you ready to be interviewed by local or national TV? If you’ve not had media training, believe me it’s too late once you get the call. You may have to get in a car or on a plane within an hour’s notice. It’s too late to get the training then. That’s why you need to be prepared before you get the call.

My experience as a publicist has convinced me that one of the greatest concerns about being interviewed on television is what to wear. For radio or newspaper interviews, fashion doesn’t matter but how you appear is critical for TV. When my clients agree to media coaching, my first choice for them to work with is TJ Walker, CEO of Media Training Worldwide.

TJ Walker is one of the leading authorities on media training in the world. With more than 20 years of media training experience, Walker has trained thousands of CEOs, authors, and experts, including leading government officials in the United States, European Prime Ministers, and African diplomats.

Here’s a quick list of “What to Wear and Not Wear!” that TJ Walker and other media coaches have developed that I share with you now so you can look terrific for your TV interview.

1. Don’t wear white, black or red. White glows and becomes the most noticeable thing on the TV screen. Black is too harsh and can suck up all the light. Reds “bleed” on camera and are distracting.

2. Pastel shirts work well on TV.

3. The safest color on TV is blue.

4. Don’t wear dangly earrings. They distract.

5. Remove jewelry that moves, makes noise, or could hit your microphone.

6. Be wrinkle-free.

7. Don’t wear stripes, herringbone, small intricate designs, or flashy jewelry. They are hard for a TV camera to pick up on.

8. Don’t wear checks.

9. Dress in a simple, boring manner, unless you are a fashion designer.

10. TV viewers should focus on your face and what you say, not your clothes.

11. Men should have about an inch of their shirt cuff showing.

12. Avoid light colored pants.

13. Wear over-the-calf socks so your skin doesn’t show if you cross your legs.

14. Don’t wear more than one ring per hand.

15. Women shouldn’t wear short skirts if you want people to focus on your message.

16. If you wear a dark shirt, dark suit, and dark tie, you will look like you are auditioning to be a hit man on the “Sopranos.”

17. Vests look stuffy on TV.

18. Don’t wear stripes. They dance around on the screen and are distracting.

19. Avoid hair products that add shine.

20. No visible logos or companies or brands, except for your own company logo.

21. People shouldn’t judge you by your appearance, but they will.

22. If you do or wear anything distracting on TV, people will remember that and nothing you say.

Clothes are the major factor in controlling how you appear to viewers. While appearance is critical for success on television you also must be concerned about the words that come out of your mouth, the knowledge you display, and the self-confidence you demonstrate. Media coaches like TJ Walker and marketing experts like myself will make sure you are fully prepared for your big day!

The bottom line: RELAX, you’ll do fine. The butterflies you’re feeling are what will drive you to do your best! Remember, it’s not like they are going to ask you the square root of 656! They’re asking you about your book, your company, your story which you obviously know. Just follow these helpful tips, talk things over with your publicist and you’ll look as good as you sound.

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All Media Is Fiction

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All media is fiction. Every thing you see, hear and read, in print and on any screen anywhere is a fabrication that has been altered, edited, censored, and pointed towards a preconceived agenda. It is not true, it is not real, it is not the whole story by any stretch of the imagination-which it is, but it’s not really anyone’s imagination either.

It is a corporate product; a mind game conceived of by faceless committees meant to dupe anyone within view or earshot into complacent consumerism. It is calculated manipulation with no genuine content that can remotely be thought of as the truth. It only appears real after it has been focus grouped and cut to fit commercial standards, no matter how amateurish or incompetent the final results appear. It has been approved-and that alone determines it as fake.

From cartoons to pornography, from news to soap operas, to game shows and antacid commercials, it is all contrivance. You will never see anything truthful or even factual in the media. Even the weather is approximate. The weather is taped. File footage is not news. The latest trend is ‘reality’ TV not ‘truthful’ TV. There is no one in the media or Hollywood interested in the truth, regardless of being ‘breaking news’ or ‘based on a true story’. Truth is simply one buzzword among many used to conceal and distort reality.

By its very definition media cannot depict reality because media is not real. At its best it resembles the most pedestrian dinner theater; at its worst, it simply is what it is, a transmitter and signal. It is not a mirror, though it uses mirrors, lenses, cameras, tape, film, lights, overrated actors, make up, under appreciated writers, whatever. The fact is so obvious that making the very point becomes painfully tedious-and moot, since for all of the interactive, real time, ripped from the headlines, video game chat rooms, no one seems to care one bit. The entire investment is in making the delusions of others tangible in one’s own life. One must believe what one is fed through the media, or else…or else what?

Let me give an example. War. War is not real for you and me but it is for the people in a war zone. When we turn off the set or change the channel, all of that suddenly disappears. Reality does not suddenly disappear. If you’re of a certain age you remember what TV looked like before black people existed. If you’re of another age you remember what MTV looked like before black people existed. I suppose if you’re even older you remember what war looked like before black people existed. That was a long time ago, but my point is this; war looks like whatever the media tells you it looks like and that is war. Nowadays war looks like a video game, except, of course, to the people in the war.

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Hospitality IPTV – Adding Interactivity to Hotel TV

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Internet Protocol Television(IPTV) is creating a big impact on the mainstream TV industry. It has much wider applications than just in the entertainment field. In this article we shall take a peek at one such niche IPTV segment – the Hospitality industry, and how it can change the Hotel Guest user experience and benefit Hotel Operators.

Conventional Television systems in most of the hotels around the world offer two major features –

  • Live TV Channels
  • Movies on demand

Background

The features are limited by the coaxial cable TV technology that has been prevalent for the past 30 years. It broadcasts the TV media, meaning pre-scheduled programs are run irrespective of user’s individual preference on a particular channel. The provider offers a set of content and the user can tune to the choice of his/her channel.

Why change to IPTV? Existing analogue cable TV technology has limitations –

  • Poor Quality of TV channels
  • Lack of personalization for guests
  • No support for getting guest’s inputs
  • Limitations of number of TV channels offered
  • Lack of offering convenience to guests
  • No personalization of TV services
  • Inefficient utilization of the audio-visual medium to generate additional revenues

Hotel IPTV Technology

In the past 20 years the Internet has created a big impact in the user habits. Today most Hotels include the “Internet services” as part of their default offerings, though it may come at a small premium price. The Internet has made it possible for users to “search what they want” at the click of a mouse. The free flow of information gives users more choices and it has heightened the expectation levels. The IPTV technology can help Hotel operators to to offer wider options of infotainment and making the services more personalized for their guests.

Highlights

  • IPTV Channels
  • Video on demand (VOD)
  • Time shift TV
  • TV on demand
  • Games
  • Bookmarking
  • Personalized services
  • Infotainment
  • TCommerce – Interactive shopping

Guest Experience

The hotel IPTV system or Interactive TV can change the Guest experience in many ways. The most important areas it can create difference are –

  • Personalization of User Interface based on guest preferences
  • Localised infotainment platform
  • Ability to feedback to Hotel management

Benefits for Hotels

  • Better video and audio quality of the TV content
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Additional revenue sources
  • Tools that Improve quality and efficiency of room services and staff
  • Interactive Advertising platform for Hotel Services

In the next few articles we shall see each of these benefits in detail.

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Latest Trends in Smart TV – Could Apple Win?

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Smart TVs are television sets that can retrieve content from the Internet and offer built-in applications for streaming music and movies, apps for social networking, apps for news, weather, sports, games, YouTube and more. In addition to using apps, one of the most appealing factors for tech-savvy consumers is voice activation technology to control TV sets.

According to DisplaySearch, a leading provider of reliable information about the display-related industries, connected TVs are forecast to grow to over 123 million shipments in 2014 (at a 30% compound annual growth rate). The market is now developing beyond mature regions like Western Europe and Japan. Emerging markets play a major role in this growth. With the improvements in the broadband infrastructure, the adoption of connected TVs is a natural next step in TV feature innovation. Eastern Europe is expected to grow from 2.5 million connected TVs shipped in 2010 to over 10 million in 2014. In addition to that, 33% of flat panel TVs sold in China in 2013 will have the Internet capability.

DisplaySearch also forecasts that the connected TV market will become fragmented and increase in complexity. One group of TV sets is supposed to feature basic video on demand and appeal to consumers who expect television to remain a passive experience. Those who want something more substantial will find interesting other TV sets offering configurable apps, sophisticated search and navigation engines, as well as advanced user interfaces.

The main contemporary connected TV platforms include Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Mitsubishi Stream TV, Panasonic Viera Connect, Sony Bravia, Toshiba NetTV, Apple TV, Google TV, TiVo, Liberty Global’s Horizon and Yahoo! Connected TV. Samsung, with around 20 million apps downloaded by the end of January 2012, is the segment leader, followed by Panasonic and LG.

However, the biggest shake-up in the television industry is going to cause Apple’s much-talked-of TV set. It promises to revolutionize television like once the iPad hit the market. Steve Jobs was quoted in his official biography saying that he “finally cracked the case” of an integrated TV. The new iTV (alleged name) is expected to be completely easy to use, seamlessly synced with other Apple’s devices and with the iCloud. At the moment Apple with its $99 set-top box Apple TV seems to be doing very well, with 2.8 million units sold in 2011.

We are constantly hearing rumors related to the expected Apple’s product, its features, price, and release date. CLSA Group views Apple TV hardware as a 2013 event. According to the estimations of ITG Industry Investment Research, the new iTV set could increase the company’s market cap by 10%, or $60 billion. Apple, already the world’s most valuable company, has recently hit the $600 billion level.

Analyst Peter Misek from Jefferies, a global securities and investment banking group, doesn’t expect the device to be called iTV. He suggests the new television could be called “iPanel” which can reflect its potential as a hub for gaming, media and more. The iPanel name also follows the “iP” format of other Aplle’s products, like the iPod, iPhone and the iPad. However, it is just a guess from the analyst. Misek expects that an Apple television will have a $1,250 average selling price.

The success of Apple’s products, like the iPod, the iPhone, and iPad, are much about the design. The iTV (let’s take this name) is supposed to have superior quality and excellent design. The list of possible features includes the following ones:

  • An aluminum construction;
  • FaceTime video calling;
  • Siri-based remote voice control;
  • 42-inch HD screen;
  • iOS operating system;
  • iCloud support;
  • Control from the iPhone or the iPad;
  • Access to Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, etc. (same as on the existing Apple TV);
  • Content sharing and media streaming from Apple’s devices.

Obviously, we’ll soon witness the appearance of a new smart TV from Apple that is going to bring new changes to the TV market. And, yes, Apple may win!

Industries and Technology Areas:

Industries: mass media, television

Technology Areas: Smart TV, connected TV, Smart TV applications, TV application development, software development

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Civility in the Media

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In my forty years of broadcasting experience, I’ve fielded thousands of questions about my work; topics include covering news, anchoring programs, interviewing world leaders and celebrities, and yes, the glamor and excitement of it all. But I can’t remember anyone-whether on a street, in a classroom, or at a dinner party-ever questioning how news people behaved, or whether that behavior reflects our society.

In my earliest days behind a microphone, I worked at a small radio station while finishing high school. That’s where I began learning the very foundations of journalism-accuracy, truth and fairness. Those principles have always stayed with me, from serving as a news assistant for the legendary Walter Cronkite at CBS to the unique public responsibility of owning a group of radio stations.

From the moment that I walked into that newsroom at WKRO Radio in Boston, I knew I was in a different world-clearly, a strange place where all the stress of society found a home. As a kid from Nashua, New Hampshire, just out of college, I was about to get my first lesson in professional journalism. Newsrooms became my second home, and some of the characters in them were priceless mentors to me.

TV News & Decreasing Standards of Civility

The newsrooms where I have worked, for the most part, did not fit common definitions of civility. They’re generally loud, peppered with colorful language, and rarely well-organized; most are littered with used coffee cups, pizza boxes, and newspapers. It’s always been a wonder to me that somehow, this environment manages to lead to creativity and responsibility in communicating with a mass audience.

What a rich heritage we have in broadcasting, from Edward R. Murrow and Peter Jennings to Walter Cronkite, once voted the most trusted man in America. Remember Chet Huntley and David Brinkley? It was nice to hear them say, “goodnight, Chet,” and “goodnight, David.” They were our heroes, and we stand on their shoulders.

There were also rules in the early days of broadcasting – unwritten for the most part – that reflected the kind of society we were, and the standards we respected. To me, history and tradition are marvelous teachers. I wish young people heading into our business would spend as much time studying the events and personalities of the past as they do on technology and social media.

Why We Should Be Careful On Air

When we hit the air and go into millions of homes, it has to be with respect for those who watch and listen. We should be careful not to offend in any way and always aware of the trust placed in us. At times, however, politeness bumps up against the demands of reporting and the urgency to get the facts ahead of everyone else.

We all have seen instances where a reporter will stick a microphone in the face of a person in anguish who has just lost a friend or relative, to ask questions that violate their privacy and make viewers squirm. How can we balance civility and privacy with the aggressiveness of a reporter and the immediacy of television?

Sometimes, Attempts to be Civil Do Not Work

And yet, there are times when an attempt at civility doesn’t work at all on the air. A number of years ago, we began introducing reporters live at the scene of a story by saying, “good evening,” and they would reply the same. It was a nice touch, a display of politeness between the anchor and reporter. But you can imagine how awkward that is when the story is a fire, a murder, or any event that’s anything *but *good.

The same standards of civility don’t apply to every situation. While I believe positive stories should have a bigger presence on our screens and in our lives, it’s impossible to avoid tragic events altogether. When we do need to report on something that has disastrous repercussions for other living, breathing human beings, we must practice sensitivity. We must assume that a missing woman’s family is hearing our every word, or that our reports are being broadcast straight to the town affected by a natural disaster. When we cover a newsworthy event with many casualties, we should think less about the salacious details and more about the victims, who deserve our respect and whose loved ones need us to tell the truth, not to sensationalize or speculate or glorify.

Historic Events that Shifted the Tide

On the air, Edward R. Murrow often referred to members of his reporting staff as “Mister Collingwood” or “Mister Severeid.” This was civility with a touch of dignity. And there was more. For example, it was unthinkable for a journalist to interrupt a president while speaking. At that time it was considered rude, uncivil.

The media aside, other things were different too. Men tipped their hats to women; kids obeyed their parents and cops on the street. For our purposes, it would be foolish to attempt to pinpoint a time when the country changed. Historians might say we lurched from one traumatic event to another.

In television terms, it was the equivalent of a sharp, jolting cut from the Kennedy presidency to the years of civil rights demonstrations, from the murders of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. to protests against the Vietnam War.

As these stories of anger and bloodshed were brought into America’s living rooms, lives were being turned upside down across the country. The civility we once had-however minute-was lost as a generation embraced a new culture on the streets and campuses, reflecting the turbulence of the era.

About that same time in broadcasting, the peacefulness of Sunday morning- usually reserved for religious broadcasts-slowly disappeared. Some may still remember “The Eternal Light”, “Lamp Unto My Feet”, and other award-winning broadcasts. Now, of course, we have non-stop political shouting programs and other talk shows on the networks and on cable. The programming has changed.

And through the years-through tough economic times, wars, national upheavals, and natural disasters-Americans have suffered, but we’ve always bounced back. So, as the pendulum of our lives went from one extreme to another, so did our civility.

The State of Media Today

It is easy to paint a negative picture of civil life right now. Gridlock in Washington, guns on the streets, terrorism, unemployment, and foreclosures are just a few of the challenges we face as a nation. And we’ve managed to keep some degree of civility, but we can do better.

In order to consider the overall picture of civility in today’s media, it’s inevitable that we’ll have to spend a few minutes on reality shows, as well as the unrelenting bombardment of instant information and entertainment from cable TV and the Internet.

From the Kardashians to Jersey Shore, when we turn on the TV, our children are mesmerized by lifestyles that encourage drinking, bad behavior, unhealthy habits and a lack of respect for family values. And that’s just early in the day. Evening programming, aimed at a more mature age group, brings us such “memorable” shows as the Real Housewives installments, Mob Wives, Dance Moms, Repo Men, and Bridezillas, all of which encourage conflict, drama, disrespect, and even crime. And then there are channels devoted to just about any kind of hobby or strange occupation.

Then there’s YouTube, an outlet for video from the sublime to the ridiculous. It’s always on, and there are always people watching from every part of the world. Unfortunately, I must add, too many of the videos on YouTube also find their way onto news programs, just because of how bizarre-and usually uncivil-they are.

Well, like anything, there’s good and bad. Cable and satellite technology do have a positive side. There are many quality channels that are educational and carry excellent, inspirational programs. We also have channels that provide community access and allow us to watch local government in action.

At home, we are taught at an early age how to behave in speech and in manners. But media and technology have changed our culture. The violence we see in movies has be
en carried out inside movie theaters too, hit music fills the radio waves with demeaning lyrics, tabloid magazines and TV devote more time to celebrities’ bizarre choices, and all of this contributes in some way to a breakdown in society.

And now, another factor has become part of the equation. A survey of 1,000 American adults, taken by the public relations firm Weber Shandwick, found the level of civility has suffered further because of our country’s ongoing financial troubles. 49% of those questioned consider American CEOs uncivil. Given the Madoff scandal and the low level of trust in Wall Street, they certainly have a point. At the same time, the survey showed 81% of Americans hold the news media responsible for improving the way we treat each other. And so, in these early years of the 21st century, we are faced with a serious challenge.

Civility & Truth

Now, a few words about the blogosphere and social media. As someone who has spent his entire life in journalism, I strongly defend freedom of speech. But I believe that civility and truth go hand in hand. So at this point, I want to raise a red flag. When it comes to news, the key question is: what’s your source? Who *told *you this information? If the reply is a common one-“I saw it online”-then beware. The Internet is not necessarily the ultimate source for truth.

And with the incredible speed and universal access of social media sites such as Twitter, news reporters have to be more careful than ever to sort out the truth, to get to the facts. More often these days, civility and truth disappear when the Internet is used as a playground for rumor mongers, hateful bloggers, and cyber-bullies. We’ve all witnessed the dangers attached to social media, mainly the horror of teenagers committing suicide because of cyber-bullying that followed them home on their smartphones and laptops.

A survey conducted by Consumer Reports last year showed that 1 million American children were harassed, threatened, or targeted by hurtful comments and rumors. Teenage girls were more likely than boys to suffer this unimaginable experience. Social media is relatively young and has a role to play in society, but it has shown that it must be watched carefully. Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker put it this way: “The greatest threat to civility is the pandering to ignorance, the elevation of nonsense and the distribution of false information.”

Ernie and the Big Newz: the Book’s Message

We must find ways to turn down the volume of our national discourse and stop rewarding bad behavior, especially that of celebrities who fail as role models for our children. Those of us in the media-especially in the news business-have an obligation to society to clear the air. Adults want that. Even kids look for it.

I regularly speak at local schools, and while the feedback and reaction is terrific, it is also eye-opening. Many young children tell me that they feel the only way they can become part of a news broadcast is to do something wrong, something bad.

It is really no surprise, because it’s what they see when they watch the news. We mostly reward bad behavior. I believe that kind of thinking has to stop. I am deeply concerned about the unfortunate news events we cannot control and must report, which impacts everyone, especially children.

So in response to hundreds of comments from adults and young people about the shortage of positive news stories, I wrote an upbeat children’s book called Ernie and the Big Newz: the Adventures of a TV Reporter. The book is about making career choices and believing in yourself, and it’s filled with news stories that all have positive endings.

My respected fellow colleagues and I know it’s a tough job covering a very fast moving and traumatic world. Today, my message is clear: not all news is negative, and living by the golden rule is not old-fashioned.

When it comes to civility in society, and particularly in the media, I’m uneasy about the kind of world we will leave our children. Are we on the wrong path when it comes to civility in the media? From what I’ve heard and seen, the answer is yes.

Well, then, can we turn things around and improve the situation? Again, the answer is yes. So, what do we need to do?

Steps We Can Take to Make a Difference

In this media-driven society, we have to take the lead by producing more high-quality local programs. And we have to exercise good editorial judgment when it comes to news stories for our daily broadcasts.

How many times have you tuned into a broadcast that started immediately with crime? A child was shot, or a teenager’s bright future was canceled by drugs, or an elderly person was mugged. The old tabloid saying goes, “if it bleeds, it leads.” In my opinion, that’s the wrong approach. It exists only because there’s a long-held belief in our industry that it will increase ratings-but many of us believe it doesn’t work anymore.

After anchoring close to 15,000 newscasts, I’ve come to the conclusion – people want information that impacts *their *lives. Is my job in jeopardy? Are food prices going up? Are my children healthy? Are the schools safe? The audience is changing because their world is changing, and we must change with it. That’s something we can do.

Throughout my career, I’ve also played the role of a TV news anchor in a few Hollywood movies. So a few words are in order about the big studios and production companies. With all the glitz and glamor of the silver screen, we’re still getting more than our share of films that can leave moviegoers with the wrong ideas.

After that horrible mass-shooting in Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, studio giant Harvey Weinstein of Miramax called for a summit meeting of producers to discuss movie content. We thank him for that; I fully support this kind of discussion, and hopefully, action.

On a grassroots level, I urge educators throughout the country to recognize the importance of this issue. For example, schools could require students to take a course in media studies, to better understand our culture and choose wisely. They could include social media etiquette and media exploitation in their studies of ethics and manners.

I don’t want this to become a one-person crusade. So I’m respectfully asking my colleagues in TV news, at local stations everywhere, to join me. Together we can make this a national effort to improve the balance of positive stories on TV.

My personal efforts go one step further. I have recently created a new series of TV specials called “Positively Ernie.” We feature refreshing segments on health, education, philanthropy, technology, media, and a wide range of subjects that are making our community, our country, and even the world, a better place. The feedback has been great.

Finally, we must start at home by focusing on family life. Communication is at the center, and we need to talk with our children – and really listen to them in return. We also have to connect and strengthen ties with many reputable organizations to do whatever we can to help parents guide children in their use of the internet, social media, and TV. Kids are growing up in a much different culture than their parents did, and it’s our responsibility to bring parents up to date, so that they have some context in which to understand, relate, and make a difference.

But make no mistake. We have a long way to go. It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. However, I’m confident that by working together, we can successfully spread the message that civility is the foundation of our lives-and of our media as well.

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PC Satellite TV – Expanding Your Media Center PC

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With the arrival of media center PC’s, PC Satellite TV cards have become more popular. With a media center PC, you don’t have to spend a lot of money as you would with desktop components. You can have an affordable DVD player, surround sound system, and have the ability to play a wide range of audio and video formats. Here’s a few great things about integrating satellite TV with your personal computer:

o You can receive digital satellite programming for free

o You can have a free digital video recorder (DVR)

o PC satellite TV systems are highly affordable

Receive Satellite Channels For Free

Don’t get too anxious about this. When I mentioned free, I’m not talking about satellite TV piracy. Just like there is free local television, you can receive free digital satellite channels as well. This is called Free-to-Air (FTA) satellite programming. These channels are not encrypted and you’re free to legally view them without paying any monthly fees.

Record Digital Video On Your PC

Most satellite TV cards have the functionality and software to record programs that you receive. You can either record live shows, or schedule your DVR to record at times and dates that you specify. You also have the capability to time-shift. So if you had to take a small break in the middle of a live show, you could come back, rewind, and start from where you left off. Unlike popular DVR’s on the market, you don’t have to pay any monthly fees.

Highly Affordable Digital Television

If you consider not having to pay any monthly satellite or DVR fees, you can see that you’ll be saving a lot of money. The only thing that you’re required to pay for is the satellite dish, PC satellite TV card, and any installation fees. You can save more money if you decide to install the equipment yourself.

Even though all of this might seem too good to be true, please keep in mind that all of this is free programming. It isn’t comparable to premium channels that you could receive through DirecTV or Dish Network. However, there are hundreds of Free-to-Air channels that you can receive. If you’re not too much of a TV-holic, you might want to learn more about Free-to-Air television a bit more.

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Why Should You Choose Virgin Media?

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It’s a great time to be a TV viewer in the United Kingdom. Between Freeview (not to mention it’s + and HD variants), BT, YouView, Sky, EE TV, and NOW TV, there are more than enough options to keep you entertained from the comfort of your own home. There is, however, one final option that I didn’t include earlier, and that’s Virgin Media.

As the second biggest pay TV operator in the UK, it’s tasked with keeping Sky on their toes and improving their service to the point where Sky are no longer the first choice for those looking to get great entertainment in their home. It’s not just TV that these two companies offer, either, because both also supply broadband and home telephony. Put simply, they’re quite similar, so why should you choose Virgin Media?

Let’s begin with their TV offering. Virgin Media’s TV is powered by TiVo, a Sky+ like box which allows you to record and manipulate live TV from the comfort of your sofa. Packing a 500GB hard drive (enough for 500 hours of TV) and three tuners, it allows for neat tricks like recording three programmes simultaneously whilst watching a fourth that you recorded earlier. It’s also got some features that simply can’t be found on Sky’s service, like built in Netflix, YouTube and iPlayer, not to mention a dedicated 10Mbps internet connection, so your normal Internet isn’t slowed by your TV viewing.

Through that box, you can get access to over 230 channels, 47 HD channels, 12 Sky only channels and even some programming in 3D. There are five packages to choose from, going from the basic ‘More TV’ package with 70 channels all the way to the fully loaded ‘TV XL’ which also features BT Sport HD. Even better, you can take Sky Sports and Sky Movies on your Virgin Media subscription too, so you won’t feel the sting of not being with Sky. Indeed, the only channel you do stand to lose by switching to Virgin Media is Sky Atlantic, which is home to the likes of Game of Thrones, The Last Panthers and more. However, if the thought of losing out on that is too much, you could always sign up to NOW TV.

Moving on to Virgin Media’s broadband offering, we can truly begin to see the light between the two companies. Put simply, Virgin Media have the best broadband offering in the entire country, with even their most basic offering beating Sky’s most expensive deal hands down. From their Super 50 Fibre with 50Mbps broadband to their VIVID 200 Fibre with 200Mbps broadband, the company offer lightning fast and stable broadband to huge swathes of the country. They also never throttle or cap your broadband usage, so you can stream as much 4K Netflix as your heart desires without fear of bumping up against arbitrary limitations.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to sign up with Virgin Media though is their quad play deals. Because Virgin Media offer TV, broadband, home phone and mobile telephone contracts, they’re the preferred destination for millions of Brits who don’t want to spend their life dealing with bills from different companies. Those quad play deals are also some of the cheapest around, making them a highly attractive proposition for pretty much anyone, as long as they aren’t part way through a contract with another company.

Virgin Media, then, offer a TV package that’s comparable to the one offered by Sky, broadband that blows everyone else out of the water and quad play deals that no other company can match. So, what are you waiting for?

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Lessons Learned From A TV Appearance

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Since launching my first book Apprentice to Business ACE, I have been consistently profiled in the media. It’s been a fantastic vehicle to raise my profile, enhance my credibility and build my brand. Just recently I was invited on to Sky Business News and had the opportunity to answer viewer’s questions on branding and PR for small business. So I would like to share some lessons I learned from my TV appearance.

You Know Your stuff

TV hosts and producers don’t want to give you too much information about the questions. Why? Because they don’t want you to sound stilted and rehearsed when you give answers. You are generally there because you are the expert (or say you are) on that particular subject and because you do know your subject better than anyone else you will be able to answer questions spontaneously.

But you should think about some possible questions they may ask and prepare answers beforehand. Ask your partner or a friend to ask you a few questions and have a rehearsal ‘ practice. You can find out what angle are they taking? What are they expecting from you ‘ what are the question areas?

Research

Watch the program beforehand to get a feel for the type of show it is if you can. At least look up the website and perhaps view a video clip or listen to a podcast. Find out as much as you can about the program on which you’re being asked to appear ‘ is it live or pre-recorded? Is the audience completely general, or is it targeted at housewives or business people? Think about the points you could make which are most interesting, useful and relevant to that particular audience.

Arrive early so you can meet and chat with other guests, hosts, producers to feel a bit more comfortable and familiarise yourself with the surroundings.

Get to the Point

Do try and get to the main point of your answer quickly without wafting on. A short, sharp, interesting point works best in the media especially for television and will be easier for viewers to remember. If you don’t give enough information the interviewer will simply ask a follow-up question.

If you have something to promote (such as a book) keep it in mind and look for an opportunity to get your point across. All well and good being great media “talent” but you could use the opportunity to at least promote your business name. Try and be in control and use every opportunity to get your message across.

Have Something to Say

Be aware of the latest news, gossip or current affairs stories particularly that relate to your topic. Read the papers, listen to radio and be as informed as you can because you never know what might come up during the interview. If there are controversial issues in your area of expertise, work out where you stand, and what you should say. It is better to respond rather than say “no comment”. Don’t be afraid to put your point of view across. If you don’t know the answer, say so.

Make It Interesting and Descriptive

Make your answers more memorable by using real stories and descriptive words. Cut through the clutter with words that paint a picture in the mind of the listener. As an example in a radio interview I did, I told a story about a young journalist interviewing a well know media personality and used the word “hyper-bowl”, the media identity kindly corrected her and said the word is pronounced “hyper-bo-lee”. We made it a fun, interesting reference to the issue being discussed.

Friendly and Attentive

Remember that what you’re really doing is having a conversation. Listen to the interviewer’s questions. The host will appreciate your attentiveness. Use the interviewer’s name to make it more personable when answering questions.

If you’re doing an interview face-to-face use eye contact and try and interest the interviewer in what you’re talking about rather than thinking ‘ do I sound OK ‘ do I look alright on TV. If your eyes flicker around during a TV interview, you look uncomfortable, and possibly a bit shifty. If you keep your eye-line focused on the interviewer, you will come over as being in command of your subject. Just try and relax and take your time. And remember to smile, you will look and sound a lot friendlier.

Animation and Gestures

Be bright and buoyant in your answers. You need to be slightly more animated and larger than life. Pep up your delivery so that it is energetic and enthusiastic, rather than dull and low-key. Television is entertainment after all and broadcasting is a performance! The more engaging you appear the more interested and involved the audience will feel. It’s perfectly okay to move, rather than sitting stiffly and looking unnatural. Just be aware of exaggerated movements or unconscious movements such as flicking your hair or tapping your fingers. If you always ‘talk’ with your hands, like I do, that’s okay; just don’t over do it. Also be aware of knocking your microphone, movement or other sounds that may interfere. Look & Sound Good

Always take time to warm up your voice. You will come across as more articulate and authoritative. It will help prevent a “frog in the throat” during the interview. Sip room temperature water before and during the interview. Never drink anything too hot or cold and nothing with milk in it otherwise you’ll be constantly clearing your throat.

Dress well and look your best.

Take your cue from the presenters on the show you’re appearing on. Perhaps it’s business casual for a morning show or more business corporate for a news show. Wear make-up. OK guys maybe just a touch of powder to eliminate shine.

If you stumble, or slip-up, or use the wrong persons name like I did during my interview, just forget about it and move on. Even top TV presenters make mistakes.

Did I manage all of the above in my interview? Probably not. But the key is to relax and enjoy the interview as much as possible ‘ after all it is your opportunity to promote your business, product or service and hopefully raise your profile and profits.

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How to Set Up the Multi-Media TV

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This article will explain how to connect your PC to a Big Screen TV, and experience the ultimate in HD picture and HD sound, using the existing PC outputs. The set up is actually very simple, and will most likely only require an additional minimal purchase of an HDMI cable to connect the PC to the TV. The HDMI (High Definition Modular Interface) cable will carry both HD sound and picture to your TV.

Before you begin, you will need to verify that the Motherboard on your PC has an outlet to plug in a second display. Most of the newer motherboards contain both VGA and HDMI outputs on the same board. You will also need to verify that your TV has an HDMI input.

To complete the installation, first install (1) end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI output on the back of the PC. Plug the other end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI Input on the big screen TV. Then, configure your PC for using dual monitors. To configure your PC using the MS -Vista O.S., Click on the Vista Start Logo, Click on Control Panel. Click on Personalization, Click on Adjust screen resolution. You should now see the Display Settings window with the existing computer monitor (labeled 1), and a second smaller monitor (labeled 2).

Located immediately below the monitor icons, you will see the drop-down selector box with both monitors listed. By default the number (2) monitor will be the Big Screen TV. Immediately below the selector, check the (2) boxes, This is my main monitor, and extend the desktop on to this monitor. Click OK and Close the window.

Now for an example, resize your I.E. browser window, so it is about half the size of your computer screen. Grab the top of the browser window, and drag it over to the other monitor. After dragging the window, you should now see the I.E. browser window open on your other screen(TV). Now the fun part! Go to one the new free movie sites like Hulu, and now you can watch the show on your big screen TV courtesy of your PC.

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Online TV – How Does Online TV Work?

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Everyone loves TV right? Things have certainly come a lot in leaps and bounds since the old TV was invented.

Why not watch TV online? Not just TV from your area, not even regular cable TV, but be able to get TV from all over the world. Think about being able to use the power of the internet and have 2000, 3000 or even over 4,000 channels straight to your computer at home or even work.

Well that’s what is happening today. Online TV works like regular old TV. Broadcasters for regular TV put out their signal and your antenna at home picks up the signal and there you have it, you have TV ( that was a very simple version ). Well online TV works the same way. There are so many channels from around the world and all these companies are realizing that the internet is where they need to put their product.

The power of broadband and some nifty software can enable people like your self to be able to watch your favorite sports events live ( and not pay for pay per view ) you can also watch all your favorite movies & TV shows and basically keep up to date with anything that is going on in the world.

To recap, online TV works pretty much the same way as normal TV does. Broadcasters are now using the internet as another way to broadcast their channels, and for us it is a great opportunity to take advantage of. Really the software that has been made to put all these channels together in one place is what really make online TV work well.

As internet connections get faster and, eventually you will see a PC hooked up to the family flat screen and everyone watching online TV.

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