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  • Global Electronics for International Use: What You Need to Know

    global electronics for international useAll electronics are not created equal. In fact, around the world - even if you purchase the same brand and model - there are various differences in both construction and performance. Not always visible to the naked eye, these differences can make or break your ability to utilize your electronics in other parts of the world.

    Most Electronics are NOT Universal

    While it might not be common knowledge to the average person, the truth is that most electronics are not designed for global use. From the different standards in voltage to the multiple audio & video formats used in various countries, there are many obstacles to overcome if you plan to purchase or use your electronics in other countries. With the exception of laptops - which usually feature a power adapter that works with any voltage - nearly all electronics are only useful in the country or region where they were purchased. While it's possible to use your devices in other regions of the world, it will usually require expensive converters, adapters, and a lot of messy cables.

    The Voltage Problem

    Voltage is just one of the many issues with electronics. The voltage problem also applies to personal devices and kitchen appliances; anything that uses electricity. While North America uses 120 volts, Europe uses 220 volts. This difference in voltage means that your US electronics will receive an overdose of electricity if used in Europe (which is very dangerous), while European-bought electronics won't have enough electricity to function properly. Either situation can result in damaged devices, fire, or even electrical shock.

    Color Systems and Formatting Issues

    Color systems are another issue, and something that we would hardly ever think to consider. TVs and blu-ray players use specific formatting to encode and decode the information that displays the image. The 3 main color systems around the world are PAL, NTSC, and Secam. Each color system is specific and it's not possible to use a PAL TV with a NTSC Blu-ray Player. PAL, NTSC, and Secam models are respectively manufactured and sold to regions that utilize those formats and are not cross-compatible without expensive converters.

    Disc Playback and Region Coding Problems

    This issue is similar to the rest but it only applies to DVD and Blu-ray Players. There are 3 different "regions" of Blu-ray and 7+ regions for DVD discs. In each region, the players are coded to read discs that originate from that region only. For example, Region 1 DVDs are only compatible with region 1 DVD Players. The reason for this is mainly to prevent copyright issues, minimize pirating, and to ensure timely release dates and fair prices in various parts of the world. Another aspect is political and religious environments in which much censorship demands that certain versions of media are not available, especially if they are deemed to violent or provocative.

    How to Solve it all?

    There is a simple solution to all of the challenges faced by traveling, purchasing, and using electronics from around the world. After all, it should be easy enough to simply plug & play without the headaches, right? Actually, it's much easier than you think.
    Multisystem electronics, global electronics and region-free players unlock the universal potential of your devices to guarantee compatibility regardless of where you are in the world. Specially, professionally modified and not available in major retailers, these units feature hardware/software advancements that give them the global flexibility and functionality that the manufacturers should have given you since the start.
    Multisystem TVs feature updated internal components and specialized software that allows them to work with any color system. They can also work with any voltage - all you need to do is flip a switch on the TV to change from 120 to 220 volts. This lets you use your TV with a Blu-ray Player from anywhere in the world, and to utilize the local cable TV without a mess of extra wiring and pricey video conversion gadgets. Region-Free DVD and Region-Free Blu-ray Players allow you to play discs from anywhere, on any TV (even non-multisystem TVs), with any electrical voltage from 110 to 240 volts. Universal personal devices such as curling irons and razors are compatible with any voltage, relieving you from any worries about a fire or damaging your device.
    The best part about these global, multisystem, and region-free electronics is that you can choose from your favorite brands and the latest models. It's important to find an experienced retailer who specializes in these modified units because they are not available in department stores or major retailers. They are professionally modified to give you the global flexibility that you deserve and most of them feature the same manufacturer's warranty.
    With over 35 years of experience in global electronics and international relocation, we're an authority on traveling with electronics. We carry a wide selection of electronics and appliances intended for global use, as well as hard-to-find 220 volt electronics from the top brand names. From washers and dryers to refrigerators, ranges and kitchen appliances to 4K TVs and the latest in Blu-ray technology, we specialize in giving you the best brands at the best prices - all with the confidence of global compatibility.
    Our reputation speaks for itself, and we take pride in that. Make your life easier by shopping with us today. If you're planning to move overseas, we'll even give you a free, no-hassle consultation to explain how we can make your move, your life, and your future easier with our specialty services.

  • Best Home Theater Systems For Expats Offer Worldwide Compatibility

    Sony Multisystem Home Theater

    Have you thought about how you’ll keep yourself entertained at home overseas? If music and movies rank high on your list, you’ll need to consider that your current home theater system probably won’t work abroad.

    Expat Home Theater Systems Combat World Conversion Conflicts Abroad

    Welcome to the confusing world of voltage conversion, foreign video conversion, DVD region codes and Blu-Ray region codes. Click on these links to understand how this world coding system can impact your ability to play your favorite media. For example, a DVD disc from Region 1 (USA and Canada) won’t play on a DVD player from Region 2 (Europe and Japan.) And there are a total of 6 regions worldwide. The good new is, there’s a simple solution to all the confusion.

    Multisystem, Region-Free Home Theater Systems Solve The Problem

    The best home theater systems for expat living are multisystem and region-free for use worldwide. They’re manufactured by top brands like Panasonic, Pioneer, Yamaha, Sony, Samsung, Klipsch, LG and Bose. But they’re not available through most retailers. The model choices and brand selections may be limited (if you can find them at all) in your foreign expat destination. Specialty retailers’ online stores typically ship worldwide. And in many cases, shipping may be free.

    Modern home theater systems require at least one display device and a sound system. Sounds simple, right? But CEPro, a leading trade publication for professionals involved in the custom electronics business, cites these 6 Hot Home Theater Trends for 2016:

    6 Hot Home Theater Trends

    1. Multiple Screens: Gives you more than one viewing option in a media room.
    2. Hybrid Space: Includes family room, game room, media room in a single space.
    3. Social Networking: Post social network updates while watching television.
    4. Networking Media: Internet-connected Blu-Ray Players, Gaming Consoles, Apple TV and other.
    5. Floor Standing Soundbar Speakers: Fills your room with the clearest audio.
    6. Value: Get high performance, feature-rich components at a lower cost.

    The typical expat living scenario may not call for multiple screens. But the trend for creating a "hybrid space" seems pretty spot on, wouldn't you say? And free-standing speakers and soundbars accommodate your flex space better than built-ins. Not to mention you get much higher quality sound from your speakers when they're not enclosed.

    Once you've agreed how to configure your media room, you can focus on how to configure your home theater. Regardless of the sizes and numbers of screens and speakers you choose, there are a few standard features you should make sure you include for the best electronic experience abroad.

    5 Top Standard Features In Home Theater Systems For Expats

    1. Region Free Coding: Plays Blu-Ray DVDs, Standard DVDs and CDs from anywhere in the world.
    2. Multisystem support. (Supports NTSC, PAL, SECAM)
    3. 110-240 volts 50-60 hertz
    4. USB input (Play media from external devices, like your phone or camera.)
    5. HDMI Output (Connect HDMI compatible devices, like a Blu-ray player.)

    Add Smart Features For The "Most Flexible" Media Experience

      • 3D Blu-ray Playback: View 3D movies with special 3D glasses.
      • Wifi Built-in: Avoid the cable clutter with wireless connectivity.
      • Internet Streaming capabilities:  Stream from Youtube, Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Picasa, Pandora and a multitude more apps.
      • Bluetooth capabilities:  Stream audio wirelessly from your cellular phone, tablet, computer or any other Bluetooth compatible device.
      • Networking Capabilities: Connect external streaming devices like Apple TV or Fire TV. Or gaming consoles like Xbox or PlayStation

    Smart TV

    "By 2019, more than 50% of TV households in Japan, the US, the UK, France and Germany will have smart TVs [ according to IHS]," writes a Broadband TV news correspondent.

    Add Surround Sound & Ultra HD 4K For The "Ultimate" Media Experience

    The butter on the popcorn? Powerful multi-channel surround sound speakers and Ultra HD 4K simulate a live cinema, coliseum or auditorium experience. Home theater systems are “giving way to soundbar/subwoofer systems because they offer an easy way to fill a room with audio,” says Peter Tribeman of Atlantic Technology, an audio engineering company. And according to TechRadar.com, “4K Ultra-High Definition will define the future of television.”  

    When you invest in electronics for expat living, it only makes sense to invest in technologies that are here to stay awhile. Likewise, investing in region-free multi-system components is like buying global insurance. You can take your investment anywhere you go. 

    Don't limit your entertainment choices abroad. Seek the advice of a region-free, multi-system electronics expert before you purchase. Request a free consultation online or call 220 Electronics at 847-640-9000 (International). Dial 877-578-0587 in the U.S.

    View Our Multisystem/Region-Free Home Theaters.

    View Our Multisystem TVs.

  • Best Blu-Ray DVD Players For Expats Are Region-Free

    Choose A Region-Free Blu-Ray DVD Player

    There’s no better way than a Region-Free Blu-Ray DVD Player to ensure you can watch your favorite movies and concerts at home abroad. Computers and SmartPhones (although they are technically media players) have much more limited functionality, and far inferior audio and video qualities, than do Blu-Ray DVD Players.

    region free 4k ultra hd blu-ray players

    Some of the best concerts and movies I’ve ever attended were in my media room at home, via Blu-Ray DVD. If you’re like I am, you may even have a small collection of movie and concert DVDs that you like to watch over and over again with friends. Or, maybe you just loathe kicking back next to someone you don’t know at the movie theater, while they frown upon your pajama pants and bedroom slippers. So you trek  down to the local DVD depot every Saturday night to rent.

    Avoid Foreign Compatibility Issues With Region-Free Blu-Ray DVD Players

    For audio and video lovers like us, nothing is worse than relocating to a foreign destination and being confined to viewing our favorite movies and concerts on a computer screen. Or suffering through at the local movie theater in a language we don’t fully understand.

    And then there are the other major compatibility issues. World voltage considerations, regional coding and foreign video conversion standards  that can prevent us from accessing our media craves at all overseas.

    But thanks to Region-Free Blu-Ray DVD Players, you and I can listen to what we want, watch anything we want, in different languages, anywhere we want... at any time around the world. Region-Free Blu-ray Players play all your regular DVDs, Blu-ray DVDs and CDs. And the reasonably-priced newest models offer tons more features to enhance your media life at home abroad.

    Consider Smart Features From The Best Region-Free DVD Players For Expats 

    The best region-free Blu-ray DVD players for expat living feature Smart technology. Here is a list of Smart features you’ll want to consider when making your purchase.

      • Wi-Fi Built-in: Conveniently connects to your modem or router wirelessly.
      • Video Streaming: Allows you to stream movies and videos from all the paid popular streaming sites, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon, and the best free streaming sites. You can also access content from sites like YouTube and Flickr, as well as internet radio providers like Pandora and Spotify.
      • 3D Viewing: Connect with a 3D capable TV, 3D discs and 3D glasses to view your favorite three-dimensional movies and documentaries.
      • 4K Upscaling: When connected to an Ultra HD TV, this feature converts regular high  definition to the higher 4K resolution.
      • BD Live: Gives you internet access to extra online content, like movie trailers and video games, related to your movie DVD.
      • BonusView: Allows you to access bonus content offline in a picture-in-picture layout while you’re viewing your movie.
      • DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance): Allows you to access media (including music)    stored on your personal devices that are on the same network.
      • Multi-channel Surround Sound: If you have a Dolby Digital Sound System or Digital Theater System, this will be an important feature for the ultimate sound experience.
      • Multilingual Support: Lets you choose dialog or subtitles in different languages to accommodate you new expat circle of friends.
      • USB Connections/Memory Card Slots: Allows you to play digital media files like music, videos, photos and slideshows from an external drive on your TV, and add extra memory capacity.

    For your lengthy travels to and fro, you may want to check out the new International Portable Region-Free Blu-Ray DVD Players and take a few of your DVD concerts and movies along for the ride.

    Before you purchase, check out this  Region-Free Blu-ray DVD Player Comparison Chart.

    Request  a FREE Relocation Consultation. And get FREE Shipping Worldwide.

  • Where to find Movies for Region-Free Blu-ray Players

    region free blu-ray and dvd discsSo you've purchased your Region-free Blu-ray Player, now what? You have quite a few viewing options at your disposal, depending on the reason you've purchased the player. Generally speaking, most people fall into one of the following categories.
    1. Those looking to play discs from a specific single region other than their own.
    2. Movie lovers who have seen titles available in other regions and want to be able to purchase and watch those titles in their own home.
    3. Those who already own discs from another region and wanted to be able to watch them.
    Whatever your reason may be, it's highly probable that you've already found a source for purchasing movies from other regions. However, there are a few very good retailers out there who you may have not heard of. While there are plenty of overseas websites where you can buy Blu-ray and DVD discs coded for a specific region, most of them don't offer discs from all regions. In other words, there are only a handful of decent websites catering to people who want to browse discs from all regions of the world.
    You can thank us later - Here is one of the best, most unique sites who offer hard-to-find Blu-ray and DVD discs from other regions. That is, assuming you're into horror, Kung-Fu, cult favorites and odd documentaries.
    Who: www.DiabolikDVD.com
    What they sell: DiabolikDVD specializes in "demented discs from around the world". They sell DVDs from all over the world including the UK, Russia, Hong Kong, Europe, Japan, Australia, etc. The inventory includes discs from both NTSC and PAL formats, DVD Regions 1-6, and Blu-Ray Discs.
    These guys carry some really cool titles. If you're truly into movies and checkout their website, we guarantee you'll find a few things that you simply must have. While you probably won't find (actually, we guarantee you won't find) the latest release of Transformers or Sex and the City, you can rest assured that they'll have those rare movies that nobody else has. If they don't have it, they can get it for you; Just ask them.
    Why buy from them: This small business keeps things simple, has an amazing inventory, phenomenal customer service, and as their website says "We care about you and we are active members of the film community." Not to mention the fair prices, speedy global shipping and an constantly changing inventory. Enough Said.
    Go check these guys out right now and buy yourself a few DVD's or Blu-ray discs from other regions. Explore the world of cinema from the comfort of your own home, and hopefully, in HD with surround sound.

  • Moving Overseas with Electronics

    multi system tvsEach year there are millions of people who move overseas or decide to live abroad. Some make the move for business, others for retirement, and many do it for better living opportunities or simply to be with family. It's a growing trend with an estimated (and surprising) global rise of over 30% in 2012 alone. Making the decision to move to another country or continent is a big one and definitely requires its fair share of careful planning.
    One very important factor that is often overlooked, ignored, or just completely forgotten about is taking your electronics. No, we're not talking about literally forgetting to take your electronics - we're talking about being able to use them once you get there.
    If you're wondering "What?! Why wouldn't I be able to use my electronics once I get there?", than you need to keep reading.
    Many parts of the globe, believe it or not, are not operating at your standard levels of voltage. It's true! Although most people are well aware of this minor yet important setback (especially those international travelers who've found out the hard way) or have heard of it at some previous point in their lifetime, it's easy to forget. Considering all of the planning, effort, and money that goes into making an international move, the last thing you'd want to forget or not be aware of is this:
    North America, most of Central/South America, and The Caribbean have electricity services operating at a uniformed standard of 110 Volts. For the most part, and with the exception of Japan, everyone else is operating at a standard of 220 Volts. (For the record, to avoid confusion and for technical purposes only, the 110 and 220 are not exact voltages as 110 is considered to be anything between 110 and 127 volts, while 220 is considered to be anything between 220 and 240 volts)
    So now you know. The next important question is "what does it mean and what can I do about it?"
    First off, and most importantly, you should understand that if your electrical devices or appliances are made for a 110 volts that they will not work in a country where the standard is 220 volts. Secondly, you can easily identify what voltage your devices have been manufactured for by looking at the manufacturer's label.
    The next step you should take is to find out what voltage standard the country you're heading to is operating on. This can be done with a simple internet search; seeing that you're reading this online, we already know that you have an internet connection. Excellent.
    Once you've discovered which voltage your belongings use and which voltage is offered at your destination, the next step is deciding what electrical devices you'll be bringing with you. Keep in mind that the following options are available to you at this point

    • Bring your electronic/electrical devices with you when you move and ensure their full functionality by purchasing a voltage converter
    • Leave your electronics behind and purchase new ones upon reaching your destination
    • Purchase multi-system electronics

    Typically, you'll find that your decision is going to include a combination of the above.
    Of course the smaller, more important and user-specific items such as computers, laptops, cell phones, and electric razors can be easily transported in luggage. Therefore, a voltage converter is the best option as it's simple, allows you to keep your existing devices, and saves you from having to spend money on new purchases. Voltage converters (also known as voltage transformers) allow you to use your 110 volt device in a 220 volt environment, and vice-versa. The voltage converter plugs into the wall and you simply plug your devices into the converter itself. Simple, reliable, and cost effective.
    Meanwhile, larger appliances such as washers and dryers are big and bulky and use excessive electricity. In this case, you're probably planning to purchase these products in your destination country. However, if you'd prefer to save money, you should purchase the 220 volt appliances locally beforehand as they are less costly than in a 220-standard destination. The situation is similar with multi-system electronics. Multi-system electronics hold the unique and convenient ability to operate in both the 110 volt and 220 volt environments. Televisions and home theater systems are the two most popular and commonly purchased multi-system electronic products.
    Additionally, there's another unique product, this one being for those who take their movies seriously. Region Free DVD and Blu-Ray Players, also known as "code free" or "multi-region" players. These players can play DVD and Blu-Ray discs that have been encoded for use only in players sold within within that same region. The purposes behind the manufacture and encoding of region-specific discs are many:

    • Price differences in different regions
    • The ability to control different release dates for different countries
    • Preventing the playability of certain materials for religious, cultural, or political purposes

    If you're a movie fan, if you plan on bringing your collection with you, or if you simply enjoy the ability to purchase and watch a movie in your native language a multi-region DVD player is exactly what you need. For Example, a multi-region DVD player will allow you to play DVD's which have been bought locally as well as those that have been purchased online from another country. Should you decide to live abroad or travel from country to country, a region-free player offers total convenience.
    Last but not least, you should be aware that there are various styles of outlets that pose yet another obstacle. Different types of wall outlets/sockets mean that even if you have a converter, you might not be able to plug it in. Additionally, you may thing you are moving to a country with the same voltage standard but fail to realize that the plugs for your devices are not identical. Luckily, there are foreign voltage plug adapter kits, allowing you to easily plug in anywhere around the globe.
    For more information on moving overseas with electronics, as well as a complete line of voltage converters, multi-system electronics, multi-region players and 220 volt appliances, visit www.220-electronics.com where you can find helpful information and top quality products from specialists with over 30 years of experience in helping provide electronics to individuals and families who are relocating. If you are looking for additional resources in regards to international travel, please visit the International Travel Information website for all the information you need to plan a successful and safe international trip.

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