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fanny montalvo's Blog

By fanny montalvo | Broker in New York, NY
  • Cutting that CABLE cord.....

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in New York, In My Neighborhood in New York, How To... in New York  |  August 14, 2013 12:18 PM  |  2,378 views  |  No comments

    HEY NY...Cut that Cable cord! BUH- BYE BILL!
    There are ways to enjoy great TV without paying monthly cable fees!

    So, recently, many of us New Yorkers have been at the mercy of a certain cable company that is holding back a couple of our favorite channels... For all of us who rent, just purchased, live in hi-rise or homes, ready to say, 'See Ya' to that longtime drain of ole’ Mr. Cable Bill? Tired of paying for cable or satellite TV every month? It's never been easier to cut the cord and get all of your programming over the Internet, either a la carte, through on-demand services, or via affordable subscription services like Netflix. The devices below can get you up and running in no time, and there's a good chance you already have everything you need to get going (especially if you have a recent gaming console or laptop). Of course, not everything is available via the Internet, and some streaming services, such as HBO Go, require you to have a cable or satellite subscription. But more channels are online now than ever before, and even HBO makes hit shows like Game of Thrones available through services like iTunes. The Roku 3 is the easiest way to watch Internet TV



    With the Roku 3, you can be watching free TV from dozens of channels within minutes of unpacking the device, and when you're bored with those offerings, you can add subscription services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and MLB.tv, along with music services like Pandora, Spotify and Mog. If you're ready to cut the cable and still want an almost endless supply of free and premium TV,
    it doesn't get easier or more versatile than the Roku 3.
                                                                                 As low as $99

                   More great ways to bring the Internet to your TV - Use your gaming console for more than games.  Watch Internet TV on your own TV or Blu-ray player.

    More great ways to bring the Internet to your TV


    Apple Apple TV 3rd-gen


    With Apple's tiny box, you can easily rent or buy TV shows and movies from iTunes, watch subscription sports services like MLB.tv and NHL GameCenter, access your Netflix and Hulu Plus subscriptions, and watch as many free videos on YouTube, Vimeo and Flickr as you want. It's also a great way to view your photos, listen to music from your iTunes library, and watch your own videos stored on your PC or Mac.

    from $95  




    Roku 2 XD


    This slightly older Roku model does almost everything the Roku 3 does, and even works with older, non-HD TVs. While it lacks the Roku 3's remote headphone feature, and doesn't work with motion-control games like Angry Birds Space, it's also just $70, making it a great, affordable way to get all of the great programming that's available on Roku.

    from $68





    Western Digital WD TV Play


    Western Digital's latest streaming player takes on Roku and Apple, with easy access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more, all at a very affordable price. In addition to supporting many (though not all) streaming video services, the WD TV Play excels at playing back locally stored content. The Play also boasts an easy user interface, with smartphone-style widgets and apps.

    from $66
    Use your gaming console for more than games

    Microsoft Xbox 360


    Microsoft's console has one of the best TV selections available, including both free and pay services like AOL On, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, MLB.tv, and Hulu Plus. One downside: You'll need an Xbox Live Gold account to watch any of the channels, even the free ones, so be prepared to get your credit card out. Also, Microsoft is expected to announce a new Xbox very soon, so if you don't already have an Xbox 360, you may want to consider waiting if you're planning on getting one soon.

    from $197



    Sony PlayStation 3 
    Sony's console includes such core offerings as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus -- and you can use them without paying an extra fee to Sony. The PS3 also has a built-in Blu-ray player, for those times when you just have to watch something that isn't available on the Internet, and it's the only console to offer NFL Sunday Ticket, though you have to either be a DirecTV customer, or be ineligible for DirecTV in order to get it. Like the Xbox 360, there's a new PlayStation coming soon.

    from $325


    Nintendo Wii U
    The Wii U's TVii service lets you use your controller as a remote, makes it easy to share your comments about TV shows on social networks, and provides applications tailored to certain programming. Unfortunately, TVii works best with cable services, and the Wii U's streaming offerings are limited to a handful of services -- though that set does include Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus and YouTube. from $279

    Watch Internet TV on your own TV or Blu-ray player



    Samsung LED F6300 Series


    Samsung's Smart TV service makes it easy to find movies and TV shows, and Samsung supports most major streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon and YouTube. There's also a built-in web browser, and easy access to social networking services like Facebook and Twitter.

    from $697



    LG LN5700 Series
    The LN5700 series is affordable, and includes the usual mix of streaming service. To highlight its smart apps, LG is currently throwing in a free year of access to MLB.tv's premium services. from $449


    Sony BDP-S3100Sure, you probably want a Blu-ray player to play, you know, Blu-ray discs. But just in case you want to watch something else, most new players now include access to Internet TV. Sony's BDP-S3100 is a good player at a reasonable price, and features over a hundred streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus. from $118


    More ways to get cable-free TV in your living room


    Apple iPad mini

    You can use almost any tablet as a virtual set-top box, and the iPad mini is one of the best options, given its extreme portability. Install apps for Netflix, Amazon, and most other streaming services (the iPad actually supports more services than Apple TV), pick up an HDMI adapter cable, and you can take your streaming services on the run. And, of course, you can download all of your iTunes media, for easy playback just about anywhere. from $329




    Dell Inspiron 15R (2013)
    You may already have everything you need to cut the cord. With a modern laptop like the Inspiron 15R, you can just plug in an HDMI cable and watch almost any streaming video service on your TV -- including some, like the free version of Hulu, that you can't get on most other devices. And if your laptop supports Intel's Wireless Display standard, you can beam video to your TV wirelessly -- though need an adapter if your TV isn't also WiDi compatible. from $349





    ASUS Cube
    Want to check out Google TV? The Cube makes it easier than ever to use the search giant's streaming system. Google TV gives you access to streaming services, games, and other apps via the Play Store, and includes the Chrome browser so you can easily access the web from your TV. Google TV may not be as easy to use as the latest from Roku or Apple, but its app-based approach means you may find some hidden gems that aren't available on most of the other streaming platforms.


    Not Your Mama's antenna!!!!
    And for those of you TV watchers, and or owners of more than one unit
    in your home, there's always a good way to cut out at least one cable box,
    and one cable bill once and for all... Not the rabbit ears of the past, great
    picture and reception nevertheless, at an only once low price! And get the Cable company's 'held captive' Channel 2, I might add!

    Simply hang it, lay it flat or stand it up!



    Set Your TV Free with the RCA ANT1650 Digital Flat Antenna
    Patented 360º Design Outperforms Traditional Antennas

    Dress-up your entertainment room with the sleek RCA ANT1650 piano black digital flat antenna. You'll enjoy enhanced reception with the included, removable amplifier which preserves signal purity with extremely low noise circuitry while amplifying weak signals. Obtain true versatility using the included easel stand. The easel props the antenna up so it can stand alone, opening more possibilities on where to place the antenna in your home. RCA Digital flat antennas are designed specifically for digital TV signals, which require more precise directional reception than analog signals to give you consistent performance. Digital TV provides crystal-clear digital picture and sound, but to get uninterrupted reception your antenna needs to be aimed in exactly the right direction. RCA's unique and patented antenna designs eliminate the guess work in digital reception, finding and delivering great digital picture and sound without the hassle of manual adjustments. Use the included removable amplifier to enhance reception by amplifying weak signals. It helps preserve signal purity with extremely low noise circuitry.

    Slim Profile disappears into surroundings

    Coax Cable built in

    360º of Reception means no missed signal

    Paintable Surface blends antenna into any surrounding 

     $29.55 @ Amazon.com!

    Continued Happy August!


    -Fanny

  • NOW, WATCH ME!

    Posted Under: General Area in New York, Shopping & Local Amenities in New York, How To... in New York  |  March 19, 2013 6:33 AM  |  945 views  |  2 comments

    Last month, even this great site, Trulia, held a 'Win an I-pad Mini' contest. By now, including the winner, we all have them - The Nook, the Kindle, the Notebook. an I-pad standard or mini or two- AKA- The TABLET. We email, read magazines and books, as well as store pictures, documents, and downloaded apps on them. We just cannot be without them! For most of us, these devices have even become our newest and smallest flat screen TV to watch movies, television episodes, and play games on. For me- a Kindle in the kitchen for recipe following/ an I-pad in the livingroom for all else.

    (Recipes at dinner time/ All the time kitchen clock for me ABOVE - simply insert the I-pad cover sleeve into the cabinet, under a heavy object and close the door - making it an under cabinet unit!)

    We take these appendages of ours with us from room to room, from standing, to sitting, to lounging, we hold them tightly as if for dear life, our hands fixated in that holding pattern, while squinting and slouching. So it begs the question… ‘If it acts like a television of sorts, wouldn’t you want to further make it look like one?” After all, you wouldn’t hold a regular television in your hands while watching it, now would you?

    Like everything else, when I am looking for something – I make it my mission to find it! And find it, I do! To this search…..a multitude of solutions from how to cleverly turn our devices into under cabinet units, to framing and or wall installation, to floor stands, furniture clamps, extending wall mounts, and portable desks.
    www.theipadframe.com
     BELOW at $114.95 for mini- standard size, allows you to frame, place on desk, hang on wall, watch!





    Ranging from $0. (my under the cabinet idea) to $200.+  the many available options will allow you to further enjoy your tablet in ways you have only imagined. You can read, watch movies or videos, tweet, or use your apps all hands-free in nearly every situation and room. Most measure 11" long x 23" wide x 37" high.

    9



    (This stand, ABOVE, allows you to fold it up, pack it up and carry even in a tripod case for travel- or to take on a Listing Presentation complete with Comps and testimonials!)


    (My own $39.95 stand BELOW from www.chargercity.com allows me anything from movie viewing, a backgammon game or two,  and simultaneous email receiving and answering in the comfort of my livingroom or whichever room I move it to. Pop in your earphones, or charger while it stands. Since I use my I-pad mini as my portable 'lap-top', I found a removable-detachable wireless bluetooth ABS keyboard/case from www.qq-tech.com for only $31.88, which allows me to use the keyboard when emailing and pausing a movie. I switch the stand from holding my I-pad to holding my Kindle when there's a great e-book to be read.... )






    (BELOW: for those of you who are so attached to your mobile devices, and even take them to bed with you.... a clamp-on stand or wall mount for PM or awake to breakfast with tray in the AM bedside view.)




    Whichever your preference- slouch, squint, and search no more!
    Work, Watch, Relax, all at the same time. Enjoy!

    -Fanny

  • Gifting NYC!

    Posted Under: Shopping & Local Amenities in New York, In My Neighborhood in New York, How To... in New York  |  March 11, 2013 1:10 PM  |  935 views  |  3 comments
    Ever watch tourists in NYC shopping for what is the typical chachka, that 'certain something' to bring back home that epitomizes the 'Big Apple'? Searching yourself for that perfect gift to give a new NYC resident....Gift NYC!

    A top 10 countdown of a few of my favorite hot spots with unusual and uncommon finds full of all things NYC:

    #10-The Transit Museum Shop In Grand Central Station
    : Where everything from NYC tiles, His/Her jewelry and Teddy Bears are NYC-ized!

    #9-New York Tenement Museum    Gift certificates, books, posters, totes, etc....

    #8-Uncommongoods.com:  The name says it all! Uncommon NYC everything(s):


    #7-The Museum of the City of NY: NYC cocktail napkin, anyone????

    #6-Skyscraper Museum: Up, Up, & Away!



    #5-NYC City Store: How about a METRO Card holder? Messenger Bag? Gym Bag, anyone?

    #4-SUCH A TIE OF BESTS: Zabars NYC, Shake Shack Madison Park, Brooklyn Winery & OR Bronx Brewery:
    Gift Certificates to Quintessential NYC 'Magic' treats,eats, and sippers....They seem to instantly disappear! 


    #3-New York Historical Society: Let there be light.....

    #2-CafePress.com: Stuffed with NYC stuff! All things needed to prepare for NYC New Year Year's Eve 2014....A NYC flask to sip a Champagne, a clock to watch the time, and an Iphone case for that phone used to call your special someone(s)! 


    AND THE NUMBER #1 PLACE FOR ALL THINGS NYC GOES TO.... Fishes Eddy!
    Where Skyline, Bridge & Tunnel, Building replicas, and Studio to Penthouse Floorplan can be had on tees, umbrellas,aprons,towels, platters, coasters, glassware, dishware, candle holders AND SO MUCH MORE! Been my fave for decades!









    Happy NYC NON - CHACHKA Shopping!
    From The

    -Fanny
  • Radiant Radiators...

    Posted Under: Design & Decor in New York, How To... in New York, Home Ownership in New York  |  February 19, 2013 8:46 AM  |  1,004 views  |  No comments

    In this case….You can ‘put a silk hat on it’ and add extra use!

    Cover that UGLY radiator!

     

    Our beloved NYC- with her pre-war, post-war characteristics! But, just what to do when that perfect view is obstructed in part by a less than attractive radiator?



    For that touch of style and additional use- have it covered in your choice of colors and finishes…

    …And Double it as a serving piece to lay platters of delish when entertaining or, better yet, have one side (the cool side of course) built to open where a stool can be concealed and a desk with a view can be had when needed, or a relaxing seating area to lounge upon....  (http://www.manhattancabinetry.com/radiator_enclosures/rad018.html )



    -Fanny

  • FLOR-ing the Floors...

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in New York, Design & Decor in New York, How To... in New York  |  February 12, 2013 7:09 AM  |  1,389 views  |  2 comments



    FROM MASTER PIECES TO MASTERPIECES…

     

    And so it goes- new place, new decisions. What size rug? What pattern? What color? Where to shop them? Will they fit? UGH! Well….lucky you, because just like everything else available to us long frustrated consumers- we now can design our own rugs and best of all- redesign them when we tire of any pattern or changing furniture with seasons!

    Area Rugs designed by YOU up to 10 x 12 size many under $500!
     
    Other uses for FLOR you may not have thought of....

    ...besides making an area rug. FLOR's got a good thing going on. If you tire of their carpet tiles, you can easily send them back for recycling, or you can recycle them in your own home...

    • Ottoman: Build a square cube from plywood that fits the dimensions of a standard FLOR tile (19.7 x 19.7 x 19.7 inches). Use 6 carpet tiles to cover the cube and make a modern ottoman.

    • Coasters: When Jessica posted Rose and Radish's Felt Coasters, AT Reader Cilantro suggested using FLOR samples for coasters. Sample packs are available from FLOR for $5.

    • Cat Scratcher: Use FLOR tiles to make a DIY version of this Modern Cat Scratcher, or cover staggered shelves in carpet tiles to make an indoor playground for your pet.

    • Chair Mat: Cut a FLOR tile to fit the seat of a flat, standard chair. Make a matching set for a group of dining chairs.

    • Shoe Rack: Line a low shelf or landing strip with FLOR tiles to make a shoe rack. If the carpet gets dirty from your shoes, you can wash the tiles in the sink, or send them back for recycling and buy new ones.

    • Side Table: Use patterned FLOR tiles on top of a basic side table (like the ubiquitous IKEA Lack Table). The tiles will add texture and color, and you won't need to use coasters on the table.

    • Wallpaper: Use FLOR tiles on the wall (nail them up at each corner) to cover an alcove or small space with textured pattern. The composite backing on the tiles will also slightly soundproof the wall.

    • FLOR Tray: Cut down a carpet tile to line a tray. The tiles add texture and act as a trivet, while the rubbery backing keeps the liner in place.

    When using FLOR for DIY projects, keep in mind that the following surfaces aren't compatible with the tiles: carpeted/padded floors, hand painted/vintage finishes, unfinished waxed floors, and un-sealed concrete.


    FLOR your Floors (or anyplace else) !

    http://www.flor.com/styles/patterns.html




    -Fanny

  • ZZZZ-ing Double!

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in New York, Design & Decor in New York, How To... in New York  |  February 5, 2013 9:36 AM  |  1,478 views  |  No comments

    Not enough square footage for a guest room?  You can still give guests a comfortable place to sleep!  Attractively disguised by day and comfy bed by night, there are so many versatile furniture pieces available for ‘zzzzing double ‘ from ottomans, cabinets, built in cabinets, closets, love seats, to ordinary looking sofas, I promise you….there is an extra sleeping solution to be found in all!(Bed pulls out from the wall from a closet!)

    Love seat for two. Sleep quarters for One!


    Dual-purpose seating 
    Need a couple extra chairs for guests?  Try looking for apartment furniture that can serve as every day items but function as additional seating and sleeping when you have company.
    If you’d like the freedom to move your ottoman around for parties, look for a piece that comes with casters, which provide easy mobility and prevent scratching on hardwood floors.

    Hide-away office space
    Wish you had an office?  Whether you need a place to study or just a place to do bills occasionally, several versatile apartment furniture options make it possible for you to have an office when you need it and convert your space for other uses when you don’t.

    Try shopping for a hutch that provides storage for office items like books, files, and computer equipment and also includes a fold-out desktop.  When you don’t need to sit at the desk, just fold up the desktop, and drop down the bed!.

    More small apartment furniture options
    When it comes down to it, finding apartment furniture that does double duty is all about being creative and seeing the possibilities.  While certain pieces are made to have dual functions by design, you can utilize just about any furniture piece for multiple purposes if you let your imagination (and needs) be your guide.(Free-standing cabinet by day/bed when needed)

































    Perfect for a home office/guest room or a tot to tween to twenty-something all grown up room!


    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ....... Night, Night!

    - Fanny  

  • One, Two, Three uses....in One

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in New York, Design & Decor in New York, How To... in New York  |  January 12, 2013 4:28 PM  |  2,114 views  |  1 comment
    'Mesa Metamorphosis'....At one time or another, our home functions as a multifuntional space. We all do work from home, dining at home, in short...we end a day and begin a multitude of tasks when we go...home. In an effort to make every square inch of their homes matter, more people are turning to furnishings that do double duty; a place to park your latte and laptop by day and serve a candlelit dinner at night.

    Houston-based Lauren Rottet, founder of Rottet Studio, encourages her clients to forgo a formal dining room for a home office with a desk that can double as an occasional grand table, for that rare event that calls for one. "Gone are the days when we set the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so why waste the space." she says.

    In most cases, many tables can do triple duty as console to desk to dining table. Or floating desk/ to floating 'bar stand'. An addition of a few other multi-pupose pieces, and you're set even for an impromtu guest or cocktail party...

    A few finds for resting everything from a home accessory, lap top, to a beautiful place setting found in one single piece:































       From this.....to that....


    From that to.....

    THIS!



    (Above: The Ozzio Table- Resource Furniture)




    Shut down. Power off. Clear off. Hors d' oeurves being served...

    For a smaller, narrower space a console table works well. Image: Turned Leg Console Table Table, $399 at Brocade Home.

    A wall-mounted desk can be made from a floating shelf or a flip table. This is a much fancier version of the floating shelf idea: the Lax Wall-Mounted Desk, $675 at Uncrate.

     

    For a portable laptop desk, a tall end table or TV tray works. The Offi Mag Table $148 at Design Within Reach

     


    -Fanny

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