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It's Christmas! Don't let the tech bring out the humbug

It's Christmas! Don't let the tech bring out the humbug

It's Christmas! Don't let the tech bring out the humbug

Christmas is a time for family, festivity and fun. But it's no fun if you can't connect your new Kindle to your broadband and download Harry Potter, or the kids are moaning because they can't play on the new Xbox. With that in mind, here are a few hints and tips to make your Christmas tech more a pleasure and less a frustration. Xbox One and Playstation 4 Bought your kids one of the new consoles? Each console comes with a software update which you need to download before you can use them. If you want to use some of the apps like Netflix, or your Xbox day one edition came with FIFA 14, you'll need to download these too. Save yourself the hassle of setting it up on Christmas Day by downloading all the patches, apps and any games beforehand, then your kids can spend day playing the games rather than asking "is it ready yet?" Also, don't try and make your Xbox One play Xbox 360 games, it could brick your shiny new console.   Kindle, iPad and Nexus Last Christmas Day the biggest cause of calls into our support team was from people asking for help connecting their new device via wireless to the Internet. While we'll be here to help this Christmas Day too if need us, it'll help you to have a read through the instructions now or even set the device up now when you have time. If you have one of our Technicolor routers, the details you'll need to connect the device are printed on the bottom of the router (the "Wireless Network Name" and "Key"). Your device may say it needs an SSID - this is just another name for the Wireless Network Name - and if it asks for a password this is the Key. Note the Key may be case sensitive so if it's in capital letters use them.   Christmas Lights Each year all Internet Service Providers see people reporting faults with their broadband because the Christmas lights are causing the connection to drop. If you're having problems with your connection and have just put up the lights, try turning them off and see if the connection goes back to normal.   Christmas TV Missed Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Sherlock or Open All Hours? You can catch up with iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. iPlayer now lets you go back and watch shows up to 30 days so you don't even have to rush to watch your favourite show any more.   Smart TV on the cheap Hook up your laptop to the TV and you can watch catch-up TV or Netflix on the big screen. Most laptops have a port you can connect to an external screen and most new TVs have either a VGA or HDMI port, so in most cases you just need the appropriate cable to connect the two together.   12 Gifts of iTunes If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch get yourself the 12 Days of Gifts iTunes app and get free apps, songs or shows every day over Christmas. Watch out for other freebies and promotions.   Online Sales Last year the big stores started their sales late on Christmas Eve, expect the same this year.  Beat the rush to the sales and get there first online and not have to suffer the stress of the stores.   Calling friends and family over Christmas Have a think what the cheapest and most convenient way of talking to people will be. If you want your kids to speak to family abroad on Christmas Day, get everyone set up on Skype or Facetime.  And test it while the kids are in bed so you know it works.   Batteries and wires Make sure that you have all the batteries you need for any toys, games and controllers  - or if they're rechargeable, that they're charged. Find all the wires and cables you need too.   Cameras Back up your photos to your PC or the Cloud. A memory card can fail or easily be lost, and while you have the memories, the photos aren't so replaceable. Lots of laptops have card readers built in or you can easily connect most cameras to back up pictures and videos. It can then be just a few clicks to back them up again to a Cloud service like Google Drive.   What are your top tips for a stress free Christmas?

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Why am I still seeing comments about Christmas? It is currently February 2014....