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How to get your "Baby Einstein" refund

   BabyEinstein

Parents who bought "Baby Einstein" toddler videos or DVDs between June 5, 2004 and Sept. 4 found out last week they can return them for up to $15.99 in cash, exchange them for a "Baby Einstein" book or compact disc, or use them toward a 25 percent discount on "Little Einstein" merchandise.


To take advantage of the refund, click here. You will be prompted to print, fill out and mail a form, which must be postmarked by March 2010. There is a limit of four refunds per household. 


The upgrade to the Disney-owned company's return policy came after the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood raised concerns about claims the videos were educational.


Research has shown that watching an hour or more of "Baby Einstein" actually delayed development. Doctors suggest children under two years old spend no time in front of the television.


---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Free College Sports Channel Preview

Digital cable consumers served by Time Warner Cable will get a free preview of the CBS College Sports Network Monday Oct. 5 through Sunday Oct. 11 in honor of its Armed Forces Appreciation Week coverage.


Saturday's programming will feature the Vanderbilt at Army, Navy at Rice and Texas Christian University at Air Force football games. 


Time Warner Cable customers can tune to channel 130 (or channel 175 in Olean) and to channel 776 for high definition.


---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Free movies this weekend

It's cable preview time again. So save yourself a few bucks at Blockbuster and settle in for some free entertainment. Verizon FiOS subscribers will have free access to HBO, Cinemax and Video On Demand from June 12 to June 16.

Cpl TV

Time Warner Cable is offering the same promotion, but not in Western New York. It offered a free preview of HBO just last month and has an upcoming preview of the Tennis Channel being scheduled soon.

To keep up on free TV previews schedules, check out FreePreview.tv or sign up for e-mail alerts.

Tv 

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

How do you know it's Christmas?

It's no surprise that some of my fondest Christmas memories are closely tied with their thorough commercialization.

As a kid, nothing said Christmas like the Hills Department Store jingle, where a white-bearded sprite sang, "Hills is where the toys are..." And my heart melted during the McKinley Mall commercial (a place I had never been), when a little girl's Christmas fiddler doll comes to life, singing: "McKinley Mall there's Christmas in the air..."

Neither of them are anywhere to be found, but a close third was "Peter comes home for Christmas" from Folger's:

For my dad, it was when the Slinky commercials hit the air. For him, that said Christmas was officially on its way.

What Christmas commercial do you remember most fondly? Which TV special announces Christmas's official arrival to you?

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann