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Monday, August 15, 2016

10 Best Streaming Services on the Market Right Now

As more and more people have started streaming videos online as their primary way of watching TV shows and movies, maybe you've wondered if you should join the crowd. Lucky for you, many companies are trying to stake their claim on the streaming audience, even YouTube is getting in the TV streaming game, which means you have plenty of options to choose from.
If you are looking for the best streaming services currently available, check out our list below before making your subscription decision.

#1: Netfilix

For many people, Netflix is synonymous with streaming. Not only does this service offer a variety of critically acclaimed movies and television shows, it also produces award-winning content like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Its catalogue isn't complete, but you'll have more than enough content at your fingertips to keep you binge-watching for weeks.

#2: Hulu

 If Netflix is the default service for watching movies, Hulu is the default for watching television. New episodes of most major shows are available within a few days of airing. Its free subscription option lets you watch recent episodes, but customers who pay for Hulu Plus get access to many shows' complete catalogues. This service is not just for TV, however: its movie selection may not be as robust as others, but it does have access to the Criterion Collection.

#3: Amazon Prime Instant Video

Available as part of an Amazon Prime subscription or on its own, Amazon Prime Instant Video has a few original series under its belt — including the Emmy Award–winning Transparent — but the thing that really sets the service apart is its access to HBO classics. The company also offers a variety of add-on packages from partners like Starz and Showtime, which also allow you to use your Amazon Prime credentials to log in to their standalone apps.

#4: HBO Now

 If even Amazon Prime doesn't offer enough HBO content to keep you satisfied, don't worry as there are plenty of ways to watch HBO content. The company's newest service is HBO Now, which allows you to watch all of HBO's stellar original programming — Band of Brothers, The Sopranos, and Game of Thrones — without a traditional cable subscription. Their movie selection is narrower than other services, but monthly updates keep it fresh.

#5: Crackle

 Crackle is the streaming service for viewers on a tight budget — it's always 100% free. While admittedly not as impressive as most paid services, it has a solid library that is being constantly updating.There are plenty of choices including Crackle originals like Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The service won't cost you anything to try, and odds are Crackle will work with whatever device you're already using.

 #6: Sling TV

Most services focus on libraries of on-demand content. Sling TV, on the other hand, acts as a sort of cable replacement: its main emphasis is on allowing you to stream live television. A basic subscription lets you watch most major channels, including ESPN, AMC, Cartoon Network, and CNN. The service also offers special add-on packages for an additional monthly fee, including a sports package and "Best of Spanish TV" to personalize your subscription.

#7: PlayStation Vue

 Like Sling, PlayStationVue aims to replace cable subscription by offering live TV streaming. It might even be a viable alternative to a traditional cable subscription, as it offers a pretty good selection of channels for its price. As it currently stands, however, Vue is available only through PlayStation consoles or Amazon Fire TV, which does limit who can use it.

#8: CBS All Access

It may seem odd to pay to stream content from a free broadcast network, but when it comes to original programming, no streaming service can compete with a member of the Big Three. CBS All Access offers thousands of episodes from classics like I Love Lucy and more contemporary fare like The Late Show with Steven Colbert. Stream live or on-demand: new episodes are available on the app the next day.

#9: DISH Anywhere

If you already have a cable or satellite subscription, many now allow you to take your subscription with you. DISH Anywhere, for example, lets you watch TV, movies, and clips for free. DISH customers with a Sling-enabled DVR can access their live TV and DVR recordings, plus the networks they subscribe to through DISH — like HBO, Starz, and TNT.  Other pay-TV companies also offer this kind of deal, so if you're currently paying for a TV subscription, check with your provider to see what streaming options they offer.

#10: Crunchyroll

 Crunchyroll is a great example of a new kind of streaming service: instead of casting a wide net, it focuses on a specific genre — in this case, anime. The site offers free and premium memberships, which deliver professionally translated media within minutes of the original TV broadcasts. Other streaming services, like Twitch and Funny or Die, cater to other specific audiences. These specialized services aren’t as robust as the giants above, but if you’re looking for a specific type of content they may be your best bet.

If you've ever considered streaming video, now's the time to jump in and give it a try. Many of these services offer free trials, so get out there and immerse yourself in the stream. Just be sure to come up for air every once in a while.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

7 Things You Need to Know about Samsung's Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's new phone Galaxy Note 7 will be shipped on the 19th day of this month. The sharp screen is accentuated by a slight curve on the edges that makes the device easy to handle. It has a snappy, 64-bit processor, and it can rock games and virtual reality with the companion Gear VR headset. Samsung’s attention to smaller details makes it a fine device. Here are seven things you need to know about Note7:


Many similarities with Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge 

The Galaxy Note7 is a large-screen version of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, with a 5.7-inch 2560 x 1440-pixel display. The USB-C port is an improvement over S7's micro-USB 2.0 ports. Common features include a 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and wireless charging. The Note 7 is pre-loaded with Android 6.0.1, weighs 169 grams and is 7.9 millimeters thick. It has 64GB of internal storage and an SD card slot. 

The iris scanner has its own camera

A unique Note 7 security feature is the ability to scan the iris as a way to log users into the device. Here's how it works: Place your eyes in front of the iris scanner—an IR camera located on top of the screen—which will scan your eyes. It will match up the scan against encrypted iris information stored in a secure hardware layer on the phone. Iris scanner works in multiple light settings, but it won’t work with sunglasses, Samsung said.

What chip does your Note 7 have?

In U.S., China, and Japan, the Galaxy Note 7 will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset; in other places, it'll be Samsung's Exynos 8 Octa 8890 chip. The Snapdragon 820 has been modulated for cellular networks and spectrum bands in those countries, and U.S. carriers like Verizon prefer Qualcomm's chips for backward compatibility of CDMA networks. The Samsung Exynos chip works on cellular networks in Asia and Europe.

What chip is better?

Qualcomm's Snapdragon has a better modem and a slight edge in graphics over Samsung's Exynos. Regardless, the Note 7 delivers booming graphics and runs applications much faster than its predecessors. The LTE data download speeds could reach up to 600Mbps (bits per second) and upload speeds up to 150Mbps. Snapdragon is more versatile with support for LTE-U, which allows for faster data transfers over licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

Old peripherals will work with the USB-C port in Note 7

The Note 7 has a USB-C port, a first in Samsung smartphones. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have micro-USB 2.0 ports, and many peripherals—like portable mobile phone chargers and storage devices—are designed to plug into that port. Those peripherals can be used with Note7 with a micro-USB 2.0 to USB-C connector that Samsung provides with the new handset.

Note 7 will log you into your Samsung-based Windows PC

Like Apple, Samsung wants its hardware devices to work seamlessly. That's been difficult because Samsung's devices run on three OSes: Windows in most PCs, Android in mobile devices, and Tizen in wearables. The Note 7 shows some results of Samsung's effort to bridge that gap between devices. Users can swipe a finger on the Note 7 fingerprint reader to log into a Windows-based Galaxy TabPro S 2-in-1 tablet/laptop hybrid. Users can also login into a TabPro S by pattern authentication—by drawing specific shapes—on a Note 7.
Samsung Flow is different from Windows Hello, a Microsoft feature for biometric authentication to log into laptops, but a Samsung spokesman said the companies are working together to see how the features could be used together.

No clarity if Note 7 will support Google's DayDream

A great add-on to the Note 7 is the new Gear VR headset, in which the phablet can be fitted to virtually roam cities, play games, or ski down a mountain slope. Samsung declined to comment if Note 7 would work with Google's emerging DayDream VR platform, which will be available in specific handsets by the end of the year. Rather, it runs the same Oculus store and software as the Gear VR for current Samsung phones. The Gear VR headset and Note 7 could be combined for DayDream, which has minimum hardware requirements of a high-resolution screen, specific sensors, and strong graphics capabilities. Samsung said announcements on DayDream-compatible devices will come at a later date.

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