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6 Streaming Devices You Can Choose For Better Entertainment

6 Streaming Devices You Can Choose For Better Entertainment

The days of cable televisions are over. Well not really over but almost over. More people have control over what they want to watch and when they want to watch it. This used to be a problem with cable TV service – you have to wait and adjust your schedule based on what the TV channels had to offer. Right now there are several streaming devices out there in the market. Typically it allows us to watch our favorite shows from a single device. The only requirement is having a high speed internet connection so you can watch your shows with the best definition possible and with no buffering issues.

In case you already have a device that can stream media, a playstation, XBox, smart TV or the like you can still benefit from having a standalone streaming device. Most are cheap enough to get one for every TV you own. Others would simply make use of file sharing app like ShareIt or Dropbox. Smart TVs usually have really ugly and not functional interfaces. The better route would be to spend the extra $100 that smart TVs usually cost compared to a regular TV and spend them on the polished and snappy experience you get from a streaming device. In case you don’t like the streamer interface, you can switch it for another one.

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Let’s go ahead and compare a few of the hot streamers on the market to see which you will benefit the most for.

Apple TV

The Apple TV 4th Generation is a solid choice for those that want to have their streamer based around their Apple ID or currently own other apple products, this will facilitate communication between all devices. Some of the apple TV’s features are:

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  • Remote with swiping and voice features
  • Access to the Apple app store
  • Gaming with the standard controller or gaming controller

Running on tvOS (tv Operating System), powered by an A8 chip with 64-bit architecture and with storage capacities of 32GB and 64GB, $149 and $199 respectively, this is one of the most expensive streamers currently available, but in case you own another apple device like a mac computer, you can do some cool extra things like mirror your computer to your TV without having to connect any extra wires.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

If you want to save some cash and add portability look into the amazon fire TV stick, while the tech specs are a little lower for this device (1GB of memory, 8GB of storage and a Dual-core processor), the price is lower too, starting at only $39.99 this is one of the best streamers if you’re on a budget and don’t mind losing the snappier feel or the better gaming capabilities of the regular Fire TV.

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Chromecast

If you’re interested in controlling the streaming experience with your phone and at the same time save some bucks look into the Chromecast, it will allow you to stream videos from Youtube or google play apps that support the streaming experience. The Chromecast is basically an extension of your phone, you will be mirroring whatever you play on your phone to your TV and will use your phone as a controller, not bad for $35.

Showbox APK

If you want a cheaper alternative to Chromecast, then you can opt for Showbox APK. It is a video streaming android app that will cost you nothing and will leave you nothing. Unlike any other, this app will not restrict you from certain shows and films. It is also available for PC.

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Roku

Just as the Amazon Fire TV, the Roku comes in several varieties, as a streaming stick, streaming player and a 4K UHD Player. In case that you still own an older TV you can get a Roku 1 for $49.99 which can be connected through HDMI or A/V cable. The Roku 4 has some nice extra features including the 4K content, a remote with a built in headphone jack for listening wirelessly and a slot to add an extra microSD slot for expanding its storage all running on a Quad-core processor for a price of $129.99.

Vidgo

Soon to be hitting the road this summer of 2016, it promises a full nationwide coverage with three priced packages which will be available in 12 major markets. Although they may be fairly new to this industry, I’m a bit excited how this will turn out seeing there seems to be multiple simultaneous device streams in each of the package. Quiet convenient if you plan to install screens in different room.

When purchasing a streaming device analyze your needs, do you want the most basic version of the streamer or will you need some extra bells and whistles for gaming? Will you be using the streamer on only one TV or do you need multiple streamers to cover all the TVs at home? For a lot of people the most basic versions will suffice, however if you’re a heavy user that needs a snappy response look for one of the more complete versions with higher processing and memory.

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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