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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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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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