6 Choices in Internet Streaming Services

Internet Streaming ServicesAre you ready to cut the cord with your cable bill? Join the ever-growing club of consumers who have realized that traditional cable services may no longer be necessary. Internet streaming has taken over the way people are watching television, and the competition between the top services has given consumers a variety of exciting options to choose from.

6 Choices in Internet Streaming Services

Netflix

It is amazing to think that when Netflix launched, it was a DVD rental service operated through USPS. Today, for only $7.99/month, families can stream thousands of shows and movies to their phones or into their living rooms. Don’t feel like watching the same thing as your spouse? Not a problem! Standard subscribers ($9.99/month) can stream to 2 different devices simultaneously. If you have FBLO (Fear of Being Left Out) on the latest water cooler chatter in the office, you will need a Netflix subscription to have access to original shows such as Orange is The New Black, House of Cards, and 13 Reasons.

Hulu

Hulu was Netflix’s first real competition in terms of streaming television. However, there are some significant differences in the services the two providers offer. Hulu is best known for its availability of network shows (CBS, NBC, ABC). Subscribers can find most network shows on Hulu within 24 hours of the shows original airdate whereas Netflix subscribers may wait a year or longer for an entire season to be released (if at all). Unlike Netflix, Hulu does have ads that run at the end of each show for their $7.99/month subscription. If you want to opt out of ads, the subscription will cost you $11.99/month.

Amazon Prime

Let me start the discussion of Amazon Prime streaming by saying: get a Prime membership. For $99 a year, you get FREE 2-day shipping, free photo storage, music streaming, and access to the Kindle lending library. And we haven’t even started talking about the television streaming. Amazon has over 40,000 titles to stream in its library; to be fair, not all titles are free through the prime membership. If you are considering a Prime membership specifically for television streaming, you may want to do a little research before committing to understand exactly which titles are included with membership. If you want a video only subscription, that is available for $9/month.  

HBO Now

HBO Now is the costliest subscription at $14.99/month. But if you are a true TV lover, you will find this subscription hard to resist. With shows like Veep, Game of Thrones, and Girls that are available within 24 hours of original air-date and a rotation of in-demand movie titles like Suicide Squad and Deadpool, you’re destined to be a subscriber.

DirecTV Now and Sling TV

If you are looking for a streaming service that will more closely mimic that of a traditional cable package, check out DirecTV Now ($35/month) and SlingTV ($20/month). These subscriptions offer stations such as CNN, ESPN, CBS, Food Network and more. While various integrations are in the works with other services like Netflix, at this point you will still need separate subscriptions if you want access to the original programming put on by the other streaming services (e.g. Orange is the New Black, The Mindy Project).

There is so much to choose from and consider when selecting which internet streaming service you choose. If you are looking to cut the cord with the cable company, we suggest trying out Sling TV or DirecTV Now, and supplement with one of the other subscriptions to get started. The beauty of most these services is that there are no contracts and many offer free 30-day trials, so you can mix and match services until you find the one that’s best for you. Happy streaming!

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Trends in Home Theater Speakers

Home Theater Speaker Trends 2017The home theater industry was one of the hardest hit industries during the height of the recession in 2008. Thankfully, with the recent boom in streaming services and changes in how media is being consumed, speakers are making a strong comeback. Wireless subwoofers, soundbars and sound projectors are a few of the key players in the current market trends. Continue reading

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Setting Up an Outdoor Theater at your Home

Setting up your Outdoor Home TheaterIt is no secret that most Americans choose to relax in front of the TV. Television and movies are a huge industry for one reason: people are watching. With so many people vegging out with their favorite Netflix series or sports game, it is not shocking that home theater trends are exploding.

Exploding right through the walls, that is, as we see more and more customers looking to move their home theater to their backyard.

Before you can even get started planning an outdoor theater, there are a few things essentials to have in place. Continue reading

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What to Know about Home Theater Projectors

Things to Know about Home Theater ProjectorsIf you are building or renovating a home theater, chances are you’ve considered investing in a home projector. Many at first become interested in adding a projector to their indoor or outdoor theaters because of the size capabilities of the screen. However, with current trends in projection technologies, you may benefit from more than a big screen.

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Top Music Streaming Services: A Review

top music streaming servicesWhen is the last time you purchased a hard copy version of your favorite album? Most of us would have to think back years to remember the last CD we purchased. Other than the novelty of buying something material, there is not much we miss about the “old days” of music consumption. Today’s listeners enjoy online music streaming features like playlist creation, offline streaming, multi-device streaming, increased sound quality and songs catalogues that typically range from 15 – 30 million titles. Let’s take a look at some of the top streaming services and what makes them unique. Continue reading

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Outdoor Lighting Trends for 2017

Outdoor Lighting Trends for your Outdoor EntertainingWhen the weather is nice, everyone wants to be outdoors; whether splashing by the pool, enjoying s’mores by the fire, or cocktails under the stars with friends. Outdoor entertaining is a hot trend, and in recent years, has become more and more of a possibility for the average homeowner. One of the hottest trends in outdoor entertaining, helping to bring all the comforts of the indoors, outside, is outdoor lighting. Continue reading

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AirTV Player Streaming to your TV

AirTV PlayerAirTV just might be our favorite thing to happen to television since Chromecast. If you are a television lover, you’re going to want to listen up! AirTV is the latest product from Dish Network; its launch was leaked last December and officially announced at this year’s CES. Continue reading

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Touchscreen Smart Hub

Touchscreen Smart HubWhile it is arguable that voice control is the new UI (User Interface), there is still a large segment of the consumer population that prefers touch to talk. Many consumers also prefer visuals to audio, which is why touchscreens are not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, they are getting bigger and better. Samsung recently launched a 20.5 inch LCD touchscreen smart hub on the door of a refrigerator (Family Hub Refrigerator). Reviews on the Family Hub Refrigerator are disappointing but not because of the touchscreen, which supports the theory that touchscreens are still highly valued in current tech trends. Continue reading

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Smart Outdoor Entertaining

Smart Outdoor Entertaining TechWith summer just around the corner, it is only fitting that we included a piece on Smart Outdoor Entertaining. A rising trend among homebuyers is an interest in functional outdoor spaces. In other words, they want to use their backyard for more than just a play set and place for the Fido to relieve himself. What do homeowners have in mind? Outdoor kitchen spaces, weatherproof televisions and speaker systems. Today’s consumers don’t just want these spaces to function, they want them to be high-tech and integrated with the rest of their home. Continue reading

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Smart HVAC System: Why You’ll Want One for Your Home

Smart HVAC System: Why You'll Want One for Your HomeWelcome to our 3rd post in our Smart Home series. Today’s topic perhaps has the broadest scope of positive impacts on consumers. Smart HVAC systems can save consumers money, create levels of custom comfort, and help lower consumers’ carbon footprint. It seems that there is no way to lose by choosing a smart HVAC system. Let’s take a look at some of the top trends and capabilities in HVAC systems. Continue reading

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