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    April 18, 2016
    Amazon Unveils Streaming-Only Video Plan

    amazon-prime-video-subscription

    I’ve been an Amazon Prime customer for a long time, at least since I got my Kindle Fire tablet.  Once I got used to free two-day shipping, video streaming, and all the other benefits to having Prime, I couldn’t say no to it.  However, some people don’t want the free two-day shipping, they might just want access to Amazon’s great original programming and video streaming offerings.  Well, congratulations, that’s now a thing that you can have.  Amazon has a video-only Prime subscription without all the other benefits of Prime.

    Prime Video is only $8.99 a month, cheaper than Netflix while offering Ultra HD streaming through its video servers.  That’s a pretty sweet deal, and it’s perfect for people who might want a month or two to watch The Man In The High Castle but not pay for a full year of Amazon Prime.  However, if you pay for Amazon Prime, you actually save about $8 per year over just subscribing to Prime Video for a year, but if you don’t want all the other benefits to Prime, then that’s your business.

    A streaming plan for $8.99 is still a really good deal.

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    April 8, 2016
    Netflix Bumps Prices Upward

    The price of streaming just went up.  By two whole dollars, or about a 25 percent price hike.  Netflix will be raising prices for long-time users from $7.99 to $9.99 per month.  The price hikes will begin in May and Netflix says they will notify all affected users by email to give them a much-needed warning.

    However, if you’re not interested in paying more for Netflix, then you may not have to.  The $10 plan includes two HD streaming feeds at once.  The $8 plan will remain, but those users will be losing their access to HD content in exchange for saving a few dollars a month.

    Honestly, I don’t use Netflix as often as I used to, or as often as I should.  I don’t have much time to stream these days, as much as I wish I did.  Still, I like knowing that Netflix is there, and I intend on watching a lot of their original content when I get time to go on a serious binge.  At $8 or $10, that’s still a tough price to beat for unlimited entertainment.  Even if you just watch one or two shows that Netflix offers, it’s still cheaper than Hulu, HBO Go, or any of the other streaming services.

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    March 15, 2016
    Twitch Cooks With Julia Child

    Everyone loves to cook.  Well, okay, not everyone loves to cook, but everyone loves to eat.  Even better, people love to watch other people cook.  I should know, because I do it all the time, and now there’s a new way to watch other people make delicious things.  Perhaps the first person to bring cooking education to the masses was none other than Julia Child.  Now you can watch people cook online thanks to Twitch.  Twitch is launching a cooking channel with 201 episodes of Julia Child’s The French Chef.

    “Julia Child was the precursor to Twitch’s social cooking movement, making The French Chef show a great reminder about how visionary she was. To put it in terms our community can relate to, Bob Ross is the Julia Child of painting,” said a press release from Bill Morrier, the head of Twitch Creative.

    Just last week, YouTube launched a similar service called Nom, and now Twitch, the masters of live streaming, are taking some steps into the life streaming world.  Would you watch other people cook?  I mean, I would, but I also watched Chopped on a daily basis.

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    November 14, 2015
    Get A Roku Streaming Box For $25

    I love to have streaming video at my disposal, but I’m getting tired of being held down by my slow, glitchy built-in streaming.  I have a Blu Ray player with Netflix and some other streaming services, but it’s very, very slow and it’s prone to crashing or disconnecting in the middle of streaming whatever goofy movie I’ve picked out for the night.  I’m frustrated with it, and I think it’s time to make a change.  I have an Amazon Fire TV stick for the upstairs TV, and I think now it’s time to get a Roku SE for the living room.  Roku will have their SE box for $25 on Black Friday.

    It’s actually a really good deal, cheaper than pretty much all the other streaming options out there with the addition of some 3000 channels that come as part of Roku’s services.  Here’s the full run-down on what the Roku SE provides, and even if it was only used for Netflix and some of the streaming from my premium channels, it’d be worth the $25.

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    November 6, 2015
    Hands On With Apple TV

     

    I just spent probably 30 minutes setting up a new television box.  It promises a lot of fun features that I’ve been lacking previously, like on-demand television shows and ordering movies and connecting my TV to the Internet through my DVR.  It wasn’t all that bad, to be honest, but it was still a process.  Much easier is the process of setting up an Apple TV; it won’t let you connect to DirecTV, but it will do a lot of other fun things, like games and streaming media from iTunes and all kinds of other fun things.  Engadget spent a weekend with the new Apple TV and has a full run-down.

    One of the big surprises about Apple TV, at least for me, is how far behind the technological curve it is.  After all, Roku and Amazon Fire have 4K support on their newest editions, but for whatever reason, Apple TV has yet to jump into the future with the rest of them.  After all, 4K TVs are rapidly taking off, and 4K support is going to be something necessary sooner, rather than later.  I guess it’s all part of Apple’s plan to roll out 4K with the NEXT update of Apple TV’s hardware.

    Of course, the trackpad browsing is still not good–none of them are–but the voice searching has been improved, and it even responds to natural questions rather than boolean-type sentence fragments.  That’s always fun.

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    September 30, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Redbox Blue

    Via Reddit.

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    September 23, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Serif TV

    Via Slate

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    September 16, 2015
    Sharp To Sell World’s First 8K TV

    Have you gotten your 4K tv yet?  Well, if you haven’t, I suggest saving your money, because it’s already rapidly growing obsolete.  How is the latest thing in TV already getting surpassed?  Simple, you up the ante and improve the quality.  Turn that 4K television into twice the power and twice the screen and see just what happens.  Sharp is going to be the first company to bring an 8K television to market.

    That’s a staggering detail. 4K televisions are just finally getting off the ground, and now they’re already being bested as we speak.  The Sharp Super Hi-Vision TV will have an impressive 7,680 pixels by 4,320 pixels of resolution, double that of a 4K TV.  That’s even better than digital screens at the movie theaters!  The power does come with a cost; the first screens won’t be available until October 30 and they’ll sell for a hefty $125,000.

    Still, it’s going to be awhile before Blu-Rays and the like catch up with it, but still… that’s a lot of resolution; finally, they can have cinema quality viewing at home.

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    July 30, 2015
    Subscription YouTube?

    How much would you pay to look at videos online?  I don’t mean full-length movies or television shows, though you can certainly find those throughout YouTube’s murky depths, but normal, everyday viral videos.  Care to part with $5 a month?  Maybe $10?  Well, consider it, because you may be asked to do so in the very new future.  YouTube is going to launch a video subscription service that strips the ads from its videos.  That’s right, it’s going to be ad-free YouTube, but it’s going to cost you something.

    Of course, that’s going to be a hard sell.  The only thing I ever rented from YouTube’s On Demand service was “The Interview”, the Seth Rogen/James Franco movie at the center of the Sony hacking scandal.  I usually skip the ads when they give me the option to bypass them after 5 seconds.  Most of the things I end up watching on there are ad-free, or they only have the little pop-up ad at the bottom.  And like most folks, the reason why I use YouTube so much is because it’s free and supported by ads like broadcast television.

    So, long story short, I’m not going to be subscribing to YouTube unless it’s very, very cheap and they make the ads unskippable.

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    June 10, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Dinner And A Movie

    image: The Verge

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