BY MEGAN M. SECKMAN
Stream With Ease
lthough it may feel like it, your TV is not smarter than you. Between terms like 4K and HDR and wading through the endless streaming services offered such as Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, and Vevo, preparing to relax and watch some good old TV may feel like studying for an anatomy final. Here is a quick guide to help you navigate the land of streaming devices. First, let’s define the terms: • 4K: Known as Ultra High Definition (UHD-1). TVs with this resolution have 3840 x 2160 pixels and twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of the 1080 HD TV. • HDR: Known as High Dynamic Range. Most new TVs offer this feature with greater contrast ratio and color accuracy. Many reviewers claim the color palette of the TV is more important than the pixel resolution as the HDR makes for a more realistic picture.
From your TV:
Your best option here, according to many reviewers, is through a streaming device such as Roku Premier. Many TVs come equipped with smart features but have limited options for streaming services. If you want more variety, ease, and compatibility to your 4K HDR TV, then this product beats out the competition. Price: $100 A menu of all of your available streaming services will appear. You can turn the TV on with the remote and search for programs in seconds, and it offers features such as night sound, which allows you to stream media quietly.
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From your iPad:
If you prefer to watch on the go, you should stream from your iPad. To stream media through your iPad, you will need an app. According to Lifewire (lifewire.com), here are the top three apps for streaming from your handy, transportable device. iPad Price: app fee (app fee ranges from free to $7.99/mo) Crackle (free) — You’ll like this one due to the price, but the content is also competitive. Owned by Sony Pictures, Crackle has many original programs that are gaining attention. Netflix ($7.99 per month for streaming option) — You’ll love this one for the content. With a wide variety of film, documentary, and award-winning original series, Netflix is at the top of the market for quality and originality of programming. Amazon Video ($99 per year) With an Amazon Prime membership, you receive the streaming service with plenty of content options as well as a music streaming service.
From your gaming device: If you like to play a few games in between your American Crime
episodes, then try a smart TV. The quality and variety of your games won’t be as spectacular as with an Xbox or Playstation, but you will have the best of both worlds. Apple TV ($149) — The touchscreen remote allows you to navigate your shows and play games with one device. The game selection is limited, but great for the casual user. Amazon Fire TV ($139) — Your Amazon Prime subscription provides Amazon video and music streaming, photo and video storage, and 800 games. The remote works as an advanced controller, more like that of the Xbox, and offers voice commands. NVIDIA Shield TV ($199) — This is the closest product to a true gaming device, according to Consumer Reports. It runs Android TV with access to the Google Play Store and can run services like Netflix. But the biggest draw is access to NVIDIA exclusive ($7.99/month), which connects users to a plethora of top games in 1080p. Great service for those that already game through their PC — they can be connected.