Barb Gonzalez

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jun 04, 2014 1 comments
With Vudu's Share My Movies you can share movies you "own" with up to five friends or family members without having to share your Vudu credentials.
Barb Gonzalez Posted: May 27, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Integrates with cable or satellite set-top box with advanced One Guide
Improved Kinect camera for voice and gesture control
Blu-ray player works with voice and gesture control
Minus
Requires Xbox Gold membership to stream from some services
Some streaming services available on Xbox 360 not yet on Xbox One
Can stop playback to say “hi” to a new user that has stepped into the room

THE VERDICT
For gamers who want a streaming all-in-one entertainment device, this is the console to buy.

The Xbox One was released in November 2013, exactly eight years after the release of Microsoft's last game console, the Xbox 360. In those eight years, the Xbox 360 was updated and upgraded, including the addition of the Kinect camera for voice and gesture control. In the past couple of years, a number of streaming services were also added, making the Xbox 360 a viable whole-family entertainment device. Now, the Xbox One has “improved” on the 360’s features. The Kinect has been upgraded. TV integration and a Blu-ray player have been added. The result: the Xbox One may be poised to fulfill Microsoft’s hope to make it the only component you’ll need to add to your home theater.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: May 23, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $400

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Offers most major apps
Excellent picture and sound quality
No additional subscriptions required to access streaming services
Netflix Max helps find recommendations geared to your taste
Minus
No remote or QWERTY keyboard outside of game controller
Limited number of apps—no social networks or photo apps
No DLNA or other streaming from home network media libraries

THE VERDICT
Excellent for gaming and on the whole, but not the best choice for streaming alone.

With PlayStation 4, Sony has upped the video game ante with incredible graphics and the ability to share gameplay with the touch of a “share” button on its redesigned game controller. But how is it as a media streamer? I took a look at Sony's latest to check out its entertainment offerings and its ergonomics as an entertainment (non-gaming) device.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: May 22, 2014 2 comments
Don't Let Images Like this Become Commonplace

The FCC has presented its ideas for how to maintain net neutrality and an Open Internet. It's more than slowing down the Internet for some websites while allowing others to pay for a fast lane. It's time for you to comment on how you imagine an open internet and help save net neutrality.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: May 14, 2014 0 comments
Hulu has announced that this summer they will offer streaming of full TV episodes to the mobile app without requiring a Hulu Plus subscription. The Hulu app now has remote casting capabilities that extend to more devices.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: May 07, 2014 0 comments
Many Amazon streaming movies and TV shows include the X-ray feature that dynamically lists actors and other information on the Amazon's Kindle Fire. It's a must for any IMDB addict.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: May 02, 2014 0 comments
Many HBO shows will be available for unlimited streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video, but not all shows will be included in the May 21st launch. While this breakthrough licensing agreement grants exclusivity to Amazon for free streaming, shows will still be available on other streaming services.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: May 01, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $35

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Streams full-screen videos from Netflix and YouTube
Mirrors Websites
Control videos from computer or mobile device
Minus
Must go to Chromecast Website to learn when new apps become compatible
No central control panel or app
Clumsy to pause video streaming from a phone when a call comes in

THE VERDICT
For $35 and a little practice, this is the best streaming solution available to date.

The Google Chromecast was an instant hit when it came on the tech scene, selling out before its release date last August. At $35, it’s the least expensive way to stream movies and music to your TV and view photos from online. Unique in its approach to streaming media, the Chromecast dongle can stream from a Chrome Web browser (PC or Mac) and from certain apps on iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Apr 09, 2014 0 comments
D-Link's newest portable router is easy to use and finally makes it easy to stream to a Chromecast dongle, Roku HDMI, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV or other media player. It also secures your connection to Wi-Fi.
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Apr 08, 2014 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $99

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Effective voice search function
Powerful quad-core processor
ASAP feature loads movies for instant playback
HDMI CEC functionality
Minus
Voice search and watchlists not functional for all services
Limited on-demand video apps

THE VERDICT
Fire TV is a solid performer, but it needs more content and services, and a global search option, to make it a hit.

Amazon surprised the world last week by announcing the details of its new standalone media player, the Amazon Fire TV, on the very same day it was released for sale. Priced at $99, Fire TV is positioned to compete with the top-selling Apple TV and Roku 3 box.

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