Barb Gonzalez

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Barb Gonzalez  |  Aug 07, 2015  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics

PRICE $130

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Three bands with automatic switching for greater dedicated bandwidth to individual devices
Fast, reliable streaming throughout home network
Two USB ports make hard drives accessible within home and remotely
Minus
Dashboard makes it hard to customize some settings
Automated band switching and QoS remove options to change settings to suit your needs
No backup or media management software

THE VERDICT
A speedy, reliable router that’s great if you accept its automatic settings.

As I’ve taken to streaming as much 4K video as I can from Netflix and Amazon, it was important to get the fastest router. Perhaps there’s something psychological about the candy-apple red glossy exterior that reminds me of a cross between a drag racer and a spaceship, or perhaps it was its impressive specs, but either way, I was inspired to try out D-Link’s DIR890L/R top-of-the-line tri-band router.

Barb Gonzalez  |  Aug 06, 2015  |  1 comments
Chicago to extend Amusement tax to streaming services from Apple Music to Netflix.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jul 22, 2015  |  0 comments
Comcast has started beta testing the new Stream online TV service to its Internet customers. But is it enough to entice a new generation of TV viewers?
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jul 15, 2015  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $180

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Speaker and remote respond to plain English
Voice control initiates music, weather, traffic, and more
Voice-command access to music by artist, song, or radio station
Shopping list and reminders transfer to companion mobile app
Minus
Best used with Amazon Prime membership
Tendency to push Amazon products

THE VERDICT
The most useful gadget since the invention of the remote control.

When Amazon first made the Echo available to a limited number of Amazon Prime users, it seemed like a novelty device possibly destined to end up in the Land of Forgotten Gadgets. Instead, this voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker has become the device I wouldn’t want to live without.

Barb Gonzalez  |  Jul 08, 2015  |  0 comments
Showtime's new app for Roku and Apple TV streams shows and movies without a cable subscription and Hulu is offering a Showtime add-on.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jun 17, 2015  |  Published: Jun 04, 2015  |  0 comments
Announcements of new apps and the release of two new Android TV stand-alone boxes fuel hopes that more people will be enticed to try an Android TV.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jun 10, 2015  |  4 comments
Apple will finally offer a monthly subscription streaming service and despite the claims, it's not all revolutionary.
Barb Gonzalez  |  May 21, 2015  |  0 comments
Spotify adds video, original content, and an advanced running feature that ties music to a runner's pace.
Barb Gonzalez  |  May 06, 2015  |  2 comments
Google's new YouTube Music Key beta adds music videos to Google Play Music. Here's how it works.
Barb Gonzalez  |  May 01, 2015  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $39

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Easy installation in any HDMI port
Straightforward, simple menus
ASAP technology loads full resolution videos instantly
Plenty of free content for Amazon Prime members
Minus
Missing some major apps including Vudu and M-Go
Global search favors Amazon results
Remote app is inconsistent and voice search may not work

THE VERDICT
A great streaming choice for Amazon Prime members, particularly those who travel.

In case the 3-inch-square Fire TV was too big for you, Amazon has released its follow-up to that high-performing streaming media player. Along with reducing size to fit on an HDMI dongle, Amazon has also reduced the price—to $39, versus $99 for the full-size Fire TV. While the Stick comes without the original’s built-in remote control microphone for voice search (a mic remote is an option) and uses a dual-core processor rather than a quad-core processor, the differences are hardly noticeable in use. Both Fire TVs make it easy for Amazon Prime members to stream over 40,000 free movies and millions of songs as well as access an unlimited number of personal photos stored in the Amazon Cloud. And the Stick’s small size and weight should make it perfect for tossing in your luggage for streaming in hotel rooms while traveling (assuming, of course, suitable Wi-Fi access).

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