Monthly Archives: November 2014

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TastemadeTaste Made
This is a fun take on cooking channels. The presentation is much more food network like, vs the many cooking channels on Roku that feel much more like video blogs. Each group of selections has its own personality. There are road trip shows, in the kitchen cooking shows and a lot more. But this is one of my favorite cooking apps in a while.
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MyWhyMyWhyTV
This is a stunningly lacking channel. There are five video segments two are short trailers for the two 35 minute videos that are available. Another is a 25 second clip designed to get you to the organization’s website. And as of now that’s it. ……ok.

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OrthodoxOrthodox Christian Network
Features three audio feeds. One is a talk radio station featuring topics related to the Christian Orthodox faith and its place in the world. One feed is liturgical church music and the third appears to be a foreign language feed. It is not explained via the Roku Chanel or the website. But I would call it is nice resource for those who practice this faith or even those looking to learn.
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I Am

I Am Flix
Well developed offering 3000 available titles. The films are Christian leaning and  made with family viewing in mind. Some selections feature descriptions that encourage parents to watch it before they let kids see it. The service offers a free month, PPV options for 1.99 along with monthly and yearly plans Monthly Add free 5.99/7.99 yearly. 69.99/92.99
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Art of SeductionArt of seduction
Channel where all of the featured content is romantic. Some of it the softer side of romance and some far more grown up. There are two tiers one free and one for $ 5.99 a month. Though there are some features listed in both sections the selections are different on the two tiers its not an add free v ads type deal. This is one of the more original concepts to be launched on Roku.
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ShopTVShop TV
Just in time for Christmas comes  a channel that lets you shop from the couch. Users can purchase items through their phone and choose from themes like TV Shows “think New Girl Mug” and Celebs along with looking at online offerings from Target, Walmart and Overstock.com even search by brand. This is the sort of thing I expected with Amazon and Fire TV.
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LivingLiving in Favor Global Network
A channel with a live stream of a leadership development series available every 5th Saturday at 9am. You better hope you are reading this early or you will miss out until January.

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If you are looking for something to watch this week besides the traditional college football match ups Pluto.tv has a suggestion. Mystery Science Theater 3000. The campy show witch grew to fame in the US on The Comedy Channel and later Comedy Central is featured on a new channel on the company’s website and apps. Users who head to pluto.tv will be able to binge on hours of of cheesy movies and snappy commentary while they rest their feet after holiday shopping.

Watch MST3K Online out click here

 

 

 

 

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Roku.com

Roku LT 29.99
Roku’s last refresh of its most basic model. The LT can render 720p HD resolution which while not the highest is still as high as many “HD” channels offered by cable and broadcast companies. One of its best features may actually be that it has an AV port which makes it a nice gift idea for those buying for a new user who has yet to jump in with an HD TV.

Click here

Walmart
Roku 1 $28.00 in store ($20.00 savings)
Like the Roku LT the Roku 1 will connect with older TV sets as well as HDTVs. Roku 1, unlike the LT, gives users a max of 1080p HD resolution for content. But it means you will have to spend time in store. But if you are trying to get ahold of a discounted 50 inch TV $28.00 may well be worth giving the Roku 1 a try.

Best Buy
Amazon Fire TV Streaming Stick$24.99 (saving $15.00)
This is a great deal for what you get. Fire TV is a dongle with the power of a Roku 3. The unit like the Fire TV set-Top Box does not support HBO-Go but does support many popular apps including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Watch ESPN, Hulu Plus a and many others.
In Store and online Buy online click here for more info

Roku LT 29.99 ($20.00 savings)
As was stated above. The LT is a great value. Order online to avoid overspending at the store! The item is likely not going to be available in store since it was pulled at most locations in favor of the HDMI Streaming Stick. Buy Online

Roku 3 84.00($15.00 savings)
The Roku 3 is the top model of all. And though this is not as stunning a deal as the $28.00 Roku 1 it might entice some who are looking for a new streaming option. Features the fastest processor and a motion remote for games along with the headphone remote feature.
Buy Online

Roku Streaming Stick 39.99(10.00 savings)
Not a tremendous deal but it is a discount.
Buy Online

Theater in a Box
XBMC
Armada Mach 8 Pure Linux 109.99 (20.00 savings)
The Armada Mach 8 Pure Linux Box is a dynamo of a media device. Running XBMC on Linux is lightning quick and its simple to use features like Total Installer and Cloud Word make the device a great barging at that price. Buy Online Click here

Armada Mach 8 Android 4k
Android media player featuring the new TV centered Code Red launcher and custom XBMC build that includes the easy to use Total Installer. Online Only

Costco
Chromecast 25.00 ($10.00 savings) with (10.00) Google Play Credit and a free two months of Google Play Music. Good deal for those looking for a less involved media experience.

Target
Apple TV 79.00 (Savings $20.00)
Usually $99.00. Apple TV is a must have item for those with a number of IOS devices in the home. The device mirrors the screens of Mac computers, iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices, lets users connect with AirPlay, access to streaming apps and purchase content from the iTunes store.

 

 

 

 

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The Streaming Advisor would like to wish everybody a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Eat, watch football and enjoy.

The Fire TV stick is a dual core dongle with a lot of potential. Selling for a regular price of 40.00 it packs a great deal of power and performance into a pocket sized device. And the good news is that with big box retailers trying to beat back Amazon you may well find it at a steep discount. Best Buy is currently selling the Fire TV Stick for $26.00, which is only $7.00 more than Prime members were charged for the device during a two-day window at launch. Read our full review bellow.

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The Tablo Is a different take on the DVR.

Tablo users can now access their live TV and DVR content on almost any wireless device. Tablo recently expanded its app lineup to include downloadable web apps for IOS and Android smart phones. The company already offered apps for iPad’s, Amazon Fire Tablets and Android Tablets. Combine that with the Roku private channel, the computer based web app and the unofficial but very good Plex app and it looks like Tablo can be accessed on nearly any device in some way shape or form.

Though the apps are web based they are still accessed via their respective app

The Tablo web app for mobile phones gives users one more screen for quiet private viewing.
The Tablo web app for mobile phones gives users one more screen for quiet private viewing.

stores. For instance IOS users must first download the the app from the app store, then sync it with their Tablo unit. Once the web app is downloaded and set up it performs just like any other application on the device. It has its own touch based interface and does not show a URL at the top of the screen.

Tabo Apps
Roku Private Channel-
The Roku Private channel app accesses the Tablo and creates a simple interface for users to access live TV and recorded content. It is not as rich as the apps for mobile devices but gets the job done. Keep in mind though that the Roku App is not available from the Roku Channel Store. It is available though through Tablo’s website. We will provide a link to the apps section of Tablo’s site below.

Mobile apps for Tablets- The Fire Tablet, IOS and Android apps basically transform the tablet into a viewing screen from over the air signals. They have easy to navigate touch based GUI’s and provide access to the recordings from an external source. There are some limitations such as OS compatibility but for devices that meet the company’s specs they perform admirably.

Plex-The Plex app is not an official app. It was created by a Tablo fan for use on Plex but having used it I have to say that it gets the job done quite well. The app sets up a block based look with  basic icons for the key functions and allows users to chose the over the air station to view and even creates a nifty interface. While not as quick as the other options it is great way to access Tablo from a device like the Fire TV or Fire Stick which do not have a Tablo app at the time of this writing.

Tablo for Computers-Tablo’s web based app for computers is similar to the tablet apps except that it is set up with menus that work better for users with a mouse or touch pad. It creates a solid experience for those using a computer, and of course will provide users a larger screen than any Tablet.

Tablo Apps Page Click here

Matricom Joins Quad Core Family.

The much anticipated G-Box-Q has arrived bringing the Matricom product into the quad core universe with a new look and a new chipset utilizing Amlogic quad-core processor and an Octocore Mali GPU. This hardware is becoming very common with Android boxes and is found on other quad core products like the Armada Mach 8 Android box and the Minix Neo X8-H.  The box offers substantial power and a new launcher called

The G-Box Q advertises 3-D capability. We unfortunately cannot test this.
The G-Box Q advertises 3-D capability. We unfortunately cannot test this. Image from Matricom.net

the G-Box Experience launcher, a more graphically based interface that includes larger icons. It replaces the more puzzle looking interface found on the last model’s firmware.

Read further for more details on our G-Box Q Review.

Google Play Store
The G-Box Q runs a full version of Android which means that the Google Play store is available along with its full complement of apps. This means that users will be able to download Android games and video apps without being limited to a pre-selected group of apps. Until Apple releases a full app store on its Apple TV product the Google Play store is by far the most expansive app store available.

G-Box Experience Launcher
The G-Box Q Experience Launcher is an easy to access launcher that looks to have taken a cue from other products like the Fire TV or even Roku. Gone are the giant launch buttons prevalent in the typical Chinese based launchers. This interface

The G-Box Experiance launcher is a total departure from anything Matricom has released in the past.
The G-Box Experiance launcher is a total departure from anything Matricom has released in the past.

features identically sized rectangle icons. Users add the apps directly to the front page via the Google Play store. Once the apps are in place users access their apps by scrolling Carousel style. The navigation on the launcher is easy whether using a remote or air mouse.

XBMC
G-Box comes with Kodi 14.0 installed with Matricom’s own colorful Confluence based skin. The Kodi build also comes pre-installed with Total XBMC which was a smart move for the developers considering the popularity of the Mach 8 Pure Lin

Matricom uses a colorful background image to brand Kodi on its box.
Matricom uses a colorful background image to brand Kodi on its box.

ux which started the growing trend. Total XBMC is a program that allows users to install their favorite apps without having to install URL’s. Its inclusion shows that Matricom has been paying attention to the market as other products like the Armada Mach 8 Pure Linux have grown in popularity due to ease of use. Making XBMC/Kodi easy to use will increase interest in the program.

Performance
Speaking of ease of use the power of this box is evident when downloading apps from both the Google Play Store and XBMC. At this point if you release a new

A gyro remote is helpful and in some cases need for a number of Android Apps.
A gyro remote is helpful and in some cases need for a number of Android Apps.

streaming box and it does not run on a quad core you might as well be stuck in the 90’s. The industry leading Amlogic quad-core processor makes an obvious difference for this product over the dual core model. Video loads much quicker and audio runs clear and crisp. The apps load quickly too. Unfortunately a number of the Android apps are not all accessible with a standard remote and will require an air mouse or wireless keyboard. But if you already have one on hand you are good to go.

Ports
The G-Box Q features two USB ports along with a full sized SD card slot. It also features an Ethernet port for those who  prefer to plug the box directly to the modem (me and those who want the best speeds) instead of relying on a Wifi connection. I was a little surprised that the device did not have more ports. The MX-2 was loaded with 4 USB ports. One note on the USB ports. Because of the design of the G-Box Q which has an extended top, some more bulky USB sticks may have trouble fitting.

OTA Updater
Another feature that is becoming a must is the ability to update without using SD cards or USB sticks. But just a tip onOTA updaters, unless you are willing and capable of reloading your machine I would not allow the updater to download updates automatically or install betas. It may be tempting to see new features ahead of time but if you break your box you will regret it.

Where do you buy the G-Box Q?
Matricom sells the product at Amazon Click here

 

 

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This week brought us a great new Music Channel for Greatful Dead fans, some over the top theories about the immediate future of our planet, a host of re-branded channels from Future Today as well as the first of its type live stream of Muslim religious TV.

AlhikmatAlhikmat TV
This is a Muslim centered channel with a live stream of messages and Interfaith programs. The channel feed is clean but not well formatted for modern TV’s. Watching it feels no different than a regular TV channel. One of only a handful of Roku options for muslims.

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Christ FamilyChrist Family Apostolic Network
Live feed channel featuring Christian sermons from the Christ Family Apostolic Network. Users can watch full screen live streams. Video is not HD quality but is stable and has good audio. This is not one of those camera feeds from the back of the room that dominate the spiritual listings on Roku.

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Aliens and CowboysAliens and Cowboys
Not to be confused with the Sci-Fi Romp, the Cowboys and Aliens channel features public domain fair like a number of other Roku channels but this one is one of the few with the gaul to charge for the content. I would not spend too much time on this one. A good option instead would be Cape TV.

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Vegas Sports AdvisrosVegas Sports Advisors
Part of a network of Vegas Sports Advisor channels and apps this channel provides fantasy sports and gambling participants with analysis to utilize ahead of the weekend games. The channel features TV studio shows and video blog styled information. Not a bad resource for the millions who participate in the activities.
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BizarreBizarre
Channel that compiles various clips from around the web concerning pop culture news and social media trends. This channel is a fun way to kill a few minutes and some of the content is very well produced. Only 60 clips available overall at the moment, but it might be worth checking back on things.
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