How To

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Cast videos from websites to the Roku.

Are there websites that you wish had Roku channels? The Roku family of products has thousands of apps and in the case of the Roku 3, 4 and HDMI streaming stick the ability to mirror some windows computers and Android phones. Roku’s can also launch a couple of apps Netflix and YouTube directly from their websites or from mobile apps. There is a private channel and Google Chrome extension for Roku that will allow users to cast videos from websites in the Google Chrome browser directly to the Roku. This will allow the device to support video from sources that don’t or may not ever have an official Roku channel. And it does so with a clear direct stream that does not require the Roku to mirror anything. On the other hand, there are any number of websites that are not represented via apps. The extension struggles with some sites including Hulu and CBS but there are already apps for it of course. Learn how to add Roku Cast here.

CBS All Access is a substantial offering as a streaming service providing access to CBS programming from throughout its daily schedule on-demand as well as a live streaming feed of local stations in over 60% of the US market on mobile and set-top devices. All of that is available along with a large library of past shows for $5.99 (plus tax) per month. But what if you just want to watch  one show. On a recent visit to the Apple store I struck up a conversation with an associate regarding salesNew PlayOn Channels figures for the Apple TV at that location (they appear strong btw). She has an Apple TV but said she wished she could watch Super Girl and that it is not available as part of the CBS app on her phone for AirPlay. She was unaware of Plex and for that matter PlayOn. With both Plex and PlayOn users can watch Super Girl without CBS All Access on Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku without having to resort to pirating or anything else nefarious.

If it’s not pirating how do Plex and PlayOn give me Super Girl? 
Plex Logo WhiteThe reason Plex and PlayOn can access Super Girl is that they connect with CBS’s website. And once the CBS channel is part of your Plex channel lineup on the free Plex media server users cab access the channel on a number of connected devices. PlayOn also accesses content via a web browser Internet Explorer. While users never use the browser actively it is what keeps the server tied to network sites. PlayOn is not free but does have inexpensive lifetime options that include DVR functions. Unlike the CBS apps, CBS’s website does provide free episodes of Super Girl, typically the last 5 that have aired. This works out very well for those who keep up with shows semi-regularly. I mean let’s face it, if you do not watch a show within a month of it airing it must not be that high on your list. Even Hulu’s commercial supported tier has a number of series that only provide the last five episodes.

Can You Watch Super Girl On Kodi?
USTV VOD CroppedYes. There is an app for Kodi called USTV VOD. The app, like Plex and PlayOn, accesses content via the respective websites of networks and provides users with a simple interface to watch them. This is another great way to keep up with favorites via the web without wrestling with yourself about whether it is the right thing to do or not. You also do not have to use another computer system in order to use Kodi, though it does not have official apps for the big three set-top boxes, Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV, nor does it have straight forward casting ability with Chromecast though there is a workaround. Kodi is available via the Fire TV without too much work as well as the Apple TV with a bit of effort.


Video on Plex and Plex Home Theater

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How to contact Hulu by phone email and social media

If Hulu is simply floating the idea of selling a 25% stake of the company to Time Warner and changing its business model to end next-day viewing maybe those who are concerned should let the company know directly instead of blowing up on message boards. Here is how you can do that. Call them. I did. I politely explained that I would cancel my service if the company did away with next day viewing and explained that I felt many others would too. If this sort of thing happens often it may send a clear message to the company as to what it’s future could look like if it makes such a move. Let Hulu know how you feel about these rumors and let them know what will happen if they are in fact true. Let as many people know how to do this as possible so that Hulu hears your voice.

The blogosphere wants to report on this story so give them a story to report on “Millions barraging Hulu threatening cancelation”. It will be picked up by the national media if it gets big enough.

Don’t waste you energy on forums and facebook. Tell the company personally.

Hulu’s telephone Number
1 (888) 265-6650

Hulu’s Customer support Email

Hulu On Facebook

Hulu On Twitter

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The Super Bowl will be broadcast live on CBS. That works well for US citizens within the 50 states, but what if you live overseas? There is a simple solution. That solution is USTV Now. USTV Now is a web-based solution that allows US expatriates to watch US based network television for free via websites. If they choose to users can also access multiple cable Channels for a fee. USTV Now is available via it’s website as well as via apps for Plex and Kodi as well as a private Roku Channel. In order to use the service users must register an email adress and create a password. Once this is done follow instructions to log in and select the channel of your choice. In the case of the Super Bowl select CBS and stream on. For more information on USTV Now see the related articles bellow.

USTV Now Website

Plex Unsupported App Store Installer

USTV Now On Plex

Fire TV owners may as well make a full investment in the Amazon ecosystem.

We have discussed how the Amazon Fire TV is sort of a great Android media player in stealth mode. The Fire TV may well have a different look than Android media players and the Android TV interface but it is in fact capable of operating apps meant for Android phones and tablets. This is why Fire TV’s loaded with Kodi are popular via third party dealers. In order to load third party apps onto the Fire TV in the past users were required to download special programs to their laptops or understand DOS commands. But as the Amazon ecosystem has evolved it has begun to support a number of programs that help users load numerous programs. One of the most important is ES File Explorer.

What is ES File Explorer?
ES File Explorer has long been a favorite of Android device users because of its ability to access files on cloud based services all in one place. Users can access Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, Yandex, Mega Cloud, Baidu Disk, Amazon’s S3, Box and SugarSync. While most people use programs like that to transfer documents they can easily be use to transfer APK’s. The only problem is where do you find APK’s in the first place. How do you add ES File Explorer to Fire TV? Press the voice search and ask for it. Once ES File Explorer is loaded users can access their respective cloud services and add apps to their favorite cloud service as easily as they add an attachment to an email.

Users can’t download apps to their computers via the Google Play Store. But Aptoide’s mobile site is a perfect place to get them. In fact not only can you download apps to a computer from Aptoide you can download the Aptoide mobile app itself and load it on to the Fire TV via one of the cloud services utilized by ES File Explorer. Once Aptoide is installed onto your Fire TV adding other apps is as simple as asking for them. Once downloaded you can access them right from the apps section of the home page menu. That means that you will have a searchable app store waiting for you whenever you need it.

To download the Aptoid App Click Here
To be taken to Aptoide’s Mobile Store Click Here

How do you use ES File Explorer to access Cloud Services
Good question.
1. First add ES File Explorer via the Fire TV. (just ask for it by name)
2. Use the remote to navigate to the menu item labeled Network and click OK
3. Use the remote to navigate to the option for Cloud and press OK
4. Use the remote to navigate to the bottom of the screen to the horizontal menu. The first choice on the menu should say Exit. Navigate two spots over to the + New symbol
5. Choose your prefered cloud service and sign in to access your apk’s
6. Open your storage folder and select the app you want installed and press ok.
7. Once the app has downloaded you will be taken to a grey screen. Click the yellow Install button on the screen and you will be all set.

Amazon is making sideloaded apps easy to access
Amazon’s home menu allows users to access all of their downloaded apps as well as third party installed apps from the Apps section of its menu. Gone are the days when you had to trick the system into making icons for your favorite third party apps. By accessing the apps menu one can find any app that is on the machine whether you added it from Amazon’s app store or via a USB stick.

Special recommendation
Users may find that a number of Android apps do not perform well when using Amazon’s supplied remote, which of course is designed to navigate its official tv apps. Because of this we would recommend users who want to use the Fire TV in this way to invest in an air mouse, which is a remote control that allows users to use the remote like a mouse with a cursor. You will thank me for this suggestion. Some air mouses also feature full keyboards. A large selection can be found on Amazon’s Website here

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How do you Install Kodi on an Apple TV 4? It can be done without any any jailbreaking or funky hacking. In order to install Kodi on the new Apple TV you must download a number of free applications and follow the instructions step by step. In the end you will install Kodi on the new Apple TV without any need to hack you Apple TV or download a new operating system to the device.

I have tested a lot of Android boxes in the past 2 years and one thing I can say about all of them is this. Working over the air (OTA)  updates make a big difference in the user experience. The MINIX U1 has an OTA firmware update mechanism. Check out our video to see how to use it to keep the system up to date.

Pluto TV is continuing to bring important content to the American people through its implementation of the debate channel. Users with IOS devices, Android devices, Fire TV, And Android TV devices as well as stand alone apps for computers and its website can take in replays of the entire slate of debates that have taken place so far. I checked the website and had a chance to see the Republicans on the attack against each other and of course the current administration. If you would like to see the October 28th debate from CNBC check it out on Pluto TV on any number of formats.

Check out Pluto TV here

How do you stream the NBA? There are three really great options for NBA fans in the age of streaming. Sports is always a driver for TV and as options have grown it is now quite easy for NBA fans to watch or listen to basketball basketball almost every night of the week. Check out how.

Sling TelevisionSling Television
Sling Television or as most people call it Sling TV is not simply an NBA streaming option, it is a inexpensive TV streaming solution with multiple packages and a core offering of over 20 mainstream TV channels. The reason it’s great for NBA fans is that within it’s core $20.00 package is TNT home of Inside The NBA and the totally outspoken Charles Barkley as well as ESPN. Between ESPN and TNT most NBA fans have at least 2-4 NBA games to watch every week of the season and are blanketed during the playoffs. The best thing is that Sling does not require any sort of long term subscription. Sign up is instant. In order to access the service users will need a compatible device. Sling is supported across a large array of devices from a standalone app for computers, to apps for IOS, Android, Roku, Android TV devices. On TV or on the go fans can take in the NBA at their convenience and enjoy the rest of the channels like TBS and AMC too.

NBA League PassNBA League Pass
NBA League Pass is an Internet based service from the league itself. It offers multiple options. One is an all you can eat package that allows fans to see every team in the league (baring which ever team is shown locally). That means that fans in LA can not watch the Lakers and Clippers with League pass, but Lakers fans in Huston can. The big package has two payment options a one time $199.99 payment and 5 payment plan of $44.99.

Follow one team
New this year is the option to follow one team only. This package costs 119.99 for the one payment option or 5 payments of $26.99. If you really only admire one team this is way to go. I think you might get burned though. There always seems to be a couple of major stories in a season whether it is a flash in the pan like Jeremy Lin’s amazing run with the Knicks or the emergence of a major rookie you may kick yourself for not getting access to the league wide package. On the other hand if you are a real team superfan who hates the rest of the league on principle the one team option is perfect.

If you will be on the road often during games but have a very dependable cellular network the NBA Audio streaming option may be for you. A onetime payment of $9.99 gets fans access to all of the NBA games. This could really be great for truck drivers and those who will not be able to sit and relax in front of the TV on a regular basis. It’s almost like a satellite radio option.

One Game Options
If you know that you are not going to have the opportunity to really take advantage of one of the bigger offerings available the NBA does offer the option to purchase one game at a time for $6.99. Cheaper than any nose bleed seat this is an easy way to see the “it” game. The price can add up quickly though so consider how many one time games you might purchase. If you only want to take in 9 or so regular season games in one season this would be cost effective. If you are going to want to see more action go with a bigger package.

NBA on TNTTNT Overtime
This is a totally free way to follow the NBA through multiple feeds from TNT. The broadcast is strictly from computers and mobile devices. It lets fans view the game from various angles and perspectives like From the sideline, from the camera on the backboard etc. Its like getting a free seat with limited angles. Fan get commentary and an option to watch the studio show but will miss out on any sort of graphics and so on. With the advent of mirroring options it is possible to view TNT overtime on TV. Mirroring via Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku is quite possible. There is just no dedicated app for the service.

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For a number of people Kodi is Confluence. What do I mean by that? Confluence is that standard blue and black look that typically is the default for any download of Kodi or XBMC. But one of my favorite things about Kodi is that you can change the look up and give it more of a personality.  The easiest way to do that is to download new skins. This guide will teach you how to get set up with the new Mario skin. It has video game sound effects and wonderful animations. Follow theses steps and you should be good to go.

Download the skin file here

Go to Your Downloads Folder on your browser

downloads Folder

Click the option Show in folder

Mario Skin Show In Folder

copy the file

Mario Skin Zip Download

Create a folder on your desktop call it Mario

create new folder

Paste the file in the Mario folder you created

Open Kodi

Navigate to Systems

Navigate to Add-ons

Install From Zip

Follow the pathway In the case of my computer it was C:/Users/Owner/Desktop/Mario

See Video for setup tips