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Streaming Devices

Cut the Cord or Buy a Bundle?

Cut the Cord or Buy a Bundle?

Streaming services are nudging cable television aside as single device technology is taking over the market. Early adapters of smart tech will remember the iPhone emergence; a first of its kind encapsulating phone, music and camera in one pocket sized device. Televisions have followed suit, fast forwarding past the need of dvd’s, cables and dvr. Audiences ranging from Millennials to Baby Boomers are now buying smart tv’s to bring music, video, and live television to their screens while keeping both form and function in mind. 

Home Technology Experts tackles a question most people are asking: What is better, cable or streaming?

“Homeowners are on a mission to streamline household technology on the least amount of devices, and have every viewing option in one place. Smart tv’s own the market and continue to break the mold with options and picture quality,” states Alex Karoussos, President of HTE. New products have even tackled the issue of aesthetics, where a Sunday sports fan and a discerning interior designer may share a wall without compromise, with mounted tv’s that display fine art or mimic a mirror when not in use. 

While quality of picture progressively increases (4K) streaming content has yet to keep pace. While streaming is undeniably convenient, it can be limiting to image quality and the number of tv’s in a home. “Your tv may have the capacity to emit a 4K image but the quality of your service will always depend on your internet connection. With a poor connection, your investment in a high-end device will suffer if the picture is not great. We see this happen often. It’s incredibly visible when streaming sports or highly detailed productions; the picture quality just does not compare to hard-wired cable,” says Alex. “Streaming is usually limited to a certain number of devices, as well. Say, three devices on a subscription and five tv’s, laptops and tablets in your home. You will only be able to watch on three at a time.”

Cable has less limitations and delivers a better picture through 1080i or 1080p, depending on connection. A direct connection to the tv delivers high-end video output for a less pixelated and clearer picture. “Live action sports always stream better when connected to cable,” says Alex. “The only downside to cable is apparent, the tv must be connected to wires and a cable box.”

While TIVO has become all but forgotten, Karoussos is still a believer, “It’s worth a look. TIVO offers solutions for free over-the-air stations with an antenna that delivers amazing picture quality and networks such as NBC, ABC plus streaming.” Apple has announced they will mix it up and become the ‘cable box of streaming.’ Karoussos is a fan, “You can use Apple TV for everything." HTE determines the best solutions based on discussion, customizing the audio video project to a client’s wants and needs. “Cable isn’t dead yet.”

APPLE TV & ROKU: THE 4th GENERATION

APPLE TV & ROKU: THE 4th GENERATION

Both Apple TV and Roku on their 4th generation, so how do these new devices compare to their predecessor and each other?  Let’s take a look.

The long awaited Apple TV is finally here and as promised it does have an app store. Now that your downloads are no longer limited to media, the new Apple TV offers additional storage.  You can choose between 32 or 64 GB. However this does cause the 4th generation to be slightly thicker by 12 millimeters, a little less than half an inch.

One of the biggest changes between the generations is the remote.  The new remote ditches the circular hard button controls for a directional touchpad.   It keeps the menu and play/pause buttons and adds a home button, volume up and down feature, as well as a hard button to access Siri.  Unlike its predecessors, if you lose this remote, you can use an app on your phone to replace it.

Other updates include the addition of Apple Music, Bluetooth 4.0, and an upgrade from a single –core A5 chip to a duel-core A8 chip.  For those of you who have an Apple TV as a staple in your home theater, the audio capability has increased from 5.1 surround sound to 7.1 surround sound.

The Roku already featured voice control, an accompanying app, additional hard buttons, and the ability to play games.  The 4th generation Roku features a quad-core processor, duel-band wireless, and 4K video, which Apple TV does not have.  Voice search is now available on the Roku app and a remote finder has been added.

All In One Video Device

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All In One Video Device

At HTE, we’re in the business of simplifying, it's an essential philosophy governing to all of our designs and processes.  Keeping in line with this philosophy, we are always looking for and testing products that make tasks easier, and that is exactly what TiVo Roamio does. Now with the new TiVo Bolt, you can do it all in 4K!

Early adapters of the company's pioneering technology back in the late ‘90s, may associate the term TiVo with DVR, but the company’s Roamio line is much more than a recorder- it’s the functionality of all your video sources in one.

How It Works

Simply connect the box to your cable and internet and set up your services. TiVo Roamio replaces the following:

  • Cable Box and DVR
  • Sling Box
  • Streaming Devices: Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire

 

Which Services Do You Need?

  • Cable Service
  • Internet Service
  • TiVo Service
  • Application Subscriptions: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, etc.

 

Advantages

  • Eliminates technical issues caused by your cable provider's equipment (which you're currently renting).
  • For those without distributed video, a single box provides the functionality of multiple devices, reducing clutter.
  • Finding content is drastically simplified with OnePass.
  • In many cases, using a TiVo Roamio with TiVo Minis will cost less than equipment rentals andstreaming device purchases. 
 

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