The best Google Home-compatible smart home devices

Google Home, the search giant’s series of smart speakers powered by Google Assistant, is a pretty impressive hands-free helper. You can ask it when your next meeting is, tell it to add an item to your grocery shopping list, have it call your spouse’s phone, and perform myriad other daily tasks.But it’s third-party products that put the “home” in Google Home. It works with thousands of smart home devices that can help you with everything from controlling your entertainment system to managing your energy usage to improving your home security. Here are our top picks in a range of popular categories.Best Google Home-compatible smart bulb Philips has done more than any other company to bring smart LEDs into our homes, and Google Assistant gives you hands-free control over their unbeatable bulbs. Not only can you use voice commands to turn the lights on and off, you can also ask Google if you’ve left lights on in any room, adjust the dimming, set and change colors, and configure timers. This starter kit provides everything you need to take command of your indoor lighting.To read this article in full, please click here …

Cord cutting: A beginner’s guide

Now is a better time than ever to cut the cable or satellite TV cord. Instead of paying upwards of $100 per month for a bloated channel bundle, you can replace it with streaming TV services—and perhaps an TV antenna—at a fraction of the cost.Sorting through these new options isn’t always easy, though, especially if you aren’t tech savvy. Whereas cable made everything simple, cutting the cord requires picking from a dozen different hardware options and many more online video services, not all of which are compatible with one another. Adding an over-the-air TV antenna to the mix creates even further headache potential.I’ve been a cord-cutter for more than a decade, have written a weekly column on the topic since 2014, and I write a cord-cutting newsletter for more than 16,000 subscribers. With so many people being priced out of cable, now seems like the perfect time to create a definitive cord-cutting guide for folks who don’t know where to start.To read this article in full, please click here …

Channels DVR review: A powerful but pricey DVR for discerning cord-cutters

In some ways, Channels DVR is tough to recommend. The subscription cost is much greater than other over-the-air DVR options, the hardware requirements are more stringent, and even some basic features—such as conflict resolution—are absent.Yet Channels DVR also has a few strengths to compensate for those weaknesses: Recording options are deeply customizable, video quality on Apple TV is superior to other cord-cutting DVRs, and you can easily skip through recorded commercial breaks with the press of a button. Channels also excels at some of the little things, including loading live channels quickly, stacking multiple tuners, and allowing series-based recordings for sports.To read this article in full, please click here …

Save $40 on Amazon’s Fire TV Cube and stream the big game without cable

The Super Bowl is just around the corner, and you know what that means: awesome game day food, a whole lineup of unusually interesting commercials, and of course, the most exciting event of the year for football fans, all while gathered around the big screen. Even cord-cutters won’t have to miss out on the action. In fact, you can tune in on the cheap with the help of a pretty sweet discount on Amazon’s Fire TV Cube, down to $80 today from a list price of $120.This cube-shaped streaming device is best-known for its voice control, with the smarts of Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant built right in. You can turn on your TV, play videos and music, adjust volume, change the channel, check the weather and news, and more with just the sound of your voice. You can also use it to access streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu and stream in 4K Ultra HD.To read this article in full, please click here …


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