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 …

Nvidia Shield TV (second generation) review: Still the best media streamer for geeks

The Nvidia Shield TV, a $180 Android-based streaming box with lots of processing power, appeals to a scattershot of audiences. It’s the ideal streamer for media hoarders who want to build a cheap a Plex server, for cord-cutters who want to roll their own over-the-air DVR, for Kodi enthusiasts (with that media center’s morally dubious third-party plug-ins), for a certain breed of living-room gamers, and for people who just want as much computing power as they can get.At the same time, cheaper 4K streaming devices such as Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K and Roku’s Streaming Stick+ have gotten better at the basics, providing adequate performance while rivaling or surpassing the Shield TV’s HDR support at a fraction of its cost.To read this article in full, please click here …

Why don’t Samsung and LG make streaming boxes?

Not long ago, I thought of smart TV software—especially from the likes of Samsung and LG—as something to ignore. Dedicated streaming devices such as Roku’s Streaming Stick and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick offered slicker interfaces and better app selections, which made me wonder why TV makers even bothered making subpar software.A funny thing’s happened in recent years, though: Smart TV software from LG and Samsung has actually gotten pretty good. Now, I’m wondering why those companies don’t take a page from Roku and Amazon, and put their software on external streaming players.To read this article in full, please click here …

In defense of smart TV snooping

Let’s award a medal of bravery to Vizio CTO Bill Baxter, who last week delivered a candid explanation for why modern smart TVs—even the really good ones—have become so cheap.Speaking to The Verge’s Nilay Patel, Baxter acknowledged that Vizio can monitor everything users are watching, then anonymize that data and sell it to marketers or use it to show targeted ads. Those methods, along with the occasional movie rental or TV show purchase, help Vizio make money long after selling the television itself. A dumb TV without internet features, Baxter said, would probably cost more than a comparable smart TV due to the hardware’s slim profit margins and inability to pull in extra revenue down the road.To read this article in full, please click here …


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