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Looking For a Good Streaming Service? Here Are Your Options

Streaming services have become a preferred choice of entertainment for many of us. They are no more an add-on to cable entertainment, but a replacement for cable TV. There are more streaming services in the market today than you probably know. That is not necessarily a bad thing, because not all of them are worth knowing. So, which of them are worth knowing? Here is a list for you to consider.

YouTube

This is one of the biggest names in the video streaming business. YouTube is a free streaming service on which anyone can watch online videos. There is a lot of good and original content created by YouTubers and it can only be found on this site. However, it is not the best option if you want to follow TV shows or watch movies. There is a paid version of the service that goes by the name of YouTube Red  Here you can find a lot of premium content and rent some of the content that you like.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon backs this service and that says a lot about its quality. This streaming service entered the industry a little late, but it built its content library pretty quickly. There are tens of thousands of videos in the content library for you to enjoy. Moreover, subscribers also get access to a lot of cool Prime benefits. These include a free Kindle books, Amazon Music, free 2-day shipping, and so on.

Amazon Prime Instant Video was earlier only available with an annual subscription of $99. Because all of its competitors were offering a monthly plan as well, which is more flexible, the service also came out with one. Consumers can now pay $10.99 for a monthly subscription of Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Netflix

This is the service that is at the top of the streaming game today. Surely, you would be making a good decision if you went ahead with it. Netflix offers an excellent selection of movies that are constantly updated. You will not always find recent releases, but you will find some good titles there. The number of TV shows, however, is not that impressive, but it is alright. That being said, Netflix more than makes up for it by offering an exceptional array of original programming. It includes gems like Narcos, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Stranger Things, and so on.

In fact, over the past few years, Netflix has decluttered its library to make space for more and more original programming. Its budgets are ballooning and it is producing high quality shows, which are exclusively available on the platform.

Netflix offers three monthly subscription packs called Basic, Standard, and Premium. The basic plan is the cheapest at $7.99 a month, and offers only one standard definition stream. The standard plan can be yours for just $9.99 a month and offers two simultaneous HD streams. The premium plan is the most expensive and costs a monthly rental $11.99 with which you get 4 UHD streams at the same time.

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Sling TV

Sling TV belongs to a new crop of streaming services. It does not have a content library for you to pick videos from. Instead, Sling TV’s proposition is to offer you all the experience of live cable television, minus the hassles and costs that come with it. When you subscribe for Sling TV, you are basically getting a cable connection without any of the binding paperwork or the cable itself. All you get is the convenience of watching your favorite network shows on the device of your choice from anywhere you like.

Though Sling TV is way cheaper than a cable subscription, it is on the expensive side when you compare it with other streaming services. The cheapest plan you get with Sling TV is a $20 monthly pack that includes 28 channels and on-demand content. This plan is named Sling Orange. Then, there is Sling Blue, which can be yours for $25 a month subscription fee and you will get a little over 40 channels and of course, the on-demand content. The highest plan in the lineup is the Sling Orange+Blue plan with a monthly fee of $40 and 60+ channels on offer.

Hulu Plus

This one is another big player in the streaming market and is backed by bigwigs like The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and Time Warner. Hulu Plus is a TV show lover’s delight, because it has one awesome library of shows. It’s not really surprising when you take a look at Hulu’s list of promoters. They are the same companies which own some of the major cable networks in the country. So, if you want to watch cable shows via a streaming service, Hulu Plus should be your thing.

The movie library with Hulu Plus is decent as well, but it is nothing compared to its TV show collection. You will find a TV show on Hulu Plus just hours after its airing on cable TV. The one big complaint that people have with Hulu is the number of commercials that the subscribers have to sit through.

There are two paid plans that are available to the customers. The first one is the $7.99 monthly subscription pack, which is the cheapest monthly plan offered by any streaming service. This one is also called the limited commercials plan, because it has little less ads than the free version. But, there is a no-commercials plan that delivers what it promises for just $11.99 per month.

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PlayStation Vue

From the house of Sony, PlayStation Vue’s services are similar to that of Sling TV in theory. However, PlayStation Vue is a lot more expensive than Sling TV. The service’s plans change according to the cities you are living in.

On the cheaper end of the spectrum are the Slim plans that start at $29.99 and offer 55+ channels called the Access Slim. Then there are the Core Slim and Elite Slim. While the former costs $34.99 per month, it offers 70+ channels, the latter costs $44.99 a month, and gets you more than 100 channels.

If you are in one of the Vue’s select cities, you can subscribe to the Access pack that costs $39.99 and gets you over 60 channels. The Core package here will get you 75+ channels for $40, while the Elite plan will fetch you a 100 channels for a $45 monthly subscription fee.

The Apprentice: Season One DVD Review

With Donald Trump all set to become the 45th President of the United States, his past appearances in movies and TV shows have generated sudden interest in the public. It is definitely a unique experience to watch the next leader of the free world pitching in a reality show. The Apprentice is one such show and should certainly be your first pick ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of the President-elect. For you, here is the review of the season one of the show.

Anyone who has watched the original show will notice that the DVD edition has done away with the original O’Jays’ For the Love of Money and replaced it with some pop song with no character. It is uninspiring and a letdown really.

Moving on to the actual DVD, season one of The Apprentice comes in a set of five discs. There are four episodes in discs 1 to 4 and these do not feature any extras. However, the fifth disc has two hours’ worth of extras. Of course, the fifth disc has been included as a bonus, but it can hardly be called that. It is nothing but hours of audition tapes of the 16 contestants, and the quality of the recordings is pretty bad. These are probably fourth or fifth reproductions and that has really ruined the quality of the content. But, the boring stuff is not over yet. This disc also includes interviews with the show’s host and executive producer, Donald Trump. Not only this, it also includes interviews with Trump’s two executives, George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher, who supervise the candidate during the entire show.

As if that’s not discouraging enough, the lucky buyers get a copy of music video for the horrible theme song. All in all, no one would have complained if the “bonus” fifth disc had been eliminated.

The actual show, however, is actually interesting. In fact, the show that was aired in 2004, consistently maintained high rankings, and went on to become the most successful new show that year. The show was basically a 13-week selection process, at the end of which one of the sixteen candidates would get a job offer as the President of one of the many businesses of the Trump Empire and a six-figure salary. It was not touted as a run up to the job, but a chance for the winner to become Trump’s apprentice and eventually, bud out to become a billionaire himself or herself. The cast of the show, as is with any reality show, was to bring together as many Type A personalities together to stir up enough drama. And it did not disappoint.

In a nutshell, The Apprentice was a fun watch and the DVD will deliver just that. However, do not get too excited about the extras. The image quality of the actual show is good and it can be seen in full frame. The Dolby 2.0 audio works fine, although it is not exceptional. The one glaring miss that you might notice is the absence of a commentary track, which is kind of disappointing.

But, the show itself is entertaining and if you are into reality shows, then it is a recommended watch. If you sign up for high speed Internet service, you can also watch many episodes of The Apprentice online.

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About My Dog Skip

My Dog Skip is best known as a heartwarming film starring a young Frankie Muniez. The film was based on a memoir of the same name by Willie Morris, which covered Morris’s youth in Mississippi and his experiences raising Skip, his beloved pet dog. The film was a modest success in the box office and received mild critical praise, particularly for performances by its younger cast. The following are some interesting things that you (probably!) didn’t know about My Dog Skip, the original memoir, and the dog that inspired them both.

Skip was really a Fox Terrier

In the film, Skip is portrayed by several different Jack Russell terriers. In reality, however, Skip was a Fox Terrier. The decision to use Jack Russell terriers may have been made because they are easier to train for film work.

Skip was portrayed by several dogs in the film, including two famous dogs

Several dogs were used to portray Skip in the film, including two famous Hollywood dogs: Moose and his son, Enzo. Moose typically played Skip in the scenes where he was older, while Enzo portrayed the younger and more energetic Skip. Moose and Enzo are both most well known for their role as Eddie on the hit series, Frasier. Moose died in 2006, while Enzo died in 2010 from cancer–only one day after the fourth anniversary of his father’s death.

Enzo was the stand-out on the set of My Dog Skip

Although both Moose and Enzo portrayed Skip in the film, it was Enzo who received special praise from the show’s creative team. The director noted in an interview that he wished he could work “with actors who were as well prepared as Skip … there was not a [trick] we asked the dog to do that he wasn’t able to do.”

Willie Morris never saw the final film

Willie Morris, who was consulted for the production of the film, suffered a heart attack shortly after the film was finished. Willie was able to see an early screening of the film, which he praised, but the author unfortunately died on August 2nd, 1999, several days after seeing his memoir on the big screen.

Moose appeared in a national ad campaign

Moose, one of the two most famous dogs to portray Skip in the film, was the star of a national ad campaign for the Coach Fashion Company.

 

Think your dog is a celebrity? Let the world know.
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There’s no “Zombie” in The Walking Dead

Even though The Walking Dead TV show is definitely about zombies, there hasn’t actually been a single utterance of the “z” word in the show. (The comics are another matter, however.) Why does the show shy away from the word “zombie”? According to the show’s creators, the story is set in a world where the concept of a zombie—the dead rising to live in search of brains and flesh—does not exist. That means no Night of the Living Dead or its countless sequels—and definitely no Zombie Survival Guide.

The-Walking-Dead-zombieIn other words, the characters in the show are dealing with something that they have not ever dealt with before. Imagine if suddenly the world was overrun with vampires. And then imagine that we don’t know what vampires are, have never heard of them, have never read a single Anne Rice novel or Dracula adaptation—and that’s the scenario of The Walking Dead. But, of course, with zombies.

Although the characters shy away from using the word zombie, there are still plenty of other terms the employ when talking about those pesky living dead.

Walkers

The most common word is, of course, walkers. The “walkers” term comes from the fact that—and I’m sure you’ve already guessed it—the living dead walk, or roam, around looking for delicious people to eat.

Geeks

No, the group isn’t calling the living dead a bunch of computer geeks—in the show, “geeks” is often used by Daryl or Glenn as a derogatory term for walkers. It may be referring to their mindless state, or the fact that they are no longer quite human.

Biters

This phrase first showed up during the Woodbury saga and is a favorite of The Governor. Biters is, of course, straight and to the point. What do the living dead do? They bite.

Floaters

Another specific walker term which is infrequently used, but has still popped up a few times throughout the show. Floaters is used when the group encounters the living dead who have found themselves trapped, usually in water or mud, and cannot get out. For now, anyway. (Watch out, Carl!)

Lurkers

This phrase isn’t used as much as walkers, but it often comes up after the group encounters a zombie that seems to pop up out of nowhere–from behind counters, out of bushes, or from behind a tree.

Cable Internet Plans Are Improving

How many important documents, family photos and home videos do you have strewn around your home? Did you know that you can have a simple easy online storage location for all of your family media? Check with your cable TV provider about how easy it is to get high-speed internet service.

These services are faster and more reliable than dial up, DSL or even satellite. You can get as much as 105 Mbps for an incredibly fast download speed and enjoy the benefit of high upload speeds, as well. You can enjoy this while you build an online storage file for all of your important documents and family memories. With the right internet service provider, and the right online storage provider, you have a safe and secure location online.

When you are done with your online storage, you can move on to other things, such as streaming your playlists and HD movies and programming. You can also pay your bills online and to do your banking and shopping. When your children have a school project to do, you won’t have to rush to the library, because they can access the internet at home.

You can connect with traditional wired connections or with wireless connections on your portable devices. You can use this Wi-Fi to roam around your home as you choose or to even go out on the porch to enjoy the warm weather while you surf or communicate with friends and family all over the world.

You don’t have to worry about these services being safe for your family. Your cable internet provider can give you internet security and internet Parental Controls for the safety of your family and your devices.

The internet security software works in the background and doesn’t require in extra effort on your part for it to be effective. It will work continuously to block malware that can do damage to your hard drive. Malicious programming such as trojans, spyware, adware, viruses and others can cause your hard drive to freeze up so that your device doesn’t work anymore. It can also hurt the device’s ability to perform.  Since it can block this programming, you are safer from hackers and phishers that would try to take your personal information and use it for identity theft.

When you allow your children to roam at will with their devices, you are going to want to make sure they are safe online. You can set the Parental Controls to block the sites you don’t approve of and you can use them to monitor online activities and chats. Do this to make sure you know who they are talking to and what they are doing with their time and you won’t have to worry. The Parental Controls can also restrict online access so that you know they are getting their chores and homework done.

These services are the perfect solution for your home. If you get television programming and phone service through your cable provider, ask about a bundled service package. It can save you money on monthly discounts.

Nightmare on Elm Street

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“Nightmare on Elm Street” is still considered by many to be one of the best horror movies of its time. After making it to the silver screen, it has continued to play on television during Halloween marathons and on horror movie networks. Nightmare on Elm Street hit a chord with most viewers because it dealt with a vulnerability most people have had to experience- nightmares. This is especially scary in light of a little known fact about the movie: it’s based on several true stories.

No, none of the true stories told of a burned pedophile coming back from the dead to invade the dreams of teenagers. Nor did they mention anything about gloved hands scraping knives down walls or tortuous sessions in a burned out factory. However, in these true stories, people from different backgrounds and different parts of the world died in their sleep due to nightmares.

During an interview in 2008, director Wes Craven revealed that there had been several articles in major newspapers that told of young adults who died in their sleep. It was discovered upon autopsy that there was nothing physically wrong with any of them. The only thing they had in common was their complaints of nightmares before death.

Craven found the phenomenon was reported on in Los Angeles papers. Those stories covered the members of several different families that had immigrated to the US from South East Asia. According to the news stories, these families had all lost someone who had died in the middle of a nightmare. One of the victims was a 21 year old male for fought the natural instinct to sleep. When his family members found out, his father, a physician put him on sleeping pills.

The young man protested, saying he didn’t want to sleep because of nightmares. He told his relatives he’d had nightmares in the past, but the ones he was having at that time were different. The son hid the sleeping pills and fought sleep for approximately six or seven days until finally, one night he fell asleep on the couch while watching TV with his family. His family members carried him upstairs to his room. They were reported as being relieved when he fell asleep, believing the trouble was over.

Later, in the wee hours of the morning, the family heard screaming and crashing sounds coming from the young man’s room. They rushed to his room to find him dead. After the autopsy, where nothing was found physically wrong with him, the family searched his room. There was a coffee maker hidden in the young man’s closet, full of hot coffee.  They also found the stash of sleeping pills he had acted like he was taking.

Besides the East African immigrants, Craven also mentioned a similar occurrence happening in Laos, Cambodia. Due to the rising number of deaths attributed to these nightmares, studies were done that revealed the commonality of a specific condition of the heart. Also common among the victims was the fact that they were under a lot of stress, leading experts to believe the stress and possibly nightmares caused their hearts to give out.

Craven told of how the news of these deaths stayed with him for about a year. He said he finally started writing about them and Nightmare on Elm Street was born.  Go over to Specialcabledeals.com to find out more.