Streaming is the future of entertainment in the world right now. Unlike renting or even going to the cinema, people prefer to have their series delivered to them and to just watch as much as they like from the comfort of their homes.
However, given the abundance of streaming services, making a choice has to be a difficult task. So, we checked out PCMag for some help and came up with the best streaming services available today:
There's no doubt about the fact that Netflix will be topping this chart. Still the godfather of al streaming services, Netflix has been able to hold its majority share of the video streaming market pretty well.
As we all know, Netflix provides a wide catalog of movies, TV shows, documentaries, comedy specials, and even original programs now; all for a monthly subscription fee that's quite manageable. When it comes to its catalog, there's no other streaming service that has been able to give Netflix a proper run for its money; it might not be the cheapest of the bunch, but its offering of content makes it by far the best choice up until now.
With Netflix, you would create up to 5 profiles on one account just to ensure that your best programs don't infringe on the recommendations for your loved ones and friends who might be sharing the account with you. Now, that's versatility.
Hulu has long been the most significant threat that Netflix has faced, up until recently (more on that later). For people who would like to keep current with TV shows but who don't want to get HD antennae or cable subscription, this is a perfect choice here.
Hulu provides major network shows to its customers (except for CBS offerings), as well as a sizable number of cable shows. There are also some original shows here, a few offbeat options, and a surprising vast catalog of anime offerings. Sadly, its experience isn't all that great; even if you get a paid subscription, you might still need to listen to commercials.
Disney+ is the great disruptive force that the streaming market needed. Netflix and Hulu were free to keep their almost duopoly running, but when a big fish like Disney stepped into the market last year, everyone was forced to re-strategize.
The only reason why Disney+ isn't higher on this list is because it's still relatively new (it was launched a little over 2 months ago). However, in terms of content, it packs a punch as well. Now that it is available, most of the content from Disney could be pulled from Netflix and streamed on here.
Remember that Disney is perhaps the most powerful entertainment behemoth. Its subsidiaries include Marvel Entertainment (the Avengers and all affiliated superheroes), Lucasfilm (the entire Star Wars universe), Pixar (your favorite animated content), and much more.
There's no doubt that Disney+ will be taking more market share from Hulu soon and giving Netflix a good run for its money this year.
For those outliers who love to stand out from the crows, Emby is the right choice. Of course, the biggest benefit of Emby is its ability to get both audio and video content from all over the internet and stream it right to any of your devices.
By coupling Seedbox with Emby, you are able to take your favorite media anywhere you go, regardless of your device. On Emby, you get a personalized server, which automatically converts and streams your media, so you have it with you always.
The Pixel phones were the highlights of the Google press event earlier, but the two smartphones were not the only things unveiled by the company there. The Chromecast Ultra has been announced at the event, which will be able to stream 4K content with ease. Consider this as an upgraded and beefed up version of the popular Chromecast 2. Along with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10, supported apps include YouTube, Vudu and Netflix for starters. It should also be able to playback Google Play Movies by November.
According to Google, users will experience a general increase in speed compared to the Chromecast 2 (1.8 times to be exact) in any stream. If you do not have a Wi-Fi connection that is fast enough to stream video content at 4K resolution, the Chromecast Ultra can also directly take in an Ethernet cable, thanks to an Ethernet port on the accompanying power adapter. As with the previous versions, Android mirroring on your TV will be supported and so will Google Home. It will go on sale in November with a price tag of $69 in the US.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The YouTube much anticipated subscription music streaming service from Google has been officially announced today. It's called YouTube Music Key (BETA), and it will be in beta for an unspecified amount of time.
It brings you an ad-free YouTube experience, along with support for background playback on mobile, and offline viewing too.
All of these perks will cost you $7.99 (for a limited time, the normal price being $9.99) per month. But the nice thing is that if you pay for Music Key, you'll also get a Google Play Music subscription, which gives you access to more than 30 million songs and expert-curated playlists. That in itself costs $9.99 per month, so you're essentially getting two services for the price of one here.
"You've asked us for ways to listen to music without ads, to keep playing music videos even if you lock the screen or start using another app, and to play music even if you're not connected to the Internet. That's why today we're introducing YouTube Music Key beta, a monthly subscription service starting with the promotional price of $7.99/month (discounted from $9.99/month) that will give you all that-ads-free music, background play and offline viewing. It will also include a subscription to Google Play Music, with 30+ million songs, expert-curated playlists, and in the coming days, the ability to watch many YouTube official music videos right from the app." - Official YouTube Blog
About Google Stadia
On March 2019, Google announced its widely anticipated game streaming service, Google Stadia. The service will allow players to play triple-A gaming titles on multiple devices like smartphones, tablets, and PCs by paying a nominal subscription fee. It will stream the games from Google cloud servers in full HD and has the potential to stream 4K games at 60fps.
Google Stadia will be playable on big screen TVs through Google's Chromecast Ultra dongle. Desktop, laptop, Pixel 3 smartphone, and tablet users will be able to access the games directly through the Chrome Browser.
Google announced that Stadia will have two pricing models: the Stadia Base and the Stadia Pro.
Players opting for the Stadia Pro have to shell out $9.99 per month while it is free for Stadia Base. Players will need around 35Mbps (minimum) internet speed to avail the Stadia Pro. For the Stadia Base, you will be able to access the service with speeds of minimum 5Mbps connection. The base version of the service will be capped at 1080p and stereo sound. The pro version will support up to 4K HDR support with 60fps and 5.1 surround sound. So, if you play scratch card games online, it will be worth investing in the Pro version for the superior range of services. Moreover, you will be able to avail special discounts and offers if you are a pro user.
There is a separate Founder's Edition that is currently available for preorder and costs $129.99.
It will include a limited-edition Night Blue controller, Chromecast Ultra (normally sold at $69.99), three-month Stadia Pro subscription and one 3-month Buddy Pass to give Stadia Pro to a friend. You will also get the first chance to claim a Stadia name too.
Additional controllers will cost around £59 each and will be available in three different colours: Clearly White, Just Black, and Wasabi.
Google announced that the game streaming service will be available in November 2019. No specific dates have been announced. It is speculated that the company will roll out Stadia in different countries on different days.
Google announced that players will be able to access the following games in Stadia initially:
● Rise of the Tomb Raider - Square Enix
● Samurai Shodown - SNK
● Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Square Enix
● Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint - Ubisoft
● Tom Clancy's The Division 2 - Ubisoft
● Tomb Raider Definitive Edition - Square Enix
● Thumper - Drool
● Trials Rising - Ubisoft
● Wolfenstein: Youngblood - Bethesda Softworks
● Football Manager - Sega
● Get Packed - Coatsink
● GRID - Codemasters
● Gylt - Tequila Works
● Just Dance - Ubisoft
● Metro Exodus - Deep Silver
● Mortal Kombat 11 - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
● NBA 2K - 2K
● Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid - nWay Games
● Rage 2 - Bethesda Softworks
● Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Ubisoft
● Baldur's Gate 3 - Larian Studios
● Borderlands 3 - 2K
● The Crew 2 - Ubisoft
● Darksiders Genesis - THQ Nordic
● Destiny 2 - Bungie
● Doom - Bethesda Softworks
● Doom Eternal - Bethesda Softworks
● Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 - Bandai Namco
● The Elder Scrolls Online - Bethesda Softworks
● Farming Simulator 19 - Giants Software
● Final Fantasy 15 - Square Enix
Google Stadia will be available in 14 countries initially including Norway, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Belgium, France, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Denmark.
It's been described as the future of content, and live streaming is only going one way - up. Though it has been a leading figure in the East in recent years, the potential of live streaming is only just being realized in the West.
Social media has been hugely influential to the rise of live streaming with technology giving users the ability to watch live-stream videos via Facebook and Instagram for example. But, going live seems to be the way forward in many other aspects too including gambling.
The proliferation of live casinos has allowed millions to wager from the comfort of their own home and do so in a manner that is reminiscent of an actual casino. With the help of online casino reviews, bettors can pick and choose whichever sites they want and immerse themselves into the live casino world fully.
The live streaming world owes a lot to its expansion to the online casino industry; this industry has established the technology that has allowed users to interact with a real-life dealer in a real-life card game via stream.
The live streaming of games through eSports has also seen the rise in viewers into their millions. With eSports' main goal to ensure more people than ever watch their live streams, it has certainly struck a chord within and outside the industry, taking the numbers - in viewing and monetary terms - to new heights
An increase that doesn't look like stopping
The Interactive Advertising Bureau conducted a survey in 2018 that proved just under half (47%) of those watching live streams were streaming more live videos than they were the year before. Plus, the Bureau found that just over two-thirds (67%) of the world's population had streamed a live video by 2018 and that those that hadn't, had not done so for lack of interest or cultural reasons but rather monetary problems i.e. they couldn't afford the technology from which to stream in the first place.
Almost everything and anything at present can be streamed. Donald Trump's Presidential success in 2016 was captured via live stream as were the Midterm Elections in 2018. Plus Trump's defence of his presidential office is likely to be shown to the world this year too.
Live streaming will not be stopping anytime soon; the increase in the amount of viewers has ensured the quality continues to improve. Speeds of network uploads are vital as mobile devices become increasingly innovative and top-notch with regards to video capturing levels and video frame-rate streaming. The rise of online casinos and eSports has also meant that live streaming has a great foundation for unlimited success. You should enjoy the ride.
Streaming itself is often described as the future of content, and, with the concurrent rise in virtual gaming and real-life sports, the two were inevitably going to combine at some point.
Whilst the link between real-life sport and technology is becoming ever-increasingly intertwined, so is the link between technology and gaming. The technological world is expanding at a phenomenal rate and new concepts like online casino live streaming continue being developed that take the technology of gaming we know to a different level. The Xbox Console Streaming is one such concept.
Launched at the end of 2019 by Microsoft, the Xbox Console Streaming feature is now much more widely available. It's often been likened to a cloud gaming platform but with an Xbox One as the host. Effectively, games can be streamed to a mobile device and played in another room or even on the go.
43 countries now offer the streaming feature, though you do need to be part of the Xbox Insider club to be able to launch the stream. Microsoft is, naturally, hoping that it can be available to all Xbox-supporting nations in the near future.
Gaming on the go
Whilst there are a number of mobile apps and gaming platforms like www.johnnykash.com that Android users can play, they do not exactly compare to the impressive array of games that an Xbox user has access to. With the help of Console Streaming service, gaming can be done wherever a user wants it to be done, whether in or outside the house.
Gamers not only want brilliant gameplay and machinery, they also want convenience. Well, the Xbox Console Streaming shows just how easy games can be played once the Project xCloud - Microsoft's preview of cloud-based game stream - is available.
Effectively, you won't even need an Xbox to play any of its games in the future, so that bulky piece of machinery that takes up room will no longer be an issue.
Of course, with any new technological development there are issues. First and foremost, bandwidth must be taken into consideration. The incredible draining of data makes the streaming service almost limited to WiFi. A 5GHz, almost-perfect internet connection is needed in order to just play the game without any latency, which could hinder its suitability for the ordinary household.
It is also not open to iOS just yet and there are a lot of steps required to go through before you even think about starting a game.
Despite teething problems, the Xbox Console Streaming will change gaming as the world knows it. A faster, handheld Xbox at the touch of a fingertip where convenience is a guarantee can only be taken one way. And, with a superb Android mobile in tow, no longer will Xbox gamers be confined to the restraint of just a console.