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Streaming for pleasure: controlling Internet TV Technology



NETFLIX

1. Use multiple profiles

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With Netflix you can set up to five separate profiles for people to share your account: it's a great way to ensure that your children's viewing habits (or your better half) have do not affect the recommendations and are currently playing titles that you see when you sign up with Netflix. Even if you don't have family members to share your Netflix subscription with, you can create different profiles for different moods, complete with their own viewing history and recommendations. Choose the Manage Profiles option in the Netflix menu on the Internet to create and edit profiles.

2. Saving data usage on mobile devices

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If you view Netflix via a 3G / 4G connection, you may want to limit the amount of data used (because of your phone bill), but you cannot do this from the Netflix mobile apps themselves. Instead, you must go to the Netflix web portal, choose your account from the drop-down menu, and then select the play settings. The option you choose here applies to all devices on which you are viewing Netflix – you can see how much data is used per hour alongside each item in the list.

3. Add additional features with a browser extension

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The Flix Plus browser extension for Google Chrome (online search in the Chrome Web Store) adds a total of 22 tweaks to improve the standard Netflix website in different ways. They include tweaks to filter your recommendations, identify recommendations you've already viewed, rearrange sections of the home screen, hide spoilers that may appear in associated images and text, add additional shortcuts and the option to add notes add to the list of movies and television shows that you want to watch. Reviews from the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes are also displayed within Netflix.

BBC iPlayer

4. Automatically download new programs

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Downloading TV programs to your various devices instead of streaming them ensures that you have something to watch, even if you do not have internet access, and another reason to install the desktop clients for Windows or Mac (via the iPlayer download section) is that they contain an option called Series Record. Enable this setting as soon as you have downloaded a program and new episodes of the chosen series are automatically saved (assuming the application is active) so that you no longer know when they are on. Please note that downloaded programs & # 39; s have the same expiration date as those streamed from the main iPlayer website.

5. Restart programs & # 39; s already started

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You may know that you can use iPlayer to watch the BBC channels live (if you have a valid TV license), but you know maybe not that it is possible to jump back to the start of a program at any time. On the main iPlayer website on the Internet, click Channels and then choose the Watch Live option. If you hover the mouse over the playback window, the Restart Program link appears (you can also go back to any point on the playback bar). It's a handy way to catch up on live programs & # 39; s if you've just missed the start.

YOUTUBE

6. Put videos & # 39; s in the queue for later viewing

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You can find a YouTube app on most smart TVs and streaming devices, and you can also watch movies and view shows that you have purchased via Google Play. One of the playlists that YouTube creates for you is called Watch Later and you can save videos from anywhere, provided you are signed in with your Google account – from the internet, mobile apps, streaming dongles, smartphones TV & # 39; s and so on. For example, on the YouTube web portal, click Add to, and then click Watch Later on a video page. It is a handy way to add content to favorites for future viewing.

7. Use your phone as a YouTube remote control

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If you have a smart TV or dongle with a built-in YouTube app, you can use YouTube on Android or iOS to control playback and choose new clips. On many sets and devices (such as the Chromecast) this happens automatically via Wi-Fi magic, but if not, you can configure the installation manually: go to youtube.com/pair and follow the instructions to connect your television to your phone. The same process can be used to link game consoles to a YouTube app running on a mobile device.

ROKU

8. Use your smartphone as a remote control

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Each Roku comes with a distinctive and intuitive remote control, but if it gets lost or needs a change for any reason, you can use your smartphone. Download the official Roku app for Android or iOS and let you browse, add and rate channels on any Roku model, and enter text more easily via your device's touchscreen keyboard. The mobile Roku apps also support voice searches, so you can voice questions looking for specific movies, shows, actors or directors.

9. Play local files on your Roku

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Roku is not only for streaming video content over the internet: it can also play local files and videos stored elsewhere on your home network . You must first install the Roku Media Player channel from the official folder – once it is enabled, the app will transfer files to connected USB drives (if your Roku has a USB port) and files available on your local network via the popular DLNA standard. Media server applications including Twonky, Windows Media Player, Plex and Tversity are supported. Consult the Roku support site for a list of compatible file types.

10. Change the appearance of the Roku interface

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You don't necessarily have to settle for the purple color scheme that the Roku software carries as standard. Go to the Settings panel and then choose Themes & # 39; s to choose something else – there are a number of free themes & # 39; s available and you can follow the Get more themes & # 39; s link to get some premium themes & # 39; s available on the internet. It is also possible to adjust the Roku screen saver via the Settings menu. To move individual channels on the Roku home screen, select a channel icon, tap the star button on the remote control, and choose Move Channel.

AMAZON FIRE TV

11. Listen through your headphones

& # 39; Enjoying your on-demand video content in the evening or early in the morning can be tricky if there are other people in the house. One way around this is to pair a set of Bluetooth wireless headphones with your Amazon Fire TV – the audio is then streamed directly to your ears instead of through the speakers of your television. From the Fire TV main interface, go to Settings, then Controllers and Bluetooth devices and then Other Bluetooth devices. Select Add Bluetooth devices and follow the on-screen instructions to pair the headset. The same method also works for Bluetooth speakers.

12. Installing apps from the web

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Navigating through Amazon's app store from the Fire TV or the Fire TV Stick is not the most smooth experience, but you can send apps directly to your device from a web browser – it is usually easier to browse apps with a mouse and a keyboard. As long as you are signed in to the same Amazon account in both your browser and on the device itself, you will see the Get App button appear as you look through the app section of the Amazon online store. Product descriptions, reviews, developer info and more are all on the site.

13. Use an Amazon tablet as a second screen

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Those of you who have splashed on an Amazon Fire HD or Fire HDX tablet can use this as a second screen: it is possible to control playback , choose new episodes and movies and more on your Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick. To use the feature, go to Settings on the Amazon Fire TV and then choose Image & Sound and Second Screen Notifications. Both devices must be on the same home network and linked to the same Amazon account, and new feature icons will appear in the Amazon Video app.

GOOGLE CHROMECAST

14. Open your Chromecast to guests

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You can configure your Chromecast to accept audio and video streams sent from phones, tablets or laptops that are not on the same WiFi network: it is called guest mode, and Allows you to let friends beam content to your TV without leaving it on your network. To configure the guest mode, open the Devices tab in the Chromecast app for Android or iOS, tap the menu button on the relevant Chromecast (three vertical dots), and choose Guest Mode. Your guests need the pin code displayed by the Chromecast and currently the feature only works for guests with Android devices.

15. Turn on your TV with your Chromecast

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Thanks to the technology built into the Chromecast's HDMI connector, you can turn on many modern TV sets while you start casting thanks to a protocol called HDMI CEC. You have to check the manual of your television to see if you have it, but most sets do it now – however, it is not always called the same (Sony calls it BRAVIA Sync or BRAVIA Link, while Samsung calls it Anynet +). HDMI-CEC is automatically turned on on the Chromecast, but it may be turned off on your television, so check through the relevant settings screens.

16. Chromecast screen of your Android device

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With smartphones and tablets with Android 4.4.2 or higher it is possible to cast the entire screen to your dongle – a handy option if you use apps without native Chromecast support. Open the main menu from the Chromecast app on Android and then choose Cast screen / audio to get started (on some devices there is also a Cast option in the quick settings drawer, accessible with a swipe with two fingers from the top of the screen). Audio output is also transferred and the Chromecast dongle adjusts to show your device in portrait or landscape mode as desired.

17. More information about the Chromecast wallpaper

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By default, your Chromecast displays a slideshow of manually selected photos from different online services when you actually don't cast anything. To find out more about a specific image, open the Chromecast app, tap the Devices tab, and then tap the image (or just use the & # 39; say on my Chromecast? & # 39; In Google Now on Android). If you want to change the photos used by your Chromecast, tap Edit Background on the Devices tab – you can use images from your Google, Flickr, and Facebook accounts, and the compact weather report in the enable or disable screen saver.

APPLE TV

18. Customizing the home screen

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You can personalize the fourth generation Apple TV home screen on an iPhone or iPad, and it helps keep your most used apps and channels near the top of the the page. Press and hold on the touchpad of the Siri remote control (top) and the currently selected icon will start to vibrate – you can then swipe on the touchpad to place the app icon elsewhere. To completely remove an app (and remove the icon at the same time), press the Play / Pause button while the icon wobbles.

19. Talk to Siri

  Apple TV Screengrab


Hold down the Siri (microphone) icon on the remote control and you can search your Apple TV and the internet in general with your voice: try "let me action movies from the 80s "or" show me new TV comedies ", for example, or something like" do I need an umbrella tomorrow? " Or even "what was the Celtic score last night?" If you look at something, you can use voice commands to "go 30 seconds forward" or "five minutes back". Ask "what did he / she say?" And the Apple TV rewinds the current video for 15 seconds and makes subtitles temporarily possible.

20. Setting individual speakers

  Apple TV Screengrab


The Apple TV can be connected to your large screen TV via an HDMI cable, but you do not necessarily have to send the audio to your TV set – compatible speakers can be used with AirPlay. From Settings, choose Audio and Video and then Audio Output to select a new device. The Apple TV itself is also an AirPlay device, so you can stream audio and video to it from an iPhone or iPad, as long as they are on the same Wi-Fi network: drag up from the bottom of the screen in iOS to find the AirPlay -option.

21. Play your favorite iOS games

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The latest Apple TV features a brand new tvOS, which means the device supports full third-party apps for the first time, and therefore many developers are busy making TV-specific versions of their games. If you have purchased premium games on iOS, in most cases you do not have to pay for it again on Apple TV – to see if your previous purchases have new Apple TV editions available, go to the front page of the App Store , select Purchased from the main menu and then choose Games from the category list.


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