Which is the best media streaming stick to buy? We compare the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Google's Chromecast 2 and the Roku Streaming Stick.
Media streaming stick makes media streaming on TV easier or cheaper. Just plug this little device into one of your TV's HDMI ports, and you've stepped into a world of streaming goodness. The popular media streaming in the market has Fire TV Stick, Chromecast 2 and Roku Streaming Stick.
Facing with many choices, you may don’t know which one to choose. So here let’s do a side-by-side comparison of these three top media streaming sticks:
Learn>>Compare Fire TV Stick vs Chromecast 2 vs Roku Streaming Stick
Chromecast: The original streaming stick, Google’s Chromecast, uses your phone or tablet as the interface and remote, instead of a menu on the TV. It does, however, support a wide array of apps and services directly from your phone.
Roku Streaming Stick: Roku’s stick comes with a remote and a TV interface, so it works a lot more like its set-top counterpart. You can’t cast from as many apps natively as you can with a Chromecast, but Roku makes up for this with its remote app for your phone.
Amazon Fire TV Stick: Like the Roku, the Fire TV Stick uses a physical remote and a TV menu interface. Amazon also has a remote app, but it’s not as fully featured as the Roku.
Design and Remote Comparison
The Amazon Fire TV Stick and the Roku Streaming Stick sport similar designs – they're compact sticks that plug into your TV's HDMI port. They all resemble old-fashioned USB sticks or mobile internet dongles.
Chromecast 2 takes on a disk shape, and connects to your TV with a short USB chord. This is actually better than the other two in terms of compatibility, as it fits in any TV with an HDMI port, whereas some TVs don't work well with the stick approach.
One thing that's worth pointing out is that all three require external powering, so you'll have to attach a Micro USB cable and plug it into the mains. This does dilute the simplicity factor somewhat, but it's definitely not a deal-breaker.
As the Amazon and Roku units are fairly nondescript, it puts more focus on the design and functionality of the remote. Both come with one, and very decent they are too. We'd always prefer to control something with a physical press rather than a virtual one. As we'll mention shortly, however, a remote wouldn't really suit the Chromecast 2.
Unlike the fully powered Fire TV's remote, the standard controller that comes with the Stick doesn't have any nifty voice-control tech, which is a shame. You can specify one when you come to buy the stick, for an extra 10, or instead use the pretty acceptable app for all your voice-control needs.
Again, the Roku remote loses some of the more 'premium' features of its pricier siblings. There's no headphone jack, for example, but we can't be too bitter at this price point.
Performance and Spec Comparison
Amazon Fire TV has dual-core CPU which is about six times more powerful than the Roku Streaming Stick's single-core equivalent, and its 1GB of RAM is double that of both its rivals. It also boasts 8GB of storage – 32 times more than the piddly 256MB offered in its rivals.
On the Roku Streaming Stick we were met with a much slower interface that often froze, stumbled and seemed to struggle with even the easiest task. Downloading apps always gave us a few seconds of complete inoperability and opening them up took what seemed like a few seconds. In fact it was less, but the slow splash screens made it seem like we were waiting much longer than we should.
Google's Chromecast 2 is harder to compare in terms of speed – it doesn't have an interface you need to navigate and there are no apps to install on the device itself, so it doesn't really need a whole lot of power. The best we can say is that streaming from your phone is nice and quick.
After the comparison, which media streaming stick will you choose? The current front-runner in terms of pure usability is, quite clearly in our eyes, Amazon's Fire TV Stick. It's easily the fastest of the three, which leads to a smooth interface, and there's plenty of accessible content. Yes, there's a definite bias towards the brand's own content, but as that's pretty good anyway we can't complain too much.
Related Software Recommended:
Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate is an all-in-one media solution that can convert H.265, MPEG, WMV, MOV, FLV, 3GP, TS, VOB, M2TS, MKV, AVI, etc to Chromecast 2, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku Streaming Stick. It can change your source video to DTS, AC3, AAC, MP3 audio to streaming on TV via media streaming stick. Batch conversion and GPU acceleration are supported.
Pavtube ByteCopy is a Blu-ray/DVD Ripper that helps you rip and convert any copy & region protected Blu-ray/DVD discs, Blu-ray/DVD folder, Blu-ray/DVD ISO, DVD IFO to H.264 MP4 with 5.1/7.1 audio for Chromecast 2, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku Streaming Stick. It also can rip Blu-ray/DVD to lossless MKV with multiple subtitle/audio tracks and all chapter markers and encoded MP4 with multi-track audio. A/V parameters and aspect ratio adjustment are supported.
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mkv files won't transcode to Chromecast
Here is my situation: I have a large number of "mkv" movies. Plex will play the .mkv movies fine on my PC using the Plex Web interface. Now the problem: This is a Chromecast forum so I'll start there. When I use the native cast utility within Plex, the video will not transcode to the Chromecast. The audio makes the trip, but the screen remains gray with a mish-mash of mainly purple pixels along the top edge. I have tried varying the connection playback options (all the obvious things) but no deal. Would you help me out? Thanks!!
Google Chromecast is a digital media player that allows you to stream MP4, WebM, MPEG-DASH, Smooth Streaming, and HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) video formats on your High Definition Television (HDTV). The MKV video which can't be played with audio through Chromecast may contain DTS or AC3 audio codec which is unsupported by Chromecast. If you would like tostream and play unsupported local MKV video through a Chromecast, you have to first of all convert your mkv videos into Chromecast compatible ones.
Here Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate is suggested. Acting as the Chromecast video converter as well as audio converter, it can easily convert various formats, not only MKV, but also MOV, M4V, MPG, MXF, MTS, M2TS, M2T, AVI, FLV, VOB, WMV, WTV, DVR, DV, SWF, TS, and etc to Chromecast supported video format and tons of audio file like AMR, AC3, AAC, APE, WMA, WAV, M4A, M4R, CAF, VOC, QCP, MP2, 3GA, and etc to Chromecast compatible audio format. In addition, it supports 150+ video presets for popular devices like the iPad, Android devices, game console, etc. For Mac users, get the equivalent Mac version. Just get the right version and follow the steps below to convert MKV for adding to Chromecast.
Learm>>Solve MKV files won't transcode to Chromecast issue
Download Video Converter for Chromecast:
Tutorial: Casting local MKV video files to Chromecast
Step 1: Load original MKV files
Click "Add Video" button on the main interface to load your MKV files to the program. (Drag & Drop function is included.)
Step 2: Select output format
Click "Format" and choose MP4 from "Common Video" or HD MP4 from "HD MP4" as output format, which can be recognized by Chromecast easily.
Tip: Adjust the video and audio parameters including the Bitrate of Video&Audio, Video Size, Sample Rate, Frame Rate, Audio Channels, etc., by clicking the "Settings" button on the main interface for getting the best quality.
Step 3: Start MKV to Chromecast Conversion
Tap the ConverT button on the main interface to start transcoding MKV to Chromecast. The process will be finished soon. After the conversion, you can easily find the encoded MKV video clips in the destination folder by clicking "Open" button to locate the converted video files. Drag the video file you want to play into the Chrome browse and click the browser extension, select "Cast this tab", the local video will be streamed to TV directly for easy playback.
With the new optimized acceleration technology, the super speed video conversion now is 6X faster than before and surpasses most regular video converters. What's more, this video file converter ensures zero quality loss. With its built-in video editor, you can personalize and retouch your videos in clicks.
Which mobile devices can you expect from Mobile World Congress 2016? What issues will you meet when playing movies on theses mobile devices?
Mobile World Congress is the largest mobile trade show of the year. It occurs at the end of February each year. 2016 event will begin Monday, 22 February and continue through Thursday, 25 February. Now, let’s travel to MWC 2016 and to learn everything you need to know.
MWC makes people excited for they are expecting to see some of the year's biggest smartphones to be unveiled at the show. Here's everything we're expecting to see at MWC 2016.
Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
HTC One M10
Sony Xperia Z5 and Z6
Huawei Mate 8
Microsoft Lumia 650
Samsung Gear 360
Samsung Gear S2
Moto 360 (2nd generation)
Asus ZenWatch 2
The reason that Mobile phones and tablets become essential is that we don’t just call others with them, we browse the web, show ourselves with social softwares, and watch movies with mobile phone, tablet, VR Headsets. However, for the format limitation, resolution requirement and other reasons, we often meet playback issues on these mobile devices. Here. Let’s see some tips and media solutions for MWC 2016 Mobile hardware.
Phone and Tablets Media Solutions
Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge Supported Formats
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Sony Xperia Z5/Z6 Supported Formats
Watch Blu-ray/DVD/HD/SD video on Xperia Z5
Play Any Video on Blackberry Priv
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Play MKV, FLV, Tivo, VOB, MXF, AVCHD on LG G5
Play and Transfer MKV, FLV, VOB on HTC One M10
Transfer and Play Any Video/Audio on Xiaomi Mi5
Virtual Reality Headsets FAQ
Setup Gear VR to Watch Movies
YouTube offer 360-Degree Videos for Gear VR
Format Supported by Gear VR Software
5 Best 3D movies to watch on Gear VR
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Watch 3D Blu-ray on Galaxy S6/S6 Edge via Gear VR
Backup DVD to Galaxy S6/S6 Edge in Gear VR Innovator Edition
Solution of Issue about DVD Playback in TV with Gear VR + Chromecast
Play 3D Blu-ray via Galaxy Note 4 in Gear VR
Rip Blu-ray to SD card on Oculus Cinema use Smartphone and Gear VR
Rip 3D Blu-ray to 3D SBS MKV to Watch in Samsung Gear VR Unit
Remove iTunes DRM and make SBS 3D to Gear VR with Galaxy Note 4
Play Digital Copy in Galaxy S6 with Gear VR Innovator Edition
Create compatible 3D SBS video from your own 3D movie for Gear VR
No Sound when I Play MKV movie with AC3 on Gear VR?
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When enjoy movies on phone and tablets or VR devices, how can you miss the Oscars 2016 Nominations Best Movies? You will be glad to enjoy The Walk on Gear VR or watch The Revenant with Plex on TV/PC/Tablet. Of course, The Martian, Brooklyn, Spotlight can’t be missed, neither.
If you are interested in playing any Oscars 2016 Nominations movies on mobile devices, just visit the 88th Academy Award Ceremony columns.
Summary: With the fast approaching of Halloween 2015, it’s time to re-experience holiday spirit – worship to devils and witches. There are a lot of ways to have a fun Halloween holiday, like decorating pumpkins, dressing Halloween costumes, playing Halloween games, telling ghost stories, etc.
As important as decorations and costumes are in showing Halloween spirit, Halloween movie is another way to get into it. From Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus, to The Blair Witch Project and Nightmare on Elm Street, there are a lot of Halloween movies to watch on this Halloween holiday. You could get some wonderful options of Halloween movies 2015, Halloween movies for kids, horror Halloween movies 2015, and solutions to rip Halloween movies and convert Halloween movies for unlimited Halloween movie watching.
Top Halloween Movies 2015
10. Harry Potter Series
Harry Potter is in this list because all of the movies are about magic and creepy monsters, evil witches and so on. What’s more, this is the heroine that accompanies with my childhood, so Harry Potter movies should be re-watch during the Halloween with your families and friends.
9. Edward Scissorhands
Edward Scissorhands is in this list because the plots are well designed, and it isn’t that scary. Though a little creepy Edward is in this movie, he is a warm-hearted. Watching this on Halloween won’t bring many screams, but some warm tears.
8. Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead is in this list because walking dead in modern society is never out of date. This movie is a combination of comedy, social parody and drama. The movie was released in 2004, but watching it again in this Halloween is still lots of fun.
7. The Babadook
The Babadook is in this list because this movie is about parenting issue and horrors in reality. The 6-year-old boy and his mother are struggling to get rid of the evil, which makes this movie somewhat irony and scary.
6. Hocus Pocus
The Hocus Pocus is in this list because the movie is great on the color settings and role performances. This is a must-see on Halloween if you haven’t seen it yet. The three witches are trying to steal souls from the children, but a young man stops them with Love. The movie is both good for children and adults, so families can enjoy it together.
5. The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera is in this list because it is a musical drama with a great storyline. A romantic story will always catch the eyes of audiences. The movie is good for watching on Halloween as it tells a love story of a phantom and a girl. The songs in this movie are also excellent.
4. Scream 4
Scream 4 is in this list because this movie is an excellent sequel from the last three Screams series. The movie will make you scream of course, it’ll also make you laugh and cringe as well. Enjoy a really scary on Halloween is great.
3. The Nightmare
The Nightmare is in this list because the movie is shot in a type of documentary. A documentary is always an attraction to the people who want to find the truth of some weird facts. But this is just a scary movie, and Sleep paralysis is just a clue or source of the movie. Enjoying this documentary scary movie on Halloween will scare you, that’ll be enough.
Citadel is in this list because the movie is because it is really scary with person, not ghosts. The movie scares people with the gloomy scenes and an excellent creepy storyline. On Halloween, people will want to give this movie a try with friends.
1. The Grudge
The Grudge series are of my favorite scary movies, both the Japanese versions and American versions are great and make me scream and scream again. All of the versions do an excellent job on the atmosphere, even before you see the evil, you are already freaked out. Watching The Grudge on Halloween will be a great choice if you want to scream.
Hot News: Happy Halloween and Hurry up!!! Pavtube’s 2015 Halloweenn Promotion is on the road (Offer Valid from Oct. 23, 2015 to Nov. 6, 2015). This Time Pavtube offers up to 40% Off discount on its featured software apps. Never miss this chance to get what you need.
How to move Halloween videos and music to smartphone or tablet?
Step 1. Add Halloween video/audio files
Download and install the video converter for Halloween on PC. Launch it and click “File” to import your Halloween videos and music.
Step 2. Pick proper audio/video output format
As most tablets and smartphones support MP3 and MP4, you can choose MP4 under “Common Video” and MP3 under “Common Audio.” To get video formats for a specific device like iPad, iPhone, and Samsung Galaxy Note series, you can pick the video output under “iPad,” “iPhone,” “Samsung,”“Android,” etc.
Step 3. Edit Halloween videos (Optional)
Halloween also comes in a ghoulish style. You can choose to edit your Halloween videos in your own style in “Video Editor” screen. Try each tab to get the editing work started.
Step 4. Start converting Halloween audios and videos
Click on the “Convert” button to start Halloween audio and video conversion. After the conversion finishes, you can transfer the friendly Halloween videos and music to your smartphone or tablet.
Now you have Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate. Want to get another video converter for free? Pavtube has made a specialHalloween promotion where you can find Buy One Get One Free sales for Halloween and Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate and ByteCopy is just one of them, which means you can get Pavtube ByteCopy for FREE! You can also choose other combinations and crazy 50 % OFF discounts are waiting for you!
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How Can You play online/downloaded YouTube video with Roku?
I just bought the new Roku 3 and it helps us easily enjoy the newest and hottest movies, TV shows, musics from hundreds of free media channels and network, including YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, (Read comparison between Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Video) Spotify, etc. Among them, YouTube must be the most popular video sharing site where you can find videos of all sorts, here I will share the easy way to play YouTube video with Roku and give some small tips for you.
Steps to watch YouTube videos with Roku online1.Add YouTube channel to Roku
First, you should connect the Roku to your TV and open the Wi-Fi network, and then log in with a Roku account
Second, type the YouTube in the searching box, find the channel and add it to your Roku channel.
Third, go to the YouTube and you can watch the videos on TV now.
2.Link Roku with your YouTube account
If you want to activate your YouTube account on Roku, there are only two steps:
Choose the “Sign In” on Roku player; Roku would give an 8 digit code. Remember the code.
Go to the site www.youtube.com/activate with your PC; enter the code that Roku provided, your YouTube account will be linked with Roku. After that you can watch YouTube on Roku as you wish.
Suggestions to Roku users1.Pairing your devices with Roku would let you enjoy a better service
Besides linking the YouTube account to Roku, you can also pair your devices with it. If you have paired your Roku, you could easily send the video to your TV and get the subscribed channels on it via your potable device.
To pair your devices such as smartphone with Roku, what you need to do is choosing “PAIR DEVICE” on Roku, after that a pair code would be provided. Go to the site www.youtube.com/pair on your phone, and then enter the pair code, your phone would be connected with Roku. After that you can control the broadcast and free watch YouTube videos on Roku by this handy device.
2.Tips for Roku users
Users with earlier Roku generations like Roku 1/2/2HD may find that the YouTube channel doesn’t work so fluently. Well, the application Twonky would help you play YouTube on Roku, which is a web platform provides numbers of video hosting sites.
Just as add YouTube channel on Roku, you need to add Tmonky to Roku before you use it. But before add the channel, you must think twice, because it is a charged service.
3.Comparing with Chromecast
As we all know, Google also promoted such kind product named Chromecast. Here is a comparison of the two products.
In form factor, Roku is a box like set while Chromecast is a dongle that sticks into TV; on processor, Roku has dual-core while Chromecast is single-core; what users’ care most is the channel supported, well, Roku would give you more choices, but YouTube channel is available on both. Last, you may guess out that the Chromecast is cheaper. Now you can have a choice by yourself.
Play downloaded YouTube videos through Roku
Since YouTube videos are very welcomed, if you don’t have much spare time on TV programs, you may need to download some favorite and high definition video clips to your PC. Well this doesn’t mean you can play your downloaded YouTube video on the Roku without any problem.
Roku supported media file formats are restricted to MKV (H.264), MP4 (H.264), while YouTube FLV format is not included here. If you happened to have unaccepted downloaded YouTube videos and wanna play the YouTube on your Roku via USB drive, SD card or external HDD, you need to convert the video formats first.
Then here a practical Video Converter for Roku- Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate would give you a hand. With it, you can convert YouTube FLV movies to MP4 (H.264) for Roku streamingkeeping the original video quality. The whole conversion process is easy and fast. It can also convert YouTube video to play on more mobile devices, as it offers optimized presets for various gadgets, like Android, iPhone, iPad, Xbox, PSP, Wii, DVD Player and more. For mac users, please turn to the Mac version to solve the Roku and YouTube incompatible issue on Mac.
Now have a free time to enjoy YouTube movie files with no trouble.
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