Streaming Internet TV – Does The Roku Make Cable And Satelite TV Obsolete?

For some years now, my radio listening has come from the internet. This has meant that the once magical transistor radios have gone the way of valves and crystal sets. The convenience and choice offered by streaming very soon made it a ‘no contest’, so I wonder if a similar thing could happen with TV – now that we can get the Roku xd streaming player?

Entertainment freely available on demand has been the holy grail for many people and I believe we are taking great strides toward this ideal.

So what will this little box actually do? Well it is possible to watch movies from Netfix or Amazon Video on demand, all on the highest quality HD video. As well as this you can get most of the radio stations in the US and listen to your own iTunes choices. Imagine watching YouTube clips on your TV. Awesome.

The entertainment available is being constantly updated, so you will never run out of things to watch. With your $10 a month Netfix subscription, you can get more movies than you will ever have time to watch.

The Roku is so easy to set up and is compatible with almost any TV. However, remember you do need a high speed internet connection with a minimum speed of 1.2 mbps. In order to watch HD, it is recommended that your speed is 5 mbps. You also need the TV of course, but no pc is necessary.

I can strongly recommend this product, as can many other buyers who have posted their reviews. You can start watching movies on your TV in seconds and the wireless connection is built in. This means your PC or laptop is free to do other tasks.

In case you like the idea of a replay button, this machine has one of those as well. Miss a bit, hit the button and go back in 10 second steps – amazing.

All in all this is a great addition to your home entertainment and could prove an extremely popular gift as well.

Find out more and decide whether you still need your cable or satellite subscription. I have not given mine up yet, but it might only be a matter of time.

Movie Downloads Go Mainstream

Several years ago movies were available on the internet via peer-to-peer file sharing sites. Of course, issues of piracy and the risk of exposure to viruses prevented the average consumer from considering movie downloads a viable option however. More legitimate movie downloads came along a bit later in the form of Movielink and CinemaNow, but the selection was limited, download technology was a bit slow, and the equipment in the homes of most consumers made watching the films undesirable. For these reasons, movie downloads for the most part remained the domain of early adopters rather than the mainstream public.

Online movie rental services such as Netflix and Blockbuster have been more prominent forces in the home entertainment industry due to their much larger selection of movies. The primary drawback for such movie rental services was the delay between choosing the movie and receiving it in the mail a day or two later for viewing. However, the distinction between movie downloads, with their immediate gratification and convenience, and the world of online movie rentals, with their vast libraries of movie and television show titles, became blurred in 2007; benefiting the movie watching public.

Due to upgrades in how online movie rental services deliver their product, movie downloads appear to be going mainstream. In January 2007, online movie rental pioneer, Netflix announced they would begin offering customers the option of streaming movies to their PC although the availability of titles would be phased in over time. Within six months, Netflix announced that 5 million movies had been viewed using this download feature. The number of movies available to customers for downloading continued to increase and only six weeks later the number of movies viewed online had doubled to 10 million. Clearly, the popularity of downloading was catching hold within the average household.

In August 2007, Blockbuster the other major name in video rental, both online and off, announced that they had purchased Movielink. A joint venture between five major Hollywood movie studios, Movielink offered titles for rental or purchase and had provided early adopters movies for download to PC and portable devices. With the recent acquisition of Movielink, it is anticipated that movie downloads are soon to be an option with Blockbuster as well.

Certainly the events of 2007 appear to be headed toward a future of movie downloads becoming the preferred method of obtaining movies. If the escalating growth in the popularity of movie downloads evident at Netflix continues it would appear that local video stores will continue to lose market share. Similarly it would seem that mail delivery of rentals will begin to abate as well as downloading goes mainstream.

Learn Canadian French While Watching a Movie!

Here’s a really cool little trick to help kick your Canadian French learning forwards at light speed. All you need to do to really improve and speed up your learning, is find a movie with Canadian French audio, and get English subtitles. After that just sit back, put your mind on auto-pilot, and let the learning begin.

Maybe you think I’m selling snake-oil. Automatic learning? Come on, you’re too clever to fall for that, right?

Good. I’m glad to hear it. But the thing is that as an aid to learning Canadian French, foreign movies with English subs are a fantastic tool. Here’s why:

First Things First – Learn Some Basics

If you don’t speak any Canadian French or even Metropolitan French at all, this method is fun but it’s not going to help you too much. The real benefit is there once you already have a basic understanding of French, be it Metropolitan or Canadian French. That doesn’t mean you need to be fluent -at all! As long as you know a bunch of verbs and nouns, and you have ready knowledge of a handful of sentences, you’re fine. With just a few hours of “studying”, you’ll be ready to start using this awesome tool. Obviously, you can’t learn a language entirely from film, unless you have a lot of time to spare. That’s why it’s important to also use a good program or book to teach you the basics, as well as the ins and outs of Canadian French.

Movies as a Teacher – Here’s How it Works

I’ve personally tried this time and time again, and I can tell you, it’s not only a fun exercise (who doesn’t like watching movies, eh?), it’s also amazing to see how the brain works. When you use this method, you kind of trick the brain into learning. Why? Because you feed your brain two streams of information simultaneously: audio and visual (the subs). And to make it even more fun, the actors provide the context for what you are hearing and reading. When the brain has to process two streams of information at the same time, it automatically tries to synthesize them into one coherent event of meaning and understanding. It can’t help itself, it has to do this because the brain can only hold one thought at any given moment. Sure, you may be able to think very fast so it looks like you’re holding two thoughts at the same time, but it only looks like that because you’re thinking fast, switching from one thought to the other. In reality, it’s one thought after another, like the frames of a film. So by feeding your brain the two parallel streams of info, you’re just helping it to understand more, faster. Cool, eh?

Useful Tips to Get the Most Out of This Technique

  • Choose movies that are more or less adapted to your level of Canadian French. I’m not saying you should watch Sesame Street because you’ve only just started. But what I really mean is: if you’re a beginner, don’t choose a highly complex lawyer-drama or something like that. Start with something lighter, like a comedy or a romantic movie.
  • In the same vein, choose a movie in a genre that you enjoy. Maybe you’ve been told that you really should see this or that Canadian movie, but if it’s not in a genre that you like, it’s best to leave it for later. In this case we’re talking about a learning tool so choose a movie you’ll enjoy.
  • Don’t try to understand the audio. Focus on the subtitles and just let the audio wash into your ears, without paying too much attention to it. See, the mind can not stop itself from hearing audio. By focusing on the subs, you’ll understand the movie, and by hearing the audio without thinking about it, you give your brain the space it needs to make sense of it.
  • Don’t think. Yeah, I’m repeating myself because this point is so important. Just sit back, enjoy the movie, and do not try to learn anything. Just watch the movie and focus on the subs, and that is all you need to do to get the full effect of this trick. It may be confusing or tiring at first, but halfway through your first movie, you’ll notice that you suddenly make connections and understand things that you haven’t learned yet. Or you’ll find yourself understanding something that you left for later learning because it didn’t make sense at the time.
  • Try it! You’ll find that it is a great way to help you learn Canadian French fast. And the cool benefit is that you’ll be learning the strange words that you’ll only find in Canadia French AND you’ll learn about Canadian culture.