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How to Add Subtitles to a Movie or TV Series

Subtitles are one of those things many people sneer at. But once you start using them to better understand what’s going on, it’s hard to stop using them. And if you’re watching a foreign-language movie, you might have no choice but to use subtitles.

In this article, we’ll show you how to add subtitles to movies or TV series on your computer. It’s quick, easy, and totally free to do.

Reasons to Start Using Subtitles

If you’re hard of hearing. subtitles are a lifesaver. They allow you to follow the plot or a movie or TV show without having the volume turned up to room-shaking levels.

If you’re watching a movie in a foreign language, you need to use translated subtitles to understand the plot. For most people, subtitles are less jarring than dubbed audio because you can enjoy the original performance of the actors without getting distracted by out-of-sync dialog.

But there are good reasons to add subtitles to a movie or TV show even if it’s in your native tongue:

  • Inaudible dialog: It’s tough to understand characters with thick accents, even when they’re speaking a language you know. This also happens when actors mumble their lines, making them impossible to hear over other sound effects.
  • Narrative comprehension: Sci-fi and fantasy shows include a wealth of made-up proper nouns for names, planets, and technology. When you’re watching complex shows like this, subtitles make it easier to follow what’s going on.

The Abyss movie with subtitles turned on

Unfortunately, when you download movies and TV shows to watch offline, they don’t always come with subtitles. This means you need to add them yourself, which is actually a lot easier than you might think.

How to Add Subtitles to Movies or TV Series

Now that you know why you should consider adding subtitles to movies or TV series, we can move onto the process of adding them. Which starts with finding subtitle files.

Where to Download Quality Subtitles

Before you can apply subtitles to a downloaded movie or TV show, you first need to find and download a subtitle file for that particular title. If possible, it’s best to download the subtitles from the same place you got the content. That way they are most likely to sync up with your video file.

However, if there aren’t any subtitles available from the same place, you can use other websites to download subtitles from instead.

We recommend the following two sites:

  • Subscene: Unless the movie or TV show you’re trying to watch is rare or decades old, you’re almost guaranteed to find working subtitles on Subscene. Subtitles are categorized by title, language, and closed captions for hearing-impaired people.
  • OpenSubtitles: This is a large database with plenty of working subtitles—including some that are missing from Subscene—but it is very heavy on the ads. Downloading subtitles can feel like a game of elimination as you try to figure out which download links are genuine and which ones are spam.

Subscene website showing subtitles for The Abyss

After downloading the subtitles you need—which should be in an SRT or SUB file—there are two methods you can use to add them to your videos: soft and hard.

Soft subtitles allow you to turn them on and off, switching between different languages or no subtitles at all while watching. Whereas hard subtitles merge with the video file itself. You can’t turn them off, but you never need to worry about adding subtitles again.

We’ll explain how to add subtitles, both hard and soft, to a movie or TV series below…

How to Add Soft Subtitle Tracks to a Downloaded Movie

All of the best modern video players support file-based subtitles. This means you can add as many subtitle tracks to a downloaded movie as you like, and switch between them at any time from the subtitle menu.

We’ll demonstrate how to add subtitles using VLC Media Player, which is free, open source, cross platform, and the most widely used video player around. But most other video players operate in much the same way.

Download: VLC Media Player for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)

Add Subtitles to a Movie Automatically

The easiest way to add subtitles to a movie is to give the subtitle file exactly the same name as the video file (excluding the format extension). Then keep both files in the same folder. When you open the movie in a media player, such as VLC, it automatically loads the subtitles along with the video.

So if your video file is named:

The.Abyss.1989.BluRay.1080p.x264.mp4

Then you need to make sure the subtitle file is named:

The.Abyss.1989.BluRay.1080p.x264.srt

Since it doesn’t allow you to add a specific language to your subtitles file name, this method is best if you only want to add subtitles in a single language.

Folder with video and subtitle file with the same name

Add Subtitles to a Movie or TV Show Manually

If you want to use different file names for your video and subtitles files, you need to manually add the subtitles instead. This is the best method to use if you have multiple subtitle tracks you want to add to the same film.

There are two manual methods you can use to add subtitles in VLC.

First, open the video file in VLC, then go to Subtitles > Add Subtitle File from the menu bar and select the subtitle file you want to add.

Add Subtitle File menu from VLC options

Alternatively, open the video file in VLC, then click-and-drag the subtitle file from your file manager and drop it into the VLC window.

Drag-and-drop subtitle file in VLC

If you add multiple subtitle tracks, use the Subtitles option in the menu bar to switch between them.

How to Permanently Add Hard Subtitles to a Video

If you want to permanently add subtitles to a movie or television show, you can create a new video file using HandBrake. This isn’t as quick or easy as the methods above. But since HandBrake is free, open source, and cross platform, it’s still a good option if you never want to worry about adding subtitles again.

Download: HandBrake for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)

To get started, launch Handbrake and select the video file as the Source. Switch to the Subtitles tab, then open the Tracks dropdown box and select Add External Subtitles Track. Select your subtitles file from the browser that appears.

Next to your subtitles track, turn on Burned In to permanently add hard subtitles to your movie. Alternatively, add multiple subtitle tracks, select a Language for each of them and choose one to use as your Default subtitles. This allows you to switch between various subtitles tracks without worrying about different files.

HandBrake window showing Subtitles track

After configuring your settings, click Start to burn the new video file.

Create Your Own Subtitles

You might struggle to find subtitles for niche or independent movies. You also might not find subtitles in a particular language if it isn’t widely spoken across the globe. In either of these circumstances, you should consider creating your own subtitles to add to a movie or TV show instead.

It’s a time-consuming endeavor. But you can follow our instructions detailing how to make your own subtitles, then use the steps above to add them to your movie. If you do a good job, don’t forget to share your subtitles online for other people to use as well!

Read the full article: How to Add Subtitles to a Movie or TV Series

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How to Watch Netflix on Your TV: 5 Simple Methods to Try

If you’re looking for ways to watch Netflix on your TV, you’ve come to the right place. There are a number of different ways to watch Netflix on your TV, and most of them are very simple.

But what options are available? Can you connect Netflix to your TV from a phone? Can you still get Netflix on your non-smart TV? And which platforms offer official Netflix apps?

Let’s look at a handful of ways to get Netflix on your TV, and, in the process, answer any questions you may have.

1. Use an App to Watch Netflix on a Smart TV

netflix remote

The world of smart TV operating systems is a confusing one. Ever since Firefox TV met its demise in 2016, there are four major smart TV operating systems still in use. These are Tizen, WebOS, Android TV, and Roku TV.

As a user, that’s not ideal. Sadly, as you’d expect, the various app marketplaces for each OS are fragmented, with different apps available on different platforms. The good news, though, is that all four of the major smart TV operating systems offer an official Netflix app. Some televisions will even come with the Netflix app pre-installed and with a shortcut button hard-coded on the remote control.

Install the app first if you don’t have it, then fire the app up and enter your Netflix credentials. You’ll be watching Netflix on your TV in seconds. If you encounter problems and can’t install Netflix on your TV, contact your TV manufacturer for troubleshooting tips.

2. Connect Netflix to a TV From Your Phone

chromecast dongle

Smart TV apps aren’t always the best solution. Depending on the quality of your television’s hardware, the app could be slow and buggy. So, what other options are out there? If you have a smartphone or tablet, you could buy a Chromecast dongle and cast Netflix directly from the mobile version of the app.

To cast from Netflix to your Chromecast, open the Netflix app, and tap on the cast icon in the upper right-hand corner. You will see a list of all your available devices. Tap on one to connect to it. The connection process will take a few seconds to complete.

NB: Before you buy a Chromecast, check your TV’s handbook. Many newer models have the technology built-in. Some set-top boxes, such as the Nvidia Shield, also offer it natively.

3. Cast Netflix From Windows to Your TV

miracast

If you have a Windows computer, you could try and use Miracast. The Wi-Fi Alliance finalized the Miracast technology at CES 2013 and touted it as a wireless alternative to HDMI cables.

Sadly, Miracast is not as popular or as reliable as Chromecast, but it is available on more devices thanks to Miracast support on Windows. Indeed, Miracast is available on all Windows machines running 8.1 or later and all Android-powered devices.

On the receiver end, Roku devices and the Amazon TV Fire Stick are Miracast-enabled. Many smart TVs also offer the technology natively.

To use Miracast on Windows, go to Settings > System > Display > Multiple Displays > Connect to a Wireless Display. To use Miracast on Android, go to Settings > Display > Cast Screen and tap on your TV’s name.

Miracast is not available on Apple devices.

4. Get Netflix on a Non-Smart TV

If you don’t own a smart TV, you could try using a trusty HDMI cable. It is arguably the most reliable way to get Netflix on a non-smart TV.

Sure, an HDMI cable might not be at the forefront of cord-cutting technology anymore, but it will always get the job done. You can pick up a functional six-foot-long HDMI cable relatively cheaply on Amazon.

4K 60HZ HDMI Cable 4K 60HZ HDMI Cable Buy Now On Amazon $13.79

Setting up the HDMI cable is easy. Just connect one end to your TV and the other end to your computer. On your machine, load up the Netflix web app and find the content you want to watch. On your TV, make sure you have selected the correct input channel.

If you’re lucky, your computer will recognize your TV and it will connect immediately. If it doesn’t, the next step will vary depending on the operating system you’re using.

Windows

windows mobility center

To tell your Windows operating system to send your monitor’s display to your TV, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu.
  2. In the pop-up menu, select Mobility Center.
  3. Locate the box called External Display.
  4. Click on Connect Display.
  5. A menu will pop out of the right-hand side of the screen, choose Second Screen Only.

Your Windows screen will go black, and both the video and audio will be playing on your TV.

NB: Some manufacturers might have included a keyboard hotkey to switch to HDMI output.

Mac

If you own a Mac, follow these steps instead:

  1. Open the Apple menu.
  2. Click on System Preferences.
  3. Choose Displays.
  4. Hold down the Option key.
  5. Click on Detect Displays in the lower right-hand corner.

If your computer still can’t connect to the TV, you have a problem with either the TV’s HDMI port, the Mac’s HDMI port, or the HDMI cable itself.

NB: Many modern Apple laptops do not include an HDMI port, so you will need to buy an adapter first.

Hopefully, you should now be seeing Netflix on your TV screen. You might notice the edges of the screen are missing. Don’t worry, it’s called “Overscan” and is a common occurrence. Typically, the problem needs to be resolved in your television’s settings rather than on the operating system.

5. Use an Apple TV and Apple AirPlay

Unsurprisingly, Apple is the only company that doesn’t offer support for Miracast, Chromecast, or HDMI cables.

Instead, the company wants you to either buy an Apple TV and install the platform’s version of Netflix, or use its proprietary AirPlay technology and cast the web app version of Netflix. AirPlay does work well, but given its proprietary status, support for the standard among smart TVs and set-top boxes is sorely lacking.

How Do You Watch Netflix on Your TV?

Now we have introduced you to a number of different ways to watch Netflix on TV. The right solution for you depends on the equipment you own and the gadgets you use.

Once you have figured that out, you can then turn your attention to tracking what movies and shows you’ve watched and figuring out what to watch next on Netflix, like these awesome British crime dramas or the best musicals.

Read the full article: How to Watch Netflix on Your TV: 5 Simple Methods to Try

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The Best 4K YouTube Videos to Watch on Your New TV or Monitor

You’ve just purchased a brand new TV. Which 4K videos should you play to demonstrate the impressive quality and show off to your friends?!

In this article, we list the best 4K videos on YouTube, including 4K music videos, and 4K test videos. All of which are perfect for your new TV.

1. 93 Minutes of Open Ocean

Remember those 1080p looping fireplace videos that were all the rage when high definition first landed? It appears that this is the natural progression—over an hour and a half of the South China Sea, with no breaks, no repetition, and unfortunately nothing in the way of sound. Zen? Pointless? Who cares, just look at all that blue water…

2. Biosphere

In the same vein as documentaries like Samsara and Baraka (each of which peak at 1080p), Biosphere is a narrative-free documentary that takes an observant view of life on Planet Earth. Beautifully shot in glorious 4K, see Canada, Bhutan, Papa New Guinea, and Chile in stupendously high definition. The video even boasts a fittingly ambient soundtrack.

3. Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer

Today, you can find lots of 4K music videos on YouTube. Many artists record directly in 4K, while many more music videos have been digitally remastered up to 4K quality.

One such remaster is the official 4K version of Bon Jovi’s iconic rock song, Livin’ on a Prayer. Named by VH1 as the best song of the 1980s, the video offers an impressive insight into just how much the resolution of old videos can be improved when modern technology is applied to them.

Oh, and it’s also an absolute tune. After all, what is the point of 4K if we can’t play air guitar to it?!

4. Peru and Machu Picchu

Devin Super Tramp’s YouTube channel is a bounty of ultra HD video, and it’s well worth a trawl (and a follow) if you’re looking for short, sharp bursts of 4K content. Of all the videos on his channel, one that really stands out is the result of a trip to Peru and its most famous landmark, Machu Picchu.

Some of his other best 4K videos include footage from Saudi Arabia, The Bahamas, California, and Hawaii.

5. New York in 4K

Around The World 4K is a new international YouTube project focused on capturing every corner of the world in ultra high definition, “for the pleasure and entertainment of our dear viewers” over the coming two years. They’ve stopped off in Chicago, the Grand Canyon, London, Niagara Falls, and their most popular video to date, New York.

The five-minute-long video takes you on a whistlestop tour of some of New York’s most famous landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

6. A Timelapse of the Surface of the Sun

Advances in space photography have enabled humanity to capture some incredibly impressive sights of distant galaxies, star clusters, and cosmic phenomena on the fringes of the known universe.

Point the lens closer to home, however, and the results are just as impressive. Take this 4K timelapse video of the Sun from October 14th to October the 30th 2014, complete with the largest observed sunspot in 22 years and backed by the Sun’s “heartbeat.”

The video lasts for almost eight minutes.

7. Gigapixels of Andromeda

Your 4K TV doesn’t just do wonders for video, but also for images. What better image to explore than the largest one ever taken by NASA? This 4.3 GB, 1.5 billion pixel-rich shot of the Andromeda galaxy features over 100 million stars, thousands of star clusters, and a total visible area of 40,000 light-years.

And if you want to feel really small and insignificant, this is just one galaxy… hundreds of billions of other galaxies also exist.

8. 4K Corsica

The French island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea is low-key one of the most beautiful places in Europe. With looming rocky mountains, turquoise seas, and abundant wildlife, the island could have been specifically designed to create the best 4K videos in the world.

To see what we’re talking about, check out this hour-long tour of the island from above. Then read our article detailing the best ways to find cheap flights and book your next vacation!

9. A Category Five Hurricane

In nature, very little can compete with the awe-inspiring power of a hurricane. Having gone through the eye of the category four Hurricane Odile in Mexico in 2014, it’s something I can personally attest to.

October 2018’s Hurricane Michael was even more powerful than what I experienced. With 160mph winds, it became the first category five storm to make landfall in the US since 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. It caused more than $25.1 billion of damage across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

This 4K video shows what it was like for those who were unlucky enough to be caught in the storm. The footage of the aftermath of the storm is truly harrowing.

10. Promotional LG Video

This LG promotional footage is a great video to use if you need a 4K test video to set up the color balances on your new 4K TV. Given that it’s a promotional video for a TV manufacturer, you can be sure the images are super crisp, colorful, and vibrant. Under the hood, it might be an ad, but it’s still mesmerizing.

For an alternative 4K test video, check out Sony’s similarly impressive promotional ad. It features wild animals, impressive natural scenery, and perfect slow-motion captures. The Dolby Atmos promo video is another solid 4K option.

Learn More About 4K Videos

Of course, you won’t only find 4K content on YouTube. Netflix offers 4K video, as does Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and many of the other big streaming services. But they often charge more to access the content. However, you can watch 4K videos on YouTube entirely for free.

If you would like to learn more about 4K videos, make sure you read our article detailing the difference between 4K and UHD and our list of the best 4K streaming devices available to buy right now.

Read the full article: The Best 4K YouTube Videos to Watch on Your New TV or Monitor

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Binge-Watching vs. Binge-Racing: What It Is and Why You Should Try It

Everyone knows about binge-watching, which is where you watch lots of episodes of a TV show in a row without a break. These days, mainly thanks to streaming, binge-watching is a mainstream activity. Because binge-watching lets you finish a show before any spoilers hit the internet.

However, have you heard of binge-racing? Which is one step up from binge-watching. Binge-racing is a competition to complete a TV show within a certain amount of time. And in this article we explain exactly what binge-racing is and what the pros and cons of binge-racing are…

What Is Binge-Racing?

Binge-watching is when you watch lots of episodes of the same TV show back-to-back. It’s long been a concept, but was really popularized with the boom of streaming services such as Netflix.

However, for television fans, binge-watching just isn’t enough any more. Now, there’s the next level, and it’s called binge-racing.

what is binge-racing?

Binge-racing is where fans commit to finish shows within 24 hours of their release.

You probably think that sounds mad. How can you possibly finish an entire TV show in 24 hours? The truth is, you can’t, unless it’s a new show with not many episodes. However, what you can do is speed through one season of a show as soon as it gets released on Netflix in your region. That’s what binge-racing is all about.

When Did Binge-Racing Begin?

Netflix coined the term in 2017. In a press release at the time, Brian Wright, Vice President of Original Series, said:

“There’s a unique satisfaction that comes from being the first to finish a story—whether it’s the final page of a book or the last, climactic moments of your favorite TV show. Netflix allows you to watch in a way you never could before, and there’s nothing better than seeing a show engage our members and ignite a passion for viewing.”

Between 2013 and 2016, the amount of people binge-racing increased more than 20 times. With Netflix now offering a wider range of content, and there being lots of other great streaming services, there’s no doubt that the amount of people binge-racing will have increased.

Binge-racing is a global phenomenon and brings a spirit of competition to proceedings. Binge-racers don’t just want to skim through the storylines, they want to be the fastest to do it. For them, the speed of watching is an achievement to be proud of. Similar to how some people speed-run their way through video games.

The Pros and Cons of Binge-Racing

If you have ever marathoned a show before, you probably know what’s good and bad about binge-watching. So let’s take a closer look at binge-racing and discuss the pros and cons of the practice.

Pro: You Get a Show Watched Quickly

If you choose to binge-race a new show, you guarantee only spending one day (and one night) on it and not an hour longer.

When you’re facing a choice between watching a great TV show or doing something productive, the chances are you’ll go for the first option. With the amount of great content available on streaming services, it becomes all too easy to procrastinate and keep choosing TV over completing work.

It might seem odd, but by choosing to take a break and watch the whole season in one go (and in under 24 hours), you’re choosing to be more productive. Rather than being distracted by this interesting show for weeks, you can get it over with quickly and get back to your normal schedule afterwards.

Pro: You Don’t See Spoilers

We all have that one friend who spoils shows and movies on social media, even when they know you haven’t seen it yet.

It goes without saying that if you’re the first one to finish a new show, you no longer have to worry about spoilers. Plus, if your friend turns out to be a binge-racer too, they’ll probably be a little too busy with their own viewing deadlines and won’t have time to spoil things for you.

Con: It’s Easy to Miss Crucial Details

One obvious downside of speeding through new shows is that you risk missing the little things that might be crucial to the plot.

In order to avoid that, we recommend taking your binge-racing seriously, planning your sessions, and being fully prepared for them. Stock up on snacks and make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before. And of course, one sure way to avoid missing small details is to have a binge-racing buddy that you can discuss the show with when you’re finished.

Con: It Can Make You Less Social

Unfortunately, if you don’t find anyone who shares your passion for binge-racing, it might make you a little less social in the long run.

You’ll become that person who has already “seen it all”. Which means that while your friends are discussing the first few episodes of that new amazing show they’ve started, all you’ll be able to do is nod and smile as you don’t want to spoil any important plot twists for them.

the number of binge-racers

However, if you do happen to find yourself a binge-racing buddy, it’s hard to imagine an experience more fulfilling. Being stuck on that same couch together for 24 hours is a great chance to bond. As long as you both have the same policies about talking (or not talking) while watching TV.

Why Become a Binge-Racer?

First, “binge-racer” is a great name. If you’re already a fan of binge-watching, why not take it one stage further?

Second, binge-racing is perfect if you want to watch more TV and can’t afford to spend too much time on all of the shows. Binge-racing will help you bring more organization into your TV viewing habits. You’ll have to be aware of new shows prior to their release. Plus, you’ll probably have to plan every single session of binge-racing in advance.

And of course, you get to be a part of a growing trend which everyone will probably be doing in the future. Especially when the robots take our jobs and leave us with more free time on our hands!

How to Find the Best Netflix Shows to Binge-Race

According to Netflix, in the past four years, the number of binge-racers all over the world has grown from 200,000 people to more than 8 million.

the most binge-raced shows

In 2017, the top 10 binge-raced shows included Gilmore Girls, The Defenders, and Stranger Things. However, it varied by country. For example, Club de Cuervos was most binge-raced in Mexico, while Ecuador were all about Fuller House. Interestingly, Canada had the most amount of members of the binge-racing club.

If you decide to jump on the bandwagon and become a binge-racer, you just need to find the right show to kick start your habit. Binge-racing is all about watching a whole series as soon as it drops, so your best bet is to keep an eye on shows coming soon to Netflix and other streaming services.

However, if there’s a show you’re keen to binge-race that has already aired, you can always watch a previous season over a weekend and still consider yourself a binge-racer.

What Shows Should You Binge-Race?

Have we managed to get you excited about this emerging television trend? Now that you know what binge-racing is and why you should consider trying it, the only thing left is to pick a show to watch.

If you need help deciding what to watch, here are the best TV shows to binge-watch when stuck indoors.

Image Credit: jameschipper/Depositphotos

Read the full article: Binge-Watching vs. Binge-Racing: What It Is and Why You Should Try It

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You Can Now Watch More Free TV on The Roku Channel

The Roku Channel now offers more than 100 channels for free. Which means cord-cutters and other fans of free stuff now have more content to choose from. And to help users navigate the free stuff, Roku has also launched a Live TV Channel Guide.

In 2017, Roku launched The Roku Channel. This was a free, ad-supported channel full of movies. It has since evolved into a hub full of channels showing a diverse range of content. Most of which is free to watch if you’re willing to put up with the occasional ad.

The Roku Channel Expands Yet Again

As of the start of June 2020, The Roku Channel boasts more than 100 channels in the US. This is thanks to an expansion adding another 40 channels. These include The Bob Ross Channel, Vanity Fair, Wired, XUMO Free Movies, Redbox Free Movies, and Reuters.

The channels offering free content include news, sports, kids, and lifestyle programming. And there’s also Spanish-language channels, including AFV Español, América TeVé, Latido Music, Love Nature Español, MOOVIEMEX by Pongalo, and Pongalo NovelaClub.

“Now more than ever it’s important for our users to have easy access to free content, such as news, and the ability to find it quickly. We’re excited to enhance the streaming experience through a Live Channel TV Guide and bring more free content from The Roku Channel to the forefront.”
— Ashley Hovey, Director, AVOD Growth, Roku.

With so many channels and so many thousands of hours of programming available on them, Roku has also launched a new Live TV Channel Guide. As the name suggests, this lets you see at a glance what’s playing on the live TV channels now and in the future.

The Live TV Channel Guide is accessible via a new Live TV tile on The Roku Channel. You can also press left on your Roku remote to open it when watching something. When you open it you’ll see a list of channels, plus what’s playing now and in the future.

The Best Streaming TV Services to Watch

The Roku Channel is one of the best streaming TV services. There are plenty of others, both free and paid, so don’t bother watching content that doesn’t interest you. With its broad range of channels and TV guide, The Roku Channel is a good place to start though.

Read the full article: You Can Now Watch More Free TV on The Roku Channel

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How to Watch HBO for Free

If you’ve been feeling left out from your friends’ conversations about Game of Thrones or Westworld, you might be looking for ways to watch HBO. For years, HBO has been producing binge-worthy content that’s only accessible to paid subscribers and people who pay for TV packages.

While HBO doesn’t come free (at least by legitimate means), there are still several ways you can sign up (and even stack) free trials. Not to mention that you can still watch some HBO shows and movies online for free, and some services even offer a complimentary subscription to HBO.

Do you want to start watching HBO for free? Then read on to find out the many ways you can get a free trial to HBO, and other ways to get HBO free.

1. Sign Up for a Free Trial on HBO.com

HBO Free Trial HBO Website

HBO offers a seven-day free trial of HBO Now right on its website. That means one whole week of streaming free content to your phone, tablet, computer, or TV before you have to start paying $15/month.

If you don’t cancel your subscription at least 24 hours before your trial ends, HBO will charge you the price of the subscription. You should also keep in mind that the free trial is for new customers only, so you won’t get to start a trial twice.

Get: An HBO Now Free Trial on HBO.com

2. Get an HBO Free Trial on Hulu

Hulu HBO Free Trial

Already have Hulu? You’re in luck—Hulu offers a week-long HBO free trial for its subscribers.

Once you sign up for the trial, you can start watching HBO alongside all of your favorite shows on Hulu. When the trial ends, you’ll have to pay for the price of the Hulu subscription, as well as the $15/month HBO add-on.

Get: An HBO Free Trial on Hulu

3. Get an HBO Free Trial on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime HBO Free Trial

Like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video also offers an HBO add-on for current subscribers. You can start a seven-day free trial of HBO through Amazon Prime, giving you access to HBO’s library of movies, TV shows, and documentaries.

If you decide to keep your HBO subscription, you’ll have to pay $15/month in addition to your Amazon Prime subscription. It’s also worth mentioning that Prime Video already comes with a handful of HBO shows that don’t require the Amazon Prime HBO add-on. That said, make sure you’ve exhausted the existing HBO options before starting the free trial.

Get: An HBO Free Trial on Amazon Prime

4. Get an HBO Free Trial on The Roku Channel

HBO Free Trial Roku Channel

Although The Roku Channel has tons of movies and TV shows available for free, you’ll have to pay to stream any HBO content. The only way to access HBO for free on Roku is with a seven-day free trial.

Once the trial ends, you’re subject to a monthly fee of $15. The free trial through Roku is the way to go if you don’t want to pay extra for Hulu or Amazon Prime, and if you want access to a library of hundreds of free content.

Get: An HBO Free Trial on The Roku Channel

5. Take Advantage of Free HBO Max With AT&T

Watch HBO Max AT&T

HBO is bundling its newest streaming service, HBO Max, with any AT&T plan. With HBO Max’s library of popular HBO shows, Max Originals, and other WarnerMedia content, HBO Max is set to become one of the best TV streaming services out there.

If you already have any of these AT&T services (or plan to get one), you can stream HBO Max free of charge:

  • DirecTV Premier
  • DirecTV Lo Maximo
  • AT&T TV Now Max
  • U400 and U450 TV
  • AT&T Unlimited Elite wireless plan
  • AT&T Internet 1000

To access your complimentary HBO Max subscription, simply sign into HBO Max with your AT&T login information. Without an AT&T plan, you’ll have to pay $15/month for an HBO Max subscription.

Get: HBO Max

6. Watch Free Episodes on the HBO Website

Watch Free Episodes HBO Website

There are a ton of amazing shows to watch on HBO. If you’re not ready to make the commitment (or just want to see what HBO has to offer), you can watch free episodes and documentaries on the HBO website.

Although the site gives you access to several full-length documentaries, most of the free episodes are just pilots—you’ll have to get a free trial or a paid HBO subscription if you want to see more. That aside, it’s still a great way to get a feel for some of HBO’s best series, such as The Wire, Game of Thrones, and The Sopranos.

Watch: Free Episodes on HBO

7. Watch Clips from HBO Shows on YouTube

Watch HBO Clips Free on YouTube

Not comfortable getting an HBO free trial? Luckily, you can always watch clips and trailers of HBO shows and movies on YouTube. The short videos from shows like Westworld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Big Little Lies can help you decide whether you want to pay for a full-fledged HBO subscription or not.

For the largest collection of clips and trailers, head to HBO’s own YouTube channel. Otherwise, searching for videos of an HBO show or movie you’re interested in will yield tons of results from third-party channels.

Watch: HBO Clips on YouTube

8. Check With Your Cable or Satellite Company

HBO Free Online With TV Package

If you haven’t ditched cable yet, you might be able to get HBO for free or at a discounted price. Several popular cable companies like Verizon FiOS, DirectTV, Comcast, and Cox include HBO in certain packages.

For example, with the DirecTV Choice package, you’ll get HBO included with the price for one year, and that’s in addition to an HBO Max subscription. Even if your cable or satellite plan doesn’t include HBO, it doesn’t hurt to call up your service provider to see if they’re offering any special HBO deals or free trials.

The Best Ways to Watch HBO Free Online

Once you run out of free HBO trials, you’ll have to pay the price of the subscription. The monthly price of HBO isn’t cheap, so taking advantage of any introductory free trials, free HBO videos online, and special offers for cable customers is a good idea before you commit.

Now that so many TV shows and movies are available online, it’s the perfect time to consider getting rid of costly cable and satellite TV. And these awesome live TV streaming services might just convince you to cut the cord.

Read the full article: How to Watch HBO for Free

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Video Cable Types Explained: Differences Between VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports

As technology has progressed, so, too, have the cables we need for our devices. Even though many manufacturers are moving to wireless solutions, you’ll likely always need some form of cable.

This is especially true for video devices. Televisions, monitors, and peripherals need a wide variety of cables and connections to work correctly. So, what are the differences between them all, and which ones do you need?

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular video cable types and when you may want to use each one.

VGA Cables

VGA display cable

VGA stands for Video Graphics Array. The connection was developed by IBM in 1987, making it one of the oldest video connections still in use today. It was widely used for video cards, TV sets, computer monitors, and laptops.

VGA can support resolutions up to 640×480 in 16 colors, although you can increase the colors to 256 by lowering the resolution to 320×200. This is known as Mode 13h and is commonly used when booting your computer into Safe Mode. Mode 13h was often used for video games in the late 1980s.

VGA is capable of transmitting RBGHV video signals, which includes, Red, Blue, Green, Horizontal Sync, and Vertical Sync. The iconic blue adaptor comes with a screw on either side to secure the connection. The socket consists of 15 pins, arranged in three rows of five.

It has since been surpassed by digital connections like HDMI and DVI but is still popular thanks to the resurgence of retro gaming and its inclusion on cheaper monitors and displays.

RCA Cables

RCA cable
Image Credit: William Krapp/Flickr

The RCA lead is one of the most visually identifiable video cables. The red, white, and yellow plugs are synonymous with audio/visual equipment produced in the 1990s and early 2000s. It was also the primary connection for many games consoles, including the Nintendo Wii. Most televisions no longer support RCA inputs, but there are still plenty of ways to connect your Nintendo Wii to your TV.

The name doesn’t refer to the technology itself, but to the company that popularized it, the Radio Corporation of America. The red and white connectors provide audio, while the yellow offers a single channel composite video.

When used together, the three cables transmit stereo audio with video up to 480i or 576i resolution. Just as with VGA, the once-popular RCA cable has been superseded by the digital DVI and HDMI connections.

DVI Cables

DVI video cable

The Digital Visual Interface, or DVI, was launched in 1999 by the Digital Display Working Group as the successor to the VGA cable. DVI connections can transmit uncompressed digital video in one of three different modes:

  • DVI-I (Integrated) combines digital and analog in the same connector.
  • DVI-D (Digital) supports digital signals only.
  • DVI-A (Analog) supports analog only.

DVI-I and DVI-D can come in single or dual-link varieties. Single-link can support 1920×1200 at 60Hz while adding a second digital transmitter for dual-link means the resolution can be increased to 2560×1600 at 60Hz.

To prevent forced obsolescence of VGA devices, DVI was developed to support analog connections using the DVI-A mode. This meant that DVI connections and devices could be backward-compatible with VGA connections.

HDMI Cables

HDMI cable
Image Credit: Lord_Ghost/DepositPhotos

The most popular digital video connection is the High Definition Media Input, also known as HDMI. This proprietary interface was created by a group of electronics firms, including Sony, Sanyo, and Toshiba. HDMI connections transfer uncompressed video and audio to computer monitors, TVs, and DVD or Blu-ray players.

There have been many iterations of the HDMI standard to accommodate advances in technology. The most recent is HDMI 2.1, which was launched in 2017. Among other technical changes, this update improved support for 4K and 8K resolutions and increased the bandwidth of HDMI up to 48 Gbit/s.

Importantly, HDMI cables are backward compatible, so that you can use a cable with the latest features on older devices. The reverse is also true, meaning you can use an older cable on devices made to the HDMI 2.1 standard. This is useful, as the HDMI Forum previously ruled that no HDMI cables or devices can display which standard they were manufactured to, making it impossible to determine your setup’s configuration.

HDMI uses the same video format standards as DVI, so the two are compatible through the use of an adaptor. As no signal conversion is necessary, there is no loss of quality either. Although, unlike HDMI, DVI does not support audio.

There are three commonly used HDMI connectors. Type A is the full-sized HDMI connection for use on TVs and home theater equipment. Mini-HDMI (Type C) is frequently used on laptops and tablets, while Micro-HDMI (Type D) is mostly used on mobile devices.

DisplayPort Connections

DisplayPort cable
Image Credit: Davis Mosans/Flickr

DisplayPort is a digital display interface developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). DisplayPort can carry digital video and audio, making it functionally similar to HDMI. As of DisplayPort 2.0, these connections support resolutions up to 8K, High Dynamic Range (HDR) at higher resolutions, and better support for multi-display configurations.

However, HDMI and DisplayPort were designed for different markets. While HDMI is primarily for home entertainment, DisplayPort was designed for connecting computing devices to monitors.

Due to their similar functionality, it is possible to connect DisplayPort and HDMI devices together using a Dual-Mode DisplayPort adapter. DisplayPort operates using packet data transmission, most commonly used in Ethernet and USB connections. Thus, making it ideal for use in computing rather than home entertainment.

Thunderbolt Connections

Thunderbolt 3 cable
Image Credit: Tony Webster/Flickr

Thunderbolt is an interface commonly found on Apple computers, iMacs, and MacBooks. Intel developed the standard with support from Apple as a means to connect peripherals to your computer.

The connection made its debut with the launch of the 2011 edition of the MacBook Pro and is still commonplace on the company’s hardware. If you own an Apple computer, it might be worth checking out the best Thunderbolt accessories for your Mac. Like other video connections, Thunderbolt cables integrate other technologies into a single device.

The connection combines PCI Express and DisplayPort, while also providing DC power, enabling up to six device connections on a single cable. To complicate matters, there is an overlap between Thunderbolt and USB Type-C. Thunderbolt specifications have been integrated into USB standards across the years.

With the introduction of Thunderbolt 3, all Thunderbolt cables share the same connector as USB Type-C cables. This means you can use the cheaper USB-C cable with Thunderbolt ports and devices. However, performance will be limited as USB-C cables don’t support the same rates of data transfer or power.

The Right Video Cable for Your Needs

When a new technology hits the market, manufacturers compete to make their version the global standard. This is why there are so many video cable connection types that are still in use today.

However, standardization is possible. In the mid-2000s, each cell phone would come with a proprietary charger. These days, it’s almost guaranteed your smartphone will charge via a micro-USB or USB-C connector.

The same is true of video standards, where HDMI has become the most common connection. If you need a new cable, then consider one of the best HDMI cables for Smart TVs and displays.

Read the full article: Video Cable Types Explained: Differences Between VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports

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How to Make a DIY HDTV Antenna and Ditch Cable for Good

If you’re trying to save money and cut the cable, you might have found HDTV antennae are quite expensive. As not all channels are available online, accessing some over-the-air broadcasts (as opposed to cable or satellite) is useful.

But there’s the cost. You cut back on cable to save money. While the one-off spend might be affordable, a few moments of browsing Amazon proves that only a high-end device is fit for purpose.

The alternative, then, is to build a DIY HD antenna using a few shop-bought components.

How to Build a DIY TV Antenna for Your Atticante

In this demo video you can see a working DIY digital TV antenna constructed with just a few parts.

The process is straightforward. Using a piece of wood as a base, it requires a collection of household tools to receive TV signals from a nearby transmitter.

Wire coat hangers act as antenna whiskers, which are secured to the board with screws and washers and linked with wire. In the middle, the received signal (enhanced with some disposable barbecue grilles) is routed through a balun to the coaxial cable, and to your TV.

A digital TV antenna such as this is best mounted in your attic space, as it isn’t particularly weather proof. However, it can be adapted for outdoors use by adopting more rugged materials. To start, however, we recommend this wooden version.

Step 0: Tools & Hardware to Build a DIY HDTV Antenna

To begin, you’ll need to collect your tools. Make sure you have:

  • A power drill.
  • An electric screwdriver.
  • Wire cutters.
  • Pliers.
  • Ruler or tape measure.
  • Hacksaw or handheld mini rotary tool (e.g. Dremel).

As you can see, these are all standard tools that you should have access to already.

Construct your DIY antenna with screws and washers

The HDTV antenna is built from the following components. Note that all measurements in this project are in inches:

  • 22-inch section of 2×3 or 1×3 wood board.
  • Woodwork pencil.
  • 18 screws, no deeper than your choice of wood (1″ or 2″).
  • 18 washers that fit between the screws and the wire.
  • Thick wire for antenna “V” (coat hangers can be bought inexpensively in bulk on eBay).
  • Copper wire (I used six pieces of wire from an old PC power-supply unit).
  • Aluminum mesh grill trays as typically found in disposable BBQ kits.
  • 1x Balun—this is a small coaxial plug with adjustable screws for connecting wires (pictured below). You may have one lying around from an old analogue TV. If not, you can pick one up online or at a dollar store.
  • A length of coaxial cable to run from the antenna to your TV. Be sure to measure the length needed before installing the antenna.
Balun Converter Adapter Balun Converter Adapter Buy Now On Amazon $9.99

Step 1: Find Your Local Transmission Tower

Knowing where the nearest TV transmitter is will help you to correctly align your antenna.

You have different options for this. The simplest is to check your existing antenna and use the same alignment.

If you don’t have an aerial (perhaps you’ve been using satellite TV or cable until now) you can check your neighbor’s alignment.

Online resources can also help you with finding local transmitters:

Find a local transmitter by searching for your location and “local TV transmitter” if the answer isn’t listed above.

Step 2: Preparing the Wooden Base

Begin by preparing the wooden backing board:

  • Draw a 1-inch gap down the middle.
  • Starting 2 inches from the top, mark a line crossing that gap every 5.25 inches.
  • You should have eight points where the lines intersect.

Build your TV antenna with a wooden base

It should look something pretty similar to this.

Step 3: Cut the Coat Hangers

Next, cut eight lengths from the coat hangers, each 14 inches long.

Each wire length must be bent halfway, to create a V shape, the ends which must be three inches apart. The measurements are essential for the antennae to perform correctly, so don’t just randomly fold them in half.

Build your own TV antenna with old coathangers

Cutting can be performed by hacksaw if necessary, but a Dremel-style handheld mini power tool is a quicker option.

Step 4: Attach the V Wires to the Base

Next, drill eight guide holes for attaching the V wires, using a narrow bit. With the holes drilled, attach the V wires, using the screws and the washers.

Attach coathanger whiskers to your DIY TV antenna

It’s okay to use screws with bolts here, but be sure to use the washers to ensure contact with the wire.

Step 5: Catching the Waves

Turn the base over and screw each disposable grill tray to the back of the antenna, two screws each. These act as a reflector, collecting the signal for your antenna.

Use BBQ grilles as part of your HDTV antenna

Next, join the V sections together with wire. Criss-cross these on the top and bottom sections and run straight along the middle.

Attach wires to the whiskers of the antenna

Strip a segment of insulation from the two middle wires. This makes attaching the Balun simpler.

The Balun is the interface to the TV. Think ahead and make sure it’s correctly positioned for connecting and reconnecting a coax cable in an enclosed space. Soldering the Balun will make the connection permanent, but if you’re unsure about this, take a look at our soldering starter guide first.

A completed DIY TV antenna

Congratulations, you’ve built a HDTV antenna using household parts!

Step 6: Receiving HDTV Images with Your DIY Antenna

You’ve built the antenna—now is the time to try it out!

Connect the device to a suitable HDTV, open the TV’s menu and start scanning for channels. As with any TV antenna, you’ll need to try out several positions to get the best results, so be patient.

It’s smart to get a gauge of the correct angle needed to receive pictures before you mount the antenna permanently. This can take quite a bit of trial and error depending on your environment. You might find that fixing the device to your outer wall is a better option than hiding it in the loft or fixing it to the ceiling.

I found that placing the antenna on a table and slowly positioning it in line with the existing roof antenna produced great results. It’s a case of whatever works for you and your surroundings.

Step 7: Mount Your DIY HDTV Antenna

The final step is to mount your DIY antenna. How you do this will depend on your location and the local signal strength.

For instance, if your home can receive a good, strong signal, you might place the antenna in your attic space. Standard reception, however, will probably require you to mount the antenna on a pole.

You Built a HDTV Antenna With Pocket Money

A brand new HTV antenna that you can mount will set you back at least $50. For under $10, or less if you have all the components, you can build your own.

As DIY builds go this one is straightforward enough for anyone to tackle. It might take a couple of hours to get right, but the results speak for themselves.

Looking for something simpler? Check our list of the best DIY HDTV antennas you can build.

Read the full article: How to Make a DIY HDTV Antenna and Ditch Cable for Good

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News

How to Screen Mirror Your iPhone or iPad to a TV

Don’t get stuck watching videos or playing games on a small screen—use your iPhone or iPad on larger displays with screen mirroring methods instead. There are a few ways to watch iOS or iPadOS content on a TV, including AirPlay, Chromecast, and wired adapters.

There’s also a difference between mirroring your iPhone screen and casting video to a TV, which lets you use other apps on your iPhone while watching a video on the TV. Here’s how everything works.

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1. Cast Video or Mirror Your Screen With AirPlay

Apple TV and Siri Remote

AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary wireless streaming technology. It allows you to send an image, song, or video from your iPhone to an AirPlay receiver connected to your TV. The most popular AirPlay receiver is the Apple TV, despite its hefty starting price of $149.

The Apple TV connects to your TV via HDMI and functions as a set-top box with its own apps and App Store. It has other neat functions too, like displaying your recent iPhone photos and playing music from Apple Music. Check out our guide to setting up and using your Apple TV to learn more about it.

If you want to AirPlay video from your iPhone to a computer display instead, you can do so with an app called AirServer, which costs around $20. You can also buy audio equipment compatible with AirPlay for streaming music.

How to Mirror Your iPhone Screen to Your TV With AirPlay

When you use screen mirroring, an image appears on your TV that exactly matches your iPhone or iPad screen. It even shows up in the same aspect ratio as your device (such as 4:3 for an iPad), which often means the image doesn’t fill the entire TV screen. Anything you do on your iPhone or iPad immediately mirrors to the TV screen.

To mirror your iPhone or iPad’s screen to an AirPlay receiver:

  1. Swipe down from the top-right corner to open Control Center. On an iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open it instead.
  2. Tap the Screen Mirroring button and choose your AirPlay receiver. A blue bubble appears in the top-left corner to show that you’re mirroring your iPhone or iPad screen to the TV.
  3. To stop mirroring your screen, return to the Screen Mirroring option in Control Center and tap Stop Mirroring.

Screen Mirroring button from iPhone Control Center

How to Cast Video From Your iPhone to Your TV Using AirPlay

Unlike screen mirroring, casting a video to your TV fills the entire screen. This is the best way to watch movies or view photos, since they aren’t limited to the aspect ratio of your device. You can also use other apps on your iPhone while casting video to a TV, without them showing up on the big screen.

To cast video from to your TV without screen mirroring:

  1. Load the content you want to send to the TV.
  2. Look for an AirPlay button in the app, which might be in the Share menu. If you can’t find it, open the Control Center and long-press on the Media Controls item in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap the AirPlay button and choose your AirPlay receiver. A blue bubble appears in the top-left corner to show that you’re casting a video to your TV.
  4. To stop casting video to your TV, tap the blue AirPlay bubble, then tap the AirPlay button and choose to play the video on your device instead of the TV.

AirPlay button from media controls in Control Center

Since AirPlay is wireless, you might find that radio interference, slow Wi-Fi networks, and older Bluetooth devices can impact performance. You’ll also notice a slight delay between your iPhone or iPad and what you see on the TV.

Unfortunately, this means AirPlay isn’t great for playing games. But it’s still a great choice for watching videos, listening to music, giving presentations, or sharing photos on the big screen.

2. Mirror Your Screen With a Wired Adapter

Lightning HDMI Digital AV Adapter

To avoid delays between your iPhone or iPad and the TV screen, consider using a wired adapter. There are a few drawbacks to wired adapters, but the latest models are better than they once were.

Most problems stem from the fact that Apple didn’t design the Lightning port on the iPhone and iPad to output video signals. As a result, you need to buy a clunky adapter to go from your Lightning connecter to an HDMI, VGA, or other display port.

The first batch of Lightning-to-HDMI adapters topped out at a resolution of 900p. And while the latest Apple Lightning-to-HDMI adapters promise 1080p, the reviews still aren’t great. Users mention issues like frequent black screens and sudden hardware failures.

You can also get Lightning-to-VGA adapters or USB-C-to-HDMI adapters, depending on your device and TV inputs.

For the $49+ price tag, these adapters don’t provide a good value and start to make the wireless convenience of an Apple TV look well worth an extra $100. What’s more, you can only use wired adapters to mirror your device screen.

To mirror your iPhone or iPad screen to a TV using an adapter:

  1. Connect your adapter to the Lightning or USB-C port on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Use an HDMI cable to connect your TV to the adapter.
  3. Switch to the correct input source on your TV to see the screen mirroring from your iPhone or iPad.

3. Cast Video to Your TV With Google Chromecast

Chromecast plugged into the back of a TV

You can use Google’s wireless “casting” technology to watch content wirelessly from your iPhone or iPad, though it works a little differently than AirPlay. Chromecast is Google’s answer to the Apple TV, and for $35 (or $69 for the 4K-compatible Chromecast Ultra) it is a much cheaper way to cast video from your iPhone or iPad to your TV.

Each app handles Chromecast integration a bit differently, so there’s no single way to stream video or other media from an iOS or iPadOS app. Just look for the Cast button in the app you’re currently using, then select your Chromecast from the list of options.

Chromecast button from Netflix app

Chromecast is compatible with the most popular video and music apps, like YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify. There’s even a list of supported Chromecast apps on Wikipedia.

If you need more help, check out our beginner’s guide to Google Chromecast.

How to Mirror Your iPhone Screen With Google Chromecast

Apple doesn’t make it easy to mirror your iPhone or iPad screen to the TV using Chromecast, but it is possible. To do so, you need a computer on the same Wi-Fi network that’s running the Google Chrome browser. You also need an app that lets you cast video to your computer, like ApowerMirror or AirServer.

APowerMirror is free, but includes a watermark. AirServer costs around $20.

Download: Google Chrome for macOS | Windows (Free)
Download: ApowerMirror for macOS | Windows (Free)
Download: AirServer for macOS | Windows ($19.99, free trial available)

ApowerMirror showing iPhone and Android device streamed to TV

To mirror your iPhone screen using Chromecast:

  1. Install and set up APowerMirror or AirServer on your computer.
  2. Open Control Center on your iPhone or iPad and select Screen Mirroring, then choose your computer from the list of devices. This should open a window on your computer that mirrors your device screen.
  3. On your computer, open Google Chrome and click the three-dot menu. Select Cast, then choose your TV as the destination with your Desktop as the source.
  4. Return to the APowerMirror or AirServer screen-mirroring window on your computer to cast it to your TV.

Find the Best Way to Mirror Your iPhone Screen

AirPlay is the best way to screen-mirror or cast video from your iPhone or iPad to your TV, but it’s also the most expensive. Wired solutions are inelegant and problematic—given the way the Lightning standard was designed—and still comparatively costly.

Google Chromecast offers the cheapest way to cast video to your TV, but it’s difficult to mirror your iPhone or iPad screen, especially if you don’t have a computer to use. Fortunately, you can use AirPlay connectivity at Chromecast prices with these AirPlay alternatives to an Apple TV.

Read the full article: How to Screen Mirror Your iPhone or iPad to a TV

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News

The 8 Best Free Streaming News Channels to Watch Online

Traditionally, one of the biggest drawbacks of canceling cable TV has been the availability of news from other sources. Sure, if you pay for Sling TV or Hulu + Live TV, you’ll get some 24-hour news channels included in your package. However, it hasn’t always been easy to find free streaming news channels to watch.

Thankfully, the situation has changed in recent years. And there are now plenty of free news channels available to stream. Some are offered by global news conglomerates, while others are apps by niche news gatherers. So, with that in mind, here are the best free streaming news channels you can watch today.

1. NewsON

NewsON app

Available on: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast

NewsON is a news service based in the United States, and the app is only available within America’s borders. Its primary focus is on local news from around the country.

It currently offers more than 170 local stations from 113 American cities and towns, thus reaching 84 percent of the population.

Originally, seven of the largest American TV station owners backed the app (ABC Owned Television Stations, Cox Media Group, Hearst Television, Media General, plus Raycom Media, Hubbard Broadcasting, and Sinclair Broadcasting). Unfortunately, ABC pulled its channels from the service in January 2020.

You can choose the news categories that interest you, then enjoy a continuous feed of newscasts and clips that match your preferences. You can also watch live feeds of the 170 channels if you want a more traditional news experience.

2. Newsy

Available on: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast

Rather than acting as a middleman for existing network news channels, Newsy creates its own content. Its main topics of focus are world news, politics, science and health, entertainment, technology, business, and sports.

The company takes a short-form approach to news—you won’t find any long investigative pieces or in-depth analysis. It simply takes the biggest headlines for each day and breaks them down into digestible chunks of two to three minutes.

Once you’ve selected your favorite categories and locales, Newsy will keep lining up the short videos for you to watch. It gives you a “lean-back” TV watching experience that’s often sorely lacking in the world of cord-cutting.

Newsy also prides itself on a lack of bias that’s rare in the mainstream media. It aims to cover multiple sides of every story, thus giving you balanced and fair coverage. Only you can be the judge of whether the claims of impartiality are accurate.

3. Haystack TV

Available on: Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, LG TVs, and Samsung TVs

Haystack uses big data to provide a personalized free news channel. Yes, you can add your own preferences within the app, but the company has a more expansive algorithm that determines which videos it should show you.

The algorithm grabs thousands of user-generated data points every day and uses them to create real-time interest graphs. It breaks the graphs down by world, local, and interest-based content. The graphs are then correlated against your profile and the app will suggest breaking stories and topics it thinks you’ll be interested in.

If you’re willing to give the company access to your Facebook or Google account when you sign in, the recommendations become even better.

The topics and headlines can vary from the mainstream to the extremely niche, depending on how quirky your interests are. But ultimately, the result is a never-ending feed of news you’ll love. Most videos are between three and five minutes long.

4. YouTube

YouTube news categories

Available on: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Plex, most gaming consoles, and the web

You might be surprised to see YouTube on this list, but it more than deserves its place. The site’s auto-generated news channels are a rich source of free content.

Start by heading to the main News channel, where you’ll find seven further subcategories. They are Sports News, Entertainment News, Business News, Science and Technology News, World News, National News, and Health News.

Click on any of the topics that interest you, hover your mouse over the Top Stories icon, and click Play All. You’ll now be able to sit back and enjoy several hours’ worth of continuous content from the biggest providers in your country.

Best of all, there’s so much stuff on YouTube, you’ll never have to watch the same report twice. If you come back tomorrow, you’ll have an entirely updated set of videos to enjoy.

5. Plex

Plex news

Available on: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, PlayStation, and selected smart TVs

Plex added news to its repertoire with the 2017 acquisition of the free streaming news channel, Watchup. The app is now fully integrated into Plex’s UI.

It means Plex can pull news stories from more than 190 different publishers, including CNN, Bloomberg, CBS Interactive, PBS, Euronews, FOX News, Sky News, and the Financial Times. As you watch the stories, you can add topics to your preference list, allowing the recommendations to become more personalized over time.

You can further personalize your content by selecting preferred locations, sources, and more. News on Plex is available for free, so you do not need a Plex Pass.

6. Sky News

Available on: Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, and the web

Sky News is one of the world’s largest distributors of free live news. It has apps available for all of the leading platforms, and you can tune in even if you live outside the UK. The content is a mix of rolling news and standalone news-themed shows.

The channel was frequently accused of bias in the 1990s and 2000s under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch and later, FOX. Today, it is owned by Comcast and is the current holder of the prestigious “Royal Television Society News Channel of the Year” in Britain.

If you don’t want to download the standalone app, you can stream Sky News for free on YouTube.

7. Bloomberg

Bloomberg TV

Available on: Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, YouTube, Roku, and the web

If you want up-to-the-minute business and financial news, Bloomberg is hard to beat. It lacks the bias of FOX Business and the sensationalism of CNBC. It is also the only one of the “big three” that’s available to stream for free via the web.

The channel is split into three distinct sub-channels—Bloomberg (from the US), Bloomberg Europe (from London), and Bloomberg Asia (from Hong Kong)—which air at different times of the day.

Other channels called “Bloomberg” that are not one of the three mentioned above are only the Bloomberg name via a franchise agreement. Which means you may not be able to find live streams of them.

As well as the dedicated app and YouTube stream, you can also stream Bloomberg for free on some of the best streaming TV services.

8. Al Jazeera

Available on: Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, YouTube, and the web

In the last decade, Al Jazeera has grown into one of the largest news organizations on the planet. It now boasts more than 80 bureaus around the world and has largely shed its reputation as being a mouthpiece for the Qatari government.

This free news channel is available in the US, UK, Canada, most of the EU, India, and parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

Which Free News Channels Do You Watch?

In this article, we’ve recommended the best streaming news channels that let you get your daily fix of current affairs. All of the options have pros and cons. The best one for you depends on the platform you’re using and whether you prefer watching content from global news conglomerates or indie producers.

Remember that you can get free news from sources other than TV, too. To learn more, check out our list of the best news apps available for free.

Read the full article: The 8 Best Free Streaming News Channels to Watch Online