Why Snow, Rain, and Confetti Destroy Streaming Video Quality

If you’ve ever watched a movie on Netflix, YouTube, or some other streaming service, you might notice that any time there’s a rainy scene, the video quality completely falls apart. Even if you’re streaming over the best internet connection, the video will look like crap. This happens because all video streams are compressed, and particles like rain, snow, and confetti completely destroy compressed streams.

How to Join Netflix’s Test Program and Try Out New Features Early

Netflix frequently tests new features and designs on a small number of users before rolling them out to everyone. The company has tested things like a Skip Intro button or a mobile data saver feature weeks or months before anyone else gets them. If you want to be among the users that get to try out new features, here’s how to join Netflix’s test program.

The Cheapest Ways to Stream NBA Basketball (Without Cable)

I love NBA basketball. Every year, I get really excited around the beginning of September because I know tip-off is approaching. This year, I also had to figure out how I’m going to watch the Bulls (lose almost every game) with a combination of streaming packages. That’s fun. And slightly depressing.

How to Make Your iPhone Use JPG and MP4 Files Instead of HEIF and HEVC

In iOS 11, the photos and videos you take will no longer be encoded in the compatible formats you’re used to. Instead of JPG for images and MPEG-4 for video, they’ll use High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) and High Efficiency Video Format (HEVC), respectively. Files in these newer formats are about half the size of JPG and MP4 files of similar quality.

Cord Cutting Only Sucks If You’re Trying to Replicate Cable

The cord cutting pushback has begun. Wired, The LA Times and even my own colleagues have all argued that cutting the cord is starting to lose its luster, and that as more companies break off into their own streaming services (instead of putting their content up on Netflix), cord cutting will soon be just as expensive as cable.

Cord-Cutting Is Losing Its Luster

Remember a few years ago, when online services were going to slay the anti-consumer demons of DirecTV, Time Warner, and Comcast? Here in 2017, the market for cord-cutting, streaming TV looks a lot more bleak. And thanks to confusing and expensive channel lineups, weird sports restrictions, and more and more exclusive content, the situation isn’t going to get better any time soon.

Is MoviePass, the $9.95 Movie Theater Subscription, Worth It?

MoviePass offers an unprecedented deal for moviegoers: $9.99 a month lets you see a movie in theaters every single day. Yes, you read that right. You can watch around thirty movies in theaters every month for ten bucks. Since that’s cheaper than a single ticket in most places, people flocked to it. But before you sign up, there are still a few things to consider.

How to See Who Has Logged Into Your Netflix Account

Netflix knows that you aren’t the only person using your account. The company has turned a mostly blind eye to password sharing, but you may still want to know who’s been logging into your account—especially if you think someone got access without your approval. Here’s how to find out who has logged in using your credentials.

How to Check a Video’s Bitrate In VLC

A video’s bitrate is a key piece of information in determining the quality of said video. Even if two videos have the same resolution, a lower bitrate is going to result in less detail and clarity. Here’s how to see the bitrate of any video you’re playing in real time with VLC.

Is It Worth Upgrading to the Apple TV 4K?

The fourth-generation Apple TV was a big step up from previous generations, but now that 4K is becoming more popular, Apple is joining the party with its new Apple TV 4K. However, should you upgrade your current fourth-gen Apple TV to the new one?

The Cheapest Way to Stream TV: Rotate Your Subscriptions

Ever since the dawn of cable bundles, all we viewers have ever wanted is to pay for just the shows that we want to watch. Now that everyone and their parent company has a streaming subscription, you can sort of do that…but if you subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Now, and all of the other ones you want, it could end up costing as much as cable. Fortunately, there’s a solution: rotate your subscriptions.

How to Remove a Device From Your Netflix Downloads Allotment

Netflix lets you download some of its shows to your device so you can keep watching when you’re on a plane, stuck in the subway, or just don’t want to use up your mobile data. However, you can only download shows on up to four devices. If you ever need to add another, you’ll need to deauthorize one first. Here’s how to do that.

The Best Free Video Channels for Your Roku

If you’ve got a Roku, odds are you’ve already connected your Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon account for streaming. You probably know that you can buy movies and TV episodes on other services too, like Google Play. But there is a lot of free content on the Roku too…if you know where to look.