Is YouTube Red Worth Your Money?

YouTube is a streaming platform that more and more people are getting hooked on as they watch videos both for entertainment and information. It’s similar to Internet TV.  In October 2015, YouTube launched a premium service called YouTube Red. So, is it worth your money?

In this article, let’s take a look at the features of this service and see if it’s worth paying a small monthly fee:

You can listen to videos with the screen off

Subscription to YouTube Red comes with offline access to users’ favourite videos. They can also listen to videos with the screen off like a music streaming service. Using the service, you can download videos and watch them without an Internet connection.

You get one month free trial

To get started, you will need to sign up with your Google account. This will automatically provide you a free trial for one month if you’re a first-time customer of the service. However, keep track of the date because if you don’t like the service and wish to cancel before the trial period ends but fail to do so, you will be charged automatically.

You get unlimited ad-free viewing

If you want unlimited ad-free viewing, YouTube Red is the service for you. Since it comes with a subscription fee, it can run without advertising, unlike YouTube that depends on it.

YouTube Red has Google Music

The subscription comes with Google Music that enables you to access 35 million songs. You can also save thousands of songs and play them offline and without ads.

You get access to Youtube Red Orginals

If you’re a fan of YouTube, this feature will surely get your attention. Your subscription allows you to access new content called YouTube Red Originals that those who don’t have subscription cannot access.

It comes with background play

YouTube Red enables you to use your phone and YouTube at the same time, unlike when you use YouTube as a music streaming service, the video stops playing when you leave the app. With YouTube Red’s background play, YouTube works the same way as other music and video streaming services.

Is YouTube Red worth your money? If you want these features then signing up is a great idea.

Do you have other ideas on internet TV? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Are Flipping Properties as Easy as it Looks on TV?

A lot of people participate in the property market every year, whether to buy their own homes or to purchase investment properties. And the market is competitive. Property investors need to keep up and stay ahead of the competition.

When it comes to investment properties, some people make money by flipping properties, or through a renovate and flip strategy. In simple terms, you buy a property, renovate it, then sell it for a profit. There are even internet TV shows that feature flipping properties – and you may think that this strategy is easy enough.

In this article, let’s delve into flipping properties to find out if it’s an easy thing to do.

Make sure to do your research

One of the easiest ways to fail at flipping properties is to not know what you’re getting yourself into. Look at renovated properties that are similar to what you intend to purchase. Then assess the different aspects that can affect the price.

Buy below market value

Another common trick is to purchase properties that are below market value. Some sellers are willing to take less just to have a quick sale. If you pay too much for the property and add the renovation costs, the result may be too expensive for the market and it will be difficult for you to sell it.

Know the kind of improvements needed

The key to flipping properties is to know what improvements are needed to generate more revenue. Instead of working on structural projects, consider doing renovations or changes that will add to the aesthetic value of your property. For instance, a good paint job can dramatically transform it, giving it a fresh, new look. In this case, flipping a property is easy enough that you can do it yourself. Even if you hire a painter, you can still make the property more visually appealing, and save money in the process.

Once you’re done with the renovation, the property will be up for sale. But what if you cannot sell it fast enough? This is a risk that you should be aware of, so you’ll know what to do and avoid losses.

Do you have other ideas on flipping properties and real estate in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Things to Consider When Choosing a Pay TV Provider

In this day and age when almost everyone goes online on a daily basis, it’s not surprising to see more and more people looking at internet TV for entertainment. There are several providers of pay TV, and their offerings vary. How can you choose the one that suits you best? One that enables you to access the shows that you want and at the same time, saves you money?

Here are some of the things to take into account when choosing a pay TV provider:

  • One internet TV option is to subscribe to a stand-alone service, or bundle your chosen pay TV service with your home broadband plan. In this way, you’ll be able to gain access to a long list of TV shows, documentaries, movies, and even live sporting events.
  • It’s important to know that there are two general categories in pay TV: subscription TV and streaming video on demand. Foxtel belongs to the first category, and it requires customers to sign up for a one-year contract, and pay for installation and equipment.

On the other hand, Netflix and Stan, which fall under streaming videos on demand services, do not require customers to pay installation costs. There are also no contracts. They even offer a free one-month trial. However, these services require internet access, which usually involves set-up costs and contract periods.

  • Different pay TV providers offer different sets of popular TV shows. That’s why it’s important to check the list of shows available before signing up.
  • What are the devices that you use? Note that there are providers which may not be compatible with your devices such as DVD players and gaming consoles.
  • Check if the pay TV provider has an app or a feature that will enable you to watch movies and shows from a portable device such as your smartphone or tablet.
  • The quality of the videos has an impact on the price you’re going to pay for the internet TV service. For instance, expect to pay a bit more for movies in HD, compared to shows that are of SD quality.
  • Your internet connection also plays a role in your viewing pleasure. It’s important that you have connection that’s fast enough to stream videos without interruption. HD content, for instance, needs fast internet connection. Otherwise, you’ll not enjoy watching movies even if the quality is good.

Do you have other ideas on pay TV or streaming TV online? Share your insights in the comments section.

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What is Fetch TV?

We’ve entered a new age of television thanks to the Internet TV technology.  Internet TV gives more variety through data connection than regular cable TV. You can use internet TV via subscriptions, and it comes with varying costs depending on the quality and content of your subscription.

Pay TV options in Australia have always been quite limited. Fetch TV is a recent TV subscription that serves as an alternative to Foxtel, with a wide range of popular TV channels to choose from and a large library of movies and TV shows. With broadband internet connection, the subscription is streamed to your TV through the Fetch set-top box, so you don’t need separate cables for pay TV and home internet.

Here are some of the awesome features of Fetch TV:

Fetch’s set-top box is the main drawcard. Hook it up to your TV and internet, and enjoy dozens of channels and loads of movies that the service offers.  It’s a versatile device as it is also a TV guide, a video recorder, and a movie store, perfect for your entertainment needs.

You can buy or rent movies from a catalogue of over 6000 movies including the latest blockbusters and classic movies. Fetch has an amazing movie store with unlimited availability with the touch of a button. Renting movies allows you to watch them for 48 hours, while buying gives you unlimited access.

Fetch also offers Premium Channel packs, such as Nickelodeon and National Geographic, with over 40 popular channels from the US and UK. For $6 a month, each pack contains a selection of channels. The Vibe pack has pop culture channels like MTV and E! and the Knowledge pack includes CNN and Food Network.

Aside from 49 channels across four Premium Channel packs, Fetch features special channels like Horse and Country and BelN Sports, as well as international TV packs from South Korea, China, Italy, and others. You can add or remove these from your subscription.

Recording live TV with Fetch is available on its Mighty version of the set-top box. Your can record your favourite shows in its built-in 1TB hard drive, capable of storing 585 hours of TV. The Series Tag function allows you to choose the shows for Fetch to record automatically. You will never miss an episode of your favorite show with the Mighty Box.

Do you have other ideas about internet TV? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Is Foxtel Worth the Money?

More and more Australians get internet TV subscription as it is a convenient way to get a continuous supply of movies and TV series at the comfort of their own home. There are several providers of streaming TV online. One of these is Foxtel, which replaced its streaming service with Foxtel Now, with Chromecast support and HD content. This new platform has a basic 12-month package worth $450. Is it worth it? Does Foxtel offer the shows and movies that you want?

Let’s take a look at the features of this pay TV service:

  • Foxtel Now was launched on June 7, 2017. It is still the same streaming service as Foxtel Play, though with new features. If you’re an existing member of Foxtel Play, you will be automatically rolled over to Foxtel Now. Bear in mind that a software update may be required, based on your platform.
  • With dedicated apps per platform, Foxtel Now is compatible with iPhone, Android, PC, smart TV, as well as games console such as PlayStation 3 and 4, and Xbox One.
  • With its new feature of Chromecast support, you can stream content from a mobile device to your big screen TV. Also, HD video is available on compatible displays.
  • From the old platform of three and one, Foxtel now enables five devices to be registered, two of which can stream simultaneously.
  • Foxtel stated that about half of its 16,000 titles in the library will be available for streaming on HD.

Aside from the $450 you will pay for the 12-month basic package, you also need to pay for the IQHD box and setup fees. With the new features Foxtel Now offers, it’s worth the money.  There is also the option to pay $120 per month for 92 channels across all seven packs. Another option is the Sport pack which is one of the most expensive offerings.

Final thoughts

In the end, it’s up to you, depending on your budget and preferences. Of course, when you know the types of shows that you like to watch, you will get significant cost savings by choosing only the pack that offers what you like. That is why it is important to carefully check your pay TV options. If it helps, you can read several reviews of those who have already availed any Foxtel Now packages, just to be sure that it’s worth the money.

Is Foxtel worth the money? Share your internet TV tips and preferences in the comments section below.

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What home renovation shows teach us about renovating

Internet TV has become a staple in many Australian households, and for good reason. It enables families to subscribe to their favourite shows so they don’t miss a single episode. And speaking of shows, subscription television offers a wide range of shows, from cartoons and sports to fashion and popular series. It also offers several home renovation shows for homeowners who are looking for an upgrade into their own houses.

What do home renovation shows teach us about renovating? In most cases, people watch these shows for entertainment, while sometimes, they secretly wish that they can do that kind of renovation job in their own homes. Here are other things that these shows teach us:

Home renovation trends in the country

If you’re planning to renovate a room or your entire house, you can get tons of inspiration by watching home renovation shows. For instance, The Block, which involves pairs who are given a budget and time to outdo each other in designing a room or an apartment, usually show off their design skills by incorporating the latest trends.

Renovating a home can be challenging

There are home renovation shows where you can actually relate to, showing real people facing real challenges when it comes to renovating a home. It may add a bit of drama but in the end, you’ll be inspired and motivated to finish the task and celebrate for a job well done.

Renovation tips and solutions

You will surely learn a lot from watching home renovation shows. It doesn’t matter if you just want to change the overall look and feel of your bedroom or you want to have a house that’s energy-efficient. Home renovation shows offer tons of solutions to a wide array of issues in renovating a home.

DIY renovation

A lot of people think that renovation costs a lot of money. That may be true in many cases, but this doesn’t mean that people who are budget-conscious will not be able to pull it off. Consider watching home renovation shows and you’ll learn a thing or two about do-it-yourself woodwork and crafts. You can make your own coffee table, bench or floating shelves made out of reclaimed wood. You can also create customised décor such as curtains as well as table runners and centrepieces. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do without shelling out more money.

Got other ideas on home renovation shows on internet TV? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Pay TV Australia Guide: How to Find the Best Pay TV and Streaming Offers

The old fashioned way of watching TV has found itself a new competitor: pay TV and internet streaming has become a strong player in the market with its choices, good prices and option to cut the cable once and for all. The thought of ditching the old fashioned cable bill for the cheaper internet TV is tempting for many. Why pay more when you can watch anything on demand online?

Cable cutting however does need a bit of research and planning. You could just go for the first and the best offer, but chances are that you won’t get exactly what you are looking for that way. Researching your options can be worth it, so you find a bundle that suits you. Here is a guide on how to find the best pay TV online offers.

Getting the terms straight: Subscription television vs. streaming

No Pay TV Australia Guide would be complete without explaining two important terms.

  1. Subscription television is also called Pay TV. It’s a service where TV is broadcast directly over the air to customers who have paid for that service and have a special receiver for it. It doesn’t necessarily need to be broadcast over the internet – although a lot of it is. Some services also provide it through satellite dishes.
  2. Streaming refers specifically to services broadcast over the internet.

You need good internet for online streaming TV

Depending on how many people will be streaming at the same time, you need a good downstream speed. You can get away with 25 Mbps for Netflix if you know you are only going to stream one movie at the time. Unfortunately, for most people this is unrealistic. For families where several people will be streaming TV online at the same time, you probably need a faster downstream speed than that. Also, if you want to downstream loads of 4K Ultra HD content, maybe consider even faster speed yet.

You should also check your speed around peak times. Sometimes, it can take a huge plunge at dinner time or in the weekends – so if you experience this problem, you should contact your provider to fix it.

Do you need to cut the cord completely?

Maybe not. There are still some advantages to cable TV such as the huge number of channels and shows including sports channels that you won’t find a lot of on internet TV alone. It’s also much more stable in for example bad weather when your internet connection might suffer. Cable TV is more expensive than streaming TV online, but it also does have more choice. However if you are looking to save money, online streaming TV might offer you enough variety for your needs and be a lot cheaper. You can also opt for a satellite subscription TV option, where choice and stability will be better, and the price usually higher as well.

Use comparison sites in moderation

You can use comparison sites to find the internet TV offers that would serve your purposes the best. It’s a good way to get an overview of the market, but it won’t give all the information you might need. It doesn’t take into account services such as a la carte download of new movies as well as indoor antennas, just to mention two examples.

  • A la carte download allows you to purchase shows or movies soon after their release. It can be a good idea to look for these services specifically when comparing offers rather than relying completely on comparison sites, if that is important to you when streaming TV online.
  • An indoor/HD antenna is a cheap device that gives you the option of streaming TV online You won’t be able to record and watch on demand later, but it’s a great option for shows that you want to watch live over the internet. Usually indoor antennas aren’t taken into account by comparison sites, but could be worth looking into if you like streaming live TV. Different antennas offer different range and channels, so research beforehand and choose according to what you want to receive.

Do you need a streaming device for online streaming TV?

Just as there are many different streaming services, streaming devices can also be a jungle to choose from. First ask yourself if you need a streaming device: Usually it’s only necessary if you don’t have a smart TV. You only need one or the other, so if you have a streaming device, you won’t need a smart TV and the other way around. An advantage of higher end smart TVs is that it is likely to support 4K movie streaming services.

If you have agreed with yourself that you do need a streaming device, here are your two main options:

  1. Set-Top Boxes: These little, elegant devices are attached to your TVs HDMI port and provide some solid hardware that allows you to watch 4K content. So far, the only other way to watch 4K content is on a smart TV.
  2. Streaming Sticks: There is a wide variety of streaming sticks that connect directly to your TVs HDMI port. Some are small, individual devices while others need your phone or computer to function. The term streaming stick is broad, and it also covers dongles that show content from your phone or your computer on a TV. These come in many different qualities, so make sure to read the reviews in order to find the one that provides adequate quality for your needs.

Choose your streaming service

There are more than a few streaming services now a days

Forget what you know about providers. A quick search will reveal a wide variety of streaming service and pay TV providers, so you don’t need to just stick with one or two options anymore.

How do you know which one is best?

There isn’t any final answer to which streaming services are best. Usually you will find that each service offers a slightly different variety of content, so the only thing you need to do is to figure out what kind of TV you are likely to watch the most, and what you can compromise on. Do you want movies, news, reality or TV shows? Some services will have many movies but not a lot of live options, while others will allow you to stream talk shows, news or sport. Usually, you will have to compromise on some things. Because the streaming services are sometimes faced with restrictions from cable TV or digital rights issues, you can’t always stream the news on the actual day, and some movies won’t be available, either.  Unfortunately, it also means that some movies and shows will be available for a specific period of time after which they disappear and can’t be streamed anymore.

You should also beware of very cheap or even free services. Services like these may not have a very big variety, and some even come with commercials that you can’t skip. You will have to decide for yourself if those annoyances are worth a lower price. If you are on a budget, it could be a good way to save money and still enjoy some decent entertainment. Others prefer to skip the commercials and opt for a more expensive choice, if they have a few more dollars to spare a month.

Free trials

See if your preferred service has a free trial. Sometimes you have to search for it explicitly, other times it will be advertised openly on the provider’s website. It’s a good way to check if you like the variety, interface and features.

What kind of TV service should you choose?

Pay TV online and streaming does hold some benefits over traditional cable TV. If you feel it’s time to cut the cable, we have given you a few things to think about when choosing your next step. First of all, you can ask yourself if you would like to cut the cord completely or maybe combine a cheap cable option with more online variety. You can use comparison sites for a quick overview of the market, but it’s not always a good idea to rely on them entirely. They might not give the full picture, especially when it comes to a la carte downloads and indoor antennas.

You should also consider the speed of your internet connection as well as what hardware you need. A higher end smart TV will be sufficient for most Internet TV. The alternative is other kinds of streaming hardware such as Set-Top Boxes or Streaming Sticks.

If your internet connection isn’t the greatest, or if you miss the variety of cable TV, you could also go for a satellite subscription. It will be pricier but usually also have more to choose from, especially if you are into sports or other shows that will be hard to find online.

So what kind of TV service fits your need?

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Pay TV versus Online Streaming Options in Australia

With the availability of blistering Internet speeds and unlimited downloads, media streaming is fast becoming the way to watch TV.

Unlikely the good old days of free-to-air TV, when the most difficult choice was who will get up and change the channel, now you can choose from many media providers. Both free to air and pay TV are still available, but online streaming is a great alternative.

Here’s a breakdown of the different paid TV services available in Australia:

Foxtel

Foxtel is one of the oldest and most establish pay TV providers. One of the biggest draw cards of Foxtel is their exclusive broadcast rights for major TV series and sporting events. Foxtel also has a store where you can rent movies and other content, including latest releases. To watch Foxtel, you will need a satellite dish or cable, which the company will install for you. However, contracts are usually lengthy and locked in.

Netflix

Netflix is an online media streaming service. It has a range of movies and shows available for streaming over the internet. Unlike Foxtel, which has lots of the latest content and major sporting events, Netflix has more movie content. Netflix also produces a lot of it’s own TV shows these days and the shows are released around the world simultaneously. It is also much cheaper than traditional pay TV. However, Netflix is streamed online, which means it requires a fast internet connection and high download limited.

Stan

Stan is an Australian version of Netflix. It has a similar monthly subscription fee as Netflix and similar content. It is, however, more Australian-centric. So, if you are after some classic Aussie drama or movies like ‘The Castle’, consider Stan.

Fetch TV

Fetch TV is also streamed online. However, unlike Netflix and Stan which offer individual movies or shows, Fetch TV works more like a pay TV services. It has lots of content and can be played on demand, so there are not ads or viewing breaks.

Apple TV

You can use Apple TV to access Stan or Netflix, in which case it is free. Otherwise, you can buy content from the iTunes library. It’s a bit like renting a video for the night; just search iTunes and watch it. Not a bad option if you only want the occasional movie.

Each service has advantages and drawbacks. Pay TV services are more expensive and have lots of ads, but they usually have the latest content and major sporting events. Online streaming services require a fast internet connection but are much cheaper, and you get much more control over watch content you can access.

In reality, pay TV and online streaming offer slightly different things, and you might need both if you’re an ‘active’ viewer. Fortunately, all providers openly advertise what content they have, so it isn’t hard to find one that will suit your viewing needs.

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