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Geek Culture and Gadgets

Hulu’s Quarantine-Friendly Remote Watch Party Feature Now Available Everywhere – Review Geek


Hulu

Back in May, Hulu began testing a Watch Party feature that lets you  watch the same movie or TV show with others without being in the same room. It’s similar to the feature introduced by Plex, Movies Anywhere, and Sling. Now, the company is rolling this out to everyone. And unlike during the testing period, you’ll get the feature whether or not you’re on the ad-supported or ad-free tier.

Unfortunately, Hulu’s Watch Party is still limited to the browser. In most instances, this means that you’ll need to open Hulu on your laptop or computer and stream it via a technology such as Chromecast or AirPlay to play it on your TV.

On the bright side: unlike some watch-together tools, Hulu allows each user in the party to control playback of the video feed. Tapping pause won’t affect other’s feed, but if you do end up falling behind you can simply press “click to catch up” to sync up with the rest of the group.

You’ll be able to invite up to eight friends or family with built-in support for voice chat, which puts it ahead of most companies offering this feature. It’s worth noting that Hulu says the watch party feature is available for “thousands of titles” in its library, indicating that not every single movie or TV show will work.

Watch-together tools have been a super important tool during a time where most of us are staying at home. Hopefully, Hulu adds support within apps in the future.

Source: Hulu via Engadget





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Save $50 and Buy a Mic-Free Sonos Arc Soundbar Through Costco – Review Geek


A dark grey Sonos Arc on an empty background.
Sonos

It’s nearly impossible to buy a gadget nowadays that doesn’t have a microphone, this includes home entertainment gear. Well, Sonos is releasing a mic-free version of its Arc soundbar. It’s exclusive to Costco, unfortunately, but you do save $50 if you decide to buy this model.

The bar shares the “SL” branding that Sonos uses with all of its other mic-free products. The Costco model of the Arc comes in a special “shadow edition” color, which translates to a dark gray. The regular version with microphones comes in black. Your soundbar will be super stealthy and blend in with your home theater setup either way.

Otherwise, everything else seems to be the same, including sound quality. Of course, being a “smart” soundbar, Sonos has been continuously updating the firmware of its system, recently adding support for multichannel LPCM surround sound over HDMI eARC.

The exclusivity to Costco does have a benefit: a $50 savings. So, you’re looking at $749 versus the usual $799 price at most other retailers. The SL model is perfect for those who’d rather not have an always-on microphone built-in to their home entertainment system. And if you ever decide you want an always-on microphone, you can always link up your Sonos equipment to an Amazon Echo or Google Assistant speaker.

via The Verge





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Discovery’s New Streaming Service, Discovery+, Launches in January – Review Geek


Discovery Plus streaming service logo and some included channels
Discovery

If you love watching history and nature programming, we’ve got good news: Discovery’s new streaming service, Discovery+, is launching in the U.S. on January 4, 2021. It’ll be available on most major platforms with two plan options, one with ads and another that’s ad-free. But it’s also yet another service asking for your hard-earned dollars.

Discovery+ previously launched in the UK in November, but more international coverage is set to follow the United States  in 2021, including Brazil, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and certain countries in Asia.

The service will mimic much of Discovery’s current TV catalog, with over 55,000 episodes across more than 2,000 shows. You can also expect access to exclusives at launch like the 90 Day Journey series, a first look at Magnolia Network’s programming, and access to BBC nature documentaries. Discovery+ will also, at least initially, include popular Discovery channels like Animal Planet, TLC, HGTV, Food Network, Lifetime, and the History Channel. 

With so many other streaming services available, it’s understandably difficult to consider paying for one more. However, with so many popular channels on its roster, Discovery+ is a viable option for anyone who loves documentaries, home improvement series, and reality TV, as well as anyone thinking about cord cutting.

via Engadget





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