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Streaming Wars: What Platforms are the Best

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There was a brief moment when consumers realized that streaming services were the cheaper alternative to cable. Your brother’s Netflix login and your downstairs neighbor’s WiFi were all you needed to get by. Welp! Times have changed. Over the last few years, the list of different streaming platforms have grown a little out of hand, so might say. With services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime, and others offering exclusive content, you might find yourself strapped for cash trying to keep up with them all. Let’s break down the options to see what streaming platform(s) are the best fit.

What to Compare

Depending on the platform, streaming services can offer a variety of different options. This article aims to compare some of the more prominent services.

  • Pricing
  • How many screens can simultaneously stream
  • Live TV
  • Commercials
  • Original Programming

Netflix: The Grand-daddy of all Streaming

Netflix started as a subscription service that mails you movies so that you don’t have to go to the store. Back in 2000, Blockbuster had the chance to buy Netflix but turned it down

Now, Netflix is a streaming Juggernaut with millions of subscribers watching from their TV’s computers, and phones.

What are they offering?

Plans: 3- Basic ($8.99), Standard ($13.99), Premium (17.99)

Simultaneous Streams: Basic-1, Standard-2, Premium-4

Live TV: No

Commercials: No

Original Programming: Heck Yes

Big Originals: House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, The Queen’s Gambit, The Crown, Cobra Kai – the list goes on

Thoughts

Netflix has a gigantic library of streamable content from movies to tv shows to comedy specials. The innovative “Are You Still Watching” and “Skip Intro” features are essential for bingeing an entire series in a weekend. Probably the giant feather in their cap is their original content. It started with their acquisition of the cult classic, Arrested Development, and the gritty political drama series, House of Cards; Netflix has developed into an Academy Award-winning production company. 

Hulu: streaming meets live

Hulu began as a website where you could stream TV shows online the day after they aired. They had commercials, it lagged, and the selection wasn’t impressive. Nowadays, Hulu is one of the leading streaming services. They are the Android to Netflix’s iPhone, the Pepsi to Netflix’s Coke … or maybe it’s the other way around.

What are they offering?

Plans: 4 – Basic ($5.99/month), Premium ($11.99/month), Basic + Live TV ($64.99/month) Premium + Live TV ($70.99/month)

Simultaneous Screens: 2 screens can play Hulu simultaneously for all plans unless you add on the unlimited screens package for $9.99

Live TV: Yes

Commercials: Basic – yes, Premium – sort of 

Original Programming: Yes

Big Originals: The Handmade’s Tale, The Hardy Boys, Animaniacs

Thoughts

The significant advantage of Hulu over Netflix is live TV streaming. Streamers can watch and record Live TV, including local sports. The benefit of watching football while you are sent out to get groceries cannot be overstated. It’s true, even the Premium ‘ad-free’ plan still has some commercials, but these are mostly in movies they offer from different channel’s catalog. For example, any movie that TBS airs, Hulu will let you stream whenever – just with commercials. Otherwise, Premium will let you binge Bob’s Burgers ad-free for hours and hours. 

Disney+: for children young and old

Remember those commercials telling you to make sure to buy the newest Disney movie before it gets locked away in the Disney vault? It turns out Disney+ is that vault, and for a modest monthly price, you have access to everything that the massive Disney catalog has to offer.

What are they offering?

Plans: 1- $6.99/month or $69.99/year

Simultaneous Streams: 4

Live TV: No

Commercials: No

Originals: Yes, but that’s a loaded question

Big Originals: The Mandalorian

Thoughts

Put simply: Disney is incredible. They practically have a monopoly on our childhood. With access to any Disney title you can think of, Disney+ turns your TV or phone into a Nostalgia machine. Remember, Disney now owns Darth Vader, Spider-Man, Buzz Lightyear, and Homer Simpson. Since it went online a year ago, the only noteworthy exclusive content has been The Mandalorian. Disney has promised a slew of new content coming up, including several Star Wars Universe and Marvel shows. 

HBO Max: original premium content channel made modern

In many ways, Netflix has HBO to thank for their model. HBO was the first premium subscription for movies and original content if you wanted more than what cable had to offer. Finally, they’ve adapted their model to fit a modern scheme.

What are they offering?

Plans: 1 – $14.99/month – free with a traditional HBO subscription

Simultaneous Streams: 3

Live TV: No

Commercials: No

Originals: Big time

Big Originals: Game of Thrones, Sopranos, The Wire

Thoughts

HBO’s entire back catalog combined with all Warner Bros titles packs a lot of content into one app. With the announcement that WB will be streaming their big 2021 titles on HBO Max the same day they’re released into theaters, consumers could witness something that’s never really been done before. Is the movie watching experience as we know it gone for good?

Prime Video: a perk of speedy delivery

Amazon: ever heard of ‘em? That little online book-selling operation has extended its services to include online streaming. Prime Video is included with your Prime subscription that gets you free two-day shipping and overnight delivery. 

What are they offering?

Plans: 2- Prime Annual ($119/year), Prime monthly ($12.99/month),  Prime Video ($8.99/month)

Simultaneous Streams: 3

Live TV: No

Commercials: No

Originals: Yes

Big Originals: The Boys, The Marvelous Ms. Maisel, Hunters, Jack Ryan

Thoughts

Prime Video works as a hub for all the digital content you purchase on Amazon as well as the streaming service. Even if you cancel your subscription, you will still view the movies and shows you bought. Most of the good stuff on Prime, you still need to rent or buy, and they are still working on building their original content.

Youtube TV: the cable cutter

Google launched Youtube TV as a cable-cutting service in 2017. Streamers would have full access to all their favorite cable channels, including sports like the NFL Network.

What are they offering?

Plans: 1 ($64.99/month)

Simultaneous Streams: 3

Live TV: Yes

Commercials: Yes

Originals: No

Thoughts

Youtube TV is strictly an excuse to ditch your cable provider. It is the only other Live TV provider besides Hulu and even offers a few more channels with the sports networks and Viacom (MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon). Still, it provides no original content and no offline streaming.

The Others

There are a handful of other streaming services out there as well. Apple TV +, Sling, Epix, and Peacock offer their own list of features but don’t quite stack up next to the other giants. Just yet anyway

What It All Comes Down To

No matter what you subscribe to, it seems there will always be a time when you come into work, and somebody will ask you if you watched the most recent episode of (insert show here) and you say ‘no, I don’t have (insert streaming service here). Then they rattle off all the features and benefits of that streaming service and tell you that you need it. Before you know it, you’re spendings $140/month on streaming services and missing the days when all you needed was a cable box. In the end, most people have multiple subscriptions. It’s just a matter of figuring out which you can get away without needing.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you have kids/ have a nostalgic side? Disney+ and HBO Max (Sesame Street)

Do you need live sports? (Hulu + Live TV or Youtube TV)

Do you like water cooler talk? Netflix has the largest selection of talked-about original content.

Are you a nerd? Disney+ has everything Marvel and Star Wars, and the new stuff is around the corner.

Then there’s a matter of splitting the subscriptions with friends and family. This may blur the lines of ethical behavior depending on who you ask, but that’s for you to decide.

 Whichever streaming services you choose, there is no shortage of material, and you will never get to the end of it. Maybe, get outside. Go for a walk. Some Vitamin D could do you some good.

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Lifestyle

Most Watched TikTok Recipes

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TikTok is not only the home for viral dances but also recipes! So if you’re not on TikTok but still want to learn some easy-to-cook recipes, then you’re on the right page. Here’s a list of most-watched TikTok recipes that look good enough to eat. 

#1 “Man Meal” Baked Overstuffed Chicken

This “man meal” dish Ali Grace Morsell cooked for her husband has garnered more than 6.1M views on TikTok recipes. This dish is served as an after gym meal for Ali’s husband hence the name. It’s a recipe that can be prepped and cooked for less than an hour. 

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts 
  • Diced green chiles 
  • Worcestershire sauce 
  • All-purpose seasoning
  • Cream cheese
  • Salt
  • Parsley on top
  • Mashed potatoes on the side

#2 Chocolate Mochi

@asianmuminlaw

my Asian mum-in-law taught me this trick to make #mochi at home. #asianmuminlaw

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod

This home-made mochi with chocolate filling by My Asian Mum-in-Law reached over 11.2M views on TikTok. If this is your first time encountering the word “mochi,” it’s a rice cake made with glutinous rice. However, some of you might know mochi as ice cream. In Japan, this sticky rice treat has various variations that match the country’s seasonal specialties. 

Ingredients:

  • Glutinous rice flour
  • Chocolate balls 

#3 Mini Pizza 

If you’re looking for a fun and quick treat to make, this 5-minute mini pizza recipe is perfect for you. 

Ingredients:

  • Biscuit
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Cheese
  • Pepperoni 
  • Egg

#4 Baked Mac and Cheese

This baked mac and cheese by Mariam are one of the best mac and cheese dishes for thanksgiving. It’s a creamy and savory dish that’s well-deserving of more than 14.3 M views. Besides, this is one of the most trending dishes on the TikTok recipes’ feed.  

Ingredients:

  • Heavy cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Penne Pasta
  • Onion
  • Butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Garlic
  • Cheese
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Turmeric

#5 Disneyland Grilled Sandwich

If you’re a fan of a cheesy grilled sandwich and Disneyland, then you should try lifewithmarq’s TikTok. This recipe generated more than 6.6M views on the platform. So if you don’t mind eating more than 120 calories in one dish, give this recipe a go. As a fan of all cheese dishes, I’ll give this one a try. 

Ingredients:

  • Artisano bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cheddar cheese slice
  • Cream cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • Garlic 
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

#6 Firecracker Shrimp

If you’re a fan of seafood and all things spicy, this recipe by Kwokspots is worth the try! This hot recipe earned more than 6.4M. 

Ingredients:

  • Shrimp
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • Egg
  • Buttermilk 
  • Seasoning flour
  • Panko

Fire Sauce: 

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp chili flakes

#7 Potato Gnocchi

If you’re feeling a bit extra today and cook something new, potato gnocchi is a great dish to try. This heartwarming recipe featuring the TikTok user’s mom received more than 9.5M views. 

  • 1 kg boiled potatoes
  • Salt
  • 300g flour
  • Sauce 
  • Cheese

#8 Homemade Reese’s Cup

Last but not least, on our TikTok recipes lists, create your version of Reese’s cup at home from Italian Foodaholics. This recipe by the TikTok user received more than 6.3M views on TikTok. With only three recipes, you can make your chocolatey dessert. 

  • 150g chocolate
  • 2tbsp Icing sugar
  • Peanut butter

For other lifestyle-related articles, read more here at Owner’s Mag!

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Lifestyle

3D Printed House: The Future of Architecture and Construction

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As our technologies evolve, 3D printing technology has advanced over the past few decades. Thanks to this, designers created many models, products, and prototypes at a fast pace. Alright, you’ve probably heard all the latest 3D printing creations. Now, we’re on another milestone as 3D printed houses are on the rise to “mainstream.” 

The Future of Construction

Screencapture from Mashable

On average, the overall process of building a house takes at least 6.5 to 9 months. However, 3Strands and ICON collaborated on a home building project that will shake the world of construction. Let’s see if this is a good or bad thing for the construction industry. 

3Strands is a creative real estate developer that aims to build “better” homes to improve people’s lifestyle. On the other hand, ICON develops advanced technologies for construction. Now, putting these two together created a miracle for the construction industry. 

This 3D printing project commenced because of the following problems: 

  • Lack of supply
  • Sustainability
  • Resiliency 
  • Affordability
  • Design options
  • Extreme lack of housing

If you have any experience buying a pre-selling condo or house and lot, the downside involves the construction length. But what if 3Strands and ICON managed to create a dozen homes with at least 5 to 7 days length of construction time. However, in this case, let’s use the term “printing time.” 

By the time the whole world catches up with this type of construction, it will benefit our environment. 3D printed houses lead to less: 

  • Wastage of natural resources
  • Carbon footprint
  • Time consumed

On the other hand, this convenient construction method will harm skilled workers such as but not limited to the following: 

  • Carpenters
  • Masons
  • Painters
  • Laborers
  • Etc. 

If ever the world adapted to this new construction technology, there will be a massive workforce cutback. On the downside of advanced technology, a lot of workers will lose their livelihood. 

3D House Features 

Screencapture from Mashable

As the first-ever 3D printed house for sale in America, each house costs $400,000 each. These 3D houses are now for sale in Austin, Texas. In the Austin series, four homes are currently on the market listings. Each house has 1,000 to 2,000 square feet of lot space in total.   

The design of the 3D printed houses has a clean futuristic look. On the other hand, the designer’s use of textures and colors holds a satisfying balance to the eyes. It’s a modern house that’s worth the price.

Design Features: 

  • Two to four bedrooms
  • Covered front porches
  • Extensive front yards
  • Covered parking
  • Open concept floor plan
  • Bespoke Interior Design
  • Vaulted master bedrooms
  • Large North-facing windows
  • High-performance HVAC
  • Secluded office/bedrooms
  • Minimalist architectural aesthetic

The first floor of the houses for sale is 3D printed using ICON’s advanced materials and technology. It’s designed to be: 

  • Safer
  • Able to withstand floor, fire, and wind. 
  • Sustainable
  • Resilient

Conclusion

In the end, this 3D-printed house is the future of construction and architecture. This project is an excellent achievement for the 3D printing industry, from creating miniature models to livable dwellings. Again, this is a fantastic milestone for our ever-evolving technology. Let’s take this as another step closer to a more sustainable and environment-friendly future. 

For other cool products or creations, check out other articles here at Owner’s Mag!

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Lifestyle

Best Apps for the Zen Master

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Are you a zen master who’s on a venture in finding the best calming applications to use? Look no further, you’re on the right article. Here’s a list of apps that help people meditate, sleep, and relax. 

MyLife Meditation

MyLife Meditation is one of the best apps of 2019 chosen for a healthy lifestyle. It’s a meditation and mindfulness application catered to your emotions. Furthermore, based on your emotions, the app suggests short guided meditations by experts. 

Features:

  • Mindful meditation
  • Track your mental health
  • Anxiety Relief
  • Breathing exercises
  • Sleep meditation 

iPhone Rating: 5-stars

Android Rating: 4.5-stars

Pricing Plan: 

  • Free plan with limited features
  • MyLife Subscription at $9.99/month. 

Calm

Calm is an award-winning app on both Google Play and Apple Store. What’s more, the platform is coined as “the world’s happiest” app. Aside from the adult zen master, it also has content targeted for kids in their “Calm Kids” section. 

Features:

  • Soundscapes 
  • Nature scenes 
  • Meditation music and guide
  • Bedtime stories
  • Master guides
  • Stretching and calming exercises 
  • Walking meditation
  • Daily calm featuring new reflection each day.

iPhone Rating: 5-stars

Android Rating: 4.5-stars

Pricing Plan: 

  • Free plan with limited features
  • Calm Premium at $14.99/month. 

The Mindfulness App 

The Mindfulness App offers a 5-day guided introduction to mindfulness that helps beginners get started. Besides that, it provides 3-30 minutes timed guided or silent meditations suited for someone who works on a tight schedule. 

Features:

  • Brain training
  • Personalized “timed session”
  • Setting reminders
  • Premium offers specialized meditations, courses, and challenges guided by professionals.

iPhone Rating: 5-stars

Android Rating: 4.5-stars

Pricing Plan: 

  • Free plan with limited features
  • Premium at $9.99/month

buddhify

buddhify offers 200+ meditation sessions. It teaches the users how to reduce anxiety and stress, promote sleep and help manage difficult emotions. Not to mention, the sessions buddhify provide ranges from 3-40 minutes. Moreover, according to promotions, it’s considered the only meditation app that’s designed to fit into an individual’s busy lifestyle. 

Features:   

  • Meditation on-the-go
  • Custom user-experience
  • Learn and deepen understanding of mindfulness
  • Kids Section
  • 80+ guided meditations. 

iPhone Rating: 5-stars

Android Rating: 4-stars

Pricing Plan: 

  • Apple Store at $4.99 
  • Google Play at $2.99
  • No monthly subscription fee. 

Headspace

Headspace is a meditation app that’s visually appealing with its cheerful animations and easy to navigate. The application offers a 10-day basics course for beginners. It’s designed to educate the user about the essentials of meditation in a matter of days. 

Features: 

  • Themed meditation
  • SOS section
  • Mindfulness workouts
  • Sleep section
  • Offers an organization or work plan

iPhone Rating: 5-stars

Android Rating: 3.5-stars

Pricing Plan: 

  • First 7 days free trial
  • $12.99/month

Sattva

Sattva is an app with a guided meditation that draws from Vedic principles. To explain briefly, Vedic principles are ways considered to lead a peaceful life filled with happiness and prosperity. It’s a suggested way of life taught by wise Rishis. Aside from that, the app also includes mantras delivered by Sanskrit scholars. 

Features: 

  • Guided meditations, chants, mantras, music
  • Collections and playlist
  • Meditation community
  • Personalization
  • Mudras

iPhone Rating: 5-stars

Android Rating: 3.7-stars

Pricing Plan: 

  • Free with limited features
  • Lifetime payment subscription at $399.99

On a Final Note

Thanks to our ever-evolving technology and awareness of mindfulness, there are many apps available for the zen master. However, even if such apps are made for the mind and relaxation, it’s not a direct medical cure for mental instability. Consulting professionals and seeking comfort from friends are still the best remedies.

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