College students are a tech savvy bunch. And there are a lot of them. In 2015, an estimated 20.2 million students were expected to attend colleges and universities. Many of them won’t ever join the growing leagues of cord cutters around the nation. They are among what us old people called cord nevers.
If you’re among them, I’m talking to you right now. Consider this your pre-commencement tutorial on keeping tech savvy and well appointed in you new digs this semester.
Chromecast or Roku?
While you’re living the dorm life, chances are your school is hooking you up with Internet and probably some kind of cable subscription. That’s great. (After all, they’re probably fleecing you with tuition.) But if you want to watch Netflix in your room, you may be left to your own devices.
The best thing about a Google Chromecast ($35) is its portability. If you want to use it in your room, hook it up to a computer monitor or TV and use your smartphone like a remote control. It’s perfect for watching YouTube, Netflix and playing games from the Google Play store. Take it with you when visiting friends or for a session of Netflix and chill. Don’t forget to grab it before you leave…
PRO TIP: You can also be a fancy lad and check out your nightly newscast on YouTube via the PBS News Hour channel or check out the best in new music from the KEXP channel. KEXP is a great Seattle radio station that has a regular lineup of in-studio performances.
A Roku Streaming Stick ($49) is a faster, has more apps and its own remote control. You can use it for the same things as a Chromecast. It’s considered by many as the best streaming device on the market. Make sure you get the 3600RW model to get the latest device. You don’t want to wind up with an older version of the stick if you’re going to drop nearly 50 scoots.
Live streaming TV vs cable
Sharing a place to save on rent is a great idea, especially when you’re in college. But sooner or later, you’ll learn that living together means disagreeing together.
If the majority of your roommates want to get cable, you’ll want to bone up on a topic that can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
The topic is how cable companies operate. Customer service reps for cable companies will act like they want to help you, but Congress recently discovered that’s far from the truth. So, here’s some recommended reading that’s not on your syllabus.
Taking a look at the web page for Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has dedicated to investigating big cable companies is not a bad idea if you want impress your professor with cool idea for a term paper.
There may be times where you don’t want to watch TV or be using the net in the main living room area. Depending on where you Wi-Fi signal is set up, you may not be able to get a strong signal. A solid WiFi router is a wise investment, especially if you are living in an apartment where people are streaming multiple devices at once. Check out our recommendations for WiFi routers that are the best for dealing with HD streaming and gaming at the same time.
Let’s say that you’re not in a typical living situation – all your roommates agree you don’t need cable. You still have some great options for watching TV with PlayStation Vue subscription and the right equipment.
If you don’t have a PlayStation game console to stream a PS Vue account, I recommend using an Amazon Fire TV. In our review, we recommend the Fire TV as the number one streaming box to use PlayStation Vue.
Of course, it would be preferable (I think) to have a PlayStation 4. It can give you a nice versatility if you want a gaming console and TV streaming playing all in one. But hey, that’s just me. So whether you’re living the dorm life or living in your own place, good luck this semester and drop us a line in the comments below if you have any suggestions on streaming gear.
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