Categories
Home-Improvement

Types Of Soup Makers

Are you a soup lover looking for better ways to improve your soup-making technique? Then, you’d need a soup maker. Soup makers offer you so many benefits. In this guide, we would be considering the types of soup makers available. If you intend on getting a soup maker, it is good you know the types available, so you choose the one that best suits your needs

How Does a Soup Maker Work?

Soup makers are probably one of the most popular small kitchen appliances out there (particularly in colder climates), it is a fantastic piece of technology, ideal for anyone who needs help getting their “five-a-day.”

The features you’ll find in your soup maker will depend on the make and model that you get. Some options come with more advanced capabilities than others – products from Morphy Richards offer a saute function while Cuisinart can be used as a blender and is even capable of crushing ice. Still, other soup makers offer functions like automatic cooking estimation times and blitzing for chunkier soups.

Regardless of the available special features, most soup makers work in the same way as a blender which is by mixing ingredients together. Although, it differs from a blender because a soup maker can heat up the food while blending to make a healthy meal filled with natural flavors.

Some soup makers also come with “warming” settings that keep your soup at a warm temperature for an extended period. Most soup makers also come with a “manual” blending setting so you can choose the ideal thickness for your soup.

Though the variety of recipes you are using and the amount of heat you are cooking with will affect how long it takes for your soup to cook, most meals can be prepared within 30 minutes – cutting down a lot of the time typically associated with soup making.

ISN’T A SOUP MAKER JUST A BLENDER?

No. Although you can make soup in a blender. A soup maker combines the blending function with the cooking function, making it a one-stop device for making soup. Often you can also use your soup maker as a blender, although this depends on the model you choose.

Soup Maker Buying Guide

  • Power

The power of the soup maker can be divided into a number of categories and sections. If we talk about the wattage of an appliance, this can vary between 500 and 1000 watts, and choosing between these will rarely affect the final outcome of the soup.

Secondly, and a more accurate measure of power, is the soup maker’s ability to blend more solid foodstuffs such as vegetables, fruits, and even solid ice. Some models may require you to prepare said foods before placing them in the soup maker.

Investing in a more powerful blending mechanism will give you more control of the process and allow you to make a much wider variety of soups, smoothies, and sauces.

Comparing heating plates and elements can also give an accurate reading of a soup maker’s power. Some models come with powerful elements, meaning that processes such as frying can be carried out inside the device itself.

Weaker cooking elements mean that the user must prepare certain food items before using the soup maker, which can also be detrimental to the purpose of buying the soup maker in the first place.

  • Type

There are a few types of soup makers available for making different soups. A normal soup maker has a blade on the lid while a blender-style soup maker has the blade on the bottom. To heat up soups, these products use the friction of the blades or feature their own heating element. This makes them good for making smooth to chunky soups but they aren’t good for soups that have longer cooking times.

Electric pressure cookers and slow cookers are ideal for soups that have a long simmer or use raw ingredients that need to be seared and cooked through. Whichever type you get will depend on what types of soups you plan to make, your budget, and your personal preference.

  • Features

Features on soup makers vary greatly, so it is important to research the market and understand what you want out of your appliance. One of the most common features is the ability to change between smooth, medium, and chunky soup consistency; this is key if you’re looking for variation in your soups.

Safety features are also another key element to keep an eye out for. Most of the top-range soup makers come complete with automatic locking mechanisms which keep the hot liquid from spilling unsuspectingly out. Automatic thermal sensors also monitor soup temperatures and work to switch the appliance off before overheating.

More unique and rare features found in the world of soup makers include slow stir functions for creating risottos, digital countdown clocks to observe timings better, and cold settings for creating iced smoothies.

  • Size

When it comes to the world of soup makers, there is a vast variation in sizes.

If you want a small soup maker for easy transportation and use, then seek out the non-glass stainless steel models on the market. These pocket-size soup makers are great for making soup on the go or even that healthy smoothie.

From the pocket-size soup maker to the stand-alone giants that sit on your kitchen counter. A handful of models have the capacity of up to 1.8 liters, making it easy to prepare soup for a large number of people.

The liter measurement with many soup makers also differs between cold and hot liquids, where the amount of cold liquid is much higher than the hot.

Buyers should also take into account the weight of the electric soup maker.

Many lightweight soup makers can be purchased and these are perfect for making smaller amounts on the go.

Larger soup makers can weigh up to 7 kilograms or more, and although this is perfect for holding much more soup content, it can often make handling a full soup maker difficult.

  • Pricing Range

Prices for electric soup makers range considerably, from the £40 mark right up into the region of £110. This variation in price reflects a range of differences within the products and you will usually get a lot extra from spending a few more pounds.

Buying a cheap soup maker is easily achieved in today’s flooded market. Buyers are able to get many features such as adjustable soup consistency and a heat timer as standard.

Those willing to pay a little more for the convenience of a soup maker can gain a lot with an extra £20. Soup makers in the higher price range bracket include features such as LED touch screen controls or they are made from much sturdier and stronger materials and are more likely to last the distance.

The life of a soup maker can also depend on the amount you are willing to spend on the device. Cheaper makes can sometimes have a lifespan of only a couple of years before wear and tear beings to show. The higher-priced makes can often last a lifetime if shown the proper care and respect.

TYPES OF SOUPMAKER

There are lots of different soupmakers on the market, but how do you know which one is for you?  The easiest way to work it out is to decide what you want to save yourself with which method of soup you prefer.  We all have our own preferences, so it depends on what we’re looking for.

  • Saute and Soup Makers

Some soup makers, like the Morphy Richards saute and soup maker, and the Cuisinart feature an inbuilt hot plate that allows you to lightly fry ingredients like onions, spring onions, garlic, and more, simply by adding a little oil to the plate, then adding the ingredients.

All you need to do when that’s done, is throw in your vegetables and stock, then choose smooth or chunky, wait 20 – 30 minutes and your soup is done.

On the downside, you can only saute small quantities of meat or fish in most soup makers. Therefore, they are not always the best option for cooking large amounts of soup.

  • Kettle Soup Makers

The Morphy Richards is a typical kettle soup maker.  People with those types will either have the option of the saute and soup version, or the older versions of the Morphy Richards, which don’t saute but just require you to put all your ingredients into the pot and choose how you like your soup.

Then, go off and read the news while the pot finishes your meal.  These tend to also allow you to create cold smoothies and fruit juices in the soupmaker.  They’re fabulous options and so very easy to clean.

The blade tends to be in the lid, which means no tricky food getting stuck at the bottom of your soup maker, and trying to pry bits of food off.  If you clean these immediately after making soup, they’ll clean up very quickly.

Most kettle soup makers have the option to make either smooth or chunk soup, and some have an additional function that allows you to blitz the soup manually. Some of the best kettle soup makers also have functions for blending cold food so that you can make shakes and smoothies.

  • Blender Soup Makers

Like the Cuisinart, these look like traditional blenders with a base and glass or plastic jug on the top.  The advantage of this is the ability to double as a full blender, though the pulse versions can be very strong.

A negative of this type of soup maker is that the cost of the best blender soup makers is usually higher than for kettle soup makers, although it is possible to get a cheap blender soup maker. A further downside to soup-making blenders is their bulkier size.

CONCLUSION

Soup makers are, surprisingly, one of the most versatile gadgets you can buy for the kitchen.  The ability to allow us all to enjoy healthier meals at home whenever we want, without any hassle, is in part why we all want one in our kitchens.

Categories
Pets

How To Acquire A Dog Weight Vest

Have you considered getting a weighted dog vest for your dog? Weighted dog vests have so many benefits that you’d get to know soon if you take out time to read through this guide. Do not hesitate to read through, the information you’d get from this guide could come in handy someday. This guide is aimed at showing the steps to take when you want to how to acquire a dog weight vest.

Dog lovers and trainers are probably familiar with weighted vests used in training dogs but it might be a novelty for someone who has never thought of workout sessions for their dog.

What is a weighted dog vest?

A weighted dog vest is simply a vest that is weighted and designed for your dog to wear. It is designed to help the home build muscle strength and, in some cases, as an anxiety treatment to release energy and reduce stress.

While being very helpful in maintaining a robust stature of dogs, a weight vest for dog training can also have some bad effects that must be acknowledged in order to be removed. Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of dog weight vests.

Before putting a weighted dog vest on your pup, be sure to discuss the benefits and any possible risks with your veterinarian. For example, a dog under two should not wear a weighted vest since it is still developing.

And the weight and fit, and length of time it is worn all need to be carefully considered. The weight should not exceed 20% of the dog’s weight or be work for too long. Your vet will help you assess all of these factors.

People also wear weighted vests while walking, running, or lifting weights because the added weight engages more muscles into the physical effort. The reason why they put a vest on their dog is the same, to increase the effort and make the dog work harder.

These vests come in all sizes and have removable weights that can be added or removed in order to adjust the amount of pressure put on the dog’s body. This ensures that the animal is not put at any risk and that the effects will only be beneficial for its training.

Benefits of Weighted Dog Vest

  • Great for physical training

The main benefit of the vest is the muscular training it provides. If you regularly take the dog out for long walks but it never seems to develop the proper muscular mass, the answer could be adding more weight to its body.

This will engage more muscles in the exercise and will encourage the dog to be more active and to pay attention to the training. Distractions like other dogs, birds, or kids playing will be eliminated as the dog will tend to be more focused and consume more energy.

  • Calming effects and behavior training

Dogs can have behavioral problems caused by anxiety or previous trauma. This can make them nervous during a thunderstorm, at the contact with a stranger, or simply develop a strong personality that makes them hard to control.

The vest provides a hugging feeling that makes the animal become calmer and overpass stressful situations that might cause an outburst. The extra weight also consumes their energy, making them act calmer and distracting them from problematic situations.

The biggest risk of training with a heavy vest is to overwhelm the dog’s body that is either unprepared for the weight or suffers from a condition that doesn’t allow it to carry any additional weight. This is why it’s essential to consider the dog’s age and ability to handle more weight than its own.

  • Bones and joints exertion

If the dog is too young, its bones and joints are not prepared to face a challenge like carrying additional weight. Putting a heavy training vest on the spine of a puppy can lead to serious bone and joints problems.

Senior dogs have the same problem and should not be exposed to the risk of overburdening their fragile bone structure. Exceeding the weight limit can also have serious consequences on the animal’s health and it could lead to irreparable damage to the muscles or bone structure.

HOW TO PUT WEIGHT ON A DOG

  • Gradually introduce

Of course, your dog may not take kindly to a weighted vest on your first try with him. Give him credit to be wondering why you are saddling him with weight when he would like to run around freely. Pretty soon he will adjust and it will become a part of his workout routine.

So, introduce the vest slowly to your dog. In the first training sessions you may not want to engage him in a lot of exercises, but instead, get him used to the feel by walking him gently. It will not be wise also to start your dog with the full amount of weights. Increase gradually instead.

  • Balance the pack

Unbuckle the vest where needed and gently slide it over the dog’s head. Very importantly, ensure that material is centered over the shoulders and there is no imbalance. Remember that the pack is weighted and can be a source of discomfort as your dog goes through its exercises. Additionally, you do not want to cause pain or strain to the animal.

  • Add weight slowly

Whatever weighted materials you have to use, add them slowly to the pockets of the vest. Again, the purpose at this stage is to gently get your dog familiarized with something he is not used to. At this stage, you are in an observing position as you identify his response and plan the next move.

Remove weights as needed especially if the dog gets exhausted after just a few minutes. Where there is no problem, increase the weight as you go along.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PUTTING WEIGHT ON A DOG

Generally, a weight vest is not meant to stress the dog and to get him into submission which is why it should be no more than 10 – 20% of the dog’s bodyweight. All precautions should be taken to prevent strain or pain at any time. The general rule when using a weight vest should be safe at all times.

Dogs under two years are not yet fully grown and should not be burdened with weights. Overworking dogs that are still at the puppy stage can damage their joints. You can read one of our popular pieces to know how much exercise is right for your pup, which can enlighten you further.

Consider also that vests are close fitting and can be very hot for the dog. As a measure to prevent heat stroke, it is advisable to use a weight vest when it is coolest in the day.

HOW TO ACQUIRE A DOG WEIGHT VEST

  • Make your own

Dog weight vests are available for purchase and there are several good brands around that you can choose from. However, these can be expensive, sometimes fetching prices above $100. Dog vests are not difficult to make.

Those persons who possess a flair for creativity and you have the energy to put into it, have the option to make their own. The good thing is that you get to customize it to your dog’s needs. Just chose material that is cool against the dog’s skin and fillers that are appropriate and durable.

Sand filters, for example, get heavy and will not hold up if the dog plays in water. It is suggested that you use plastic pellets that will last for a long time. Additionally, include enough pockets so that you can add weights as needed.

  • Age of your dog.

Just as young kids should not lift weights, your dog under two should not use a weighted vest. His muscles are still forming, and you should not rush this process. Once you start using a vest, be sure to introduce it slowly, starting with very light weights and short periods so he can get accustomed to the added weight.

  • Purchase ready-made

There are two main types of dog vests – vests with zippered pockets or pouches, and backpacks. With zippered pockets, you can add or remove weights as needed to get the exercise intensity for the dog. With backpacks, you are able to insert items like weights and this works wonderfully when going on a hike or on long walks. Either way, your dog gets the same workout.

Backpacks however need to be managed carefully to avoid sliding along the dog’s back and chafing as a result.  Several dog vest sources exist in ready-to-wear convenience and you can select from them taking into consideration your dog’s needs. When selecting ready-made items, there are three important things to determine.

  • Durability

A dog vest is going to be handled and worn many times and therefore a warranty statement would be a good indication of how long it will serve.

  • Ease of use

There’s no reason for a dog vest to be taking a long time to be fitted. It is a simple device and should be easily slipped over the head and shoulders and buckled quickly.

  • Pockets.

A pocketed vest can put too much weight around the belly area, which could strain your dog’s spine. Be sure the pockets distribute the pressure around the shoulders, top and bottom, and the sides. This will help avoid strain.

  • Padding

Be sure the padding is adequate to prevent rubbing or discomfort to the dog. Look for any signs of chafing or discomfort.

  • Dimensions

You should be able to identify your dog’s fit or calculate it with ease with a statement of the size of the product.

CONCLUSION

Those who use a weighted vest for their dog will tell you that it’s more than just a muscle-building strategy, but also, to improve endurance. Sometimes the daily run is not enough for certain breeds of dogs that were meant to be extremely active. Adding a dog weight vest to those runs and walks intensifies a workout, and you will notice a calmer, fitter dog as a result. Go slowly, listen to your dog, and have patience.

Categories
Technology

What Are The Differences Between SSD and HDD In Gaming Laptops ?

It’s always a debate which is better SSD and HDD in gaming laptops. They both have their uses. However one of them makes gaming on laptops smoother. In this guide, we would discuss the differences between SSD and HDD in gaming laptops. Read through this review to find out what the differences between SSD and HDD in gaming laptops are.

What Storage Options Do I Have?

When you’re trying to choose a storage drive to use for your gaming, it may be challenging to decide between solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs). Although both of these store data, the technology they use is different.

  • Hard Disk Drives

Many gamers are content with using hard disk drives (HDDs) for gaming. What is most important is that the drive you choose is fast enough to handle the game’s graphics. It should also have enough space to store the games you want to play. If you get a drive whose storage space is too small, you’ll have to buy an upgrade or keep deleting games when you want to play new ones.

Pros of HDDs

  • They are very affordable compared to SSDs. It’s quite common to find an SSD with the same capacity as an HDD cost twice as much. If you’re gaming under a budget, a gaming laptop armed with an HDD will be more affordable than one with an SSD.
  • They are very available in the market. External and internal hard disk drives of different storage spaces can be found all over the internet. This is mostly because of how affordable they are.

Cons of HDDs

  • Because of how they operate mechanically, HDDs have a slower read-write rate than SSDs. This implies that computers equipped with HDDs take much longer to boot than those with SSDs.
  • HDDs have a rotating disk and a magnetic head. These two components make a lot of noise when the drive is in use. This sound may distract you and interrupt your gaming.

Solid State Drives

These are new-generation solid-state storage devices that make use of integrated circuit technology to store data. They typically function as a computer’s secondary storage and use flash memory. Gamers are slowly embracing SSDs and are using them alongside their HDDs. Some have even shifted from HDDs altogether.

Pros of SSDs

  • One of the main advantages of using an SSD is its speed. Solid-state drives can be as much as 20 to 100 times faster than generic hard disk drives. This results in faster booting and loading, and in quicker file transfers.
  • SSDs don’t have any movable parts. This implies that rattling or dropping it and other physical blows won’t result in the loss of data. This sets them a step ahead of HDDs, which are bound to get damaged rather easily.

Cons of SSDs

  • A huge disadvantage of using SSDs is that they tend to have a shorter life span than HDDs. This is because solid-state drives have a set write cycle. This means that you can only erase data from and save new data onto your SSD for a finite number of times. This isn’t the case with the HDDs.
  • SSDs are rather expensive. Compared to hard disk drives, SSDs cost much more, making them inaccessible for gamers operating under a budget.
  • Solid-state Drives make it quite hard to recover data. This is often because of the encrypted controllers that most of these drives have. If this controller fails, it’s almost impossible to recover lost data.

SSD vs HDD – Which One Is Best For Gaming

The main difference between an SSD vs a hard drive is in how data is stored and accessed.

SSD is much faster and offers significantly better performance when it comes to gaming, particularly in terms of loading times.

HDDs, on the other hand, have a longer lifespan and are much more cost-efficient than high-volume storage solutions.

Solid-state drives have become all the rage in recent years, all thanks to the unprecedented read/write speeds that completely blew traditional hard-disk drives out of the water.

It was not without a good reason that gamers around the world turned to SSDs as the better choice for gaming due to the hands-down superior performance that they offer.

Main Differences Between SSD vs HDD

  • Speed

As we have already stated, SSDs are superior to HDDs when it comes to speed, and there’s no doubt about that. An SSD’s data transfer speed can surpass that of an HDD several times over, although when put in practice, the results will differ from application to application.

However, HDDs and SSDs both work well for gaming. If the HDD has enough capacity to store your games (modern games range from 20GB up to 180GB for a single installation) and is fast enough to support the graphics, you shouldn’t have trouble.

When it comes to gaming, the main benefit of having an SSD instead of an HDD is improved loading times, but the PC is also bound to run smoother overall, with much faster boot times.

  • Longevity

As far as the overall life-span is concerned, HDDs tend to last longer than SSDs do. While there is a definite gap in that regard, it’s not one that will concern most users, as hundreds of terabytes would need to be written to the SSD in order to “break” it. Most people will end up upgrading long before they’re even close to hitting that limit.

  • Durability

SSDs don’t have small moving parts such as spinning platters and arms like HDDs which are easily susceptible to damage. SSDs can be bounced around and still keep your important files and information safe. Designed to reliably store your data for years, SSDs offer additional shock and vibration resistance for travel-tested durability if you are gaming on a laptop.

  • Capacity and Pricing

Now, we get to what is usually the most important entry on any storage device’s spec sheet – the capacity.

In 2021, both SSDs and HDDs can reach some pretty insane numbers, with the latest cutting-edge SSDs boasting as much as 7.6 TB of storage, though most of them are in the 120 GB – 4 TB range.

Meanwhile, HDDs are mostly confined to the 500 GB – 8 TB range, although models that have as much as 16 TB of storage are readily available for purchase.

However, it’s not just about capacity – it’s also about pricing. Price-per-gigabyte, to be more specific. And in this regard,  the HDD is the clear winner.

For example, a 500 GB HDD can cost as little as $20 in 2021, whereas 500 GB SSDs start at around $60. The price gap grows as the storage capacity increases, so a 2 TB HDD will cost about $40 while a 2 TB SSD will cost $200, and a 4 TB HDD can cost about $80, all the while 4 TB SSD models usually start above the $500 price point.

That said, HDDs offer much better value if you need lots of storage.

  • Noise

As we have already mentioned, a solid-state drive has no moving parts. As such, it runs completely silently. In contrast, an HDD is bound to produce a certain amount of noise, but not every HDD is as loud as another.

Ultimately, how loud an HDD is mainly coming down to the following factors:

  • RPM – Today, lower-end HDDs start at 5400 rotations per minute while the more performance-oriented variants can go up to 15000 RPM. Naturally, the faster an HDD spins, the noisier it will be.
  • Age/damage – Seeing as moving parts are crucial to their functioning, an HDD may become louder over time due to its mechanisms wearing down or because of physical damage.

Why are SSDs useful for laptops?

SSDs are often used in laptops because they’re non-mechanical. Also, solid-state drives require less power, which translates into better battery life. While lower-priced laptops still come with traditional hard drives (it’s one way for manufacturers to minimize their costs), most mid-range to high-end machines come with an SSD.

And while hard disks have moving parts, solid-state drives are shock-resistant. If you drop your laptop, chances are that the read/write head of an old-school hard drive is in motion, which could lead to data failure. This doesn’t happen with SSDs.

But it isn’t always an either/or choice. In some cases, you find “hybrid” computers. The system partition that contains the operating system, application programs, and the most-used files are installed on an SSD. Other data, such as movies, photos, and documents, are stored on a traditional HDD, which is larger and less expensive.

Why Do Some Gaming Laptops Have Both SSD And HDD Storage?

Gaming laptops have both SSD and HDD storage because SSDs are able to load heavy programs such as games a lot faster while HDDs offer more space to store lighter files without significantly increasing the price of the laptop.

It is usually recommended to install the OS and games on the SSD for fast booting and loading and use the HDD for general storage.

CONCLUSION

We hope that’s cleared up whether you should get a hard drive or SSD for gaming needs. If you’ve made your decision and are going with an SSD, the good news is that they are easy to install yourself. There are many reasons to choose an SSD or pair an SSD with an HDD. Speed, capacity, noise, durability, temperature, and efficiency all make SSDs the preferred choice for gaming.

However, HDDs will still continue to be relevant as storage solutions in the years to come. As mentioned above, they offer much better value when storage is concerned, so they are still good, cost-efficient picks for when capacity is more important than performance.

Categories
Technology

Features To Look For In An Android TV

Android TVs are great appliances to own in your home. The level of entertainment they offer is top-notch. So many people are trooping in to get android TVs, but before you make the move to get an Android TV, you need to know the features of an Android TV, so you don’t get an Android TV and later regret it. In this guide, we would be looking at the features to look for in an android TV. Do well to read through.

What is Android TV?

Just like Android is software meant for phones, Android TV is Google’s dedicated operating system designed for the big screen. It brings the Google Play Store to televisions and streaming devices, along with other Android capabilities such as sideloading apps, playing games, access to Google Assistant, and more.

In terms of software versions, Android TV is nothing like Android on smartphones. Sure, its software names correspond with those of the mobile OS, but the way its updates roll out is starkly different. Google recently announced the Android 11 update for the TV platform but a majority of Android TV devices are yet to jump onto Android 10.

The Android 9 update, for reference, only rolled out late last year. It’s possible Google will directly jump to Android 11 on televisions, but it’s hard to tell where the company’s confusing ecosystem plans will lead.

That said, some new TVs from the likes of Xiaomi are coming with Android 10 out of the box, so the software you get really depends on when you purchased your Android TV device. The more recent, the newer the software.

Android TV hardware

Android TV has quite a vast ecosystem of devices. Since it is software, several third-party OEMs use it on their own streaming hardware. If you’re looking for Android TV hardware right now, you have an option to choose between various set-top boxes, media streaming players, TVs, and streaming sticks/dongles.

A TV set might be the most expensive option from the lot but then you don’t have to hunt for monitors or TVs to connect a separate device with the software. If you already have a regular monitor or a TV that’s not internet-connected, you can opt for a cheaper streaming stick or media box instead.

Most Android TV devices these days come with voice-enabled remotes. This means you can simply press a button and tell Google Assistant what you want to watch.

Which products use Android TV?

Android TV is available on two types of devices: TVs and streaming video boxes. While the interface and functionality are nearly identical across devices, there can be some small differences between them.

Why? Well, each hardware manufacturer has the ability to modify the base Android TV code to tailor it for their system. For a short period of time, Nvidia Shield was the only device that had access to Amazon, for example.

One device might have PlayStation Now, while others might use a spot on the Android TV interface for a first-party app. (LeEco, for example, has a space for its LeTV on the Android TV homepage, for example.)

How does Android TV work?

  • Discovery

Android TV is simple to learn and use. When you fire up your television or set-top box, you’ll see the main screen/home screen. It is filled with a vertical stream of rows, and you navigate through each row from left to right.

The top row is the Content Discovery bar, which highlights suggested content from popular apps you use. You may see tutorials on YouTube or The Walking Dead from Google Play TV and Movies.

  • Voice search

Right at the top of the interface, you’ll see the search utility powered by Google Assistant. Android TV supports voice commands, as long as you have the necessary hardware that’ll allow Android TV to hear you. In fact, the entire interface is based around voice-activated searching, which you can use through one-click remotes with a built-in mic. Simply click on it to start your search.

Supported voice commands include simply stating a video game title … or more complex searches like “All the Oscar-winning movies from 1989”. When you speak a search, Android TV will not only show you all related results in Google Play but also results from Netflix, Hulu, etc. When sifting through results, you’ll notice handy cards below.

They contain informational bits like who’s who in the movie you’re about to watch, other popular titles from the video game developer you’re browsing, YouTube clips featuring the actor you’re looking at, etc.

  • Apps and content

Now, back to the vertical rows on the home screen. The second row is a list of featured apps, like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, BBC iPlayer, etc. On select TVs and devices, you may also see the manufacturer’s apps.

You’ll also see a vertical row for TV inputs, like HDMI 1 and HDMI 2, allowing you to easily control and switch between inputs, while the vertical row below that showcases apps you’ve downloaded or have available on your device, like the Google Play Store, Music, Album, Movies, and TV Google Play, etc. Click on any of these apps in order to browse and find more content.

  • Gaming

Below the Apps row, you’ll see a list of all the games you’ve downloaded. Android TV supports single-player, multi-player, online, and offline gaming. You can use up to four gamepads, Android phones, or tablets at once when competing against friends. You can also finish a level on your phone and play the next one on your TV, as Google Play Games saves your progress.

  • Settings

The last row on the home screen isn’t necessarily a row but rather a dedication area where you can click through to access settings, timers, and help guides. If you enter the Settings option, you’ll see smart TV settings such as Channel Setup, External Inputs, Display, Sound, as well as Network and Accessories menus for Google Cast, Bluetooth (so you can add a device), and System Preferences and what not.

  • Chromecast

One of the coolest features of Android TV is the ability to use it for casting. Android TV comes with Chromecast built-in.

If you don’t own an Android TV-compatible television, but want to cast content from your laptop or mobile device to your television, you need to buy a Chromecast HDMI dongle from Google and plug it into your television. But not if you own an Android TV-powered television or set-top box. With one, you can send everything from movies and music or even browser tabs to your television.

There’s no Chromecast HDMI dongle required. Just tap the Cast button on your mobile app to start playing on your TV.

Android TV key features

Look, it’s not hard to find a player or TV that streams Netflix. It’s not. But Android TV doesn’t just serve as a static home base for apps. It’s a dynamic way to find new content and can work like a Chromecast to stream content from your mobile device to the big screen. That being said, here are Android TV’s best features, with descriptions located further down below:

  • Curated content on the top row
  • Universal search using top apps
  • Actor and actress bios
  • Voice search via remote
  • Native Google Cast support
  • Tons of games via Google Play Store
  • Google Assistant integration

Curated content:

One of Android TV’s most admirable skills is its ability to analyze the kind of content you usually watch, play, and listen to, and recommend similar content. You can find recommendations in the top row of the Android TV interface, where you’ll usually find a mix of content from YouTube, Google Play Movies and TV, and the Google Play Store.

Universal search:

Of course, if you don’t see what you’re looking for in the curated content row, you can also search for content either using the search bar at the top of the Android TV interface or the voice search button on your remote. Android TV crawls a number of services including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Google Play Movies and TV to find what you’re looking for, and usually lists the lowest price first.

Actor/Actress bios and filmographies:

Say you just saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and you want to see what other films Chris Pratt was in. Search Chris Pratt on Android TV and you’ll find every title the actor has ever been in. Click a TV show and you’ll find a synopsis, where you can watch the show and the rest of the show’s cast. It’s a pretty handy feature.

Voice search via the remote:

Instead of scrolling all the way up to the top of the interface and painfully typing out the name of the show, movie, or actor you’re looking for, you can simply speak the name into the Android TV remote. It’s a huge time-saver.

Native Google Cast support:

All Android TV players and TVs have Google Cast built-in. That means you can stream content from your device to your TV whenever you see the Google Cast icon. This is sometimes referred to as Chromecast built-in.

Games via the Google Play Store:

Fancy yourself a game of Pong between seasons of Breaking Bad? Android TV has more games on its store than any other TV operating system. Like Android on phones, some games are free and others cost money.

Google Assistant integration:

Near the end of 2017, Google’s smart assistant made its way into Android TV. Google Assistant on Android TV is the same one that’s built into the Google Home and some higher-end Android phones. For the most part, it’s a lot like Siri or Cortana – Google Assistant can make calendar appointments, check your to-do list and answer inquiries about popular topics, but what makes it unique is that it also can control your smart home products like thermometers, light bulbs, and smart locks, too.

CONCLUSION

Having read through this guide, you should confidently be able to select a good android TV for yourself. In this guide, you’ll find all the features you should pay attention to, in an android TV. Have fun selecting the best android TV