April 13 , 2017

How to stream NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs and MLB

This is a guest post from Chris Brantner of CutCableToday.com

Sports fans are able to enjoy multiple playoffs and a fresh new baseball season in April. It wasn’t long ago that fans were forced to have cable to watch their favorite sports. These days, the exact opposite is true. With the right streaming services, you’ll be able to watch your favorite sports and won’t be subjected to another unnecessary, overpriced cable bill. 

Beyond the Masters tournament, the three big sporting events of April are the return of Major League Baseball, the NHL playoffs and the NBA playoffs. If you’re a cord cutter, you can watch these events with the various streaming services outlined below.

Major League Baseball is underway

Baseball starts around the country in April. Everyone that loves baseball is hopeful for their team and ready to see them play some ball. If you’re ready to watch your favorite teams but don’t have cable, there are plenty of options to do it.

DIRECTV NOW: With DIRECTV NOW, packages start at $35 and include a minimum of 60 channels. You’ll have access to some local channels, regional FOX Sports Channels, FS1, TBS, MLB Network and multiple ESPN channels. In short, you have just about everything you could need to watch baseball. Most streaming devices work with DIRECTV NOW, though Roku is not yet supported. A free, one-week trial to check out the service is available!

Sling TV: Sling TV’s $25/month package offers more than 40 channels. You’ll have ESPN, TBS, FS1, FS2, FOX (in select markets) and many other channels. ESPN and TBS both regularly air games, so that’s a definite plus. FS1 and FOX also air plenty of games throughout the year. You can stream Sling TV on a wide variety of devices, including Xbox One and mobile devices. Like other streaming services, a one-week trial is available.

PlayStation Vue: PS Vue packages start at $30/month and include at least 45 channels. They offer a variety of ESPN channels, TBS, FOX (in select cities) and FS1. Plenty of other channels are included, as is the ability to add additional sports channels. Vue works on Roku, iOS, Chromecast and other devices. A five-day trial is available.

fuboTV: With fuboTV, the basic package is $35/month. One of the cool features here is the cloud-based DVR that will allow you to record games! Channels included are FS1 and FS2, NBCSN, regional FOX Sports and CSN channels, and numerous other channels. You receive a seven-day free trial at the start of your membership.

The NHL Playoffs run two months

It’s finally time for the Stanley Cup playoffs. If you’re a sports fan, you shouldn’t have to miss a minute of the action. Here are some of the best ways to stream the playoffs.

DIRECTV NOW: If you order the “Just Right” package for $50/month, you’ll have access to NBC (in select markets), CNBC, NBCSN and USA. These are four must-have networks when watching the Stanley Cup playoffs. If you upgrade to the “Go Big” package, you’ll also have access to NHL Network!

Sling TV: Choose Sling TV Blue ($25/month) to watch NBCSN, USA and NBC (select markets or on-demand). You can also add the Sports Extra bundle to add NHL Network and several other sports channels. 

PS Vue: It’s just $30 to get NBC (select areas), NBCSN, CNBC and USA. On the downside, PlayStation doesn’t offer NHL Network. On the plus side, it does have a cloud-based DVR so you can record the games you aren’t home to watch. Also keep in mind, you can use your Vue credentials to log into the NBC Sports app which will get you a stream of the NBC matchups.

fuboTV: fuboTV also has the cloud-based DVR offering, and it offers the four main channels you’ll need to watch the playoffs (NBC, CNBC, USA and NBCSN). Like Vue, you won’t have access to NHL Network here, but the four networks mentioned will allow you to stream most games. fuboTV costs $35/month after the free trial.

NBA Playoffs are about to begin

March Madness has ended, and now it’s time for the NBA playoffs. There are a few ways that you can watch basketball online. Keep in mind, the NBA Playoffs will go through June.

DIRECTV NOW: The starter package that is $35/month offers ESPN, ESPN2, TNT and some local channels like ABC in select areas. If you want NBA TV, that’s available in other packages. You can stream the content using many devices, but Roku access is unavailable. Make sure to sign up for the free trial to watch some basketball for free. 

Sling TV: All you need this time around is the $20 basic channel. This will give you access to ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3. Having ESPN3 gives you online access to the ABC games. You’ll also have TNT. If you want NBA TV and ESPNews, you can add them in the sports package an additional $5.

PlayStation Vue: Vue has access to all the channels that you need to watch every NBA game this season. Packages start at $30/month and you’ll have a cloud-based DVR so you can record the games you would otherwise miss.

As you can see, barring a few exceptions, most of these streaming services allow you to watch all the best sports action not only this April, but all year long!AirParrot-2-grey.pngPro Tip: How to mirror the stream to Apple TV or Chromecast
Download AirParrot 2 on your Mac or PC if you are watching the game on your computer. AirParrot will allow you to wirelessly mirror the live broadcast from your computer directly to an Apple TV or Chromecast. 

Use your Sling TV, DirecTV NOW, PlayStation Vue or fuboTV account in the Chrome or Firefox browser to stream the event. Then open the AirParrot software and select your browser as the “From” option. Select your Apple TV or Chromecast as the “To” option. This will allow you to experience all the action on the big screen. 

The image below was taken from the AirParrot menu and shows you how to do this. You simply select your browser or application, then select where to send it. 

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Learn more about the AirParrot 2 desktop mirroring/streaming app.

 

April 10 , 2017

Meet The Spring 2017 Class Of Alpha Squirrel EdTech Experts

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We are excited to introduce the Spring 2017 class of Alpha Squirrel EdTech experts. This class adds eight EdTech experts to the Alpha Squirrels program, which now totals 100 educators located in 28 states and four countries.

The eight new members inducted as part of the spring 2017 class include:

  • Lorien Cafarella – Teacher, Lantana Middle School, Florida
  • Colin Cheng – Tech Ed Provincial Teacher, SETBC, British Columbia
  • Alicia Davis – Digital Learning Specialist, La Grange Elementary, North Carolina
  • Karie Frauenhoffer – Teacher/Makerspace Leader, Southeast Middle School, North Carolina
  • Hannah Jiménez – Digital Learning Specialist, Rochelle Middle School, North Carolina
  • Shaundel Krumheuer – Technology Integration Specialist/Teacher Librarian, Billings Senior High School, Montana
  • Bryan L. Miller – Founder, TopTechEDU, Florida
  • Keven Rinaman – Director of Technology, Calvert Catholic Schools, Ohio

Check out our full list of Alpha Squirrels team members!

These individuals are experts and advocates in the global EdTech community who attend and speak at industry conferences around the world. They share expertise and show fellow education professionals how to use Squirrels technology to create a more collaborative learning environment and make mobile devices more valuable in the classroom.

Alpha Squirrels program manager Emily Carle Hafer emphasized the importance of these educators in helping Squirrels connect with educators around the world.

“Alpha Squirrels bring extraordinary expertise to the table and are constantly teaching us about the world of EdTech,” she said. “In return, we provide support, connections and resources to Alpha Squirrels to aide in their growth and realize their potential.”

Alpha Squirrels use Squirrels classroom technology such as ClassHub, Reflector, Ditto and AirParrot in classrooms and during presentations. They are provided with Squirrels-sponsored conference attendance and speaking engagements. You can catch them presenting at ISTE 2017 in San Antonio, Texas, and many other Edcamps and conferences around the world in 2017.

Other Alpha Squirrel benefits include:

  • First access to unreleased Squirrels products
  • Squirrels welcome package – T-Shirt, coffee mug/tumbler, sticky notes, water bottle, pens, keychain, etc.
  • Access to after-hours Alpha Squirrels social events at conferences
  • Video interview opportunities
  • Free AirParrot 2, Reflector 2 and Reflector Director licenses
  • An Alpha Squirrels member certificate
  • Alpha Squirrel signature badges for Twitter, Facebook and email
  • Product training and talking points
  • On-demand interaction with Squirrels product designers and managers

Congrats to all of our new Alpha Squirrels! We’re proud to have you represent us in the EdTech community.

Are you a teacher or EdTech professional interested in becoming a certified Alpha Squirrel? Contact Emily Carle Hafer at alpha@airsquirrels.com for information about our next class of Alpha Squirrels.

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April 6 , 2017

How to Live Stream Android, iPad and iPhone Games to Twitch Using Reflector

Social video platform services such as YouTube Gaming, Hitbox.tv and Twitch offer gamers an opportunity to turn their recreational hobby into an interactive gaming experience that others can enjoy. Streaming services are about more than just technology – they’re about cultivating and empowering a community of fans and gamers.

Live streaming is a popular way for enthusiasts to stream gameplay through a social network that connects friends and fans over a shared love of games. It’s more than just a spectator experience. Users can use audio and chat to enable streamers and their audiences to interact in real time. 

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, has arguably become the dominate live-game streaming platform. It last reported 100 million active users. Users can stream gameplay from iOS, Android, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Chromecast, Fire TV and Nvidia Shield devices. The best part? It’s free to participate on either side of the stream.

So how do you stream Android, iPad and iPhone games to Twitch? What software do you need? And how can our Reflector software help?

  1. Create a Twitch Account

To start streaming, you need to sign up for the streaming service, Twitch. On the top right of the Twitch website, select “Sign Up” to create your account. Don’t worry, it’s free!Step 1B.png

After creating your Twitch account, visit your Twitch dashboard page and click on the “Stream Key” tab. Click the “Show Key” button. Save the key, as you will need it later.

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Note: DO NOT share this key with anyone. Access to this key will allow anyone to stream on your channel.

  1. Download and Install Open Broadcasting Software (OBS)

Now that you have a Twitch account, you will need to download and install OBS (also free) to share your gaming with the world. This software is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. Below is a quick reference to a few of the interface elements we will touch on:

Scenes – This is where you can manage all the different scenes you want to stream or record. A scene is what gets transmitted in your video feed.

Source – A source is where you choose where your stream comes from. For example, a “Game Capture” source will take a direct feed from a game window.

Status – At the bottom of the window, there is a status bar that shows you how long your stream has been running, how many frames have been dropped, the stream’s frame rate and the upload rate.

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  1. Stream Mobile Games to Twitch
  1. To start, open Reflector 2 to wirelessly mirror your device screen to your computer instead of using a cable. Connect your mobile device to Reflector using its native AirPlay or Cast technology. We recommend mirroring your device screen to Reflector first.
  2. Open OBS and sign in to your Twitch account.
  3. Right click the “Scenes” box in the lower left hand corner of OBS and click “Add.” You can name the scene whatever you like.Step 3BC.png
  4. Right click on the Source box and select “Add” just like you did with the scene.
  5. Select “Window Capture” from the list of choices and name it whatever you like.
  6. Select “[Reflector 2]” with the corresponding name of your device in the properties box.
  7. Click “Ok” and your device screen will appear in the OBS stream window.

Remember your stream key from Twitch? You will use that to link your Twitch account to your OBS software.

  1. Click on the “Settings” in bottom right of the OBS.
  2. Select the “Stream” tab.Step 3K.png
  3. Copy and paste your key into the “Stream Key” box.
  4. Make sure Twitch is selected in the “Service” box and “Streaming Services” is selected in “Stream Type.”
  5. Close the settings and click “Start Streaming” in the bottom right hand corner of your OBS software.Step 3L.png
  6. What you see in the OBS window should be the same image that appears in your “Video Preview” on your Twitch dashboard page and on your channel homepage.

Note: It may take a few minutes to connect depending on your network conditions.

  1. Record and Upload Mobile Gameplay to Twitch

Live streaming not for you? You can record and upload your mobile gameplay videos, too.

  1. Follow the same instructions listed above and click “Start Recording” instead of “Start Streaming” in OBS.
  2. To change the recording path, or where your recording saves, go to “Settings” in OBS and select the “Output” tab.Step 4B.png
  3. Under “Recording” you can browse your computer to select a destination to save your videos.
  4. Head back to your Twitch account.
  5. Under “Video Manager,” select the “Upload” tab across the top. From there you can either:
    1. Drag and drop your file, or
    2. click the “Upload” button in the top right hand corner.'Step 4D.png

Now you’re ready to share your gaming skills with your Twitch audience! Get the Reflector screen-mirroring software to begin live streaming your iOS or Android devices to Twitch. 

April 6 , 2017

Cord Cutter’s Guide: How to Stream and Mirror the 2017 Masters For Easy Viewing

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Early April signals one thing for golf fans around the world – the Masters. It’s the Super Bowl of golf.  

This tournament is one of four major championships in professional golf and is played annually at the Augusta National Golf Club. Only the best of the best get to play on this historical course, including Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.

How to watch the Masters without cable 

Let’s be honest, our lives are busy and you won’t be able to catch every Masters shot on TV, or maybe you don't have cable to begin with. Here’s how you can stream the tournament for free online and feel like you’re on the green at Augusta National.

Masters.com

Masters.com will allow viewers to see live feeds in 4K from the range, practice facilities, Amen Corner (holes 11, 12 and 13), the 15th and 16th hole and several featured groups. It’s completely free and no account is required. Coverage will start on Monday, April 3, and conclude on Sunday, April 9.

Below is the full live streaming schedule on Masters.com.

Thursday, April 6

Honorary starters: 7:45 –  8:30 a.m.
On the range: 8:30 – 11 a.m.
Featured groups: 9:15 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Amen Corner: 10:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holes 15 and 16: 11:45 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Broadcast: 3 – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 7

On the range: 8:30 – 11 a.m.
Featured groups: 9:15 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Amen Corner: 10:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holes 15 and 16: 11:45 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Broadcast: 3 – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 8

Featured groups: 10:15 a.m. – 7 p.m.
On the range: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Amen Corner: 11:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holes 15 and 16: 12:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Broadcast: 3 – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 9

Featured groups: 10:15 a.m. – 7 p.m.
On the range: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Amen Corner: 11:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holes 15 and 16: 12:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Broadcast: 3 – 7:30 p.m.
Green jacket ceremony: 7 p.m. 

Masters viewing pro tip:

Nobody wants to watch the final putt of the 18th hole around a tiny computer screen. Download AirParrot 2 on your Mac or PC to wirelessly mirror that live broadcast from your computer directly to an Apple TV or Chromecast.

Enter Masters.com in the Chrome or Firefox browser to stream the event. Then open AirParrot on your computer and select your browser as the “From” option. Select your Apple TV or Chromecast as the “To” option. This will wirelessly present the Masters from yoru computer to your TV and allow you to experience all the action on the big screen. 

The image below was taken from the AirParrot menu and shows you how to do this. You simply select your browser or application. Then select where to send it.

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Learn more about the AirParrot 2 desktop mirroring/streaming app.

April 5 , 2017

Squirrels LLC Releases AirParrot 2 For Chrome OS: Users Can Mirror Chromebooks To Apple TV

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The new AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS software by Squirrels LLC is now available. AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS adds Apple AirPlay mirroring capabilities to Chrome OS devices. Chromebook users can wirelessly share and display their screen on second- through fourth-generation Apple TVs and Reflector-enabled devices.

AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS includes:

  • The ability to mirror Chrome OS screens to multiple Apple TVs at once
  • Apple TV 4 support
  • tvOS 10.3 support

AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS is available in the chrome web store for $4.99, and it's free for previous AirParrot for Chrome OS users. 

About Us

Squirrels is a software development company based in North Canton, Ohio. Our excitement and passion lies in creating high-qualty, budget-friendly software that can be used to enhance the devices already found in today's home and work environments. Follow our blog for all the latest product releases, #TeamSquirrels news and industry insight!