IPTV: Watching TV Without the Hassle of Cable

For years, we’ve enjoyed  entertainment through the use of local and cable TV. We pay for cable subscription amounting to an average70 of $64.41 per month.

But in recent years, the Internet paved the way to another method of television through IPTV. It provides a cheaper alternative where subscriptions charge for less compared to cable TV.

Not sure how it works? Let’s look at this cheaper alternative to watching TV.

1. What Is IPTV and How Does It Work?

Let’s look at these alternatives to cable TV. IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television. What this means is that television programming runs through the internet protocol, allowing others to enjoy their favorite shows by using their laptops or mobile device.

Cable or satellite TV works by broadcasting and sending out signals, where receivers would translate the signals into your television screen. There are inherent problems to this approach as you can only watch what was being broadcast.

IPTV uses standard internet connection to deliver content. In order to enjoy content by watching it on a TV set sitting in your living room, you will need either a Smart TV or a receiver box.

2. Types of IPTVs

With watching IPTV, there are about three categories or formats that they provide in programming. Each one has its own set of pros and cons. Let’s look at them.

Video on Demand (VOD)

As the name implies, VOD allows you to watch the video whenever you want it. This is the type of service or format provided by various streaming sites. Anime streaming sites like Crunchyroll, or movie-streaming sites like Netflix make use of this setup.

Simply pick what you want to watch. The service provider starts streaming the data to you through the internet, and then you watch. Imagine enjoying a movie like John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum whenever you want it.

Live IPTV

Compared to VOD, Live IPTV lets you watch shows in real time. For sporting events, this form of IPTV allows viewers to see the action when it happens. It stands as a go-to option for people on the go who want to watch their favorite sport.

Good examples of Live IPTV providers are Fox Sports Go and CBS Sports HQ.

Time-Shifted Media

What happens if you put Live IPTV and VOD together? The result is Time-Shifted Media, where you get the best of both ends of the IPTV spectrum.

If you missed the live broadcast, you can still watch it at a later time. The difference with VOD is in the shelf life of the video in question. After a specific amount of time, it will become unavailable for viewing.

3. Watching TV with IPTV: Worth It?

Compared to cable providers, you can pick what channels to go for with IPTV. You can get a personalized experience with it compared to cable providers.

You can enjoy IPTV for free as there are many Internet TV sites or channels that wouldn’t cost you a penny. Though note that these ones get support by ads.

There are also others that run on a subscription basis, similar to cable TV. Although the usual range hangs between $20 and $120, you receive the content that you subscribed to.

To know that it is really worth every cent, check these services and do your research. Check out every IPTV review and start from there.

Cut the Cable Today!

In the end, it all boils down to costs and meeting the needs. IPTV allows for a personalized setup compared to watching TV via cable. What you will need is a stable internet connection to get everything going for your viewing enjoyment.

Did you enjoy and find this useful? You can also check out our plethora of entertainment news and film reviews today, like this one on a review of Detective Pikachu.

Album Review: Charred Walls of the Damned “Creatures Watching Over the Dead”

“Creatures Watching Over the Dead”
Charred Walls of the Damned
Metal Blade
Producer: Jason Suecof
Tracks: 9

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Creatures Watching Over the Dead” is the latest release from the heavy metal group Charred Walls of the Damned. The band which features Tim “Ripper” Owens, Steve DiGiorgio, Jason Seucof and Richard Christy has laid down 9 brand new tracks which pull from each of the member’s diverse history in both the modern and classic heavy metal genres. Produced by guitarist Jason Suecof and released via Metal Blade Records on September 23rd “Creatures Watching Over the Dead” is sure to make up for the five year lapse between release from the group which first debuted in 2009.

If you are looking for a near perfect mixture of both new and old heavy metal then the latest offering from Richard Christy’s Charred Walls of the Damned is right up your alley. Extended gaps between releases can often be detrimental to a bands sound and or its members however Charred Walls of the Damned sounded better than ever. Songs like the albums opener “My Eyes” and “Reach into the Light” explode out of the gate with reckless abandonment while tracks such as “Afterlife” and “Lies” which both start off with melodic acoustic intros which give way to the groups new meets old style of metal providing a unique listening experience

For those familiar with the members various other projects the material contained on “Creatures Watching Over the Dead” will come as no surprise. Each of the bands 4 members appear to have given their all making this album as the album’s 9 songs have something for everyone. From thunderous double bass, ripping guitar solos and soaring vocal passages. The latest from Charred Walls of the Damned is a solid package.

Track Listing:
1.) My Eyes
2.) The Soulless
3.) Afterlife
4.) As I Catch My Breath
5.) Lies
6.) Reach Into the Light
7.) Tear Me Down
8.) Living in the Shadow of Yesterday
9.) Time Has Passed

Be sure to check out interview with Charred Walls of the Damned drummer Richard Christy in the interview portion of the site.

Charred Walls of the Damned’s Richard Christy talks about the bands latest album “Creatures Watching Over the Dead”

Richard Christy may be best known for his work on the Howard Stern radio show however long before his antics made him a regular fixture on the long running show Richard was a heavy metal drummer for bands like Death and Iced Earth. In 2009 Richard formed his latest group Charred Walls of the Damned. The group’s current lineup which along with Christy features Jason Suecof, Steve DiGiorgio and former Judas Priest front man Tim “Ripper” Owens are set to release their fourth studio album titled “Creatures Watching Over the Dead” on September 23rd. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Richard recently about the new album and its creation, possible tour plans and this year’s hot Halloween trends.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the new album?

Richard Christy: The new album is called “Creatures Watching Over the Dead”. It has nine songs on it and it’s been five years since the bands second album. I took quite a bit more time with the writing on this one than the previous two. A lot of that has to do with Brian Slagel from Metal Blade Records who is real cool about letting us take our time when getting an album out. He really understands our schedules and knows how busy we are all. Aside from the schedules I wanted to take the extra time because with song writing there is always a learning process. Just like with anything else the more time you spend doing it the better you start to get at it. I went through each song to make it the best I possibly could. I initially ended up writing 24 songs between the last album and this one. I had always heard about bands writing a bunch of material and then picking the best from that and with this album we were able to do that as well. I always do pre-production for the albums so during that time Jason Suecof and I picked what we thought were the best 9 tracks and those are what took in to record. It took about a year to get everything recorded from there.

AL: What type of process did you have for selecting the 9 songs that make the album?

RC: That’s what the great thing is about having Jason as our guitarist and producer. When he hears these songs fresh for the first time he is able to pick the ones pretty quickly that catch his ear. For me it’s hard to choose as I wrote them and am a little too close to the song to be objective. Jason has a great ear for songs and melody. He is also a really great song writer. I told him the ones that catch his ear right away are the ones we should go with and that is kind of how we did it. When we finally got together for pre-production we started tweaking the nine songs a little further so we had them exactly the way we wanted them on the album. By the time we get in the studio we are pretty much set to go which allows things to flow pretty smoothly.

AL: With you doing a majority of the songwriting where do the other members fit in during the creative process for a new album?

RC: The other guys in the band have total creative freedom. I basically give them the blue print and then have them add to it or make changes if they need/want to. I am not a good bass player or singer. I can do enough to get what I am hearing in my head out but with Steve Digiorgio and Tim “Ripper” Owens those guys are great and can just go crazy. When we go in to record the guitars and drums are already done so I tell those guys just go as nuts as you want to go. I love when Steve matches stuff up to my drum fills. When we do the vocals we are generally all there and we work together with Tim. Jason is great with vocal patterns and melodies so usually what happens is if we can’t come up with something better than what I put down on the demo or everyone really likes what I did on the demo we will go with that but, I like to get Tim and Jason’s ideas for the vocals first and then we just pick the best of those ideas.

AL: The album has sort of a dark title however a majority of the vocals are rather positive. Was this something that happened consciously or did those themes develop more naturally over the course of writing?

RC: I guess it’s sort of a conscious thing. I am a pretty positive person. I have tried to write lyrics about more brutal subjects or what’s going on in the news. When I was in Burning Inside I would write about horror movies and things like that but with getting older these days I like to think about things that make me happy. It’s not that these lyrics are about it being a nice sunny day but I try and make the lyrics about stuff I have experienced and also about things that inspire me. I write about a lot of stuff I see just living in New York City and walking the streets there. I find it’s easier for me to write and things flow better when I am writing about something that means a lot to mean. I do try and write things in a way that doesn’t make them sound too happy or cheerful. I want things to sound cool but at the same mean something to me and to other people.

AL: Can you tell us a little about the album art?

RC: Being a huge fan of Halloween I came across this really great photographer by the name of Pumpkin Rot. He has a website called www.pumpkinrot.com where he showcases his photos of these scenes he sets up where he lives in Pennsylvania. One day I saw a cool picture of his and I decided to just email him and ask if we could use that picture for the album art. He was totally cool about it and with the name of the band and that photo I thought it fit very well together. The title of the album actually comes from me staring at that picture trying to come up with a title for it. I also wanted to come up with something that started with the letters CWOTD to fit in with the theme of our previous album titles. I have been asked if there was some sort of deep meaning to the cover but really it’s just a picture that I liked which I came up with a cool sounding title for. (Laughs)

AL: A lot can happen when a band takes an extended amount of time between albums. Were you ever worry about the effects that it could have not only on the band but also your fans?

RC: I don’t think there was anything that difficult for us as we are all a little bit older as are our fans. I also don’t think the extended time between albums is as much of an issue with metal fans in general. For me once you’re a metal head you are always going to be a metal head. If a band that was around in the early eighties comes out with a new album today I would still be in to checking it out. I am very open minded as a metal head. The culture as well as social media has changed a lot since our last record but we are not really a trendy band. We are a band that has aspects of having a modern metal sound but we also have a very classic metal sound to us as well. We try to blend all that together. Because of all that I don’t think we as affected by changes and trends going on. In fact I think it may have helped us. A lot of people weren’t sure if we were still going to be together but I think people are pleasantly surprised that there is a new album coming out. I think also because all the guys in the band myself included have other projects that keep us busy people may have thought we would do just one album and be done but, we are now on our third album with the same line up and people are seeing this is a legitimate thing. I think those five years as helped us. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

AL: What does touring look like for this release?

RC: It is something that really depends on our schedule. I am excited because have been asking me a lot about if and when we are going to be playing. It shows me people do want to see us and it’s something that I really want to do. Hopefully it is something we will get to do. Festivals would seem to be the best option for us because of all our different schedules. We played Orion Fest with Metallica for our last album and that was amazing! We did a two week tour run for the first album which was awesome as well. We can’t promise anything just yet as we don’t have anything booked but it’s something we definitely want to do. I am really hoping we get to do some stuff. With all of us living in different places we have to make sure all of the logistics will work for everyone so something can happen.

AL: Knowing that you’re a big fan of Halloween and with the day just around the corner what do you think will be some of this year’s hot trends?

RC: Definitely anything having to do with the show “Stranger Things”. I have watched that series twice now all the way through and can’t stop listening to the soundtrack as well. I have been listening to it since August when it first came out. I think anything having to do with that show is going to be big. Also with this being an election year I think there is going to be a lot of Donald’s and Hillary’s. I have heard that the sales of masks determines the election. I want to say that the last few elections have in fact been determined by who sold the most masks. Pumpkin Beers are going to be big again this year as well as haunted houses. I think you will start to see more of the “extreme” haunted houses where you have to sign a waiver to go in because the actors can touch you and stuff. People seem to always be looking to take things to the next level. Me personally I will just stick to the ones where people jump out at you and that’s it. I don’t need people’s hands in my mouth or something like that. (Laughs)

For more info on Richard Christy and Charred Walls of the Damned be sure to check out www.richardchristy.com

 

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Bumblefoot talks about latest solo album “Little Brother is Watching”

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal is a guitarist/songwriter/producer who has been making his way in music since the late 1980’s. He is probably best known for his work with Guns n’ Roses on the long awaited “Chinese Democracy” album and from the bands recent live film release “Appetite for Democracy 3D”. Bumblefoot’s latest solo release (his 10th to date) is titled “Little Brother is Watching” and features 11 tracks which delve in to a variety of unique sounds and subject matter. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Bumblefoot recently about the new album, his creative process and his other plans to stay busy throughout 2015.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some info on “Little Brother is Watching”?
Bumblefoot: This is my latest solo CD. It has 11 songs which if I had to describe it I would consider it melodic rock. I think it’s going to appeal to guitar players. The album took about 9 months to complete which seems to be how long all of my albums tend to take. From the time I hit record to the time they hit the merch table at my shows its 9 months. The weird thing about it is that during those 9 months I always gain exactly 8 pounds. No matter what I do or don’t do its always 8 pounds that I gain during those 9 months. After the album comes out those pounds just sort of disappear. It’s just weird. I just sort of noticed this happened one day. It’s like I was having these invisible babies every time I went in and made a new album. (Laughs)

AL: Where do you generally start when you begin work on a new album?
Bumblefoot: It usually just starts in my head. Even before that there is usually something that happens where I get an idea for a song like walking into a wall. Something in life happens and then I start putting things together in my head. I don’t play a note or anything. I am just hearing things between my ears and putting it all together. I do this for each song. The first time I actually play them is when I go in with my drummer Dennis and we play them acoustically. From there we will talk about things, lay down scratch tracks and build things from there.

AL: Have you always worked this way or has it been sort of a progression?
Bumblefoot: It has sort of become that way. When I am working with other people it tends to be different but for my solo stuff it usually happens all in my head before anything else. If it sounds good in there then hopefully it will sound good once it all comes out. I think it works good for this way because the ideas can sort of simmer and I can get familiar with before going in to the studio.

AL: Are you the type of musician who is always coming up/working on new material or do you have to set time aside away from touring and such?
Bumblefoot: I have never been able to force myself to write and while I’m out on the road I have never been able to write either. For me touring has always been about giving yourself to everybody else. Everyone else gets your attention so when you are writing music you need to put all that attention inwards. The two have never meshed for me prior to this album. With this new record I forced myself to do it. It definitely hurt. (Laughs) In March/April of last year I was in South America doing shows and started coming with things for the new album. I was a bit of a nut case. We actually figured out the drums in May and then I went back out on the road. After that run was over I jumped on a bus for the Guitar Gods tour for 5 weeks where I did a lot of writing.

AL: Can you tell us about the addition of having fans play on the record?
Bumblefoot: There are 6 songs on this album where I have 100 people singing. When the album was almost done we decided to have a listening party and invited 100 people. We would play a song, do a brief Q&A and then I would play a section of the song and have those in attendance sing on those parts. We did that for each of the 6 songs. I took those tracks with me into the studio and mixed them into the album. I think it came out sounding really good. I wanted to have these songs have parts where the audience was part of the song they were hearing.

AL: Do you find being a solo artist to be as equally rewarding as when you are working in a band setting?
Bumblefoot: Everything is going to have its own set of likes and dislikes. The goal is to have diversity in life. You want to make sure your doing enough things to where you always feel refreshed and you don’t get bored or wore out. You have to keep things interesting. One thing can’t be your everything so it’s great to be able to do a variety of things. For me being just a guitarist in a band is one thing, signing and writing is another and producing and engineering is one more. Everything is different so when I put it all together I am very musically complete and gratified.

AL: What type of tour plans do you have in place to support the release?
Bumblefoot: I don’t have a tour booked just yet. I want to take some time to get the word out about the album. I want to make sure there is time for interviews, videos and all that stuff before I go and book a tour. By giving the album some time I can then figure out exactly where we should go and set up shows. You have to have a strategy when putting out an album. I would love to go and play every place possible but the cost of doing something like that can be quite high. I really like the idea of doing residencies where I can set up and play the same venue over a couple nights. Doing shows like that makes things a lot easier on everyone and it’s a bit more affordable for everyone.

AL: Can you tell us about some of the other things you have going on/coming out this year?
Bumblefoot: Art of Anarchy which is sort of a super group featuring Scott Weiland, John Moyer, Jon and Vince Votta and I is something I have been working on lately. Our first album should be out sometime in May. I have known Jon and Vince for a long time and they approached me about doing this. They had Scott already in mind as the vocalist and then we brought in John on bass. Besides playing guitar I also worked as producer and engineer. Outside of that I have also been doing some production work for the band Generation Kill and I have been doing some guitar stuff for Darryl McDaniel’s from Run-DMC.  At the end of March I will be at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas with Michael Schenker, Glenn Hughes and a bunch of other really cool people. I also have my own line of guitar cases and hot sauces that people can check out. There is a lot of fun stuff going on over the next few months.

 

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CD Review: Bumblefoot “Little Brother is Watching”

“Little Brother is Watching”
Bumblefoot
Produced by: Bumblefoot
Label: Bumblefoot Music
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

“Little Brother is Watching” is the latest solo release from guitarist/producer/songwriter Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal. The 10th solo release in a career dating back to the late 1980’s “Little Brother is Watching” is an eccentric, upbeat collection of modern rock that incorporates haunting melodies, huge choruses and witty lyrics about life in the digital age. Bumblefoot takes you on a musical journey that will light up your senses.

Tracks such as the albums opener “Clots” come roaring through the speakers with Bumblefoot’s signature frantic approach and instantly set the stage for what’s to come. On tracks such as “Little Brother is Watching” Bumblefoot enlists the help of a 100 voices to carry out the haunting background. The various voices which were recording during a special listening session add a unique appeal to the album as you never know when these elements might creep in. Probably my favorite track off the album is the laid back “Don’t Know Who to Pray to Anymore”. The track opens up with a George Harrison esque guitar solo reminiscent of “My Guitar Gently Weeps” before traversing down a more bluesy avenue which ultimately explodes into a full on rock ballad. This song alone makes the album worth giving it a listen. Other notables that I enjoyed were carnival tinged “Cuterebra” and the straight forward chugging power of “Never Again”.

Though the album might lack cohesiveness it makes up for it with its energy as the chaotic styling’s of Bumblefoot and company will certainly be appreciated by long time fans and the uniqueness of the albums 11 tracks could be enough to grab the attention of new listeners.

Track Listing:
1.) Clots
2.) Little Brother is Watching
3.) Argentina
4.) Don’t Know Who to Pray to Anymore
5.) Livin’ the Dream
6.) Cuterebra
7.) Higher
8.) Women Rule the World
9.) Sleepwalking
10.) Eternity
11.) Never Again

Book Review “Watching the Watchmen: The Definitive Companion to the Ultimate Graphic Novel”

Author: Dave Gibbons, Chip Kidd, Mike Essl
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: October 21, 2008

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I have been a huge “Watchmen” fan dating back to the original graphic novels. When the film came out, which I LOVED, I felt like it literally jumped off the pages of the novel. This is the ultimate visual companion to the amazing graphic novels. You know that this book is going to get some love since it is authored by award-winning artist of the “Watchmen” series Dave Gibbons. We get a chance to dive into his profound personal archives. It is really a must own for all fans of the series, no questions.

It is really rare that you are given this candid of a look into new material. I mean you feel like you are sitting looking through Gibbons’ personal diary. Fans of this series you are going to flip out with the reveal of never-published pages, original character designs, page thumbnails, sketcher, alternate posters, covers and rare portfolio art. The detail in the image are just so crystal clear and high quality. It is the kind of book that you are going to look through and then read it completely and then look through it again.

This book had a lot of love put into it and you can tell. With a series like “Watchmen” it has a very loyal fan base and it’s obvious that Gibbons is a really big fan himself. Props need to also go to Chip Kidd and Mike Essl for some amazing design in this book as well. Props should go to Titans Books for continuing supporting this series and releasing book after amazing book keeping this series alive and continuing to deliver new and exciting release to their fans.