Modern technology certainly brings in new, wonderful toys. Television streaming devices are the latest craze.
Television streaming devices do exactly what it says: it streams movies and television shows to your television. Netflix is an example of a streaming company. But, as with all things technological, the big question becomes, what exactly do you want these services to do for you?
As you go into learning about TV streaming devices, you’ll find they can bring all different kinds of information to your television. Netflix is the most well-know streaming company right now, streaming movies and television shows to your TV. It won’t exactly replace cable or satellite services, because television shows are not automatically updated, so they’re not current. But, it can save you on trips to the local family video store or Redbox to get a movie, or you may find an old TV show you haven’t seen in ages to share with the kids.
So, which service is the best? CNet examined three popular sticks: Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire, and Roku One.
The similarities? All three units directly connect to the HDTV via the HDMI ports. You’ll need to be careful here once you go to choose the applications you want to use (Netflix is an application), as you may need to pay for that application. Try to find all the information you can on the applications available to you.
The major differences is that Google Chromecast does not have its own remote; you’ll be using a built-in app to make changes. For the most choices and features, the Roku for $49 gives you numerous applications and along with a physical remote to assist with programming. Gamers will want to look at the Amazon Fire, which provides gaming features plus offers a separate remote gaming apparatus for an additional $30.
Along with the positives, there are some drawbacks, according to Digital Trends. Though the Fire and Roku are dual-band (it can share wireless better because it can use more than one channel) the only connection method is wireless, which can be slower due to congestion and usage. You can’t expand the memory or device to become faster — you get what you get. The devices also do not decode and playback video. Right now, the devices simply stream the movies and television shows.
You’ll definitely want to visit the websites for each device (Roku One, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast) for more information. There are also set top units from Roku, Amazon, and Apple, plus a new entry near March of next year (HBO Go). As always, research and shop around to get what you need.
[Image courtesy of Beta News]