New Tech Tuesday: Streaming Devices

It's time again for New Tech Tuesday! This week we'll be discussing streaming devices. So what are streaming devices? These are small devices that plug into your television and allow you to watch Internet content without the trouble of hooking up your computer to your television. Most of them do require a wireless network connection. If you find yourself watching more Netflix than network TV, streaming could be right for you! 

Streaming devices come in a wide range of prices and features. The ones we'll cover today are just an overview of the most popular choices. 

It's important to note that almost all of these devices connect into the HDMI port of your television. This means that older televisions will most likely not have the capabilities to support these devices. But if you have a TV purchased in the last 12 years, there should be an HDMI port on the back of your television. 

Roku Streaming Stick

Roku was one of the first companies to venture into streaming devices. What started as a way to watch Netflix on your TV has become a serious challenger to cable and satellite. Roku supports apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant. It also offers over 1,500 channels, though not all are free.
The Roku stick comes with a dedicated remote, though you can also control it with your smart phone. The Roku Streaming Stick is usually priced at $49.

(image via Roku)

Looking for something a step-up from the Roku Streaming Stick? Check out the Roku 3. These is a box that sits on or near your television. It offers the same capabilities of the Roku Stick, but can also connect to the Internet via Ethernet cable, in case your WiFi is not strong enough. It also includes access to online games and a microSD card. The Roku 3 is usually priced at $99.

Chromecast from Google

Google Chromecast is similar to the Roku Streaming stick. However, it does not come with a dedicated remote. Instead, you can download an app for your phone or tablet and an extension for the Chrome browser on your Internet. This device works well with Netflix and Hulu Plus, but doesn't work at all with Amazon Instant. One added perk is the ability to mirror your screen on your laptop or device onto your television. That means if you want to use your television as a monitor, you can! However, this only works with the Chrome browser so you can only view web pages. Google Chromecast is usually priced at $35. 

(image via Google Chormecast)

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Like the Roku Streaming Stick and Google Chromecast, this device connects into the HDMI port of your television. It also comes with a dedicated remote. It works with Netflix, Hulu Plus and, of course, Amazon Instant Video. If you have an Amazon Prime account, this could be the device for you. Amazon Fire TV Stick is usually priced at $39.
(image via Amazon)

Apple TV 

If you a die-hard Apple user and want to be able to access the movies and television shows on your iTunes, Apple TV may be the device for you. 
Apple TV is a small box that connects to your television and allows you to access your iTunes account. You can also access online services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. However, Amazon Instant Video and Pandora will not work on Apple TV. Apple TV is usually priced at $99. 

(image from Apple

How do you watch Internet contact on your Television? Do you use one of these devices or maybe a gaming system? 

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