Streaming is great on a desktop computer, but what if you want to stream to your TV or mobile device? A streaming player solves this problem by connecting your TV, or smartphone/tablet, to the Internet (some smart TVs even have the Internet built-in). There are many players to choose from, but the four main player groups currently are mobile devices, smart TVs, streaming players, and gaming consoles.
Mobile streaming is huge now. Most of its success is because of Apple and its iPhone and iPad mobile players. After Netflix released its iPhone/iPad app, it was only a matter of time before all smartphones and tablets adopted the same playability. Now, Android, Nook, Kindle, and the Windows Phone all have some sort of streaming function. Mobile streaming will never beat your living room, but a lot of people are watching TV on phones and tablets now. Young people really enjoy mobile streaming, so streaming is definitely here to stay.
As TV evolves to a streaming service platform, TV manufacturers are adding Internet capabilities directly to TV sets. Brands like Sony, Samsung, LG, and Vizio are all making smart TVs now. They include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Slacker, Pandora, YouTube, and even Facebook. A Sony Bravia smart TV includes Skype. Now that’s pretty cool!
With disc-based media slowly fading away and the popularity of services like Netflix, Amazon Instant, and Hulu Plus, it’s a perfect time to get a streaming media player (make sure you have a solid broadband connection first with an internet speed test). If you love your Blu-Ray or you’re considering upgrading to Blu-Ray, keep in mind that a new Sony Blue-Ray player has an Internet connection built-in. If Blu-Ray seems overrated and gaming is not your thing, a standalone-streaming player like Roku, Apple TV, and Boxee is perfect. Plug in your Internet or use your home WiFi as all streaming players have a wireless feature.
Gaming consoles used to be all games and nothing else. Not anymore. The three main consoles, Playstation, Xbox, and Wii, now have streaming capabilities. With the announcement of the Xbox One and the PS4, gaming consoles are quickly becoming “entertainment” consoles as they have access to online TV, movies and music. Gaming consoles are quickly changing how we use our TV sets and our home theater sound systems.