12:24 26 October 2016
So how does streaming work? Streaming devices connect to the internet via your broadband connection and let you watch an unlimited collection of movies, box sets, live TV shows; stream music; and access popular catch-up TV services as well as a number of Freeview channels. Put simply, they convert your bog standard TV into a powerful internet powered device so you can watch whatever you want whenever you want without spending too much.
Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
If you’re looking for adding streaming content to your TV, we explain how to pick the best streaming device below.
Let’s get deep into the details.
What to Look for in a Streaming Device?
A high resolution streaming device equipped with a powerful processor and a capable GPU means that the system runs fast, streams content in high definition, loads apps fast enough, and responds fairly quickly to your commands, giving you a completely enjoyable streaming experience. In addition to a snappy processor, a good streaming device should have enough RAM, Ethernet as well as dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, Dolby surround sound among other features. Some devices also offer the convenience of USB ports and expandable storage so you can plug and play stuff, download and store more apps.
Even though design is not the most crucial factor, but it’s also not something to ignore. Most streaming devices in the market today are nondescript boxes that are around the same size as a traditional beer mat and can be tucked away behind the TV. Others are stick-style devices that are barely larger than a USB flash drive and plug into the rear ports or side-facing ports of your TV set.
A good streaming device is supposed to have a pretty intuitive design combined with robust search features so you should be able to quickly browse for stuff that interests you. It also features high quality graphics with slick and incredibly smooth animations, making the interface a breeze to navigate. Some devices receive regular software updates so (when you buy one of them) you can rest assured that the box or stick is likely to be even better a few months from now.
It’s extremely important that a streaming device offers a plethora of options when it comes to content and apps. Although the Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV have a wide selection of apps and content on offer, the knock against these streaming devices is that the choice of content is heavily weighted towards their own streaming services. Now, that’s not fair. Remember a good streaming box not only provides the widest selection of content and apps, but it also boasts of an interface that treats all apps equally, and, most importantly, lets the user choose what to stream.
Some media players have the casting functionality through which you load up your personal media on your PC, tablet or smart phone and fling them to the box wirelessly, allowing you to enjoy it on the big screen.
So there you go. These are some features you need from a streaming media player. Make sure your box or stick has most of these features before you plunk down the money.
The AppyTV box offer a wealth of features in addition to a great combination of power and flexibility. Both devices tick all the boxes for a complete home entertainment hub and are versatile, affordable, and worthy of a spot in your living room.
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