How to Get Streaming Services on Your TV
The popularity of streaming services is increasing day by day.
15:29 10 March 2020
In case you haven’t tried any of the services available now is the best time to join the game. Here is our selection of the best ways to watch streaming media on your TV.
Before Purchase: Use the Devices You Already Own
Considering the popularity of streaming media devices, there are high chances that you already have a streaming media player. So, at the beginning check whether your TV or BluRay player supports smart features which will let you stream. Additionally, your Xbox One or PS4 already support some of the most popular streaming services.
If your TV or game console has an option to stream from Netfix, Youtube, Amazon Vide etc., you are ready to go.
Although this is the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, it definitely isn’t the best mainly because their main function isn’t streaming. There may be issues with the interface or you may not receive updates from the manufacturer since they have no interest in that.
On the other hand you can buy a standalone streaming media player which will provide easier use and a variety of services. And if you like watching Netflix and similar services, it is worth spending some money on these. Of course, it would be best to match your TV and streaming media player with a wireless surround sound system for a complete experience. If you want you can check some different models reviewed by James Longman.
Roku is our number one streaming media player. It offers the most content when compared to the other streaming devices. There are thousands of channels available, plus all the main streaming services and cable networks. However, if you particularly are interested in iTunes content, you will have to skip to number 2 on our list.
The Roku’s interface is easy to use and you can use your voice to search through contents. The best part is there is universal search for all the services. It supports Google Assistant, and it doesn’t support Alexa or Siri.
In case you are interested to buy Roku the price varies from $30 to $100 depending on your needs.
- Apple TV
This is definitely the best option for Apple users because of the easy integration with all the other products offered by Apple. If you use a MAC, iPhone or iPad you can easily cast contents to your Apple TV.
The Apple TV app is the brains of the player. All the shows from all the streaming services are compiled in one place. You can see recently watched and suggested content. You can also use Siri to search through contents by name, actor, date etc. If you install the TV App on all your devices you can continue watching the contents on any device.
At the moment, in case you own music, movies and shows on iTunes you will be able to stream them to an Apple TV only, but that changes with Airplay 2.
Apple TV works great for gaming too, since you can use the touchpad remote as a game controller.
In case you are interested in this service, the price varies between $150 and $200.
- Amazon Fire TV
The Amazon Fire TV offers the most value for the money. All the models work perfectly well with Alexa, which is a great add-on for any smart home powered by Alexa or ECHO.
Alexa works very well to help you search for content using your voice. It’s very simple to use. Besides watching content, Amazon provides content as well and if you are an Amazon Prime user you will see some advantages at no extra cost. In case you are subscribed to some premium channels, if you do it through Amazon, you can take care of all the subscriptions in one place.
The built-in parental controls make the Amazon Fire TV perfect for families. Additionally, there is FreeTime available for nearly $3 per month which provides access to a he number of child-friendly content.
If you are thinking of buying Fire TV you can expect the prices to go from $50 to $120.
- Google Chromecast
The Chromecast is somehow different than the other streaming media players presented here. It doesn’t have its own interface, but you use your PC, tablet or phone to cast the content to your TV or other screen. There is no universal search like in the other players, but you will have to go through different apps to find the content you are looking for. However, although it may seem inferior compared to the other devices it allows you to put anything on your screen.
It supports Google Assistant so it can be easily controlled with your smartphone or a Google Home.
If you take a look at the prices it is better and cheaper to opt for Roku or Fire TV. At least this is something we strongly recommend.
Which streaming media player should you buy?
One of the key features when choosing the best streaming media player for your home is the voice control. So it would be the best to match the streaming media player with the system you already use: Fire TV works best with Alexa, Apple TV with Siri and Roku and Chromecast with Google Assistant. The choice shouldn’t be too difficult.
However, if voice control isn’t something that will help you make your mind here are our recommendations:
- Amazon Fire TV is affordable and easy to use which makes it the best player for the masses.
- Roku will provide the most content. What may put you off this offer is the limited integration in your smart home.
- Apple TV is the priciest feature but if you own an Apple TV you will appreciate its integration with your iOS powered devices.