Streaming Devices Overview
Streaming devices are abundant in today's market. And it all begins with your television. Most televisions today are already smart tv's with an android marketplace built in. Have a Samsung, LG, Sony, Visio, Phillips? You already have a streaming device. Really! With the built in app store, you can download the app for Directv, Youtube TV, Hulu, Fubo, Netflix and almost all of the streaming services out there. This can save you around $40-100 per television if you don't have a smart device. Simply log into your account on the tv marketplace or create one, the apps are all free with the service. Let's say you have an older television that is not so smart. All of these items are simply hardware you plug into your television. Here's how to update and correct that without breaking the bank on a new tv.
ChromeCast is actually built into most smart tv sets. Once again if you have a Samsung, Sony, Phillips, LG, Visio tv, you already have chromecast ability from your phone. You can watch something on your phone or send it to your television via the chromecast feature. Or you can buy the device that has a menu, it's own app store and the ability to connect to your phone all in one. This comes in handy as our cheapest entry level device at $35 from the Google store with free shipping. Google now owns Youtube so you now have options for that. With the chromecast device you can download any of the streaming app to your device. Anyone who has an android phone already know how to use this device. Talk about easy, you use your phone as the remote control. Everything you do on your phone is now mirrored on your television. Every app can be played through your tv, even your games. It is small enough to travel with. It already comes ready to be used with google Assistant for voice activation. All your settings on the phone are now on your chromecast device making it even easier. Excellent device and very good price to start. The only thing to mention is that this device is technically a emulator that is capable of streaming, so it may be confusing at first.
Amazon FireTv is another good device. I have one myself. They start at only $39.99 for the stick. You can go crazy and get one with a speaker and Alexa built in for $119.99 called the Cube. The remote has voice activation, but is only good for starting apps and searching through Amazon Prime categories. This is a real streaming device that has its own Amazon store. Here you can purchase certain apps like HBO Now or MLB season pass to add additional benefit. You can also use your Prime membership to find great content you do not have to pay for. You can get subscription services like Hulu and Fubo using the app store. Even the small stick is capable of playing 4K content if you have the television for it. The device plugs directly into an HDMI port on the rear. Simply plug it in, connect to wifi, download any updates and log into your amazon account. Then you can begin using this easy interface to watch tv shows and movies. One reason many people love the firetv devices is the ease in which they can be manipulated. There are ways to get bootlegged materials on them, but we do not recommend or condone this activity. Please don't ask us to jailbreak a firestick, lol. The ONLY real downside to the FireTV is Youtube. Because Google and Alexa are in a brutal battle for Voice Assistant superiority, and Google owns Youtube, it is currently not available on the FireTV.
Roku is the company that pioneered streaming for the TV. This was the first big device after connecting your phone or laptop directly to the television. the time they have been in the game is really what sets them apart. Roku has been able to strike some big deals with the premium channels that use to only be available on cable. Not only do they offer tons of FREE content, but you can purchase subscription services they offer and even Live TV packages. Plus still get all of your favorite apps like Netflix or Sling TV. The box is very easy to setup, and just like the FireTV, it plugs directly into an HDMI input on your tv or av receiver. Their entry level HD Roku is $39.99 or you can splurge on the 4K larger Ram model for $99.99 called the Roku Premiere. This device can supercharge your smart tv and bring tons of data into your home. At $40 per tv, you would begin to make money over a cable box rental in just 8 months! The device comes preloaded with channels like PBS and the CW which bring you live tv for FREE. The best feature from Roku? You do not have to buy one of their streaming devices. They literally sell televisions now that have a Roku player already installed to replace the normal android app store. Looking for a new TV? Buy one with Roku and save some more money!
Some like to call this the best device. Most expensive, definitely. There is one current model every 2 years and it lists for $189.99 (maybe $150 on eBay). Will it last the longest? Yes, I have an Apple TV 2, 3, and 5. The 2 still works fine. I love the 5 because it has Siri on the remote and by far has the best voice recognition of any device and can do more than just load apps. If you are an Apple fan, it has all the normal Apple apps you are use to having. Just like the Google ChromeCast can emulate your android, Apple TV has the ability to emulate your iPhone. It can mimic your phone or iPad to stream movies saved on your device or show pictures to family who don't have their glasses on the big tv. Plus no company wants to shy away from Apple. Every app available that I have tried to download is on there. It use to be very cool to hack your Apple TV as well to get all the good bootleg illegal movies, but now that Apple is no longer offering bounties to hackers for finding vulnerabilities in their software, it has just about gone to the wayside unless you buy an Apple tv 3 or older. Once again, please do not ask use to jailbreak your Apple TV ;-)
Part 4 is undoubtedly the easiest portion of this series. All the devices do about the same things. They all have the ability to get most streaming apps you would need to drop the big cable companies or even satellite companies and save some coin every month. It can be scary at first to drop that cable box and venture out into unknown sources for your entertainment. We know you want it to be easy enough for everyone to use. It has to be safe for your family. MUST be cheaper, otherwise why switch? No matter which streaming service and device combo will begin to save you money before your first year with a cable company is over. That is a given, even if you use several services like me. You will not be disappointed with the ease of operation of any of the top 4 streaming devices we discussed in this blog. DO NOT jailbreak your devices and you greatly lessen the chances of damage to them or loss of your personal information through unknown apps. We only sell Roku devices, but if you are a current customer and we are working on your job doing additional services, buy any of these and we will assist in the basic set up for you. Remember our motto, "Great Service doesn't have to be expensive!"