For The Home

CUTTING THE CABLE CORD? HERE’S A LOOK AT STREAMING DEVICES

Let’s face it — for most of us, shutting down our cable service would save a good amount of cash each month. But some just don’t want to live without television entertainment.

You’ve heard about streaming devices for awhile now, and with so many popping up in the market, which is the one for you?

ROKU

[zilla_column column=”one-third”]roku[/zilla_column][zilla_column column=”two-third” last=”true”]What I like best about Roku is that it offers Sling in addition to the usual streaming apps of Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go. Sling is real-time television, which means you can watch all the news networks plus the typical cable channels such as ESPN and Comedy Central. Sling has a monthly subscription fee. Roku is a good option for extra rooms in your home. If you don’t cut the cable cord, you can link to your cable subscription through a Roku device. There are lots of free channels on the Roku, which comes in five different box/stick options. It’s my top choice of all the streaming devices on the market (I use the streaming stick).

[zilla_button url=”http://www.amazon.com/Roku-3500R-Streaming-Stick-HDMI/dp/B00INNP5VU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448923574&sr=8-1&keywords=roku&tag=thedailyclutch-20″ style=”grey” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Find on Amazon.com[/zilla_button][/zilla_column]

 

APPLE TV

[zilla_column column=”one-third”]appletv[/zilla_column][zilla_column column=”two-third” last=”true”]People who download a ton of stuff to their iTunes library will want this streaming device over the others. It also has a great little remote with just a couple of buttons, though those with kids should watch out for them hiding it or even sticking it in their mouths. The remote may be too small for some, but there’s an app for that. Download the Apple remote app to your iPhone. Apple Mirror is a cool feature, too — it’s like Chromecast in that it lets you project whatever you’re seeing on your computer or phone screen to your TV, though it’s only if you’re using an iPhone, iPad or other Apple product. Apple is very “keep it in the family.”

[zilla_button url=”http://www.apple.com/shop/buy-tv/apple-tv” style=”grey” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Find on Apple.com[/zilla_button][/zilla_column]

 

CHROMECAST

[zilla_column column=”one-third”]chromecast[/zilla_column][zilla_column column=”two-third” last=”true”]With this simple device, users select a website to view and then “cast” it (or mirror it) to the television on which the Chromecast is attached. Casters must have pretty strong wifi for this to work well. It is different than the other options in that it is only for casting and you can’t download apps to it. It’s also only run from your computer or the phone app. No remote involved.

[zilla_button url=”http://www.walmart.com/ip/FAST-TRACK-Google-Chromecast-HDMI-Streaming-Media-Player/46708712″ style=”grey” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Find at Walmart[/zilla_button][/zilla_column]

AMAZON FIRE TV

[zilla_column column=”one-third”]firetv[/zilla_column][zilla_column column=”two-third” last=”true”]Amazon Prime members will love this device for streaming their purchased shows and movies. DigitalTrends.com gave it a great review, touting the device’s accompanying video game controller that works with multiple gaming consoles. Similar to other streaming devices, Amazon Fire TV comes in the stick or box options. One of the stick options comes with voice control. Amazon Fire TV also offers the Sling app for live-television watching.

[zilla_button url=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GDQ0RMG/ref=fs_ods_fs_smp_mv&tag=thedailyclutch-20″ style=”grey” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Find on Amazon.com[/zilla_button][/zilla_column]

 

GOOGLE NEXUS PLAYER

[zilla_column column=”one-third”]nexus[/zilla_column][zilla_column column=”two-third” last=”true”]With anything Google comes the ability to use the Google Play store. The Nexus is a streaming player much like the others, but also offers the Chromecast feature. According to a review on DigitalTrends.com, the Nexus oddly does not have an ethernet connectivity option. The player does have a voice control feature. It also offers live-stream television apps and all the other usuals. Personally, I think this is the coolest looking of all the streaming devices (it’s round).

[zilla_button url=”http://www.walmart.com/ip/Nexus-Player-TV500I/43172615″ style=”grey” size=”small” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Find at Walmart[/zilla_button][/zilla_column]

 

GAMING CONSOLES

Many gaming consoles have been offering streaming capabilities for a few years now, though some are limited to Netflix or other popular apps. Check your console or one you plan to buy for its capabilities.

SMART TVS

Connected televisions are the way to go these days if you want Internet-based options on your set. They are still pricey, like when flat screens debuted, but expect prices to trend downward as these become the typical household TV purchase and are featured in big sales, such as during the holiday shopping season.

We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.