Video Streaming Hardware Reviews – Top 4 Devices to Stream Movies on Your TV

Online Movie Streaming within Video Streaming Hardware for Computers and Smart TVsAlmost everybody knows the capabilities that mobile phones or iPads have when it comes to online movie streaming or video streams, but what some might not be aware of is devices designed simply for streaming to a TV. Whether the monthly cell phone plans are too expensive or you continually find yourself backed up against allotted data limits, video streaming hardware serves as a viable, inexpensive alternative.

Video streaming has definitely gone mainstream, with Netflix offering a large portion of their library available over an Internet connected device and HULU broadcasting popular television shows, almost before the closing credits are finished scrolling on the networks. Video streaming hardware is the future…even though the future is now.

These small devices are dedicated almost exclusively to streaming video and hook up directly to your television through a WI-FI network and cable adapters. Instead of watching your Netflix queue items on a small iPod Touch, you can take full advantage of that 52″ plasma without any additional monthly bills. There are some things people must take into account though when finding the perfect video streaming hardware for their needs.

Top Video Streaming Hardware Review – The Top Contenders

Roku
roku hardwareThe biggest sales point of Roku is its affordability, one of the few video streaming devices available for only $50. Roku boasts a library of over 150,000 movies and shows available from Netflix, Crackle, and Hulu Plus. With upgraded Roku accounts users can even access premium movie channels like HBO as well as all the latest live sports events. Roku offers a traditional TV viewing experience with the most important feature is a remote. Also, Android or IOS phones can be equipped with an application that enables them to work as remotes as well.

 

Apple TV
apple tv hardwareWhile Roku isn’t compatible with iTunes or even YouTube, the Apple TV is the must have item for people linked in through Apple items. The small tuner packs quite a punch listed at under 4″ both length and width. Technical requirements include a Wi-Fi network and the 2012 models have support for 1080p video output. The Apple TV box is the only one available on the market designed to work specifically with programs like iTunes, iCloud, and AirPlay. Those with an iPad or iPod Touch can stream videos, music, pictures and more directly from that device to their TV. Therefore, if you don’t have one of these components you might want to stick with Roku or other popular video streaming hardware.

Playstation 3 and XBox 360

Pumping online content through a Super Nintendo was once just a pipe dream but that has become a reality with the latest upgrades to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Gamers will especially like this form of video streaming hardware because they can kill two birds with one stone so you can play their games then stream online content. Programs available on these include Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Vudu and the PS3 even features the NFL Sunday Ticket, previously only available to DirecTV customers.

 

Smart TV
smart tv online streaming videoA Smart TV is referred to as ‘being connected’ and it basically cuts out the computer middle man between the internet and television. Viewers can search and find videos through their television, somewhat similar to a hotel interface. The customer can install apps and games much like they would via a smart phone and an integrated web browser makes virtually anything available online able to be transferred to the television.

While Smart TV’s have these features built directly into them, most experts agree you may be losing flexibility in the long run with this technology. With prices for HD TV’s continually dropping and video streaming hardware available for $50 to $250, you’ve got more options for mixing and matching depending on what you’re in to, for example gaming, movies, sports, etc.

In-depth Roku Review

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