FAQ About Media Streamers
TVs have certainly come a long way over the years, from the days of black-and-white screens to the smart TV era we live in today. Smart TVs connect to the internet, allowing you to access a wide range of online entertainment services and enjoy them on the big screen. But what if you don't have a smart TV or aren't satisfied with your smart TV's features? Is there another option besides upgrading your TV? Yes, there is. And it's called a media streamer.
What is a media streamer?
Basically, any device that can access online services (like Netflix) and stream content directly to your TV is a media streamer. Look at it as a device that adds smart functionality to a TV. It performs the same function as a smart TV, while often providing access to a lot more content. Some media streamers even have a web browser so you can surf the net directly on your TV.
What's the difference between a media streamer and a streaming media player?
A streaming media player can do exactly the same thing as a media streamer (stream online content to your TV), with the added bonus that it can also access your stored content. This means you can stream music, video clips, and movies stored on your smartphone, tablet or computer, provided it's connected to your network. Certain streaming media players can also download and store content.
What types of services can you stream with a media streamer?
All media streamers out there provide access to at least some online services, opening up a world of limitless entertainment possibilities. Certain services like Netflix are offered pretty much across the board, while other popular services such as YouTube, Flickr, and Google Play are available on many devices as well.
What is a digital converter box and do I need one?
A digital converter box is a device that hooks up to your TV so it can receive free over-the-air digital TV signals. Any TV that receives its signal over the air via an antenna and is not equipped with an integrated digital tuner requires a digital converter box. It offers high-quality picture and sound along with more free channel choices. Keep in mind that you don't need a digital converter box to be able to stream online content to your TV with a media streamer.
Want more info on media streamers? Check out some of our resources:
Plug-in Blog: Budget hacks for home theatre technology
Plug-in Blog: Home Theatre Month: the 411 on Streaming Devices