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Media Streamers Buying Guide.

Whether you're thinking of buying a Smart TV or a separate media streamer, discover different options to start streaming at home.
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Upgrade Your TV with a Media Streamer

TVs have come a long way over the years, from the days of heavy, black-and-white boxes to the ultra-thin smart TV era we live in today. Smart TVs connect to the internet, allowing you to access a wide range of online entertainment services for immediate at-home enjoyment. But every product on the market is different, and if you don't have a smart TV (or if you're not satisfied with the one that you do have), media streamers offer a way to add even more capabilities onto your current TV.

What is a media streamer?

The term "media streamer" applies to any device that can access online streaming services to deliver content to your TV. Media streamers function similarly to a smart TV, and are an affordable option for consumers who want to leave cable behind. Like a smart TV, they'll help you stream content that isn't playing live on cable, letting you pull up your favourite titles and pause for snack breaks.

Not every media streamer is created equally, however: options like the Google Chromecast will require a smartphone or tablet to access content, while Amazon Fire products and Roku Streaming Sticks do not. Keep in mind that most media streamers simply help you easily access your favourite streaming services in high definition, and that you'll still have to pay for your subscriptions separately.

What can an Android box add to my media streamer experience?

Media streamers aren't one-size-fits-all. Some users may prioritize easy, simple streaming from a few monthly streaming services, while others seek stored media playback and a variety of streaming options.

Android boxes are a type of versatile media streamer that function as your at-home 4K TV box. They allow users to install a wide range of applications, including popular apps such as Netflix and Disney Plus. However, Android tv boxes are also able to run open source streaming apps that put the user in control. Many even support a full web browser experience, going above and beyond just finding your favourite 4K TV shows on a shared content platform.

What types of services can you access with a media streamer?

All media streamers connect to the internet, which opens you up to a world of limitless entertainment possibilities. Popular video services like Netflix are offered fairly universally, while other services such as YouTube, Flickr, and Google Play may need to be downloaded during setup. With the right media streamer, you'll be able to stream HD video, share slideshows, play music, and access the internet from comfort of your living room.

Want more info on media streamers? Check out some of our resources:

Which of the 5 new Roku streaming TV players is right for you?

Google Chromecast: How to set up your new streaming TV device

How to Stream using Apple TV

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