network_of_streaming_videoToday, all kinds of devices can stream video programming from the Internet.  Streaming can be done with any Blu-ray player, Smartv, Smartphone or Tablet, and specialized media players like the Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, etc.

So which is best?  Of course it depends, and here are some guidelines.  It is most important what streaming services you want to watch then choose a device that supports them all.

Most all devices support Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, and Amazon Instant Video, the most popular services.  Only the AppleTV supports iTunes content.  Roku supports hundreds of “channels” and will give you the most variety.  Chromecast, and now Roku, offer a “stick” that can plug into a TV’s HDMI port.  Chromecast and AppleTV and send content from a computer/tablet/phone to the device to show it on the TV.  Many of the Apps built in TV’s (Netflix) are support a similar capability from the App on a tablet.

What makes this even harder, is that the devices, apps, and choices are changing very fast.  This is one of the situations where a good AV dealer can help you make the best decision.

The next part of this blog series will address the different streaming service options.