In the 1950s that a TV set was the greatest high tech in the house — and the sole means by which families can observe any kind of professionally produced audiovisual content in the house. Now you can watch such content on a TV, PC, laptop, tablet or mobile, or on a single device built to the interior of a vehicle. And the content flowing on those devices can now be seen on any other device — such as the TV.
Nowadays TV comes through each pipe and plays on each display, thanks to the net. This version of growing TV shows, and items that are like TV shows, on the Internet rather than through cable TV companies is gaining ground fast and threatening conventional business models for TV content creators.
In fact, one Silicon Valley giant recently amazed everyone with a brand new means to lower the cable.
Chromecast – $35
Google recently announced a new product known as Chromecast, which doesn’t look like much, doesn’t cost too much and doesn’t occupy much space in the already-crowded lineup of stuff linked to a TV.
In actuality, Chromecast looks like one of the cheap USB thumb drives for keeping files. Nonetheless, it is not USB. It plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. And it is not a thumb drive, but a streaming video “box” like the Apple TV or Roku 3.
The most crucial truth about Chromecast is that it is cheap. It costs about $35. This price point is inspiring fans to buy one for each TV in the home. The second truth is that it is simple to use. Plug it into your TV and press a button, and it works. The next truth is that it runs from Google’s Chrome browser on any telephone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC. When the Chromecast dongle and the device with the Chrome browser are both on the same house Wi-Fi network, they connect with each other. As soon as they’re linked, the content of any tab in the running browser can be sent into the TV.
By way of instance, you can bring in that tab Netflix, YouTube, Hulu or some range of current and future programs or solutions created for the Chromecast device. Once the material is sent, Chromecast switches to the HD version of it. Chromecast shows ordinary or pictures websites on your TV .
Firstly, it is possible to continue to use the device for some other items, such as for content connected to the TV show or film on the TV display.
Think about what Chromecast enables. Any device in the home can send just about anything onscreen to some TV using all the press of a button. Chromecast doesn’t always do more than the choices. However, it does what it will more cheaply, easily and professionally.
Apple TV – $99
If you’re an iPhone, iPad or Mac user, an alternative to Chromecast is Apple TV, which does more but is not quite as cheap or easy to set up. Apple TV is good at playing whatever’s on your Apple device or whatever you can find on iTunes.
Apple TV provides stations that Chromecast doesn’t, such as HBO Go, WatchESPN and MLB.TV, and includes most of the content resources that Chromecast will supply, such as Hulu, Netflix and YouTube. Unlike Chromecast, Apple TV comes with a tiny remote control. You can, however, take content from an Apple-made telephone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer and toss it on to the display by tapping on a button.
Another point to Think about is the past and the future. If you’re heavily invested in iTunes content, then Apple TV may make a lot of sense, since you won’t be able to watch those movies or shows on an alternative device. Apple is expected to sharply expand its offerings from the TV arena from the long run, so if you’re a fan of Apple products and think the company will provide great services and products in the long run, Apple TV may be a good selection.
Roku 3 – $99
A Roku 3 box is similar to Apple TV, grabbing content from the Web through your home’s Ethernet or Wi-Fi connections. It also supplies a comparable lineup of content resources, such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Vudu, HBO Go and hundreds more. One of the chief types of content that Roku provides that Chromecast and Apple TV do not is Amazon-based films and TV shows.
Like Apple TV, it is possible to mirror content from iOS or Android devices. You control a Roku device with an added remote control, which has a headphone jack for viewing TV without disturbing others.
More Options for Watching Content
Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku 3 are the top options for combining some cable content with most Internet content to get a great home entertainment experience. However, you need to know five things before you select one of these.
There are scores of other choices offering comparable functionality. You do not need any of these. A simple laptop with HDMI-out capability connected to a TV will give you everything that can be downloaded or streamed on the internet. Not one of these choices offers you all cable shows when they air. In fact, some of the very best and most popular shows currently in production, for example AMC’s Mad Men, can’t be seen live through these choices — you can view them live only with the associated cable subscription. In the very best case, you may have to wait a day.Although Roku along with other products let you subscribe to live TV events, like sports matches, these are subject to local blackouts — for instance, once the region staff is playing in the town. Live HD network programming is still available — are you sitting down? — using an antenna. (You can see what is available in your area on this website.) Each of the choices mean you can come across a device and installation with the level of convenience and flexibility that suits you best. It’s a great time to be a couch potato.
More: Check out the emerging virtual-reality house systems