Video Streaming Devices

best video streaming device

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Video Streaming Device

 

And while we are on the topic, let’s take a look at Antennas too!

 

 

VIDEO & DIGITAL STREAMING DEVICES

Mohu ChannelsMohu Channels – The recently released Mohu Channels offers cordcutters the opportunity to combine all of their favorite video services and OTA signals into a single, polished interface. If you are in the market for a one-stop option for all of your cordcutting needs, Mohu Channels is a worthy contender for its centralized approach to OTA and streaming content.
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Chromecast – Many of us already enjoy video entertainment from online sources such as YouTube, Netflix and Google Play, but without a video streaming device we are not able to watch it on our Televisions. To solve this problem, Google recently unveiled a new device, Chromecast, an affordable HDMI adapter that turns any TV into a Smart TV.
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Roku Streaming Stick vs ChromecastRoku Streaming Stick vs Chromecast – A Streaming Stick Review – Roku or Google – Which One is Better? At the end of the day, what really matter is what you’re looking for in a streaming device. If you want a no-hassle, ready-to-go out of box experience, then Roku is the device for you. If you want an open-platform device that effortlessly integrates all your content spread on your multiple devices, then it’s Chromecast all the way. At the end of the day, you honestly can’t go wrong with either one; what really matter is what you’re looking for in a streaming device.
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Roku Streaming Player And now the Roku – 2, allows you to instantly streamWhat is Roku tons of entertainment on your TV. Watch over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Hulu Plus and more. The all-new Roku XD delivers the highest quality HD video, in the smallest box, at the lowest price. No wonder Roku is the best selling streaming player ever. Even though the Roku does not have a Blu-ray disc drive, internet browsing capabilities or game play, it’s prices and user-friendliness makes it a great buy.
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Amazon Fire TVAmazon Fire TV – I think this quote best sums it up: “In reality, the Fire TV is a small, flat, matte black Trojan horse intended to sell you even more Amazon goods than you already buy. I prefer streaming that is content-neutral, or that at least allows me to find the best deal. This is not that box.” Molly Wood – New York Times
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Tivo Roamio OTATiVo Roamio OTA – If you are looking for a cheap device for OTA recording and the pricy recurring fees aren’t an issue, the TiVo Roamio OTA could be a great choice due to its full set of features and easy-to-use interface. For everyone else, however, there  are better options out there.
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DIGITAL STREAMING DEVICESTiVo Premiere DVR - Pause, rewind slow-mo, instant replay, or record two shows at once while watching a third. Connect it to the Internet through your home network and you have access to movies, TV shows, music videos, podcasts and more. With the stunning HD interface, browsing, exploring and discovering online programming is easier than ever. Access virtually any movie or TV show with Amazon Instant Video, Hulu (coming soon), and Netflix.
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SonySony NSZ-GS7 – The Sony NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV is the company’s second and newest device featuring the Internet giant’s ambitious digital media software. “It is the remote that did it for me. A remote that when flipped becomes a keyboard, that is just plain genius.”
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WDTVWDTV – the new WDTV devices allow for Live TV broadcasts to be picked up and viewed on tablets or computers. The WDTV works with Internet streamer Hauppauge to allow live broadcasts to be picked up via the WDTV unit. Anyone who has a WDTV device with the hub hard drive can record the live broadcasts for later viewing. Live broadcasts includes sporting events as well as basic cable programming.
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Apple TV  – A digital media receiver that allows consumers to use an HDTV set to view photos, play music and watch video. The problem is it does not connect to older TV’s, and the amount of content available is very limited as it doesn’t support a full suite of video streaming providers such as Amazon, Hulu, and Pandora. The bottom line: the low price makes this a very popular impulse buy for people looking to bring Netflix into the living room, but if you spend some time researching you will find there are better options out there.
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Vizio Co-StarVIZIO Co-Star – Internet Apps Turn your HDTV into the Ultimate Smart TV The VIZIO Co-Star packs the power of Google TV into an intuitive interface. With a sleek and elegant design, the VIZIO Co-Star is a small box that packs a great deal of options for the serious television viewer
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Smart TVs – Is it the Future for Home Entertainment? Everything is getting smarter today – home security systems, phones, TVs. New generation of TVs available today come ready to go without a cable connection, stocked with Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and other apps. Smart TV or web-connected TV sets are rapidly coming to market from likes of […]
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Streaming Media Boxes & OTT Platforms, All In One Place
2014 Chart Lets You Compare

Dan Rayburn | Monday April 21, 2014

Video Streaming Device

 

GAMING & VIDEO STREAMING DEVICES

PlayStation 4 (PS4 Review): The gaming industry has advanced drastically sincePS4 Review the PS3 was released seven years ago, and the PS4 is the proof of that. From the streamlined look to the more inexpensive price, the PS4 proves that the gaming industry is moving forward at a truly fast pace.
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PlayStation 3 (PS3 Review)  – This system delivers an experience beyond anything you know today. With a built in Blu-ray Disc drive, PlayStation 3 video streaming invites you to a whole new generation in high-definition graphics and media capabilities. Whether your looking for the best games console, Blu-ray movies, music or online services, PlayStation 3 takes you where you’ve never dreamed possible – a place where you can play beyond. With access to over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Hulu Plus and more, its hands down the best value for you buck! And one of my all time favorite digital streaming devices.
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xbox oneXbox One – The Xbox One is the newest game console, replacing the Xbox 360, to be released by Microsoft on Nov. 13, 2013. The device has been called an “all in one entertainment system,”… All in all, it looks like the Xbox One may be a force to be reckoned with as long as you are satisfied with purely streaming your video content. But at a price point of $500, unless you are a gamer, there are far less expensive cable TV alternative videos streaming devices out there.
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Xbox 360 - The Xbox is a video game console produced by Microsoft. It was Microsoft’s first foray into the gaming console market. Though this system will provide a great gaming experience and it’s ready for the controller-free experience of Kinect (motion sensor-driven – simply step in front of the Kinect and it recognizes you and responds to your gestures) it lacks in controller usability, it does not contain a Blu-ray player, and there is no Hulu access (though this may be changing soon). For these reasons I cannot suggest this console.
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ANTENNAS

HDTV Leaf Indoor Antenna ♥♥♥♥♥ (5/5) – Provides FREE access to locally broad-casted Over-the-Air (OTA) HD channels. Get free HD streaming without cable. Before purchasing one you need to find out if you are within range of broadcasting towers and if your TV has a DTV Tuner. Once you’re ready to get, the best antenna for your money is the paper thin Leaf Indoor TV Antenna (by Mohu). Currently the #1 selling Indoor Antenna on Amazon. Takes 5 minutes to plugin and you’ll gain access to HD Broadcast TV for Free, with access to local television shows.
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Click Below to Learn More:
Indoor AntennaOutdoor AntennaMohu ChannelsAntenna DVR
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OVER-THE-AIR DVRs

DVR + SmallChannel Master DVR+ – DVR Free Live TV With No Subscription Fee. One of the things cord cutters miss the most about cable is the awesome DVR (Digital Video Recorder) feature that many cable subscription packages come with. With a DVR, you never have to worry about missing your favorite show because you got home from work a little later than usual.
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Do you agree or disagree with any of my reviews on digital streaming devices or antennas?

Your comments are really appreciated.

  • http://none gerette

    I am a little confused. I have a cable box and a DVD/VHS player. If I buy a blue ray to be able to stream Netflix, what happens with the cable box/ my DVD/VHS regarding being able to play and record as watch/in advance. Thanks kindly.

    • http://www.killthecablebill.com admin

      If your goal is to rid yourself of an expensive cable tv bill, then I suggest you ditch the cable box DVD player and VHS player, and buy a blu-ray player that allows you to stream Netflix and Hulu. (My preferred device is the PS3 because you get all this + the option to play video games if you like.) By doing this you gain access to instant video streaming via Netflix and Hulu, and you no longer need to record live TV because everything you watch is on demand and is accessible 24/7.

      If your looking to find a way to record live tv using an antenna then check out the post: Dumping DirectTV for Tivo.

  • Chanrey

    what about the Wii?

    • http://www.killthecablebill.com/ KTCB

      The Wii is not a good video streamer.

  • http://www.jumpstartmypc.com/ Chris | JumpstartMyPC.com

    Great article as usual! Couple of follow up tidbits from a fellow “cable cutter”:
    1) Hulu Plus is available on the TiVo Premiere now and I’ve been using it non-stop for a month now. Lots of great programming available. I highly recommend it.
    2) PS3 – out of all the game systems that stream, the picture quality of the PS3 is by far the best
    3) Boxee – I’ve been using it for 6 months or so and recent downloads have been choking it. I’ve almost phased it out of my entertainment center entirely.

  • 200%ave

    I have been trying to understand this technology to no avail. Please explain the “connect to the internet” piece. Do I need a wireless router ? How do I get to the Roku site, via a PC ? For a wired connection, how does Roku device connect to my eithernet 100MB router, directly of via a PC ?

    • Anonymous

      You can use a wireless router but use a wired connection for more consistent speed. Wireless connection speeds can vary based on the device, transfer speed and interference. In short – you will get the highest video and audio quality through a hard wired connection.

      Roku is not a site it is a device that access sites like Netflix Instant Streaming. Check out “What is Roku” to learn more: http://www.killthecablebill.com/what-is-roku/ and if you still have questions let me know.

  • http://twitter.com/Franklin808 Keith Franklin

    Xbox 360 does already offer Hulu Plus. It also offers ESPN3 as well. Not to mention both of them can have playback controls controlled by Kinect. Fall updated bring Xbox Live TV and full Kinect voice control can control including searching for content across services.

    • http://www.killthecablebill.com/ KTCB

      Hey Keith – Xbox is amazing. What do you think of these new promises from Microsoft to become the number one video streaming consul on the market?

  • Greenie

    i would like to get something that can stream tv shows all day that i can program. I have a mother that can’t figure out how to work the online catalog and w. her arthritis, can’t press buttons too well. What app do you recommend? Roku seems cool, but i don’t read anything that says I can create a queue that plays automatically.

    • Anonymous

      Type your reply…Well i think Roku is a great option – but it does not automatically
      stream shows. But it is very easy to use, as all you need to do is use
      the right and left buttons to select a program and then hit enter. If
      your looking for constant streaming maybe an antenna would work? you
      could then just leave the TV on CBS or something and let it go…
      Sorry i could not be much help, but please let me know what you decide
      on.

  • Sjuanie

    Ok, so I already have 1 Roku setup in our bedroom. I want to cut cable, we have netflix, all we want is to watch movies, some TV shows and I have to have my NFL. So I’m thinking of buying an antenna for local channels(NFL), and buying another Roku for the living room. I’m a little confused on the TiVo, would it be overkill? I’m trying to get as close to cable as I can, I want to be able to record shows too, what do you recommend, what about a menu, is that what TiVo offers?

  • http://twitter.com/endeliz Endora Schmidt

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    http://www.playon.tv/

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    to watch free tv ,cable channels like hbo, cinemax ,sports, live news and much much more .

  • Brian

    I’m trying to kill the cable bill while retaining a DVD player, access to movies, etc. but still get the family friendly content available on Nick Jr. Disney, etc. Do any of these devices allow me to also browse the web? How do I watch tv programs that are on-line? It seems as though these media players do not access those channels and some of them would be worth accessing over the “big screen” or am I missing something? Which device allows me to do this? Or do I need to set up a network and access the internet that way?

    • http://www.killthecablebill.com/ KTCB

      Hey Brian – First thing you need to do is check out all the free cable channels you can get with a simple internet connection: http://www.killthecablebill.com/tv-channels/ Nick & PBS Kids being two on the list. As for connecting your TV to the internet you have a bunch of options. But at a high level it boils down to three. You either go and buy an in expensive Laptop with HDMI out (which you can get for a few hundred dollars if you look hard), you buy a video streaming devices such as a PS3, Xbox, or any other device that is supported by Playon: http://www.killthecablebill.com/what-is-playon/ , or you get a smart TV. But assuming you are not looking to buy a new TV, we will skip that option. If you go the laptop route, you simply hook your TV to your laptop using an HDMI cable and use your TV as a large monitor. If you go the media streaming device route than signing up for Playon will give you access to all the free TV channels on the Web.

      Finally there are two other steps you should take: Sign up for Hulu and Netflix, and start looking into either an Indoor or Outdoor Antenna from Mohu.

      SKY HDTV Outdoor Antenna: http://www.killthecablebill.com/sky-hdtv-outdoor-antenna-from-mohu/

      Leaf Ultimate Indoor Antenna: http://www.killthecablebill.com/get-amped-with-the-mohu-leaf-ultimate/

      This will give you access to Live events on major network stations like NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX etc… Hope this helps!

  • Tee Nix

    I have cable internet, cable TV, a Smart TV, and a Roku 2. I got the Roku hoping I could get my cable channels (remember I have cable internet) on the Roku, but so far have found no way to do so. I must have History Channel live, not past recorded shows. (Obsessed with “Vikings.” LOL) I get old stuff from SyFy on Roku, some live shopping channels, and Amazon Instant Videos with my Prime account. But it appears that unless it’s shopping, it’s not live on Roku. Can I get the History Channel streamed LIVE through Roku or my Smart TV or a combination of both? If so, cable can be downgraded and I’ll save $50 a month. If not, then Roku is only a way for me to watch B movies and past episodes of TV shows, and I’ll be very sad that I let my friend talk me into spending the $80 on it.

    • http://www.killthecablebill.com/ KTCB

      Unfortunately I dont know of a way to watch the History Channel Live. What you can do, if there are only a few shows you MUST watch, is buy the episodes online. But as I am sure you know, you need to be careful because shows on Amazon or Itunes are not cheap and you can very easily burn your saving by buying too much content. If you find a resolution please let us know!

      • Tee Nix

        Thanks I knew that was too good to be true.

  • Susan Dickson

    I recently got a 3D Blu-ray player and actually found that I like watching Netflix from the PS3 streaming device much better.

  • Susan Dickson

    Yes, we are considering making the PS4 a gift for my son for Christmas. He can’t wait!

  • John Wilson

    Sorry but i am still lost. We cannot afford cable or DTV so we have been using an antenna. It is the worst as every-time you change channels you have to mess with the rabbit-ears to get a solid picture and even then it often splitsup , degrades and you constantly have to re-scan the channels. Still i refuse to pay the highway robbery prices demanded by Cox,Centurylink or any of the other major TV providers available in our area. We live in Phoenix, AZ /North or Central Corridor depending on your take on our address.
    I like to watch major tv network programming CBS/ NBC/ABC/ FOX etc. my wife loves movies. I figure Hulu Netflix is my best bet but i am still lost as to what to buy to access this simple content since my tv is nice enough and supports HD but isn’t internet ready… although i have more ports on the back than the startrek enterprise. including a usb port.I can’t figure out whether or not i need a playstation3 or the leaf antenna. any suggestions are welcome.

    • broadbander66

      You have to get a $40 digital antennae, here’s the best: http://gomohu.com/compare-products/

      • http://www.killthecablebill.com/ KTCB

        Broadband you are absolutely correct. Mohu makes the best antennas on the market and if you link to their site using any of my Mohu links you automatically get 10% off your purchase!

    • http://www.killthecablebill.com/ KTCB

      Hey John – thanks for reaching out. First of all, YES get a leaf or one of the many other MOHU antennas. (you get 10% off by using our links by the way) As for streaming content to your TV you have several options: laptop with HDMI out, gaming system (ps3), or a set top box like Roku. As for which one will work best for you, that really depends on your budget and viewing preferences. If you like to play video games, then get a ps3. If you like simplicity and easy navigation, the Roku is great. If you are looking to stream downloaded movies in addition to services like Hulu, and Netflix, a Laptop works really well. Please take some time to read through our site – as we aim to answer these exact questions in detail. And if you need any more help deciding please dont hesitate to post more questions.

  • nick

    Hello from a fellow cable cutter. I’ve been cable free for over 6 years now. I’ve been using OTA/Netfiix/Hulu/Amazon. To stream HTPC/DVR, Rokus in the bedrooms, and the RCA Streamers (great little bang for your buck, got mine for ~$22 on groupon) for the kids bedrooms.

    I wanted to Say a blurb about the RCA boxes. While they only do Netfix/YouTube/Hulu/Pandora/(maybe one more I’m forgetting), they do it in 1080 (kids’ TVs are only 720anyhow) They were great for the price, and easy to use menu for the kids.

    Also, I think for the more advanced techy, you should do some write ups on the HTPC. With the ITX motherboards, you can get a very small case and great for using with downloaded movies/plex. I still have the honken huge receiver sized full atx case, but I also double it up as a server for storage space as well.

    • http://www.killthecablebill.com/ KilltheCableBill

      Hi Nick =- thanks so much for reaching out. I admit i do need to look into RCA more.. and as for HTPC this is also something I really need to speak about. Thanks for the great ideas. I should have something about Plex on the site in the next month or so. But in the mean time – what can you tell us about ITX motherboards?