One of the things that some people don’t realize when buying a new TV is that they can save a good deal of money by avoiding Smart TVs. If what you want is to have a TV where you can enjoy streaming video services Like Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime and others, there are a lot of devices that can offer you this for much less money.
Although it may seem like a disadvantage and less convenient to have to buy and configure one more device instead of just pressing a button on the remote control, the available solutions are novice-proof, easy to install, and usually only require use. of a simple application. So we will show you all the available options for watch streaming video from your TVwhether silly or not.
One of the simpler and cheaper alternatives It’s Google’s little gadget that connects to any TV through an HDMI port. With the Chromecast you can send content from any other device, be it a smartphone, tablet, or computer, and play it on your television.
The downside is that you need to always have your mobile phone or something else at hand to be able to transmit. But considering how almost no one takes off from that device at this time, it is not so problematic.
The Chromecast is plug and playThat is, you plug it in and it’s almost ready to go. You just owe download the Google Home app for Android or iOS for initial setup. You can also do it from your computer, accessing https://cast.google.com/chromecast/setup/ in Chrome.
The process is extremely simple, you just have to choose a name for the device, and connect it to your home WiFi network to be able to transmit from any device that is connected to the same network. Then you just have to open the application you want to use, for example Netflix or HBO, and you will see an icon in the form of a window with three semicircular stripes. This means that you can cast the content to the Chromecast.
There are four types of Chromecast. The first generation that Google no longer sells, but can still be found for less than 30 euros. The second-generation Chromecast that you get in the Google store and other sellers for 39 euros, and the Chromecast Ultra that supports sending content in 4K for 79 euros. The other type of Chromecast is audio, and that only works well, with audio.
The Apple TV
The Apple TV is an excellent solution for fans of the apple, and also for those who have a higher budget and they prefer not to have to use another device to send the content. It has its own operating system, tvOS, full of applications and games for the user.
This is a complete multimedia center with remote control and internal storage space for all applications. Now, the price is much higher than something like a Chromecast. The 32GB Apple TV costs 159 euros, and the new Apple TV 4K costs 199 euros with 32GB or 219 euros with 64GB. The advantage is that you do not have to do anything more than connect it, search for the application you want and start watching the content.
Roku is similar to Apple TV in that it is a box with remote control that you can connect to your TV to enjoy all kinds of applications like Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and more. It is not officially available in Spain, but you can get some models on Amazon and other stores.
At Roku they are specialists in this type of product, and they have six different devices in various categories: Roku Experess, Roku Stick, Roku Premiere. They all have different versions with different capabilities, some have 4K support, others are a simple stick similar to the Chromecast and others are a box with HDR support. All include remote control. Prices vary between 30 to 120 euros depending on the model.
Although all Roku have remote control, they also have applications for iOS and Androi that you can use as companions to control playback and search for more apps and content.
Amazon’s Fire Stick or Fire TV
If you want something extremely cheap, easy to use, and that does not depend on the mobile or the tablet to send the content, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is one of the best solutions. It costs 59.99 euros and includes a remote control that the Chromecast lacks.
It’s great for watching Amazon Video content, but it has thousands of apps including Netflix, Hulu, HBO, YouTube, and much more. It is compatible with the Alexa voice assistant, that is, you can talk to it like Siri on the Apple TV to play the content. You only need an HDMI port, a WiFi connection, and a power outlet just like the ones above, but this is the cheapest.
The Fire TV Stick has 8GB of internal storage, enough for most basic applications. If you want a more powerful device, Amazon also sells the Fire TV a multimedia box with higher performance and space for microSD memory.
Your video game console
If you are a gamer or in your home there is any relatively modern video game console, you already have a smart TV. Netflix has apps for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and even for WiiU. So if you have any of these at home, you don’t need anything else.
However, other services such as HBO, and Amazon, are not so widely spread, especially that of the American cable chain. Depending on the console you have and the service you want to enjoy, you should check video app store and check how much you can do with it. PS4 has an HBO app, but Xbox One doesn’t. Amazon Prime Video is on both consoles.
Your Blu-ray player
If you have a very old Blu-ray player, it may be useless for anything other than reading discs. But, many of those created even more than five or six years ago, include a Netflix button on the remote control or some indicator on the box or in the manual that says they are compatible with the service.
If you don’t have a Blu-ray and you were thinking of buying one, Invest in a model that is compatible with more streaming applicationsSome bring not just Netflix, but Hulu, YouTube, and other extras. If you are going to occupy an HDMI port on your TV with one of these, it should at least be used for more than one thing.
A simple solution that might seem obvious but it is not, is to connect your computer to the TV through an HDMI cable and use it to access all kinds of content. If you use Windows 10, you can take advantage of official applications such as Netflix that are a lot more comfortable to see in full screen.
If you want to watch YouTube from your computer connected to the TV, you can use the YouTube TV interface and control the playback with a mobile device by pairing it from YouTube Pair. For everything else, ideally you have a wireless mouse with good distance.
Another good idea is to install the Kodi multimedia center to take advantage of all kinds of addons to access online content.