Streaming media devices connect your TV or home theater to the internet, allowing you to stream content (video, music, movies and sports) through a streaming TV service provider or app.
Smart TVs are essentially a television with streaming apps built in. In many cases, you won’t need a separate remote or added device, since it’s all contained within the smart TV.
Dedicated streaming media devices, like an Apple TV or Roku, offer an impressive range of options for viewing content on your TV. And, as long as your TV has an HDMI port, you won’t need to buy a whole new television. These handy devices typically come pre-loaded with dozens of the most popular streaming "channels" (essentially apps), and you can add more when you want to. When you turn them on, they are fully configured, making these devices a convenient option.
Many Blu-ray players and newer video game consoles also act as streaming devices, with a few limitations. If you already own one of these, it’s worth considering as it may save you buying an additional piece of equipment.
With streaming TV providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, all that has changed. You can now bundle your own favorite shows, channels and interests, curating a personalized collection of video content. The choices are almost limitless — you can have streaming only, streaming plus cable or satellite, or streaming plus antenna. What’s more, producers are now able to create more diverse shows for a huge range of viewer categories, not only appealing to the masses. This means there are simply more specialized options out there for just about any interest, style, or demographic group. The control now sits with you, the viewer.