What is Streaming Media?
Among the recent growing trends in the internet world has been the widespread use of streaming media from the internet. It does not seem very long ago that just the idea of streaming TV and movies seemed a distant dream. However, with faster internet speed available today, streaming media is very much in full swing. There are many new streaming providers available and many inexpensive streaming media players on the market have made streaming more popular than every.
Growing Trend of Streaming Media
Streaming media from news to films and music
Streaming news to films and music continues to become more and more popular every day. Streaming media is video or audio content sent in compressed form over the Internet and played immediately, rather than being saved to the hard drive. A user does not have to wait to download a file to play it. Because the media is sent in a continuous stream of data it can play as it arrives.
There are many advantages to streaming over traditionally downloaded media. Minimal hard drive storage is required. Streaming media is much better protected against piracy. Sound and visual quality of the media is greatly improved by streaming media, provided you have a good internet speed. It also makes it easy for content to be shared, heard or watched all over the world.
There are many different types of streaming video players available on the market today.
With the increase in the popularity of streaming media, many new streaming devices have been introduced. Shopping for a media player can be quite overwhelming. There are many different types of streaming devices available on the market today to choose from. We hope some of our info can help you in your decision.
Streaming media players come in many shapes and forms. Some players are entirely proprietary and will work only with very specific systems, while others are much more flexible to use. Evaluate what your needs are before you make a purchase. If you have Apple produces now, Apple TV is a good choice.
You probably already have a Streaming Device at home already
If you have recently purchased a Smart TV or Blu-ray player with “smart” features. Any new gaming device (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U) comes with at least basic streaming capabilities. Keep in mind is that if you own a smart TV and stick to the big streaming channels (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc.), you probably do not need a separate streaming device. Smart TVs tend to have these channels built in.
Types of playing media
• Set Top Boxes – faster, more responsive, and have more connections than stick-style players. Often come with a remote.
• Stick-Style Players – compact (about the size of a USB flash-drive) and more budget friendly than set top boxes. Great for students. Some come with a remote but many will utilize an app on your smartphone.
Both styles plug into your TV’s HDMI port, drawing power either from the TV’s USB port or from an AC wall outlet.
What Streaming Player is Best for you?
Here are the top four.
- Amazon Fire If you are already locked into the Amazon ecosystem: You download books for your Kindle, stream music via Amazon Music, and rent movies from Amazon Instant Video. Bonus: You already have an Amazon Prime membership. Full review
- Apple TV You are a longtime Apple user (or recent diehard convert) and you want an easy way to both stream new content and access all your downloaded movies, music, and podcasts. Bonus: You want to use Siri for search.
- Google Chromecast You watch a lot of videos on various websites that don’t have traditional streaming apps; you’re invested in the Android/Google Play ecosystem, and you want to stay there; you don’t want to pay more than $35 to start streaming to your TV and you don’t mind using your smartphone as a remote.
- Roku You have no allegiances in the online media world: you just want an easy way to stream as much stuff as you can. Full Review
Features To Consider
• Simple setup
• Ability to reorder (or delete) apps and customize your home screen
• Universal search
• Dual-band Wi-Fi
Read a number of reviews before you buy
We provide some reviews on products but take a look at what other users have to say on Amazon. Provide in the AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEWS link below our products. Amazon provides many trusted reviews and a convenient star rating from actual users of the product. Look out for a few red flags that may make a product not right for you.
Once you acquire a streaming media player you can access streaming content in a variety of ways. YouTube to Netflix, many paid and free choices are available. Below are some streaming providers and their fees.
Streaming Media Providers and their fees
Definition of terms you need to know
- 4K: The highest resolution currently available, around four times that of HD (3840 X 2160). It is quickly becoming the standard for new TVs.
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi: The most recent and fastest Wi-Fi standard, not as fast as Ethernet, but faster than 802.11n.
- Android TV: A smart TV platform powered by Android and available across smart TVs, set-top boxes, and more.
- Casting: A term, popularized by Google, for sourcing content from the internet from a mobile device or computer to a TV or set-top box.
- HDR: Short for High Dynamic Range, which offers better contrast and more colors than standard dynamic range. Considered by many to be a more notable visual improvement than 4K resolution itself.
- HDR10: One of the two most popular HDR formats, and an open standard backed by Samsung, Sony, LG, and other companies.
- Dolby Vision: One of the two most popular HDR formats. Proprietary, and less popular than the other format, HDR10.
Commercial media devices like the Apple TV will allow you to access YouTube, Flick Mac photo streams not to mention videos from iTunes. Whatever you choose to buy, be sure you make your purchase through a reputable seller. Also, it is best to stick with known brands, whose quality and functionality has been proven.
Check Out our Streaming Media Players