Watching people watch television on a TV is getting more and more confusing. First, there was a set of individual channel buttons, then knobs, on to digital channel readouts and then no channels at all.
With the advent of the majority of shows now being consumed through streaming, you need one of a variety of Internet TV boxes. Without these dedicated boxes and thumbsticks, you’ll never have access to all of the things you want to watch.
You can enjoy free fare or pay for access channels. Enjoy dedicated movie channels, special interest channels, or general services. On top of that, you also get suites of features to manage the mountains of content available.
If all that seems a bit much, it is. We’ll break down the best devices to get you going or cement your streaming media obsession.
Internet TV Boxes
Newer Smart TV’s have these devices built in, or have applicable USB connections for adding them. Older televisions may require the blockier boxes to broadcast the data from the internet.
The technology goes by various names but IPTV or Internet Protocol Television is the most common. Outside of the TV internet box, you will need an internet connection and one or more streaming service subscriptions to access.
This list will provide a breakdown of features on each device.
A bit of a redundant device within the Apple family of products that delivers excellent resolution at a premium price.
Apple TV 4k offers the newer 4k resolution as well as the more common HD 1920 x 1080p. The device is expensive and you can easily use an Apple iPad or iPhone to access the same features.
Siri interactivity and ability to access your iTunes account through the box are pluses.
This budget option provides a lot of channels through a proprietary store and an easy to use interface. No voice command options at the lower price point.
Resolutions offered in the 4K and HDR10 range only on the Stick+ and Ultra but for a quick start and low investment, this is the way to go.
One thing that makes Roku so good as streaming boxes for TVs is the wide variety of apps that make it a true media center over a channel selector.
The low price also makes it easy to access the best IPTV subscriptions and services.
When you want consistent quality in your video with high buffering and low impact to the TV itself, the Nvidia shield is the way to go. More a miniature media computer than an Internet box for TV.
The Nvidia Shield offers the ability to play games as well as television. The processor works well with streamed content transmitted from a phone or tablet to be viewed on a tv.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
An Alexa powered, easy to use, thumbstick. All the top of the line visual resolutions is supported like HDR10 and 4k.
It also doubles as a DVR, allowing you to record live programs and watch them later.
This device can even be accessed from other devices wirelessly. This allows you to view a program from multiple TVs from one device.
More a relay than any of the other options presented. Google Cast enables you to send information from your tablet or phone to the television.
You can then use your device as a remote, changing channel, adjusting volume, or even queuing programs to run after each other.
The choice is yours. Each of the listed Internet TV boxes provides loads of entertainment at your virtual command. Get yours picked up and easily installed now so you can keep up on the Eurovision finals!