by Rob Boirun for BurnWorld.com
The Best Media Streaming Devices
The reign of physical media might be coming to an end. While DVD and Blu-ray discs will continue to line store shelves in the decade to come, they’re quickly losing ground to services like Netflix and On-Demand media provided through satellite and cable companies. The way in which people acquire and consume movies, music and television shows is rapidly evolving, and entertainment devices are evolving with it.
Streaming with consoles
Even if someone has been on board with every technological shift thus far, adapting to streaming media can still prove difficult. It’s only been within the last few years that Internet connection speeds have been fast enough to deliver HD content in real-time, and most people lack a device that’s already capable of streaming content. The exception to this are homes with a modern gaming console connected to their family’s television. Even the Nintendo Wii, which is a non-HD machine, can stream Netflix. Anyone with an Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3 is just a few steps away from enjoying the most popular streaming services in their living room. For everyone else, or for anyone that wants to use a service those devices don’t currently support, they’ll need a special box devoted to this task.
LAN or Wi-Fi?
The first consideration isn’t the most obvious: Can it connect to a Wi-Fi network or does it require a wired Internet connection? Everyone’s home is set up differently, and if the main computer isn’t in the same room as the television it can be a major hassle to physically connect devices to a router. As an example, neither of the two HD video game consoles have Wi-Fi connectivity built-in, but you can purchase wireless adapters. The Wii is Wi-Fi only; it can’t accept an ethernet cable, but the downside is that the connection may not be as fast and reliable as being directly plugged into the router. Each consumer has to determine their needs and the unique complexities of their setup so that they can be sure they’ll purchase a product that caters to them.
This excerpt is shared with permission from burnworld.com.