Choosing a Media Player
Growing up as a child in the 1970's I remember the days when there were only a few television stations. We had the "Big Three" as well as a few others that seemed to come in best only when the Sun was shining. Those days are long gone. Today, we live in an increasingly connected society. If your like me bought a new HD flat panel television before all the "Smart Tv's" hit the market, don't fret. There are many ways in which you can now connect your television to the internet and stream your favorite Netflix shows.
When shopping for a media player, it's important to look for one that has all the features you want. If your heavily invested in the Apple infrastructure, then an AppleTV might be for you. AppleTV works seamlessly with both the iPhone and iPad. It gives you access to your iTunes library and with Airplay, you can mirror content from your iPad or iPhone to your TV. AppleTV supports Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n. Connect with HDMI for the best viewing experience.
If you're looking for a media player that has a lot of content then consider a Roku device. I have both an AppleTV and a Roku, and I like my AppleTV but I love my Roku. There are more than 700 channels to choose from. There is everything from Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime as well as free college channels that let you watch various lectures. They always seem to adding new channels.
Roku 2 HS supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b,g,n. There is even a free Android and iOS app that will let you use your phone as a remote. One of my favorite channels is PLEX media server. I can stream content from my computer to my TV with ease. The Roku 2 HS also comes with a micro sd slot so you can store more channels and games.
As much as I do love my Roku media box, the one thing I wish it came with was a browser. That's where the Vizio co-star comes in. This media box brings the power of Google right to your TV. With the Vizio co-star you can search the web using Google Chrome, download your favorite app in Google Play or stream 1080p movies and tv shows. The Vizio co-star also supports Wi-Fi 802.11n,g,b. The universal remote comes with a built-in QWERTY keyboard and is Blue-tooth enabled.
These are just a few of the models that are on the market. There are no set rules when it comes to buying a media box but it is important to know what feature you want and what can you live without. I suspect that over the coming decades as technology progresses, we'll all look back at our fancy HD1080p, smart televisions and reminisce about the good old days when families actually sat down to watch a tv show.