If you’ve still used an older TV and you want to watch on-demand content, you would need to purchase an internet streaming device. There are many streaming devices on the market. In general, they come in the form of a TV box or a TV stick.
TV streaming devices connect to the internet in order to allow you to browse popular websites, stream live TV shows, and access catch-up TV services. They can effectively turn your old TV into a smart TV. The technology is relatively new, but there are various models available, from brands like Roku, Sky, Google and Apple. The majority of the internet TV boxes perform just one function at the moment. If you want to access digital TV features such as pay-TV, you will still need a separate device.
If you want to add online video streaming to your home AV system, you can choose between a stick version that connects directly to the TV’s HDMI port or a small set-top-box player. We will explain here how to choose between a streaming box and a streaming stick and how to select the best model.
All modern HDTV broadcasts are either at a resolution of 1080i or 720p. Stations such as NBC, CBS and others are 1080i. ESPN, ABC, and Fox are 720p. Most of the TV boxes and sticks sold today are HDTV capable and they can be set to output a specific resolution.
CPU and RAM
How fast your streaming apps are running depends, of course, on what hardware you have. For the popular streaming Kodi app the minimum requirements are 1 GB of RAM and a Dual Core 2.0 GHz CPU. Of course, the app will run better on more RAM and a faster CPU.
SPDIF Audio Out
Some TV streaming devices come with an SPDIF audio out. The SPDIF is an optical audio port still in use today. This would be useful the case that you want to keep some audio gear in service.
TV streaming devices come with ROM for internal storage used for installed apps, thumbnails, operating system and cache. You can usually add more internal storage because most devices include an SD or Micro-SD card slot.
Most of the TV boxes and TV sticks come with software preinstalled. One of the most popular software for TV streaming is Kodi. Others widely used TV streaming apps include BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and YouTube.
DLNA is one of the most widely accepted standards for online TV streaming. Most streaming boxes and sticks, smartphones and smart TVs are supporting this standard. Miracast is another industry standard used by thousands of receivers sold today. However, the problem is that these Miracast-enabled devices rarely work well with each other.
In order to connect to your broadband network for streaming, most of TV boxes and sticks can use Wi-Fi. If you have a strong Wi-Fi connection, then it is most likely that you may be satisfied with that. However, it is recommended to use a wired Ethernet connection to your router for more reliable streaming, especially for high-definition games and movies.
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