Streaming television and movies is all the rage. Streaming involves receiving data (for example: TV shows, movies and music) to your television or devices. There are two ways to stream: live-streaming via apps and streaming via a device. You probably already know that Netflix, Stan and Presto are the most popular online streaming services in Australia, enabling you to watch content on your personal computer and tablet. However, today, we’re going to look at the best streaming devices for your TV.
Invented by Apple, Apple TV lets you purchase and hire movies, TV shows, sports, film trailers, YouTube clips and more through iTunes. For users of Apple products, this is a good option because it connects to your iTune account, meaning your iPhone, iPad and Mac computer can all be tied in together. You will need an internet connection (wifi or ethernet) to enable Apple TV.
Apple TV is provided via a small black set-top box (console) that connects to your TV and a remote control. Its main purpose is as a Video On Demand streaming service. This basically means content is streamed to your TV from the internet, via the console. Apple TV consoles are available at electrical retailers, such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi for around $240.
Fetch TV is a paid subscription service that connects to your internet service provider (ISP) to provide you with movies, TV shows and more, straight to your TV via a set-top box and a remote control. When you first get Fetch TV, you’ll receive the Starter Pack, which offers you:
- a TV recording service
- TV show and movie hire or purchase options
- catch-up TV
- the ability to use streaming apps, such as Netflix
- the option to watch content on your devices
- 30 free movies to watch every month.
Apple TV consoles are available at electrical retailers, such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Hi in two versions: the Mini and the Mighty, for around $150 and $400, respectively. Different ISPs can offer unique plans and pricing, so it’s best to check if you provider can offer a good deal.
Powered by Google, Chromecast allows you to stream internet and video to you TV from any computer or Android or Apple smartphone or tablet. You can have access to your favourite TV shows, movies, music, sports, games and more via GooglePlay. It can also stream from your internet browser, meaning that you can watch YouTube, ABC’s iview and much more website content right on your TV. You will need an internet connection (wifi or ethernet) to enable Chromecast.
Instead of a console, Chromecast is available by way of a ‘dongle’ that plugs straight into the HDMI port of your TV. You can pick one up from many electrical retailers, such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Officeworks for around $60.
Telstra TV’s response to streaming devices is Roku. This device will work with any broadband provider but is best suited to Telstra customers, since it provides unlimited streaming of movies, music, TV shows etc. If you sign up to a Telstra broadband deal, many packages include Roku for free, so it’s definitely worth checking out. Roku is compatible with both Android and Apple devices and you will need an internet connection (wifi or ethernet) to enable it.
Roku is available as a ‘dongle’ that plugs straight into the HDMI port of your TV. It’s not officially available to buy in Australia, except via Telstra. You could look into buying one from an international seller. In the US, Roku retails for around AU$64.