The Best Online Television Devices Make Streaming Easy, Convenient, and Fun

With streaming video becoming such an important part of life for many people, television manufacturers are doing everything they can to help. A great many new television sets sold today include built-in streaming apps and other functionality, making it easy to get up and running with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and other services right out of the box. Many new sets even allow their owners to make use of sites like YouTube and Vimeo with built-in applications that take care of all the necessary communication. While features like these can be powerful and make it much easier than otherwise to enjoy streaming video, owners of sets that do not offer such functionality do not need to feel left out.

In fact, there are plenty of inexpensive devices today that can provide the same kinds of functionality to any suitable television set. Typically connecting via HDMI just as a Blu-ray player or other device might, they normally come with a full complement of built-in apps and can be updated with newer versions, as well. The best online television devices offer streaming experiences every bit as seamless and rewarding as those provided by high-end sets with their own, built-in functionality. In fact, some will even go beyond what televisions typically do by supporting streaming in high-resolution formats like 4k.

While these full-featured devices offered under labels like Roku and Android TV often prove to be excellent solutions, there are simpler options, as well. Google’s well-known Chromecast family of devices has competition from Apple and Amazon both, with all three companies trying to turn out products that make the streaming experience as simple as possible. Whether by asking users to turn to their trusty smartphones to enable streaming or by providing a more carefully curated selection of apps, these simpler, less-expensive products can make excellent choices, as well.

What probably matters the most is making sure that whichever product is chosen will be a good fit for a particular family or viewer. In just about every case, though, being able to enjoy streaming on demand and with no unnecessary hassle is a realistic option even for those who do not own televisions that allow for it themselves.