TV Streaming Devices
The majority of new TVs sold are smart TVs, enabling you to connect to the internet in order to stream media, browse the web, or run apps all without the need for an additional device. However, if you’re holding on to an older TV, you could be missing out on some great added features that can seriously upgrade your entertainment options.
If you have a older TV, you can get a dedicated media streaming hub. Most media streamers allow you to set up your TV with any online streaming services to view the content you want, such as: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV and BBC iplayer to name a few.
There are four main streaming services that we would recommend, these are: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku. No matter which you choose, they each give you access to many of the most popular music and video streaming services available. All of the platforms mentioned have options for ultra high-definition (4K) and HDR content.
As our homes get smarter, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri have become our reliable digital helpers, living inside our devices and jumping at our spoken commands to set timers, play music, and teach kids how to spell those difficult homework words. Smart speakers are one of the easiest ways to get them running in your house.
Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri can control pretty much any smart home device nowadays. In the Alexa and Google apps, and with the new Siri Shortcuts feature, you can set up rooms of multiple devices to control, and set up multi-step routines. If you're going to use Siri to control your smart home, you want to make sure the smart home devices you buy are HomeKit-compatible, and you have a HomePod, iPad, or Apple TV to use as a hub.
All smart speakers can play music from your phone, but if you're relying only on voice commands, then you'll be relying on cloud services. Alexa and Google Assistant both connect to Spotify Premium accounts, as well as to Pandora, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio for free. Alexa speakers will also play Amazon music. Google Assistant speakers will play Google Play and YouTube music, including tunes you've uploaded to your own Google account library. Siri on the HomePod will play Apple Music and songs from your iCloud music library.
Most smart speakers also support Bluetooth connections so you can stream audio directly from your phone, tablet, or computer. The Google Nest Mini and Amazon Echo Dot have both made strong strides in sound quality, but they still can't really fill a room, and aren't quite good enough to be primary music speakers.