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The Three Methods to Watch Internet Video on TV

Updated on August 16, 2013

It use to be back in 2008, that the only way to watch Internet video on your TV was to hook up your PC to a TV with cables. I suppose many still do. But the ways to obtain Internet video comes in three flavors: Streaming, Beaming, and Downloading.

Most are familiar with downloading and streaming via a DSL or better Internet connection. Downloading will actually get the video saved onto your hard-drive and allow you to access it many times. Apple iTunes and others sell the TV shows or movies. Streaming is real-time and used by YouTube, Netflix, and others. Most of the time, they cost nothing but you may have to pay for access, as in the case of Netflix. Streaming is often problematic depending on your connection. There are often lost connections or slow connections and there are also commericals, just like TV, but much shorter.Beaming is streaming the video from a smart-phone, tablet or PC to a TV using an adapter plugged into the TV.

Smart TV's already contain many apps like Netflix and others built in, so you do not need an add-on device or change inputs on your TV to watch Internet video. They are more expensive. By paying a fee, you might be able to use your gaming consoles, like Xbox 360 or Sony Playstation to access Internet entertainment.

TiVo also offers Internet TV services like Netflix. Many people already own this. Apple TV is okay and has limited selection and will only work with Apple devices.One of the most popular add-on is Roku, which has 750 Internet services and it hooks up in minutes to a TV. Prices range from $50-100. You cannot beam it to mobile devices. Google's Chromecast is a tiny USB device that inserts into your TV. Its only $35. It can only receive beamed content from other mobile devices and has no built in apps. It is limited, so be sure it works with your devices.Then, there is the Western Digital TV Play, which is like Roku but has a more limited number of choices than Roku.

My choice is Roku. It has been around a long time and has proven to be reliable and easy to hook up and start watching.

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