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Stream Internet Video on your TV with a Streaming Media Player

Updated on January 5, 2011

How to watch movies and videos on your TV using your high-speed Internet connection

Tired of watching internet videos on your tiny computer monitor? A streaming media player is your solution. Streaming media players (also known as network media players) are rising in popularity. With one, you can finally enjoy movies and internet videos on a TV screen in the comforts of your living room.

A media streamer is easy to use too. Just hook it up to your TV or home entertainment system with an HDMI cable and you're good to go. Most of these digital media streamers give you an option to plug in an external hard drive so you can play your own music and movie files.

Below is a selection of the best streaming media players for under $100 as well as a list of sites from where you can legally stream free TV shows and videos. Enjoy!

Photo: Roku XD Streaming Player 1080p

The Best Media Players For Under $100

Find a great network media player that can stream internet video from the list below.

Roku XDS Streaming Player - Watch movies on your TV using your high-speed Internet connection

Roku is a little black box that allows you to instantly stream tons of entertainment on your TV. Watch over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and more. Listen to music on Pandora, or listen to your own iTunes playlists. It also has a USB port for playing stored photos, music, and videos stored on an external hard drive. Simply connect to your TV and to your high-speed Internet service and enjoy!

If you want a basic networked media player for streaming files for under $100, this is it. The file format support is limited so its best used for streaming videos online on your TV.

Roku XDS Streaming Player 1080p
Roku XDS Streaming Player 1080p

The all-new, top-of-the-line Roku XDS sets a new standard with 1080p streaming video, the latest wireless technology, and Instant Replay. Does not require a PC for streaming. All for under $100!

File Formats Supported

MP4 video, MP3 or AAC audio, and PNG or JPG photos

 

Apple TV (2010) - Stream HD movies and TV shows rented from iTunes plus content from Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, and MobileMe

The sleek new Apple TV is small in size but big on entertainment. Rent from the largest selection of HD movies or rent TV shows in HD, commercial free. Stream directly from the huge catalog of Netflix titles. Watch your favorite YouTube videos. And enjoy music and photos from your home computer on your home theater system. All you need is a single HDMI cable to set it up.

Western Digital WD TV Live Plus HD Media Player - Stream Netflix and other online media and play almost any type of media file

Experience your movies, music, and photos as big as life on your TV in Full-HD. Stream YouTube, Flickr, Pandora, daily video podcasts from CNN, NBC, MTV, ESPN, and other online content. WD TV Live Plus HD media player supports a wide variety of the most popular file formats so there's no need to spend time transcoding. The Ethernet port lets you connect this media player to your home network so you can access and stream video, view photos, and play music from any Mac, PC, and network drive in your house. This player supports DVD navigation and has two USB ports.

WD TV Live Plus 1080p HD Media Player
WD TV Live Plus 1080p HD Media Player

Play media from your home network and the Internet on your big screen TV. Plus, enjoy access to your Netflix unlimited membership and other premium content. Don't confine your movies, music, and photos to your small computer screen. Experience them as big as life on your TV in Full-HD 1080p with WD TV Live Plus HD media player.

File Formats Supported:

Video - AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9

Photo - JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG

Audio - MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, AIF/AIFF, OGG, Dolby Digital, DTS

Playlist - PLS, M3U, WPL

Subtitle - SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, SMI

 

Zinwell "ZinTV" 3-in-1 Networking-Ready HD Multimedia Player / Streamer / Torrent Downloader - The Ultimate "Media transformer" that decodes all.

Playback-ZIN-5005HD is an advanced multimedia player that brings full high-definition movies with fidelity audio to your 1080p HDTV display. It can play media files stored on any USB storage device, regardless of the device's format. Enjoy over 20,000 Internet music stations and 8,000 Internet TV programs collected from 210 countries in the world, offering stable and categorized high quality channels - all with easy search functionality.

Zinwell is a relative newcomer in the field but if you want a low-priced digital media streamer that can play most file formats, this is your best bet.

Zinwell ZIN-5005HD 'ZinTV' 3-in-1 Networking-Ready 1080p Full HD Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader
Zinwell ZIN-5005HD 'ZinTV' 3-in-1 Networking-Ready 1080p Full HD Multimedia Player/Streamer/Torrent Downloader

ZIN-5005HD supports the most high definition 1080p video formats so there's no need to install media conversion software on a separate PC. No more time wasted converting video, photos and music!

File Formats Supported

Video: MPEG 1/2/4, Divx 3/4/5/6, Xvid, H.264/AVC, VC-1, WMV9, RM/RMVB 8/9/10 (.avi, .mkv, .ts, .m2ts, .tp, .ifo, .iso, .vob, .dat, .mpg, .mp4, .mpeg, .mov, .wmv, .asf, .flv, .rm, .rmvb)

Photo: HD JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIF, TIFF

Audio:MP3, MPEG Audio, Dolby Digital, DTS, WMA, PCM, LPCM, ADPCM, FLAC, WAV, AAC, RA, OGG, MKA

Subtitle: srt, sub, smi, ssa, idx+sub

HDD/USB Drive Format Compatibility: NTFS, FAT 16/32, FAT, EXT3, HFS+

 

Patriot Box Office 1080p High-Definition Media Player - Play content from the internet and from most USB drives or any portable device.

The Patriot Box Office is an all-in-one media player that frees your digital media library and brings it to your living room. Box Office supports most media formats and offers numerous ways to connect to your media library: 3 USB ports, internal 2.5" hard drive (not included), UPnP streaming, 10/100 Ethernet connection and optional WiFi USB adapter.

Patriot Box Office 1080p High-Definition Media Player PCMPBO25 (Black)
Patriot Box Office 1080p High-Definition Media Player PCMPBO25 (Black)

The Patriot Box Office is a media player that frees your digital media library from the constraints of a PC and bridges digital media to your home entertainment system to bring your entire media library to the comfort of your living room.

File Formats Supported:

Music - WMA, MP3, Real Audio (RA)

Graphics - JPEG, BMP, PNG

Video - [MPEG-1] MPG/MPEG/DAT, [MPEG-2] MPG / MPEG / VOB / ISO / TS / TP / M2TS, [MPEG-4] MP4 / AVI / MOV, WMV9, FLA, [H.264/AVC] MKV / TS / AVI / MOV / M2TS, [DviX 3/4/5/6, Xvid] AVI / MKV, [Real Video 8/9/10] RM / RMVB

 

Micca MPLAY-HD Net 1080p Full-HD Digital Media Player and Network Streamer - A true next generation digital video device with broad video/audio codec and file f

Micca makes 1080p video playback and network media streaming affordable with the compact and convenient MPLAY-HD Net digital media player and streamer. Just connect it to your TV or HDTV as you would a DVD player and enjoy your videos, music, and photos from a USB drive, flash memory card, or through the network from UPnP sources.

This is truly a great product for its price!

Micca MPLAY-HD Net 1080p Full-HD Digital Media Player and Network Streamer With UPnP Client and Internet Radio
Micca MPLAY-HD Net 1080p Full-HD Digital Media Player and Network Streamer With UPnP Client and Internet Radio

The MPLAY-HD Net can access videos up to 720p from UPnP sources such as Windows XP/Vista/7 computers (PlayOn not supported). Hundreds of Internet radio stations are also available, as well as photo albums on Picasa and Flickr. The MPLAY-HD can be used with all TVs, HDTVs and home theater systems.

File Formats Supported:

Video Files: MKV, AVI, MP4, MOV, XVID, TS, M2TS, RM, RMVB, DAT, MPG, MPEG, VOB

Video Codecs: H.264/AVC BP/MP/HiP L4.1,MPEG1/2/4, DivX/Xvid, Real Video

Audio Codecs: MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, AAC, FLAC, APE, PCM, DTS, AC3, RA, AMR

Photo Files: JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF

Subtitle: SUB, ASS, SRT, SSA, SMI, IDX+SUB

Other: DVD VIDEO_TS with menu

 

Other Network Media Players in the market - Watch internet videos with the following high-rated media streamers.

Streaming Media Player Reviews on Youtube - Get the hard facts before you buy a wifi media player

Will you be buying a streaming media player anytime soon? - Or do you already have one? Tell me about it here.

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    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 6 years ago

      great info :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am looking for a streaming media player, I will be buying one soon.