How to make your TV smart: our 7 best streaming devices

Posted July 7, 2015 - Blog Posts

You don’t always need a smart TV to explore the world of online entertainment. A media streaming device will connect your Freeview HD TV to your Wi-Fi. You can then beam a range of films and box sets from your smartphone, tablet and laptop straight to your big screen. Sounds simple right? Well, it’s rare for one device to offer everything you want. This is why it’s important to check the services that are available before you buy.

Google Chromecast (around £30)

Cheap and blissfully easy to use. Simply plug this compact HDMI dongle into the back of your TV for quick and effortless streaming from your smartphone, tablet, or PC, using Google Chrome Browser or the Chromecast app. And with your mobile device as acting as the remote, you can then stream content from BBC iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube and other services straight to your TV.

Google ChromecastApple TV (around £80)

In true Apple style, the design is both slick and intuitive. Apple TV lets you easily stream iTunes content from your PC, Mac, iPad or iPhone running Apple’s software. And like the rest of iTunes, you just pay for what you want. The interface is presented in a clean, uncluttered way with apps for a range of on-demand services. If you’re a fan of everything Apple, you should consider Apple TV even if you already own a smart TV.

Apple TVAmazon Fire TV (around £80)

This immaculately designed set-top box plugs straight into an Amazon account – making it easy to stream any TV programme or film from Amazon Instant Video to your TV. But you can access other services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 with no problem thanks to a range of pre-installed apps. A small remote with a microphone for voice searches, make exploring content a cinch.

Amazon Fire TV Roku 3 (around £70)

This premium all-rounder gets great reviews. Not only does the latest Roku 3 let you enjoy TV programmes and films from the likes of Netflix and BBC iPlayer, you can also stream music from Spotify and other services and play a selection of files from a USB drive. The supplied remote can also be used as a motion controller, which is handy for apps and games.

Roku 3

 

Now TV (around £10)

Despite being limited to only 720p video output, Sky’s Now TV box is great value for money. The device is designed to stream Sky’s Now TV service, including movies, entertainment and sports channels. The box also has apps for BBC iPlayer, the ITV Hub, All 4 and Demand 5, as well as YouTube, BBC Sport and Spotify.

Now TVPhilips HMP2000 (around £50)

This small box looks good and won’t take up much space. The unit itself is very easy to install, simply plug in the external power plug and HDMI cable to the TV, then log in to your wireless network – you’ll be up and running in no time. A small, credit-card style remote makes it easy to navigate on-demand services like Netflix, Facebook and YouTube.

 

 

HMP2000_05-RTP-global-001Prestigio MultiCenter (around £115)

This box is well connected. The Prestigio MultiCenter makes it easy to manage your own videos and photos thanks to HDMI connectivity, two USB ports, a microSDcard slot, an Ethernet socket in case you’d rather not use Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 to hook up a keyboard or other input device. Exploring online content is simple too with a dedicated Remote Control app for iOS and Android devices.

Prestigio MultiCenter

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