/// The Many Internet-Video Options for TVs

August 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital


[ See post to watch video ] Watching TV shows, movies and other video via the Internet on your big-screen television has become all the rage. But the proliferation of devices and methods for doing so has made the whole thing mighty confusing. Should you buy a “smart TV” to watch, say, Netflix? Or should you make an older TV “smart” by attaching a box that includes Netflix? Or should you buy an adapter and just beam Netflix wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet? And then, should you stream a movie or download it? Do you have to pay to get TV shows and movies from the Internet, or can you get them for free? There’s no one right answer for everyone, or every situation. To help sort out the choices, here’s a primer for watching Internet video on a TV, legally. This isn’t a review of any one product and it’s aimed at average, non-techie consumers. Techies reading this won’t find some of the more obscure products and methods. I’ve also chosen to omit the oldest, but most complex, method — hooking up a PC to a TV using cables. That’s so 2008. Streaming vs. Beaming vs. Downloading First, let’s sort out some confusing terms. Downloading, the method used by Apple’s iTunes, usually means you are buying or renting a show or movie individually and typically storing it on your device. Streaming, used by services like YouTube or Netflix, generally means you aren’t buying a program or film, but are watching it as it flows from the company’s servers. Beaming simply means you’re streaming the video from a smartphone, tablet or PC to the TV, usually via an adapter device plugged into the TV. But when watching Internet video on a TV, it isn’t that simple

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The Many Internet-Video Options for TVs


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