Streaming Capabilities

Streaming media is the latest craze in the home theater world.  A TV, Blu-ray player, or receiver with streaming capabilities can directly access movies, music, YouTube, videos, local weather and more directly from the internet.  There are four ways to do it, and it will depend on the equipment you buy as to which method you use.

1. Run a network (cat5) cable from your router directly to the streaming device.  This will provide the fastest and most reliable connection.  This method works for any device with network abilities.

2. Buy a wireless (also called Wi-Fi) adapter module.  This is often called a Wi-Fi gaming adapter.  It is a wireless module that connects to your device using a standard ethernet cable providing a connection to your Wi-Fi network.

3. Some devices (TV, Blu-ray, receiver, etc) are Wi-Fi ready.  That means they have the capabilities to use a wireless network, but need an additional adapter commonly called a “dongle.”  They are really easy to install. Just plug it into the USB port and you’re done.

4. Higher-end devices will come complete with the Wi-Fi components already built inside.

With any wireless method, you will need to have your network key if you are using a secure network.  If you don’t know your key, you will most likely have to reconfigure your network which sounds harder than it is.

Some of the more popular media streams you can get are Netflix, Rhapsody, Pandora, Blockbuster Video, and YouTube.  If you haven’t tried any of these, you don’t know what you’re missing.  This truly is the future of TV.  There is no doubt that someday, we will get all of our content (movies, music, TV) by streaming it from the internet.

Streaming is worth anything you have to do to make it happen.  We use a wired network in my home, and we stream Netflix from our TiVo.  Anytime we want to watch a movie, we just click “Netflix” on our TiVo and select the movie we want.  It takes about 20 seconds to load and doesn’t cost us anything more than what we pay for our standard Netflix account.  We can even download entire seasons of our favorite TV shows so we can watch them commercial free.  We are not advertisers for any media providers, but we are big fans.  WE LOVE IT!!! 

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