Streaming TV and Movies, Simplified! The Top Ways to Watch Hulu, Amazon and Netflix, and ChromeCast

Streaming allows you to watch what you want, when you want it. But with so many product offerings, including smart TVs, streaming devices, and apps, there's no one right way to have that content delivered. Here's a look at some of the best options.

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Once upon a time, if you wanted to see a movie, you went to the theater and sat in a cozy chair in front of a mega screen. As the years passed, those movies became viewable at home through laser discs, VHS tapes, and later on DVD.

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But today, media lovers might have found happily ever after with streaming. The on-demand trend has become so popular that millions of American households are dropping cable or satellite service and instead, relying on smart TVs, streaming devices, and apps to catch that must-see television show whenever -- and wherever -- it's most convenient. Although streaming has been around for a few years, new product offerings and services make the decisions tricky. 


Before subscribing to a streaming service, buying a device, or investing in a smart TV, make sure the way it works is a good match for your home and life.

Key considerations: Is the system compatible with other products you already have, including Android, iOS devices, Apple mobile, or a gaming console? Do you need to store content, and if so, how much space is available? What apps are compatible with your device? And finally, and perhaps most importantly, is your favorite regular programming available on your streaming service? The catalog of television programs and movies varies. 


There are a growing number of ways users can stream content onto their televisions.

  • Smart TVs allow you to stream programs without a separate device or product. Just a few clicks and you can binge on the latest hot television show or dig deep into the archives for full seasons of classic TV shows.
  • If you're not in the market for a new television, there are other ways to stream content. Amazon's Fire TV player lets you use voice commands to search content. Apple TV can stream from iTunes, which makes sense for die-hard Apple enthusiasts.
  • If you have gamers in your house, the PS4 can do double-duty, streaming video from some apps. It also offers the benefit of a Blu-ray player. The Xbox One also streams content from Netflix and other apps.
  • The Roku box or their latest offering, the streaming stick, provide yet another way to watch content, with over 1,000 channels and 31,000 movies.
  • The Samsung Smart Media Player offers programming from more than 100 apps but not from Hulu.
  • The Google Chromecast is inexpensive, easy to set up, and works like a thumb drive.

There are even more devices and products on the market to help you stream content. Be sure to do your homework to get the combination of products and services that works best for you.

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