Thanks to advances in TV technology, modern TVs are much thinner and lighter than the clunky boxes that used to take up entire cabinets. This allows you to place your screen in places that were previously impossible, mounting them on walls and above mantles. In order to avoid a tangle of unsightly cables, wireless televisions allow you to connect your TV to instant entertainment through a Wi-Fi connection.
There are two different wireless television products to choose from; smart TVs and wireless streaming devices. Both create a more interactive television experience and give you more freedom when choosing where to place your TV.
A smart TV is a kind of television-computer hybrid that integrates your viewing experience with online content and features. Brands like Samsung, LG, VIZIO and Sharp make smart TVs that contain built-in wireless technology so you can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network.
Smart TVs feature a variety of Internet apps that you can link to your online accounts. This allows you to stream videos, Internet content and movies from services like Netflix®, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Instant and iTunes. Smart TVs also contain social media apps that let you share what you are watching on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Wireless Streaming Devices
If you don’t have a smart TV, you can still enjoy wireless entertainment on your television with a wireless streaming device. These devices plug directly into your television’s HDMI port and allow you to wirelessly stream shows and movies. There are several different options of wireless streaming device including the Google Chromecast, the Apple TV and Roku. Like a smart TV, each device gives you access to various Internet apps so that you can stream content on your TV.
Current Gaming Consoles
Some people also opt to use current gaming consoles as wireless streaming devices. The PlayStation 3 and 4 from Sony, for example, boast free Netflix® and Hulu Plus apps that can be downloaded for access to streaming content. Of course, you need an account with Netflix® or Hulu in order for these to work on your system.
In the case of the PlayStation, there is also an exclusive Netflix® feature called Max. Max runs like an interactive gameshow where you answer questions, rate shows or movies, specify what you’re in the mood for and, hopefully, end up with a program geared toward your needs. There’s plenty of personality and fun to be had with this particular feature that takes all the monotony out of filling out ratings or answering surveys.
Microsoft’s Xbox also features streaming apps like Netflix and HBO GO®. So, if a wireless TV isn’t an ideal investment and wireless streaming devices like Roku are a no-go, gaming consoles offer a good alternative.
How much is too much?
When it comes to a smart TV, you want to be wary of the nefarious bells and whistles. Most of these – voice activation, motion controls, etc. – really are not relevant to the overall experience. In some cases, they may even hinder your viewing. Be wary of these and shop for the model with the features that will enhance your television viewing without unnecessary gimmicks.