In our house we still have these big old square TVs that you need at least two people with lots of muscle to move around.  We believe that if it still works, then keep using it until you NEED to replace it, NOT want to replace it!

old tv

I did finally get a small ”smart TV,” but in my opinion it’s not as smart as I would like it to be.  I don’t know if it exists (I will have to research this), but a Smart TV to me would be where I say “turn on, change to this channel” or say what I want to watch and, voila, that’s exactly what is on the TV.  Or I say: “go to Facebook and post this for me” and it does it.  To be honest, if I want to look at Facebook or tweet something on Twitter, I use my smart phone, tablet or laptop, not my smart TV. I will say that smart TV’s are good for YouTube Videos though, and I like to stream Netflix and Amazon videos on my smart TV.  Goodness, it sounds like I am a geek or something!

I think the big appeal of smart TVs is the built-in wireless internet connectivity without having to use an additional device (see below).  The smart TVs can let you search the internet, check your email, do Facebook and basically anything else you would do on the internet.  The problem, in my opinion, is that doing these things on the smart TV are not nearly as easy as on your computer, laptop, tablet or phone.

unnamed

 

But there are a few alternatives out there if you don’t have a smart TV.  I will only speak to what I am familiar with.  For more information, go to a techy site.

One site I go to is: http://www.cnet.com/  or just search in the search engine you use.  Look for reviews on what you are looking to purchase and do your research from there.

We have ROKU and it’s been overall a great inexpensive way to go.  Roku streams via an internet connection (wired or wireless) to your TV.  They sell for between $49 to $99.  Roku offers over 1,000 channels!  Some of the channels included: Amazon Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle, PBS, PBS Kids, Fox News, Pandora, NFL, HBO Go, Disney Channel, Watch ESPN, I heart Radio and much more.  Most channels are free and some have a fee, so do some research on which channels you would want.  To learn more go to their site:  http://www.roku.com/

We have been thinking about getting Google ChromeCast which is another way to go if you have the right TV for it.  This is a low cost option ($35 most places) which allows you to stream internet content from a device (desktop PC, tablet, phone) directly to your TV. The channels are somewhat limited at this time, but should increase.  You can learn more here:  http://www.google.com/intl/en-US/chrome/devices/chromecast/

Apple TV http://www.apple.com/appletv/  is what my neighbors and some of our friends have. They love many of the features, including the ability to stream their photos across the screen.  The downfall is if you have friends over and your photos are on the screen, there maybe some that you don’t want them to see….  But overall, people who have Apple TV love it!

Most Blue Ray DVD Players have built-in wireless internet connectivity which allows you to stream the major providers (i.e. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others that will vary from device to device).  Since it also plays DVDs, you can accomplish two goals with just one device.

A lot of kids today have Wii’s, Playstations, or X-Box gaming consoles.  These consoles usually have built-in wireless internet connectivity and will stream the major channels also (i.e. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc).  As with the Blue Ray players, these consoles do double duty in just one device (actually triple duty as many will play DVDs also!).

So as you can see, there are a lot of choices.  Tell us if you have one of the above or another way that you watch your favorite TV program or movies.  And how do you watch Sports?

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