When you put a home theater in your house, you don’t have to worry about stocking up on Blu-Rays and DVDs or subscribing to cable movie channels, which can be costly. Streaming devices make it easy and cost-effective to cut the cord while still being able to enjoy watching plenty of movies in your home theater. These devices allow you to stream movies or TV shows as long as you have a good Wi-Fi connection. You might also need HDMI to connect certain streaming devices to your TV. If you’re trying to determine which streaming devices to choose for your home theater, keep the following in mind.
Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and Android TV are examples of streaming devices you plug into your TV. Some of these devices, such as Apple TV and Android TV, come with built-in apps that you can use to purchase or rent movies to stream. Other devices, such as Google Chromecast, don’t have built-in apps. However, you can use apps on your smartphone to stream content on these devices. Choose a plug-in streaming device based on the smartphone or tablet you have, such as Apple TV if you use iOS devices or Android TV if you use Android devices. Keep in mind that some streaming devices, such as Roku, work with both iOS and Android devices.
If you prefer not having to set up a plug-in streaming device, consider going with a smart TV for your home theater. Some smart TVs come with Roku, Android TV or another streaming device built in, while others use their own platforms, such as Samsung. When you get a smart TV, you can stream movies and shows right from the TV without having to plug in a streaming device. This can provide you with convenience if you don’t want to deal with additional devices and cords.
Some gaming consoles can stream movies and other content. If you plan to use your home theater for gaming and watching movies, you can easily use one of your consoles for streaming. For example, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both provide streaming from Netflix, Disney+ and other entertainment sources. Using a game console for streaming allows you to cut back on the number of devices and cords you have in your home theater.
If you have a collection of Blu-Ray discs that you plan on watching in your home theater, keep in mind that these Blu-Ray disc players can double as streaming devices. You might not have as many options to choose from as you would with plug-in streaming devices, smart TVs or gaming consoles, but you’ll still be able to access some movies and shows to stream. Using a Blu-Ray disc player as a streaming device makes sense if you’ll mainly be watching DVDs and Blu-Rays that you already have at home rather than looking for a wide selection of streaming content.