A Fire Stick allows you to turn any television with an HDMI input into a smart television that streams Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. The FireStick is arguably one of the best ways to cut the cable. The Amazon FireStick is a streaming device that plugs into your television and gives you access to over 125 channels, apps, and games including Netflix, HBO Now, YouTube, and much more for just $39.99! There are many other features on it as well like voice search for movies, shows, or even apps on the firestick itself. It also has a remote so no need to worry about looking all over for your controller in between binge-watching sessions!
If you’re looking for a free, open-source media player that can play all kinds of media files, VLC is a great option. Its excellent support for subtitles also makes it an ideal app for watching foreign films and anime. It’s even useful for those who want to do a little podcasting or videocasting from their phones or tablets. (Free)
3. Send Files to TV (SFTV)
If you’re like most smartphone users, you probably carry your phone with you everywhere you go. Now, thanks to SFTV, that’s not a problem; it uses Wi-Fi Direct technology to send files wirelessly from your computer or smartphone to an HDTV equipped with an MHL cable or adapter. If a photo is worth 1,000 words, how many words are in a 3D photo?
If you already have a massive music library that can’t be burned to a CD, Spotify may be your best option. Available on every major device platform, Spotify is an all-you-can-eat streaming music service with tens of millions of songs available at your fingertips. New releases are usually available immediately but don’t expect to find much beyond what’s popular on stations like VH1 Top 40 and Last FM charts. Just recently, it launched its own standalone app for Chromecast (available in beta), which lets you stream playlists from Spotify directly to your TV. The app also has a listen-on phone feature, which allows users to stream any song in their library directly from their smartphone to their Chromecast-enabled devices. This essentially makes Chromecast speakers just another outlet for access via smartphones — as long as they have a decent WiFi connection.
5. Youtube TV
In some ways, YouTube is already a video-on-demand (VOD) service—but it’s also so much more. While you can watch individual shows and movies on YouTube, its main draw is channel surfing. One minute you’re watching a cooking show, then an exercise video comes on next and then you’re reminiscing about when MTV played music videos. There are currently thousands of viewing options available on YouTube, but not all of them are created equal. That’s why we put together a list of our favorite apps for streaming content like sports or television to your big screen—even if they aren’t specifically made for that purpose. Here are some great ones to check out
6. Google Chrome
Watching videos is where you’ll spend most of your time on Chromecast, so there’s no better way to do it than with Google Chrome. You can cast almost any tab in Chrome and if you buy an additional $15 Chromecast device, you can even stream content from your computer to your television. Web apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Pandora are supported too (note: not all web apps support offline viewing yet). Keep in mind that streaming quality depends entirely on your Internet connection; our 50 Mbps download speed delivered buttery-smooth 1080p video. Even if you don’t have a Chromecast device, it’s still worth installing for free via Google Play for PC viewing when necessary.
7. Sling TV
SlingTV is an online streaming service that provides live and on-demand access to popular TV channels for a monthly fee. The service’s DVR feature, which offers 50 hours of recording storage, allows users to skip through commercials for recorded shows. SlingTV occasionally offers two-month deals on certain cable channels. These deals can be accessed using codes from Sling’s website and require a credit card to redeem. It’s important to keep track of when your membership expires so you know whether or not you’ll have access to SlingTV services after expiration. Most plans require a 7-day free trial before beginning billing, but other offers are only good for one month or do not include a free trial at all.
8. Netflix, HBO Now
To get started on your streaming-TV journey, grab yourself a subscription to Netflix or HBO Now. Both are pretty affordable—Netflix starts at $8 per month, while HBO Now costs $15—and has a great selection of shows and movies. The best part? You can watch them on almost any device that’s connected to your big screen, which is great if you don’t have a smart TV or use it as much as you want. If you want something else, Hulu is also an option and starts at $8 per month with commercials; CBS All Access is another good choice and will run you about $6 per month but does require a cable login from most major networks (unless you live in certain cities where local stations may be available for free).
9. Google Drive
The drive turns your TV into a home theater PC. Store all of your favorite movies, shows, and music in Google Drive and stream them straight to your TV with Google Chromecast. With its beautiful interface, you can easily browse through everything in your collection without any hassle. The best part is that you don’t need to spend hours converting files or copy-pasting URLs. Simply stream anything right from Drive onto your television—it’s that easy!
10. MX Player
It’s considered to be one of the best video players as far as android televisions are concerned. It is quite flexible to convert the screen sizes from small to large. MX Player can also read both locally saved files and content from external drives, making it an excellent companion for anyone whose Android TV device has USB ports.
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