If you a looking for a better solution than connecting a computer to your TV so you can watch internet streaming video then check out the following methods for accessing a plethora of video streaming content–some free and some requiring rental, purchase, or subscription.
There are several ways to accomplish this. Here are some of the most popular.
Internet Set-top Boxes
One way is to purchase a set-top box that hooks into your broadband Internet connection. They receive streaming video from sites compatible with the device (and sometimes files saved on networked computers), and translates the video into a format that can be viewed on your HDTV.
Here is a list, with their features of the most popular set-top boxes that can help you access Internet video streaming sites.
There are also a variety of Internet-ready game consoles.
There are three major gaming consoles that provide some level of video streaming capabilities. Both the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii provide free access to TV shows and movies streamed from Netflix.
The Xbox 360 also provides access to Netflix streaming, however you must be an Xbox LIVE Gold member (a $49.99 annual subscription).
An Internet-ready TV
An Internet ready TV performs many of the same features offered by the external set-top boxes and game consoles–but without the extra hardware. Many HDTVs now include browser and video file translation software that connect to a variety of Internet video streaming sites, ranging from free sharing sites like YouTube to purchase/rental/subscription sites like Amazon Video On Demand and Netflix.
These televisions are equipped with an Ethernet port and often a wireless connection. Once connected to your router, they use your broadband Internet connection to provide you with content.
Network-Ready Blu-ray Disc Players
Some Blu-ray Disc players include Internet video streaming capabilities. They require wired Ethernet or wireless Wi-Fi network. For example, the LG BD570 Network Blu-ray Disc Player features Netflix streaming, while several Panasonic BD players (such as the Panasonic DMP-BD85K WiFi Enabled Blu-Ray Disc Player) include access to both Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand.
As you can see there are quite a few ways you can stream internet video to your TV without a computer. If you are not in the market for a new TV or video game console then an Internet set top box might be the way to go. They are designed to maximize the internet streaming experience and nothing else.
When purchasing a TV, picture, size and sound quality should be the primary features you decide upon and Internet streaming secondary. The same goes for a DVD player or a gaming console.