Sunday, August 4, 2013

Casual Tech User 9: Create Smarter TV | Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast

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Adding smart TV features such as Netflx and YouTube to your existing television can be as simple as 1, 2 or 3.
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • Roku
In this episode, Ron discusses his impressions of the positive (+) and negative (-) aspects of each of these units.
  • Apple TV ($99 range)
    • + Best for Apple-only users, including AirPlay Apple devices to TV
    • + Only unit offering iTunes
    • - Requires HDMI input on TV
    • - Less than 20 apps currently on the interface
  • Google Chromecast ($35)
    • - Currently very limited features: Netflix and YouTube, plus other features limited to specific operating systems.
    • + $35 price
    • + Seems faster than other units to play content
    • - Requires HDMI input on TV
  • Roku ($50 to $99)
    • + Considered best by some experts for non-Apple users
    • + Offers 750+ channels (apps)
    • + Non-HDMI units available in the $50 to $99 range
    • - No iTunes or YouTube channels currently available
In addition to the units listed above, several external devices presently have the capability of adding smart TV features to your existing television. These include:
  • Video game consoles
  • Blu-Ray disc players
  • Some commercial DVRs
While many consumers report owning a smart TV, reportedly less than one-half have been connected to the internet. And, many of the external devices offering internet operations have interfaces that are considered too cumbersome for many casual users to comfortably operate.

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