by Evan Wade
It's no secret that even with their increasing prices and overwhelming arrays of channels, cable and satellite providers are still losing popularity. Today, more and more people are making the switch to streaming TV services that give them on-demand access to the shows and movies they love via an internet connection.
If you've decided to cut ties with your cable provider, but aren't sure where to start when it comes to choosing streaming TV devices, it's time to do some research. To get you started, check out three of the best streaming media devices available today, and learn what might make one of them perfect for you.
1. Apple TV: The Original Streamer In many ways, Apple TV has been a pioneer in the realm of streaming media devices. This sleek, black, puck-shaped device is one of the most popular streaming TV devices around, thanks to its large selection of streaming services (including Netflix and Hulu Plus).
Apple TV is about more than just watching your favorite shows. Because it connects wirelessly with other Apple devices, you can use your iPhone, iPad or Mac as a remote control for this streaming media player. Whether you want to flip through your iTunes music collection, stream video from your iPhone or play your favorite mobile games using the TV as a screen, you can do it with Apple TV.
If you make frequent use of other Apple gadgets, this one's for you. However, you don't have to be an Apple user to love an Apple TV: A remote also comes in the box, making it easy for everyone to get in on the streaming fun.
2. Chromecast: Small Device, Big Power Chromecast, which looks more like a USB stick than a streaming media device, is a great option for users who have wall-mounted TVs or limited space. And because Chromecast works well with most TV brands, it's convenient.
The best thing about Chromecast is that it offers users the freedom to choose from a large collection of programming. Tons of services have Chromecast functionality, so it's perfect for streaming small, seemingly obscure programs directly to your television, along with major channels such as MTV, ABC and Comedy Central.
Then there are the standard apps that come with Chromecast. Services such as Pandora, iHeartRadio and YouTube offer Chromecast applications that can be streamed to the television, which is a big perk for users who want a big-screen experience. Throw in a competitive price point, and you have one of the best TV streaming devices around.
3. Roku: Freedom of Choice Roku streaming TV devices are all about giving users options. They range in price, size and functionality, and they offer a wide selection of apps and software. Boasting over 2,000 channels (including mainstays such as HBO Go and Amazon Instant Video, and network offerings such as FOX NOW and Watch ESPN) you'll always have something to watch with a Roku. The devices offer a huge selection of free apps, including PBS and the hugely popular Crackle.
All these features make Roku devices perfect for anyone who wants a huge selection of media to watch. If the other devices aren't doing it for you, do yourself a favor and check these out.
Whatever you want to stream, however you want to stream it, there's a broad selection of streaming TV devices to suit your needs. Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku are three of the best media streaming devices, and they make streaming your favorite programs easy.