What kind of streaming service do you require from your home media player?
First of all, you need to determine what you are going to do with your home media player. For instance, if you only want to stream content from Netflix, most of the home media players would suit your purpose. Netflix is highly popular and can be accessed on most of these players. However, there are plenty of other options that you have – Blockbuster On Demand, Hulu and Vudu for streaming video; Live365 and Pandora for streaming music and Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket for streaming photos. Just keep in mind that these services don’t come for free and if you choose to stream too many channels, the cost could skyrocket.
Home media players with storage
Are you interested in storing the files that you stream? If yes, then you have two options to choose from. The first option is to look at home media players with integrated HDDs. The second option is to use an external HDD where all your media is stored. External HDD can be cheaper but you’ll surely benefit from having all your files in the media player you use: they’ll always be ready to launch when you want them!
Connectivity is important
There are a couple of elements to choose to make home media players versatile. The first is the wireless function. A home media player that connects using LAN can be cumbersome to use. First of all, you need to keep the media player near your PC or laptop and this may render it immobile. If your home media player can connect wirelessly, this issue is taken care of. The second element to look for is USB connectivity. This is one of the most convenient options for you because you can transfer media files between two devices, one of them being your media player, in a completely hassle-free manner.
Home media players that can connect with tablets and smartphones
Some of the modern media players also allow you to stream from your handheld devices – tablet and smartphone. Some of the home media players have this functionality built into them and for others, you can use apps to connect your handheld device to your media player. Because more and more people now access the internet on their handheld devices, this is an excellent functionality to have. Say you are watching a movie while commuting back from work. Once you reach home, you can watch the rest of the movie on your TV through your home media player.
Consider your TV too
Your TV also determines the type of home media player you should buy. For instance, you have an HDTV with 1080p resolution, you need a home media player with 1080p output. If you have a 720p resolution TV, you need a less expensive home media player with 720p output. Before you buy your home media player, make sure you know about your TV.
Which home media players for which use?
Among the most convenient home media players are those with USB functionality. Connecting these home media players with other devices is absolutely simple. And you have some great products to choose from:
- IOGear MediaShair Wireless Media Hub w/SD/USB Input & Built-in Power Station
- Diamond VStream Wireless USB PC to TV.
Some of the home media players are in the form of USB dongles. These are extremely small in size and can be carried with you all the time. You will never have a moment where you cannot stream media.
Choose from products like Google Chromecast (photo 2) and Asus Miracast dongle.
If you are an Apple fan and have Apple products like Mac or iPhone or iPod or iPad at home, then the home media player you should look at is Apple TV (photo 3).
And of course, brand plays a large role in home media players. Choose to buy products that belong to the biggest brands in home media players – Netgear, Allied Telesyn, Denon, MyGica and Logitech. All these brands have different models of home media players that you should look at.