You can watch web information on your TV in a variety of ways. You may have applications on your television, or you may have a Blu-ray player or game system such as 123moviesgo with built-in streaming services. If neither of these scenarios applies to you, or if your TV, Blu-ray player, or gaming system lacks the media functions you desire, you can invest in a specialized media streaming hub. For little under $100, most media projectors allow you to set up your TV with whatever online or local media streaming services you require. A streaming device is required to create your television play videos from apps like Netflix and Hulu. But, with so many dongles and TV boxes to choose from, including those from Amazon, Google, Apple, Roku, and others, how do you know which one is right for you? We’ll debunk these gadgets in this guide so you know exactly what you’re receiving and which one is ideal for your streaming needs.

Keep an eye out for the characteristics that each device has to offer as you read through the description, especially the visual ones. These will be important depending on the television or monitor you plan to use to display video. Most streaming gadgets, for example, boast that they support 4K resolutions as of this year. Because this capability has become the current visual standard, you should choose for a 4K gadget to ensure that your investment is future-proof. Most boxes and dongles, thankfully, support this resolution; only older technology, such as the second-generation Chromecast ($35), does not. To access the higher-resolution option, we recommend upgrading to the current top-end version, Chromecast Ultra ($70).

Keep an eye out for the characteristics that each device has to offer as you read through the description, especially the visual ones. These will be important depending on the television or monitor you plan to use to display video. Most streaming gadgets, for example, boast that they support 4K resolutions as of this year. Because this capability has been the current visual standard, you should choose for a 4K gadget to ensure that your investment is future-proof. Most boxes and dongles, thankfully, support this resolution; only older technology, such as the second-generation Chromecast ($35), does not. To access the higher-resolution option, we recommend upgrading to the current top-end version, Chromecast Ultra ($70).

All streaming media devices include WiFi, and some also include an Ethernet port for connecting to a network router via cable. All can connect to TVs through HDMI, however legacy analog-video connections for usage with older TVs that don’t have an HDMI input are becoming increasingly rare. Some players have a USB connector that allows you to play your own music and photographs through the device. A DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) label indicates that the device can access material from other devices in the network, such as movies, videos, and images.

The most crucial function of any media streamer is to play back the content you wish to watch. If you get the majority of your content from a service that a streaming device doesn’t support, it won’t function for you. A streaming box with a large number of content providers is preferable to one with a small number. Most services are now available on all devices, although certain popular services are not available on all devices.

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Janice Martin is a professional journalist who loves to cover education, politics and social sciences. She is also a media influencer with 3 million followers.