At some point, you’ll no doubt have heard your friends or colleagues discussing streaming movies, TV boxes, Kodi, Roku, and other such services and their many benefits.
But, if you’re not too familiar with any of the above, you were probably just standing there scratching your head, thinking, what does any of this mean? And how can I start streaming media content?
Well, you’re in luck, as today we’ll be talking about streaming and also some of the platforms and devices you can utilize to achieve the best streaming experience.
Streaming Services have become a massive business in 2020, its popularity has soared over recent years and is expected to grow even further, in part, this is thanks to Netflix, and the many other corporations joining the new streaming boom.
But Its popularity can also be put down to this new generation (generation z if you like) and how they choose to consume their media, whether it be movies, tv shows, or music.
The ever-increasing advancement in smart devices and the ways in which you can stream media can also be attributed to the growth streaming is currently enjoying.
But what exactly does streaming entail?
What is Media Streaming?
Media Streaming is explained as the continuous transmission of video and audio from the server to the client.
In basic terms, streaming is the ability to stream media content in real-time and negates the need to download the media or its accompanying files to your computer or smart device.
When you view a media stream, it can be classified as live or on-demand, and the content is transmitted a few seconds at a time.
Problems with Media Streaming
Media streaming is not without its problems; one of the main problems is known as “buffering” or continuous buffering which constantly interrupts the media stream.
Buffering, in and of itself is not something to be overly concerned about, as this process is meant to occur to give the user the best streaming experience by loading the media a few seconds/minutes ahead of time.
Continuous buffering, however, really only presents itself when the stream is being played over a slow internet connection, viewed on an old device with inadequate processing speed, or a home network with low bandwidth.
As well as the above, congestion of the network, network latency or hosting locations are other reasons a media stream may also be interrupted.
Streaming Platforms & Hardware
There are many ways to stream media content, some users opt for installing Kodi and installing a build on their smart device.
Whilst others buy an external streaming device such as the Roku Express or Amazon Firestick and use via the Official platform.
Both have their benefits and essentially work the same way, but out of all the various platforms and hardware, 3 stands out for exceptional user experience and affordability.
- Amazon Firestick
With 6 models across the current Roku lineup to date and offering a range of features whilst starting from a very competitive price point, Roku sits comfortably in the top 5 streaming players and platforms currently available.
The Roku Streaming stick produces a smooth, fast, and efficient streaming experience, allowing the user to stream in both 4K and HDR through a simple but effective interface. With the ability to also stream Dolby Atmos Audio.
If portability and having the advantage of setting up anywhere in your home is top of your wish list, then the Roku Streaming Stick is definitely for you. With a built-in 802.11ac MIMO Dual-band, setting up a connection should be a breeze.
You may have heard a lot about Kodi in recent years, especially around legality issues.
But rest assured, Kodi and its accompanying software is perfectly legal.
It’s more so the external add-ons or builds that allows you to watch subscription tv and movies for free that is a bit of a grey area.
All in all, Kodi is an excellent all-round streaming software that offers the user an abundance of settings, add-ons, skins, and more. While being compatible with most operating systems and smart devices.
The first Amazon Firestick was fairly basic, but ultimately very popular and produced what it said on the box.
Since then, the Amazon Firesticks popularity has risen even more and its internals has been beefed up by the inclusion of Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, and the ability to playback in 4K HDR.
It doesn’t end there though, with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip, 1.7GHz quad-core processor as well as the option to connect wirelessly to Amazon Echo and turn your home tv into a home theatre makes the Amazon Firestick a no-brainer.
The selection of apps could be better, but overall are more than acceptable.
The Choice is yours, So Choose Wisely!
When entering into the world of streaming, the choice of what media player or software to go for is ultimately yours.
It’s best to base the decision of what media platform or device to use, off of what you would like to get out of your streaming experience.
If affordability and customization is top of your list, then Kodi is the one for you. If you require affordability plus the security of using an official platform, then Roku may be your best bet.
Of course, if you don’t mind spending a bit more, then the Amazon Fire TV Cube or Amazon Firestick will be the perfect addition to your home entertainment system.
The main thing to remember is, do your research thoroughly, and if you do decide to go down the route of Kodi, builds, add-ons, etc… Then use a VPN and make security your number one priority.
Always install software from legitimate and trustable sources, but most of all, sit back, relax, and enjoy streaming your favorite content in the luxury of your own home.