Streaming Device Options

Looking to go the extra mile and watch TV on an actual TV? How old fashioned of you! Let’s see what your options are! We’ll go from less than $10 to “You Should probably think about investing in some stocks instead.”

TIER 1: GIVE ME WHATEVER’S CHEAPEST!

129442635You got it! Probably the easiest and cheapest thing to do would be purchasing an HDMI extension cord. If you are unfamiliar, an HDMI cord runs from you computer to a monitor and mirrors whatever’s on your screen (As seen in the picture on the left). These cords aren’t expensive at all (ranging from 5-10$ on average).  The picture quality is perfectly fine, though definitely not anything remarkable.

Almost every TV you can buy has an HDMI input, but it wouldn’t hurt to double check before considering this option. For people with Macs, unfortunately you will need to buy a converter as well, or a cord specific for Apple computers, which could add another $10. But let’s face it, if you have a Macbook, you can probably swing it.

TIER 2: LET’S SAY I CAN SPEND A LITTLE MORE THAN THAT, WHAT NOW?

We hit the town, that’s what! No? Okay, well in that case there are three great options in the $30-$50 range, if that sounds like more fun than a night out with yours truly.

devices chartThe Amazon Fire Stick, Google Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick are all relatively cheap, incredible devices for streaming (And A lot more!). These devices plug into your HDMI port (Just like the cables), only this time the device loads the content itself and you are free to use your computer as you wish. Each of these devices can play TV, live sports, movies, music, and in some cases, games! To see what programs work on each device, look at the chart on the left.

I personally use Chromecast, which I absolutely love. If you have an Android phone, or if Chrome is your browser of choice, Chromecast is absolutely worth the $35 price-tag. Chromecast doesn’t offer as many features as the sticks (of Amazon and Roku, respectively), but it’s sleek, simple, and overall just really cool.

If you want a little more though, the choice between the Amazon and Roku sticks is essentially a wash. Whatever best fits your personal needs is probably the way to go, and I don’t care if that’s a cop out. This is my website and I can do what I want!

Spending any more than $50 honestly isn’t necessary. Almost everything you could want these devices to do, the options I just listed are more than capable of doing! But, if only just for the sake of argument, let’s keep this going a little while longer.

TIER 3: MY AUNT GAVE ME A BUNCH OF MONEY AFTER HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Well, here’s the thing, the smart thing to do is save it, however large of an amount it is. Odds are, at some point in the future you’ll need the finds,  and future you won’t be happy about you blowing it on TV accessory. But let’s just say you want to make a mistake (And that’s what college is about, after all). Here are some thoughts…

apple tv

Apple TV

You could certainly purchase an Apple TV, which offers the same services as the Casts and Sticks described above, but for over one hundred dollars more! But don’t let that worry you, its bigger, bulkier, and has a remote you will almost certainly lose weekly! Not convinced? Yeah, I’m not either (Sorry, Dad*)

roku 4k

Roku 4K

You could also buy the full Roku device, which offers 4K video capability, better playback and connectivity speed, and other technical improvements from the Streaming Stick. Is it worth the $80 more? Probably not, but if you have extra money that you want off your hands, there are plenty of worse things to spend it on. (There are also a LOT of better things too, which, just for the sake of my conscience, I felt like I needed to say.)

If you haven’t caught on to the trend, almost everything you could need from a streaming device can be obtained in the $30-$50 range. Spending anything more would just be irresponsible, which leads us to…

TIER 4: I DON’T THINK YOU UNDERSTAND, I HAVE TOO MUCH MONEY, HOW DO I GET RID OF ALL THIS DUMB CASH?

I don’t usually do this (I actually think it’s a little tacky) but since you really want to get rid of the cash, the Jasper Pike foundation is currently accepting donations. Its a truly wonderful cause, that helps Jasper Pikes everywhere afford very nice Steak dinners and expensive concerts he, errr, they wouldn’t normally be able to enjoy. If you aren’t the charitable type, there are a couple of other things I could suggest.

xbox oneYou could buy a PS4 or an Xbox One, both of which have a multitude of streaming apps available, which I guess qualifies them for this list. I personally prefer Xbox (Mostly because that’s what my suite mate has and gracefully let’s me use from time to time.) At this point though, it might even be smarter to invest in a higher quality TV than what you are plugging into it, but that’s just a thought.

Also, depending on just how long you want to be spending this recklessly, you could just get cable, and negate the whole purpose for the site entirely. Again, you should probably invest the money, or buy food with it, or property or whatever. (I don’t really know how to manage money.)

So I guess what I’m saying is go with HDMI cord, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, or Roku Streaming Stick, or just stick with your computer. Don’t spend any unnecessary money, friends.


*My Dad loves his Apple TV, but he has every Apple device short of an Apple Watch (Keep standing strong, Mom, he’ll give up eventually!), so his opinion isn’t