Top Streaming Home Entertainment Providers - dummies

Top Streaming Home Entertainment Providers

By Dwight Spivey

There’s a slew of streaming media providers out there that can take care of the entertainment needs in your automated home. These folks offer an array of the latest movies and television shows, music, and classic TV as well. What’s more, they all can stream to your television, computer, or smart device through apps.

Netflix

Netflix started out as a DVD-rental-by-mail outfit that saw the limited growth of that market and decided to put a lot of its stock in streaming media. Boy, did that move pay off! Netflix is one of the most popular streaming media services on the Internet today, providing great content for adults and children alike.

Amazon Prime

Amazon seems to have dipped its proverbial toes into just about every puddle in the tech world, and now it offers streaming movies, television shows, music, and even unlimited photo storage through its Prime service. You can also stream your video from virtually any iOS or Android device, including Amazon’s own Fire TV.

iTunes

Apple’s iTunes started out as software that enabled you to synchronize content between your iPod and your computer, but iTunes then and iTunes now are like night and day. Sure, you can still sync your Apple devices with it, but now you can also purchase or rent movies and television shows, buy books, and download the latest tunes from your favorite music artists. You can also stream iTunes content from your PC, Mac, or any iOS device.

YouTube

Just about everyone has watched cute kittens chasing laser lights or seen folks engaged in non-life-threatening mishaps on YouTube, but did you know you can also get a full dose of home entertainment on the site? Full movies, television shows, and music videos can be viewed on YouTube, and all computers, tablets, and smart phones can be used to access it.

Hulu and Hulu Plus

Hulu and Hulu Plus are streaming media services, too, but they’re a bit different than others. Hulu itself provides a few episodes of new and past television programs for free, but you can access the entire library of TV episodes and movies by subscribing to the Hulu Plus service, which is comparable in pricing to Netflix.

Vudu

Vudu (or VUDU, if you like) is another movie and television show provider that streams its content through apps and newer smart televisions. Vudu seems to be gaining ground on other providers (it’s owned by Wal-Mart) due to aggressively good offers and content. Vudu also provides a service in which you can convert DVDs you currently own into digital movies on the cloud, so you can watch them wherever you please.