If you want to watch a TV show or a movie from the internet on your big screen TV and not the computer screen, then you might want to get a Roku player. The Roku allows you to stream content directly from the internet on your TV without even the need of a PC. And since it has built-in Wi-Fi, you can stream content to any TV of your home.
A Roku player can be purchased for under $ 100. And there are no ongoing costs. The costs vary on the type of Roku player you want to purchase. Check out the various online stores like Amazon etc. or the offline stores like Best Buy, Walmart etc. for the latest models and price.
The setup is very easy. Just connect the RCA cable from the Roku to your TV. Next, hook up to the internet either with the Ethernet cable from your router or follow directions on the screen to connect to the Wi-Fi network of your home. Oh! yeah, before doing any of these, make sure the power adapter is hooked up to your Roku player. The setup should not take you more than five to ten minutes.
After setting up the Roku you are ready to stream TV shows and movies from the internet. You can stream content from websites that offer free services or you can get paid subscriptions like HuluPlus or Netflix. HuluPlus is known for its library of the best and latest TV shows and Netflix has a great collection of movies. These subscriptions should cost you less than $ 10 a month each (it was just under $ 8 last time I checked). Which is a lot cheaper than your basic cable bill. But there are other free sites like Pandora, Hulu etc. that offer free service. But do not expect to see the latest blockbusters on the free websites. Also, these subscriptions are only available in US or its territories.
The Roku is capable of streaming content in HD. But, to do this you will need broadband speeds of at least 3 Mbps. Well, this should not be a problem since most homes in the US have internet sessions that are much higher than that. You can easily check the speed of your internet connection at http://www.speedtest.net .
As the internet speed gets faster, I believe that cable TV will start to disappear. The future rests on giant TVs with built-in routers and streaming players. Until then the Roku player will do a fantastic job to provide content to your TV.