Mobile technology is no longer restricted to our pockets, with tablets and wearable tech finding their way onto the market over recent years. Another piece of kit showing plenty of development is Freeview television, moving on from the terrestrial age into the digital era, and now looking to implement smart technology in an effort to keep us glued to our living room screens.
Arguably the best internet TV box on the market, Apple TV is an iPhone user’s dream set top box. It offers access to forty channels (including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Sky News), giving 1080p HD content including films, TV shows, live sport and plenty of other media.
By using AirPlay on your Apple gadgets, whether it be an iPhone, iPad or even your Mac, you can display your mobile screen through Apple TV. This means that you can share things from your handset to anyone in the room through the silver screen.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a YouTube video, slow-motion video recording or simply a funny picture you happened to take earlier on in the day, Apple TV gives you a medium to share it with the whole room. Also, with a user-friendly remote included in the deal, you aren’t forced into using your phone to get it to work all the time.
Amazon Fire TV
A recent introduction onto the TV market, Amazon Fire TV comes as either a set top box or as a smaller HDMI stick which requires a USB connection for power. Both offer an identical experience similar to make sure you keep up with the smart TV revolution.
Streaming media content just like the Apple powered offering, the key selling point for Amazon Fire TV is its ability to be a real gaming system as well. By purchasing a dedicated gaming controller (which costs £40), you can play any game listed on the Amazon Store using the system.
Games like GTA: San Andreas or Minecraft, both of which are best sellers, can be used on Amazon Fire TV using the controller. All of this whilst still allowing you to watch content through the likes of Netflix, Demand 5 and Vevo, along with many more.
The first TV gadget to feature solely as a HDMI stick, Google Chromecast does require a USB connection to work but is ideal for Google Chrome fans. Offering great mirroring opportunities through your smartphone, tablet or even your PC operating the Google Chrome browser, Chromecast is perfect for sharing things quickly and easily.
In classic Google fashion, streaming is simple and hassle free, working with a number of operating systems like iOS and Android. Its easy set-up is also simple to handle, regardless of how tech-savvy you are.
Offering effortless entertainment, Android TV is the first extension of the Android operating system to head directly to your living room. Working through the Nexus Player set top box, and soon to be coming built-in with selected TVs, Android TV offers a great all-round package.
Giving you plenty of channels and apps with all of your favourites like YouTube, Hulu Plus and Netflix included, Android TV also allows you to cast your screen from your Android or iOS based device. It also works perfectly with your Mac, Windows or Chromebook laptop, making it an all-round success story.
For the gaming junkie we have an Xbox-esque controller that works superbly with the selection of great games. Free multiplayer is also included as long as you have enough controllers (of which four can be connected), and with the Google Play Store packing more apps than ever before, you won’t be worrying about getting bored.
Are you big on your gaming? If you have a PlayStation 4 then PS TV could well be the best TV box for your household. Featuring innovative features and technology, PS TV ensures that you can stream, rent or buy some of your favourite movies or TV shows as well as play your games through any connected TV.
By using Remote Play, you can also display your PS TV screen on your compatible Sony handheld games consoles as well, making it one of the most portable and practical TV gadgets on the market. By simply connecting it to your internet service, it takes mere minutes to set-up and is then ready to go at a moment’s notice. You even get access to all the best channels, like BBC iPlayer, Netflix and VidZone.
Using your PlayStation 4 DualShock controller, you won’t have to accustom yourself with a new remote, and with three free PlayStation Vita games included, entertainment is never far off. Finally, you can also download a number of PS Vita, PSP and PS One games right onto the box, letting you play some of your much loved games on the big screen once again!
So there are five of our most highly recommended TV gadgets, now you just face the choice of which one to invest in!