A. To stream video you'll need either a TV or a device with Internet capability. But you don't have to buy a new set if you're otherwise happy with your TV. One of the cheapest, easiest options is to connect it to a set-top media player.
What Is a Media Players
Media players plug into an HDMI input on any newer TV. A few models have outputs that work with older sets lacking HDMI inputs. You connect the player to your home network to access your broadband service. All models can do so via Wi-Fi, and some offer wired Ethernet connections.
Consumer Reports Testing Winner
Consumer Reports tested all of the media players on the market. Every model they tested streams Netflix, a few other video services, and a music station or two. All but a few have apps for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and photo sites such as Picasa and Flickr. More services may be added over time. Some models have full Web browsers as well.
The most widely sold set-top boxes are the Apple TV, $99, and the Roku series. Apple TV is a smart pick if you have lots of iTunes content. Roku is recommended if you want the most choice.
The bargain champ in streaming is Chromecast, a $35 thumb-drive-sized device that plugs into a TV’s HDMI port. In addition to streaming several services, Chromecast can send your TV Web content from a PC or Mac using the Chrome browser.