Streaming movies is becoming easier as time goes on, taking into account how cheap streaming services are, why would want to rent a movie anymore? If you know how to turn your TV on and off and have some basic knowledge of navigating your TV or streaming box, you should have a streaming account.
The only problem with today’s technology is that there are so many ways to stream movies, so what is the best way? To answer that, where do you plan the play the content? In a home theatre room? A lounge room where only a soundbar is connected? A bedroom? Different situations will allow or even dictate different technologies to use.
Streaming sites like Netflix or Stan are available on many different devices in the form of an app. They are accessible on a smart TVs, Blu-ray players, Apple TV, Xbox, Sony Play Station, Google Chromecast, Telstra TV, Fetch TV, any many more devices. There are other streaming sites like Curiosity Stream that currently is only available on Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, and through Google PlayStore.
As 99% of movies are transmitted in surround sound and some even in 4K (on Netflix with the correct account), staying with the mainstream content providers like Stan and Netflix, what room are you play content in? If it is in a home theatre room, one of the best ways to stream is using a smart Blu-ray player. A Blu-ray player is the sole reason to play movies, in high-resolution and surround sound; this would be your best option, follow that would be a gaming console like PS4 or Xbox, using a TV will most of the time (check the TV specs) down convert surround sound to stereo. For the living room or lounge room where and sound quality is not as important, streaming directly from the TV is ok, the same can be said for the bedroom. The time you would mainly use an Apple TV or Google Chromecast is when the content being different or is directly related to the device you are using, for example streaming Curiosity Stream or casting a phone or tablet screen onto the TV to show photos. It is also possible to use these devices to stream Stan or Netflix but check the specs; not all devices will output 4K or surround sound, so user beware, there are some helpful links at the end of this blog.
Streaming free content is also possible, but depending on how the material is used, this will dictate if it is legal or not. With current laws (early 2017), if content is downloaded and stored locally, that is illegal, but if the content is streamed and not saved, that is 100% legal. There are a few ways this can be archived, the easiest way we have found is using a device called Seebo, this is a plug and play solution like Apple TV, just connect it to the internet and away it goes. With Seebo there so no monthly fee, just purchase the box and that is it. The upside of Seebo is that the content is free, it can playback in surround sound, the downside is currently it does not support 4K and the content can vary in quality, overall worth looking at.
Seebo – www.seebo.com.au
Google Chromecast – https://www.google.com.au/intl/en_ie/chromecast/tv/chromecast/tech-specs/
Samsung Blu-ray player – http://www.samsung.com/au/audio-video/uhd-blu-ray-player-k8500/
Disclaimer: At the time of writing this blog not all devices will output 4K, HDR or Dolby Vision picture. Not all TV’s will output surround sound audio and many devices will not output Dolby Atmos immersive audio.