A report published by HIS Technologies, the average U.S. household has at least four connected devices. While connected microwaves and fridges haven't made it big as yet, smartphones and, more importantly, media streaming devices are becoming increasingly commonplace.
With streaming services like Netflix rubbing shoulders with home-grown content providers like Voot and Hotstar, and the ever-present YouTube always providing content, here's a round-up of all the media streaming devices that can be picked up in India.
Google's Chromecast is probably the most recognised device in the market and the device in a completely new form factor was launched in the country in April. The Chromecast plugs into a TV's HDMI port and streams content from the user's smartphone or tablet. Streaming content is done using the Google Cast app or directly via supported apps. Users can also project their smartphone or tablet's display on their TVs making the device perfect for presentations too. The Chromecast line is also joined by the Chromecast Audio, which plugs into a set of speakers through a 3.5mm jack and stream audio content. Both the devices cost Rs. 3,399.
An equally well-recognised device, the Apple TV does everything the Chromecast does, minus the presentations, and steps the game up, quite literally. Not only does the Apple TV play content from Netflix and Spuul, the device can also be used to play games. The remote that comes paired with the Apple TV doubles up as a gaming controller. Apple TV users can also rent or purchase films from iTunes, much like Chromecast users can dip into Google's Play Movies catalogue. The device's remote can also be used as a microphone to communicate with Siri and prices start at Rs. 13,500.
Roku Streaming Stick
Here's a device that's definitely in between the Chromecast and the Apple TV. The Roku streaming stick marries the portability of the Chromecast and the remote functions that the Apple TV brings to the market. While Roku doesn't exactly sell the Streaming Stick in India, finding one online isn't a tough task. The only hitch is that the Roku app can't be downloaded in India, which means the device's USP — private listening, where users can plug an pair of earphones into their Android or iOS device and listen to the audio being streamed without disturbing everybody else in the room is lost. Also, the device's ecosystem in India is also rather poor.
A home-grown streaming device, the Teewe 2 plugs into the TV's HDMI port and communicates with users' smartphones, tablets and laptops over WiFi. The end result is that everything from locally-saved media to content from YouTube, free content available through the Teewe app as well as paid content from Eros Now plays on the TV. Much like the Chromecast, the device allows screen sharing. The downside is that Teewe isn't exactly content-rich from the streaming perspective but definitely does away with having to switch between apps to surf content and also allows users to queue up media on the go. The Teewe 2 costs Rs. 2,399.