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Buying a gadget for streaming video to your TV

Buying a gadget for streaming video to your TV

Have you been hearing about the growing number of people who are ditching cable and satellite in favor of streaming online video?

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That's what has fueled the growth of sites like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video. Streaming video gives you more options than traditional cable or over-the-air broadcasts.

You can watch movies and shows whenever you want. There are both free and paid options, depending on the service you get. You can access Internet-only videos and news, music and other digital information. It's just better all around.

Many new TVs, so-called "smart" TVs, can connect to the Internet and have built-in apps for streaming from most online videos services - iTunes being a big exception. However, not everyone has one yet, and many don't want to pay a bundle to upgrade.

That's why there are third-party streaming gadgets you can buy that will plug into your TV. Roku, Apple TV and Google TV are popular examples. Amazon has gotten into the act, too, with FireTV.

Caution: Not every streaming gadget supports every service. Before purchasing any gadget, you'll want to make sure it has the content you want. Next page: Let's get this fire started.

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