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Buying a streaming video gadget

More TV and movie watchers are ditching cable and satellite in favor of streaming online video services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. That's because streaming video gives you more options than traditional cable or over-the-air broadcasts. You can watch movies and shows whenever you want, along with Internet-only videos and news, music and other programming you just won't find on traditional TV.

There are both free and paid options, depending on the service you get - click here to find out which service is right for you. It's just better all around, as long as you can get that service on your TV.

Many new TVs, so-called "smart" TVs, can connect to the Internet wirelessly and have built-in apps for streaming from most online videos services - iTunes being a big exception. Blu-ray players and video game consoles have similar options as well. However, not everyone has one of these, and many don't want to pay a bundle to upgrade.

That's why there are inexpensive third-party streaming gadgets you can buy that will plug into your TV. Roku, Apple TV and Google's Chromecast 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.

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