If you're not using a streaming media player yet, you soon will be. The devices that let you watch content that's streaming over the Internet on your TV set, just like regular TV, seem to be everywhere.
By one estimate, 31% of U.S. homes with broadband Internet already have a streaming media player to watch content on Netflix, Hulu and other networks. Another 14% of homes will have a streaming media player by this summer, according to Parks Associates.
There's a good reason for their popularity. Streaming media players (boxes and sticks), like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Google Chromecast and Apple TV, enrich your viewing experience. Plus, they're inexpensive.
With prices starting at $35, you can plug one into your TV set. When you sign up for paid services like Netflix or free networks like Crackle, you suddenly have access to thousands of current and classic TV shows and movies that you can watch whenever you want.