Smart TVs are effectively standard TVs with built-in computer technology to control Internet streaming and other services, so attaching a streaming device to a television gives it the capabilities of a smart TV. Popular options to attach to a television include Roku products, smart devices and full computers.
Roku products are popular for streaming services, and their low cost and no-frills interface make them great options for people looking for a simple solution. Popular channels supported by Roku devices include Netflix, Hulu Plus and WatchESPN, although the popularity of the devices make them top priorities for nearly all major content creators. Apple TV and the Boxee Box are similar devices that offer comparable functionality.
Another option is attaching a smartphone or tablet to a television. Owners can connect both Android and Apple devices using a cable to display the device's screen on the television. Users looking for a similar connection without relying on a cable can also consider Google's Chromecast, which lets smart device users select videos on their phone to stream to their televisions.
Users looking for the ultimate in capabilities and customization can look into custom-built standalone computers. MythTV and other programs let users control the computer with a remote control or smartphone and make it easy to connect with a home file server. For users with large media collections, these options provide the most flexibility and great performance.