How to Stream Internet Video to Your TV

Learn how to stream Internet video to TV in this free lesson.

How to stream Internet video to your TV

by Bill

streaming internet video to a TV

When I moved into my first apartment, I was faced with a lot of questions I'd never had to answer before: How do I turn on the utilities? What's a good rate for renter's insurance? How much do I need for a security deposit? But there was another question it seemed just about everyone was asking me:

Are you going to get cable?

Thankfully, I already knew the answer to this one: no way. Because as long as you have a high-speed Internet connection at your house, you can stream movies and TV shows online. A streaming video is simply one you watch in real time, rather than downloading an entire file to your computer. For me, streaming Internet video has a lot of advantages over traditional TV service.

For one thing, it's usually much less expensive than a cable subscription. You'll also have a lot more control over what you watch and when you watch it, instead of relying on TV schedules and channel lineups. Best of all (for me, anyhow), streaming video has far fewer commercials than regular TV.

Set-top streaming boxes

There are a few different ways to stream Internet video to your TV. In my opinion, the simplest solution is to purchase a set-top streaming box. These devices are easy to set up, easy to use, and much cheaper than some other Internet streaming options.

If you're thinking about buying a set-top streaming box, I'd recommend the Roku—it's the easiest to use, it's affordable, it comes with a remote control, and it's compatible with almost any TV. I've recommended the Roku for my parents, my grandparents, and basically anyone who asks me what they should use for Internet TV.

roku 3

Of course, there are several set-top streaming boxes you could choose from. Here are some other good options:

Setting up a set-stop streaming box

Whatever streaming option you choose, you'll use the same basics steps to set up your device:

  1. Connect the device to the correct ports on your TV. Your device should come with instructions that show you which ports to use.

  2. Switch your TV to the correct input channel. You should be able to use the Input button on your TV's remote control to select the right one.

  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to connect the device to your Wi-Fi network. Some devices may also be able to use a direct connection with an Ethernet cable.

  4. That's it! You're ready to choose a video service and start streaming Internet video to your TV.

Watch the video below to learn how to set up the Roku 2. The setup process shown here will be pretty similar for most set-top streaming boxes:

Subscription-based video services

Free video services