Tech Talk:  “Do I need a streaming box if I already have a Smart TV?”

This is a common question asked of MTC.  With the rise of video streaming services (Sling TV, Netflix, etc.), “cord-cutting” (discontinuing cable or satellite services) has become more popular than ever. In order to accomplish this, you need to have sufficient Internet and a Smart TV or streaming box to access the streaming services you want.

Smart TV’s are an easy way to start streaming but do not always provide the best experience.  Smart TV’s usually have less stable software & slower updates, less services to choose from, older technology compared to streaming devices and shorter lifespans.  If you choose to buy a Smart TV choose one with a well-supported operating system.  Some TV’s are now shipping with Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Roku operating systems built-in. These are all well-supported operating systems.  You can expect quicker updates and more services to choose from. These still have a shorter lifespan with the ever-changing world of technology; meaning the wireless radios, processors, and memory will soon become outdated. Once the technology is outdated and no longer supported you may need to purchase a whole new TV.

A streaming box, by comparison, is a small box that plugs into your TV. This allows you to turn older TV’s into Smart TV’s. They also have a large variety of services, quick updates, and are relatively inexpensive to replace when newer technology is available. They also tend to have stronger Wi-Fi radios and better processors to give you a better overall viewing experience.  In other words, their one purpose is streaming.

Everyone’s situation is different.  Some may like the convenience of having everything built into their TV, others might like the flexibility of a streaming box.  As always, if you have questions or would like additional advice, contact MTC Technologies and we can offer suggestions based on your situation.

Marc Carlson
General Manager/CEO