DVD players are increasingly becoming relegated to e-waste as blistering network speeds propel a revolution in home entertainment
From YouTube to Apple TV, as streaming services like Netflix and other online media portals transform the way we watch movies and TV shows, the popularity of disc-based media systems is rapidly fading away. Why fork out for new BluRay discs or mess around with recording to HDD when you can simply copy a film you've bought onto a USB drive?
But what if you've recently paid top buck for a 4K UHD TV that lacks smart capabilities? You're going to need some way of connecting it to the web or streaming to it from a mobile device. Here are five great products to support your binge-watching habit.
Talk to the… remote
Search YouTube without interrupting your viewing experience to peer at a keyboard, thanks to the sophisticated Concord media player with voice assist. It offers up to 4K UHD resolution and plays media from 16GB onboard storage, USB or MicroSD inputs. It also features LAN and Wi-Fi to stream directly from the internet.
The Droid you're looking for
Turn your TV into a galactic superpower with an Android media player that lets you browse the web, run Android games and apps, or watch your favourite movies in up to 4K UHD resolution. As if that wasn't enough, it also plays media from a USB drive, portable hard drive, SD card or the 8GB of internal storage.
Cast a spell
Stream media at up to 4K UHD from your smartphone, tablet or laptop, using a 4K Miracast dongle. Its support list is enough to make a music festival feel inadequate, with DLNA, Google Home, EZMira and Airplay®, as well as 2.4GHz and 5GHz connectivity.
Mira, Mira, on the screen
What if you've upgraded to 4K in the living room, but you’ve still got a perfectly functional HDTV in the bedroom? Make the most of it with an inexpensive Miracast dongle that lets you stream content from your smartphone, tablet or PC. It also features a screen mirroring function as well as Airplay®, so in theory you can stream anything you can play on your device.
Hack your way onto TV
If you like the idea of really getting in there and customising your media experience, you’ll love the Raspberry Pi media player kit. In addition to an RPi 3B in a protective case, it includes a mini wireless keyboard and MicroSD card preloaded with media software, plus all the accessories you need.