Roku also interweaves the two terms. However, mirroring and casting are different.
Or you could end up spending as much as you did on your old TV service, and even much more. Much of the best TV is online these days, so you can bypass cable or satellite services if your Internet service is good enough.
Also, many have to make do with sluggish DSL services over old-school phone lines.
To determine your options, visit Broadband Now , a website where you can enter a ZIP code and get a list of Internet providers in your area. How much speed will you need? A single high-definition video stream requires about five megabits per second, while a 4K stream wants about 25 megabits per second.
Besides, you have other members of the household wanting to do other things at the same time — playing Fortnite, perhaps. Aim for a service that can stream at least 25 megabits per second. Advertisement How much will you pay for this bandwidth?
But remember that these are all promotional rates, priced low to rope you in but only good for a year or two. After that, expect to pay more. The same goes for deals meant to dissuade cord-cutters by offering nice prices for both Internet and cable TV.
Most recent TVs connect directly to the Internet via an Ethernet cable or WiFi, and have built-in software apps for tuning in popular streaming video services like Netflix. Or you can use a streaming media device that plugs into the set. You might already own one; the capability is built into popular videogame consoles like the Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation.
Otherwise, you can buy a dedicated streaming device. It includes support for 4K video, and a remote control that lets you tune in channels by speaking rather than mashing buttons.
Consider a virtual cable service, which uses the Internet rather than traditional cable technology to deliver the channels to your home. Companies like Comcast spent billions to run cables into our homes.
But virtual carriers just piggyback on your broadband service.
That makes it relatively cheap to launch these services, so there are a bunch to choose from. The leading virtual cable service, Sling TV , has about 2. Another 1. They also offer at least some live programming from the big networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox — but access is spotty, and depends on which service you pick and the region where you live.
But for some of us, enough is never enough. Even the virtual cable companies offer the option to add premium cable channels like HBO or Showtime, for an extra fee.
Netflix , Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video are the most famous.
These services started out showing old movies and TV reruns, but today they spend billions on producing original films and series, many of them good enough to win Oscars and Emmys. But signing up for all three will lay waste to your wallet. How do you know which service has the shows you want to see?
Just punch up a search engine like JustWatch or Reelgood which tracks the offerings of the major streamers. Advertisement The top streamers cater to mainstream tastes, but a host of niche networks cater to more specialized tastes.
Well, it is, and all you need to join the fun is a good antenna, either mounted on the roof, or attached to your living room wall. According to the home improvement website HomeAdvisor.
Speaking of channels, which ones are available where you live? Just ask the Federal Communications Commission. All you need to enter is your ZIP code. According to the page, Boston residents should be able to get about 20 broadcast channels. That, and a library card.
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Hiawatha Bray can be reached at hiawatha. Follow him on Twitter GlobeTechLab. Most read on BostonGlobe.