Smart Entertainment Gifts
While smart technology definitely has its practical uses, we always find a way to put an entertaining spin on new technology. To nobody’s surprise, many major companies have found ways to incorporate smart technology into common entertainment devices and these options can help you check off your Christmas gift buying list quickly!
One of the most popular smart entertainment devices that you might want to buy for someone is the Amazon Fire TV stick. The Fire TV stick has a wide range of functions and uses, all focused on entertainment.
It plugs in to the HDMI port on your TV, and by connecting to WiFi, allows you to stream your favorite shows from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, and more. This is especially useful if someone doesn’t have a cable box satellite dish, because you can get a subscription that allows you to do the same thing cable or satellite would do without any complex installation.
Much like Amazon’s Echo product, the Fire TV comes with a remote that has Alexa. Alexa is Amazon’s smart voice recognition software, which allows you to control your TV hands free, so someone with mobility issues or who is always multitasking might love this gift.
For example, if you say “Alexa, turn the volume up,” then she will automatically adjust the volume. You can also ask Alexa to turn on certain TV shows or certain channels. The Fire TV can also play you music from Spotify, Amazon Music, and more.
If you have someone on your list who isn’t a big fan of Amazon products, you can get them the Roku Streaming Stick instead. It provides a very similar service to the one that the Fire TV stick offers, but with a few minor changes.
Instead of using voice commands through the remote, you use an app on your phone. This makes it a bit more secure. It you want to watch TV but not have everyone hear it, you can stream the audio to your phone and connect headphones, so you can listen quietly and everyone else can focus on what they need to do.
While those smart TV sticks are very useful for adding smart functionality to your TV, it might be better for you to get them a TV with smart functionality already in it. For example, Smart TVs from Sony allow you to use online services like YouTube and Hulu from the built in menus, and it connects to the same WiFi you use for your phone, computers, and laptops.
It also allows you to hook up just about any device via USB to play videos or music from it, such as your phone. You can also share the image directly to your TV using mirroring, so you don’t have to fumble around with cables.