Did your parents have a rec room in their house when you were growing up? Back in the day, a rec room for a new home in Dallas might have featured a pool table, pinball machine, TV and stereo. You might find those same things in a new home today. But the entertainment components have gone high-tech, and what once was a “rec room” is now a full-blown media room, complete with flat screen HDTV, game consoles and advanced sound equipment.
One thing you can be sure of when it comes to technology, is that it’s always changing and evolving. Here are some of the latest gadgets you might want to consider buying to create an awesome media room for your new home in Dallas:
Roku – One of the more affordable set-top boxes on the market, Roku offers users a quick and easy way to add Hulu Plus, Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video and dozens of other services to the big screen. You can even use your iPhone or Android smartphone as a remote control.
Apple TV – Similar to Roku, Apple TV supports Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as YouTube, Vimedo, MLB.tv and NBA TV. It’s a great device for Apple lovers, since users can wirelessly connect their Iphone, iPad or Mac to the TV, mirroring the screen or streaming content directly to the TV. Apple TV can also access content from the iTunes Store and stream content from an iTunes library on your home network. And when iOS7 is released, users will be able to play iOS games on the Apple TV using physical controls.
Microsoft Xbox 360 & Sony PS3 – These video game consoles do more than just play games. They both can access content from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other services. Xbox has deals with Verizon and Comcast to bring cable content to your TV screen, while the PS3 doubles as a Blu-ray player. The two devices can also access content from other computers or network devices for playback in your new home in Dallas.
Ouya & GameStick – A pair of Android based devices, Ouya brings mobile gaming to your TV, as well as allows access to streaming video and other content. Unlike Ouya’s console-style, GameStick is a small device that plugs into an HDMI port on a TV. GameStick will soon feature XBMC integration, which will allow it to double as a full media center.
iPad and tablets – The iPad has been turned into a personal TV set thanks to a world of apps that allows content to streamed from a variety of sources. More and more cable providers offer live-streaming access within the home on the iPad, so you can watch a program, while other family members watch a different one on the TV. Tablets also integrate with other connected devices, like the Xbox 360. And Logitech’s Harmony Smart Control hub lets users turn their iOS or Android device into a universal remote control.