There is a wide variety of options when it comes to streaming content on your TV. Needless to say, if you’ve got a SmartTV then you don’t need to look any further. But for those of you that sought a more simple (and cheaper) approach when purchasing your set, you’re probably now realizing that you’re missing out.
I’m a fan of Roku’s Streaming Stick, though you’ll need an MHL-compatible HDMI port, not something found on older sets. Alternatively, there is FAVI’s Android stick. But neither of those compare in simplicity and compatibility to that of Plair. It’s requires no external power source, and plugs into your big screen’s HDMI port – according to Plair no MHL HDMI port required (how, I don’t know). Once plugged in you can control Plair using your smartphone, or Mac or Windows based machine. So far they’ve only got apps for the Android and iOS platforms, and you won’t be able to stream content from either of those devices, unless it’s your own (your recorded video or captured photos). Nevertheless, they’ve got a variety of partners that vary in range, and content is delivered over Wi-Fi directly to the Plair device. However, Netflix and Hulu are not currently compatible, though I’d expect an agreement to be ironed out before summer.
The versatility of Plair is debatable, especially since it seems that digitally protected content is barred from a direct stream, which includes Apple’s iTunes. So don’t expect Plair to supplant the need for Airplay, unless of course you’re looking to just stream your own personal photos and videos to TV.
The Plair will sell for $100 and will come in black, magenta, or teal sometime in late January.