While some might see the Internet as their portal to social media venues such as Facebook and Twitter, and as an almost ideal method for 21st century power shopping, the World Wide Web has in recent years become the means by which many now receive content such as their favorite TV shows, movies and live sporting events.

Devices available for streaming this content are numerous. In fact, the technology to support streaming media has become nearly ubiquitous with today’s smart TV incorporating integrated streaming features.

However, even with that convenience, one might still argue that the best solutions for delivering consistent performance and a superior user experience come with dedicated devices such as Apple TV or Roku.

One reason for this is available content. For example, Netflix is available on nearly all devices capable of streaming, but no TV has the very popular iTunes service, and many do not have Amazon Instant Video.

Another benefit of dedicated devices is that of software updates. Dedicated streaming devices continually undergo updates to improve available apps and tweak the interface, in the end providing more content and a more stable system.

Most smart TV’s will update software only during the year they were released, if at all, and afterward age as quickly as any technology.

Perhaps one of the greatest appeals to streaming is that of live sporting events. This has attracted many an enthusiast to adopt the technology and related services as a way of viewing events not normally available through local providers.

However, as many a sports fan will tell you, blackouts for events on both TV and radio have existed for decades, with limitations frequently due to contractual obligations with TV broadcasters.

These blackout regulations remain in effect and become even more complicated when applied to the realm of live events in streaming formats.

These restrictions have raised the ire not only of the viewing public, but of politicians as well, leading the FCC to recently vote 5-0 to repeal the sports blackout rule, wherein the NFL will not allow broadcasters in a team’s home market to air games that have not sold out.

Although not necessarily representing a dramatic shift in policies, this is viewed by some as the beginning of the lift on blackout restrictions in general, and bodes well for the future, indicating better access to live sporting events via streaming venues.

The options for streaming media can be a marvel to explore. Visit your local audio video showroom to see demos, and for help in selecting the smart solution to your needs.

Carlos Ramos is the sales and marketing manager with Custom Audio Video in Bluffton.