(NAPSI)—The great debate—finish the paper on American History or binge watch “The Walking Dead” so you can join the chatter at the student union tomorrow. Great plots and Emmy-nominated series can challenge even the most dedicated student’s ability to focus on the primary task at hand-staying on top of school demands and meeting parents’ expectations. But students shouldn’t fret. The question of how they can balance schoolwork and stay on top of their favorite shows has a clear answer—streaming devices.

According to the re:fuel “College Explorer” Report 2014, college students spend about 23.3 hours per week using their TV. And the tremendous popularity of streaming entertainment means students can have instant access to today’s hottest entertainment on their TV anytime they want. This streaming entertainment can be viewed using a wide variety of streaming players and smart TVs from companies such as Roku, Inc., so college students can reward themselves with a TV break whatever time they finish studying, day or night.

So, how easy is it to bring endless steaming entertainment into the college dorm or apartment? Here are a few tips from Abby Reyes, streaming entertainment expert at Roku, to consider as you send your students back to campus:

• Choose a streaming player that works best with your TV: If you have an HDTV, you will want a streaming player that has 1080p HD support so you’ll have the best available picture quality. If you send your student to school with the old TV that used to sit in the basement, don’t worry, he/she can still stream services such as Netflix, Hulu and many more whenever he/she needs a quick study break. There are streaming players available today, such as the Roku 1, that are compatible with older TVs with composite cables.

• There’s a streaming player for everyone: Today’s consumers can choose from small, portable streaming “sticks,” slightly larger streaming players, or a “smart TV” such as a Roku TV model, where the streaming functionality is built right into the TV. To determine the best streaming device for the students in your life, consider how they will be viewing their entertainment. Will he/she want to take their streaming experience to a friend’s dorm room for a group binge-watch session of the latest season of “House of Cards”? If so, a streaming stick might be the best option. Does he/she have roommates who have different tastes? Then consider a streaming player with a headphone jack for private listening like the Roku 3. For limited space, a small smart TV will do the trick. Both TCL and Insignia offer 32-inch Roku TV models that are great for small spaces and available for around $200.

• What will they be watching?: One of the most common questions people who are new to streaming ask is “How can I watch my favorite shows?” Because a student’s tastes will likely range across many types of genres, look for a streaming device that offers more than just the major services like Hulu and Netflix. They’ll also want a wide selection of news, fitness, music and more. Roku devices have the largest selection of streaming channels with more than 2,500 to choose from, so there’s plenty of opportunity for students to discover new entertainment they’ll love. For example, they can access the Shudder channel to watch top horror films, Red Bull TV for action sports and live streaming of music festivals, or CollegeHumor for a much-needed comedy break.

• Be a savvy streaming shopper: While on-demand streaming entertainment can be significantly cheaper than a monthly cable bill, you’ll still want to weigh your streaming options to keep costs down. Before purchasing a new release for a Sunday night study break, shop around to see which streaming channel offers the best deal. To make comparing options easy, Roku devices come with Roku Search, a feature that looks across multiple streaming channels and displays the price and availability across all available options. Why rent a movie for $2.99 if it’s available on Netflix as part of your monthly subscription? It’s a simple way for college students to ensure they’re always choosing the most cost-effective option for entertainment so they still have money to chip in to next weekend’s pizza fund.

Streaming offers students a way to balance activities while not missing out on the goings-on in Westeros, Litchfield Penitentiary, Downton and the offices of Empire Entertainment. Before heading off to the dorm or off-campus apartment, use these tips to ensure an entertainment-filled year that will satisfy the ever-expanding interests of today’s students while making the most of a lean college budget.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------re:fuel “College Explorer” conducted by Crux Research, June 25, 2014

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