The Verge’s Lauren Goode and Recode’s Peter Kafka decode streaming apps and services on Too Embarrassed to Ask.
In theory, it sounds simple: You, the paying consumer, just want to watch this movie on that box plugged into your TV. But in practice, there’s a huge amount of content spread out across different hardware and apps, and it gets more overwhelming by the day.
This week on Too Embarrassed to Ask, The Verge’s Lauren Goode and special guest host, Recode’s Peter Kafka, talked about why the world of media streaming is so confounding, and how to find some sanity in it. One silver lining, Kafka noted, is that what hardware you buy is becoming less relevant — well, mostly.
“They’re generally all the same, they generally work the same,” Kafka said. “There are some distinctions, and you should think about this if you’re thinking about buying one of these things: If you consume a lot of stuff from Amazon, you probably don’t want to buy Apple TV, because they don’t play nicely together. And if you own a lot of iTunes movies, which I do, you pretty much have to use Apple TV.”
Neither the Amazon Fire TV Stick nor Google’s Chromecast dongle support iTunes, Goode explained. Movies and TV shows purchased through Amazon, meanwhile, work on almost everything except the Apple TV. That’s the norm for a lot of services.
“Generally, if you’re a regular person who streams something from Netflix and maybe you’re going to get HBO Now, all of these services all work on all the different boxes,” Kafka said. “