Not too long ago, TV viewers had three programming options: satellite, cable or the good ol' antenna if you just wanted to watch free broadcast channels and DVDs.
But the world has been changing, thanks to the massive expansion of streaming content from the Web that you can see on a TV, desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone.
Cable and satellite penetration peaked in the summer of 2010 at 90.5 percent of households, and has slipped slightly, to 90.1 percent, according to Nielsen research. The typical subscriber now shells out $86 a month, more than double the average a decade ago, according to a recent study by the NPD Group. While a hardy few have "cut the cord," more viewers are supplementing their cable or satellite subscriptions with content from Web-based providers such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or Hulu.
Here's a guide to how you can use Wi-Fi to access streaming video for your TV, plus a look at content options.
Smart TVs: Typically having 40- to 65-inch screens, these bring you regular cable and satellite programming but also content on the Web, where more original series are popping up, such as "House of Cards," the new Netflix drama starring Kevin Spacey. These TVs generally cost $200 more than a comparably sized regular set.
Most provide built-in applications for such sites as Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as a Web browser. These options mostly require either a subscription costing about $8 a month or charge per film or TV show.
Set-top receivers: If you own a regular TV or prefer to buy a new one that's not Internet-ready, you can take a cheaper route and buy a separate set-top box. Three more popular ones:
Game systems: Many people already own video game systems that have Internet access:
Blu-Ray DVD players: These players, with built-in Wi-Fi, are increasingly common. Prices start around $70. Consumer Reports' top-rated players are the LG BP320, which includes Hulu Plus, Netflix, Vudu and Pandora Internet radio.