Business Travel Tip: Watch your home TV with a streaming stick
Your family thinks those weekly business trips are filled with dinner at the best restaurants and stays at 5-star hotels, but we, the road warriors, know it's quite the opposite.
For most of us, the most expensive meal we get is from an Outback Steakhouse that's conveniently located next to the Hampton Inn we're staying at. Hampton Inn's are great but they aren't the Four Seasons.
After a steak and Bloomin' Onion, most of us go back to the hotel and follow-up on the emails we missed during the day. The only distraction you can come by is a little TV in your hotel room. However, your hotel room will have a limited selection of channels and it doesn't give you the ability to watch the shows on your DVR.
That is, until now.
These days you can bring most of your home television into your hotel room via a streaming stick or an iPad.
From a practicality perspective, using your iPad to watch TV is ideal. However, most of the iPads we travel with are corporate issued and they are outfitted with a corporate VPN that can track what you are doing. Not that you are doing anything wrong by watching TV but there's still a bit of the big brother aspect that is unsettling.
This is why a streaming stick is a perfect solution when traveling for business.
For the record, I never leave home for business travel without bringing a streaming stick.
What can a streaming stick do?
A streaming stick, like a Roku, is a small device that can be plugged into the HDMI port of the TV in your hotel room. To setup the device, you simply connect to your hotel's internet, type in your app passwords (Netflix, PlayStation Vue) and you've turned that "dumb" TV in your hotel room into a smart TV, full of hundreds of apps to choose from.
My family and I cut the cord around 6 months ago and I exclusively travel with my Roku streaming stick. It's fast, easy to use and allows me to access any media apps I would like to play on my hotel TV.
Once signed in, I can watch the shows on my DVR from PlayStation Vue, Netflix, HBO GO and many more.
What should you get?
Any of the options below are good ones. I personally like the speed of the Roku devices and they have the most apps available compared to the Amazon firestick. Amazon has a better interface for the Playstation Vue but the lack of speed on the firestick put it at the end of the list.
If you are looking for something the size of a small USB drive to put in your briefcase while on the road, you cannot go wrong with any of the devices below.
Once you get back from your trip, these devices can be plugged into a TV in your house. I pop the Roku into my office TV or even on my extra computer monitor if I'm feeling lazy.
For a more dedicated home streaming system, I would recommend looking at some of the premium options from Roku, Amazon and Apple.