Top 10 Moments in Streaming History

For National streaming Day we thought it would be fun to look at some of the milestones of the last 10 years. This list is not definitive but attempts to points you towards the moves that started trends and grew the idea of consumer side streaming to the forefront. Its got a long way to go but wow its come far since it started.

Apple Launches Apple TV

March 21 2017 While it has never become the market leader in the category a look at streaming history can not be done without acknowledging the debut of Apple TV. The original product was called iTV and was very different from what came later and was designed as a companion to Mac computers that allowed users to play purchased iTunes content on their TV’s. All streaming was local and exclusive to Apple.

Roku launches Netflix Player box

Roku, which had previously released sound bars and internet based radio systems launches a new device that allows subscribers to the popular DVD by mail service Netflix, to watch movies directly from the Internet. The device which was conceived by Netflix then spun off as a separate company first set-top device partner. Its fun to see early reviews on the service and compare them to todays feelings on Netflix.


Netflix launches on Xbox 1st console

Now Streaming on Xbox. Netflix launched on the Xbox 360 as an exclusive deal as far as game consoles were concerned. The Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii would have to wait their turn. This showed a growing trend for Netflix as it began to be found on multiple internet connected devices.

Netflix jumps on the PlayStation 3

Move over xBox, there was a new home for Netflix. All users had to do was insert a special DVD disc that Netflix mailed out to install the ability to watch Netflix’s service with 10,000 movies and TV shows. That’s right folks 10,000. Just wait till they start putting 1st run Hollywood hits on…………..

Netflix launches on the Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii, which had already revitalized the Ninetndo brand in the gaming world added the popular and growing Netflix Streaming option. Because of its age the console became a go to affordable streaming device.  Its wide range family appeal meant that it was the first time most people had a device that could stream Netflix as PS3 and Xbox were more geared towards heavy gamers. It marked Netflix’s biggest leap into the living room and was an important step towards the mainstreaming of the on-demand service.

Apple TV Gets apps

September 2010 Apple TV 2nd generation launches Brings Netflix and Youtube to the device. Steve Jobs recognizes that the walled garden approach does not sell well in the growing TV landscape and announces a new smaller Apple TV that can play content without the need to connect to any other computers. The second generation box featured the line up of Apple content but also featured Netflix and YouTube. The YouTube addition separated Apple TV from Roku at the time. The 2nd gen model may have started the modern competition in the streaming box world that has brought us were we are today. Check out the video. The Apple TV demo is around the 50 minute mark as the “one more thing”


Fire TV Launches

Eager to get in on the streaming set-top game Amazon jumps into another digital field building on what it had already done with Kindle Fire tablets. Would it be a “Roku Killer”, would it support XBMC? The Amazon news sent hackers and programmers clamoring. Fire TV was also notable as the first streaming box to feature console like games. Apple TV had none and Roku had simple click based games along with angry birds. Fire TV was the first to have a dedicated game controller.

Chromecast debuts

You would think there had been no way to watch Netflix before the Chromecast burst onto the scene. A Netflix coupon that allowed users to save on a month of the streaming service compelled massive sales of the device even though at the time it only featured compatibility with Netflix, YouTube and Pandora along with Google Movies and the ability to mirror PC via the Chrome browser.


Google Launches Android TV to Replace Google TV

Google had been in the streaming space for some time partnering with TV manufacturers and connected TV devices with little to show for its efforts. Numerous problems plagued the Google TV brand. In response Google launched a modern interface that has become very popular on smart TV’s and numerous 3rd party boxes. While it rolled out its own branded Nexus Player at the time the device never made a big impact. The platform turned out to be more popular for other partners. This includes a number of 3rd party partners from TV and telcos providers across the world. It has stood the test of time so far.

Sling TV Launches

After experimenting with streaming live TV through Dish World, Dish launched Sling Television. This was the first legit way to subscribe to cable channels outside of the standard cable and satellite companies.  While its parent company is Dish, Sling TV stands as its own product. It debut launched a new trend as others followed suit including Sony with PlayStation Vue and AT&T with Direct TV Now. There are now 7 or more direct to consumer options for those who want cable channels without cable.