Best Streaming Media Player

Reviews

Feb 08
Best Streaming Media Player

Today, more movie and television consumers are opting for media streaming and eschewing subscriptions with traditional cable TV providers. To meet the demands, more streaming media players are released to the market every year. With all the devices out there, it’s hard to pinpoint which one works best for a viewer’s streaming needs.

Top 3 Streaming Media Players

While there are a plethora of streaming devices available for purchase, these three offer the most options, and are the top sellers in the U.S.

Roku Streaming Stick

Best Streaming Media PlayerRoku is one of the first streaming media players, and since their release, they have upgraded continually to improve their service. The original system was small and portable. However, Roku wanted to make their devices more accessible by moving toward the “stick” design.

What is Great About It?

  • Portable
  • One of the cheapest options for streaming media players
  • Streams multiple apps, including HBO, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Sling TV
  • Quick response times
  • More apps and customization features than other devices

What Can be Improved

  • Only works via Wi-Fi – there is no Ethernet port
  • Some app interfaces are not as high-tech
  • Can lose sync with Bluetooth headsets frequently

Apple TV

Best Streaming Media PlayerApple wanted to provide their loyal customers with a rich streaming media player.

From the voice-activated controls to the ability to control the system with an Apple iPhone, it is a versatile addition to anyone proud to be part of the Apple family.

What is Great About It?

  • Highly polished TV streaming experience
  • Voice commands offer unique interaction
  • Fantastic selection of apps for TV, including HBO, Netflix, and Apple exclusives
  • Attractive, familiar interface for Apple users

What Can be Improved?

  • No dedicated Amazon app
  • Costs more than other streaming media players, but functions the same
  • No a la carte video services available
  • Extremely costly and not affordable for all users
  • Only two versions available for purchase – not as many options as other companies

Amazon Fire TV

Best Streaming Media PlayerAmazon already offers streaming capabilities with Amazon Prime memberships, but now they also offer streaming with their media device.

Fire TV is one of the few to offer 4K capabilities, rich features, and voice searches.

What is Good About It?

  • Voice search feature lets users talk to their Amazon Fire TV remote
  • Accesses thousands of streaming apps
  • In-depth parental controls for maximum monitoring
  • Gaming edition features Bluetooth controller
  • 4K Ultra streaming capabilities
  • Expandable SD storage card

What Could be Improved?

  • Amazon puts emphasis on their own apps more than others, like Netflix and Hulu
  • Search results feature Amazon choices first and hide other apps
  • Interface cannot be customized

Which Media Streaming Device Wins?

All three devices offer excellent interfaces and capabilities. However, the Roku often wins not only because it is the most affordable, but because it is not promoted by a specific brand (i.e. Apple or Amazon). Instead, they treat all apps and companies fairly, allowing users to customize which apps they use, how their homepage looks, and what they get from their device.

Those who use Apple devices, however, may appreciate Apple TV more, while those tuned into Amazon may find the Fire TV option better for their home.