Are you looking for a media streamer with more applications, cooler feature and a lower price? Then you’ll have to choose between bunches of popular devices, and we’ll help you take the right decision. We’ve selected four of the best boxes, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV and we’ll talk about their specs and features.
Currently, there are four Roku players you can choose from: three generation of set top boxes and a stick, whose prices are between $49 and $99. The users get over 2000 applications and everytime a new channel is available, Roku gets it first. The boxes and the applications are updated frequently and the users are able to search for a title across 17 services, using their voices, because Roku has a remote app for Android and iOS. The disadvantage of Roku’s players is the weak mirroring and gaming.
A new streamer has been recently released and it also costs $35. Its design has been changed, so it’s no longer looking like a memory stick with a bulge at its base, but a disk with a HDMI cable which plugs into the back of the TV. The streamer covers major apps and it benefits from Cast support. What’s not to like about a Chromecast is the lack of TV interface, as the users need to control applications through their mobile devices. Also, Google hasn’t provided a remote control and the screen mirroring in spotty.
Apple released also a new generation Apple TV, costing $69, and it works in the proprietary ecosystem. This means that the users will download music, movies and TV shows from the iTunes and stream them on their TVs. Some applications might be missing, such as Pandora, but the users can download it to their iPhones, or iPads or Macs and stream it from there. The Apple TV supports AirPlay, which provides access to sites such as ComedyCentral.com. Until now, Apple hasn’t focused on gaming, but the new device will benefit from many exclusive titles.
Amazon Fire TV
Likewise Roku, it has boxes and sticks and the prices are between $39 and $99. The users can load content from Amazon and they have a feature called ASAP, which is available with Instant and Prime videos. The box supports the voice feature, as well, and the users will speak into the remote, while those who own a Fire stick must buy the remote which costs $30. The awesome thing about the Fire TV is that it comes loaded with games which were firstly compatible with phones and tablets. The users will play using their remotes, or they can get the optional controller which costs $40. The downside of a Fire TV is the pushy interface, which puts Amazon Instant video front and center all the time.