If you are a fan of streaming, and you want the best streaming experience, then you must be in dire need of an excellent media streamer. Below is a rundown of the best media streamers of 2016:
Roku Streaming Stick
Costing a paltry $50, Roku Streaming Stick is undoubtedly the most inexpensive devices for streaming video that you can get from HBO, Sling TV, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and other online services. Despite its modest pricing, the stick is just as responsive as any of those highly priced devices. It is lightning fast. It comes with an updated app that permits you to listen to the videos you are streaming through the phone’s headphone jack. Besides, the Roku system provides you with better search, more apps and additional customization than any other.
However, the device, amazing as it is, comes with its share of downsides. For example, it only works via Wi-Fi as it doesn’t have an Ethernet port. Some of its apps’ interfaces aren’t as polished as the ones in competing devices. A few users have also complained that the private listening feature sometimes loses lip-sync with Bluetooth headphones.
Overall, this is the best value in streaming video hardware.
Apple TV (2015)
If you are into iTunes TV shows, music, and movies as well as games on the iPhone or iPad, the Apple TV is a must-have device. There is a lot that Apple TV is capable of- for example, it offers arguably the best video experience today, is responsive and caps it all with an easy to use yet attractive interface. What is more? It comes with the best remote you can find on the market today. The Siri voice search is awesome. The array of apps that come with Apple TV is simply amazing. And what if there is an unsupported app but which fascinates you? Don’t worry; there is AirPlay- AirPlay can be used for apps that aren’t supported.
The one huge downside is that it costs a lot more than similar devices such as Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV though they have the same core functions. Also, there isn’t a dedicated app for Amazon or other a la carte video service.
The price notwithstanding, this is still an awesome streaming device, especially if you have already invested in iTunes Movies and Music, and if you already own a lot of Apple gadgets.
Roku 3 (2015)
The Roku 3 is a great improvement of the Stick- though you have to pay a lot more. The improved remote gives you handy access to voice search and a headphone jack for private listening. The Roku 3 also comes with a wired Ethernet port. Remember one of the downsides of the Roku Stick is its lack of a port. However, it is noteworthy that the cheaper Streaming Stick is as fast as the Roku 3 and offers virtually all of Roku’s platform advantages.
All in all, the voice search capability makes the Roku 3 one of the best video streamer in its price class.
Roku 4 delivers 4K video and promises the best-quality video streams you can find today. It features apps that can seamlessly work with 4K TV without any glitches. Its remote has voice search as well as a unique headphone jack for private listening. Its platform is excellent and is a repository of a wide range of apps. The apps are arranged by the price, and the interface is simple, attractive and user-friendly.
The downside is that most 4K TVs come with 4K apps already built-in which poses challenges as 4K content is scarce and new 4K movies are expensive.
In conclusion, it is the best way one can get the most 4K video today.
Amazon Fire Stick
If you don’t like Roku or Apple devices, but you love Amazon video services, then you should opt for the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Though a little slower than Amazon’s Fire TV box, this stick is still a better bargain going by the price.
Whatever you can watch on your phone or tablet or computer, the very cheap Chromecast can help put it on your TV. The downside is it does not come with a separate remote- meaning you’ll need your phone or tablet or computer to use it.
Therefore, find a device that works for you and buy it. You’ll love the experience. All of the listed prices have their share of advantages and disadvantages. What you choose will, for the most part, depend on your preferences and the experience you want.