Dear Reader, are you tired of paying for a cable TV connection; or a broadcast television for that matter? Has your search for an alternative led you to find the device known as “media-streaming player”?
Or are you that type of consumer who wants his TV to be supplemented by a “media streaming player” as well as “conventional TV networks”.
By the way, if curiosity brought you here, the here is what a media-streaming player basically is:
Digital media players (DMP) are home entertainment consumer electronics devices that can connect to a home network to stream digital media (such as music, pictures, or video), and are not to be confused with portable media players (also known as mobile media player). – As per Wikipedia
So, whatever the reason may be, you have come to the right place. There is a variety of media-streaming players available in the market and it can be a bit tricky to judge the best for you.
So without further hindrance here is a comparison between the top media-streaming players in the market:
As with all Apple products, the Apple TV is a known as “it is simple, reliable, it and works”. If you are already invested in the Apple ecosystem, then the Apple TV will prove to be quite a companion.
If you have a vast iTunes library of music, movies then you can easily stream them via Apple TV.
It is dead simple to push music photos and videos in between your iPad, iPod and you TV via the device. This feature goes by the name “AirPlay”. Hence with AirPlay you will get access to a lot of apps that has no native support in the box (Apple TV).
But unluckily, you will be devoted from the Amazon Instant. Currently, you do get exclusive HBO GO and Watch ESPN with the device.
Now one of its key features can also become a problem. The fact the entire UI is iTunes centric can be a little annoying for people who like other online stores.
There is also no support for playing games and cross-platform searching.
Even still, the device is very capable, and if you are an Apple user (and like it!), you should try out Apple TV.
The device is Available for $69 only. Click on Apple TV and visit its official website.
Okay, so the first detail we like to address here is the price. Chromecast is priced at just $35. Even if you use it seldom, the pricing makes you feel like you have got your money’s worth.
Unlike most of the media playing devices, the Chromecast comes in the form of a USB stick. The dongle will fit behind your TV out of your sight. Now it does need power and will either use it from your TV’s USB port or the included power adaptor.
The Chromecast doesn’t come with a remote or a UI for that matter. Everything is controlled via your phone or tablet. This can be disturbing as even the act of pausing will require you to unlock your phone.
On the app side, all your apps requirement is covered. Mostly all of the existing Android apps along with some iOS app will work with your Chromecast.
So if the absence of a UI and a dedicated remote doesn’t ruin your mood, Chromecast is an excellent but at $35.
Click on Chromecast and visit its official website.
Amazon Fire TV:
Now if you are a traveler, Amazon Fire TV should be your choice of media playing device. A recent software update gave Fire TV ability to access “captive portal” Internet systems, the kind common to hotels, dorms, and apartment complexes.
Currently, the Fire TV is the only streaming device capable of doing so.
It has a feature called “ASAP”. It will work only with Amazon Instant and Prime videos. Movies and TV shows stream almost instantly, or at least faster than other streaming services.
You can also get a remote for $30 to which is voice-search capable, and it is very accurate.
From all the streaming devices in the market, Amazon’s Fire TV has the best gaming support including loads of App support.
The device is available in forms of both; a Stick and a Box. The Amazon Fire TV stick costs $39 and the box $99.
Click on Amazon Fire TV and visit its official website.
Conclusion and Notes:
It pretty much comes down to this. If you are an Apple user, your best buy is the Apple TV, if not you have two alternatives. Considering that UI on a TV isn’t a compulsory for you and you’ll be happy just by steaming then go for Chromecast. Or else go for the Amazon Fire TV. the Fire TV will also be a great companion for your travels.