View photos Amazon Fire TV with Alexa
Why should you buy this: More 4K support than Nvidia Shield TV, better gaming than Roku Premiere+, built-in Alexa, and a great price.
$69.99 from Amazon Fire TV
Who it’s for: Users who want a bit of everything.
How much will it cost: $70 ($80 for the Echo Dot bundle)
Why we picked the Amazon Fire TV:
If you’re reading this article and every single device sounds like something you want, the Fire TV (specifically
the new model, which ships October 25) might be for you. It doesn’t have every feature of the other streamers on this list, but it offers a compelling mix of some of the best features available.
Like many of the other streamers here, the Fire TV supports 4K resolution and HDR playback via HDR10, though not Dolby Vision. When it comes to gaming, the Fire TV also sits in the middle of the pack. It’s not a gaming-focused device like the Nvidia Shield TV, but it’s much better for gaming than any Roku model thanks to the available gaming controller (plus,
Amazon’s selection features popular titles like Minecraft and Shovel Knight, while Roku’s comprises a bunch of generic games). Amazon even sells a version of the Fire TV that bundles in the gaming controller.
In terms of content, you won’t find quite as many apps as Roku devices, but all of the big players are here. In addition to Amazon’s own sizable library of content, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now offer on-demand content, while Sling TV and PlayStation Vue are available for live TV. As a bonus, the Fire TV version of PlayStation Vue offers an interface that is almost equivalent to the PlayStation 4 experience. If you’re looking to stream in 4K, however, you are limited to Amazon and Netflix content.
The price of the new Fire TV is currently just $70, making it an even better option for those who feel most comfortable with the Amazon ecosystem.
Our full review The best mini-streamer Roku Express > Roku Express review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: It’s a cheap, effective way to add smarts to your TV.
$29.00 from Amazon $29.99 from Roku
Who it’s for: Anyone who just wants a simple, cheap streamer.
How much will it cost: $30
Why we picked the Roku Express:
If you don’t have a 4K or HDR-enabled television, you obviously don’t need to spend close to $100 on a device that streams in 4K. Similarly, if all you’re looking to do is stream Netflix, you don’t need to buy a device that offers zillions of unnecessary apps. Luckily, the Roku Express offers basic functionality for a basic price, without extraneous bells or whistles.
The cheapest product in the Roku lineup (and the cheapest item on this list), the Roku Express is understandably limited when compared to many of the other products, but it’s still pretty loaded for the price. More than 1,000 apps are available, including many we previously mentioned like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO Now, as well as both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. The Express also includes a traditional AV input cable — remember, the red, yellow, and white plugs? — so it’s your only option if you want to stream to a TV without an HDMI input.
The interface is just as user-friendly as any other Roku model, and while the Express isn’t as powerful as its siblings, it’s still more than functional. Roku’s recent update boosted the Express’s power by five times, so navigation is noticeably smoother than before. If you’re looking to add some smart features to an older TV, this is a cheap and effective way to do so. The Express is also a nice choice for a second or third TV that doesn’t need a glut of features.
Read more here Other Information How we test
We test our streaming players over a period of days or weeks, replicating exactly how you’d use them in real-life scenarios. That includes testing them for speed, convenience, intuitiveness, and a variety of features. Just as important as speed and power is access to a wide variety of apps — after all, most TVs and Blu-ray players are already set up for basic streaming — a designated streamer should offer something more.
A streamer might have the best hardware in the world, but this won’t matter if you can only watch content from one streaming service. In order to meet our standard, a streaming media player ideally supports all or most of the major content providers, as well as a wide variety of newer features like 4K Ultra HD and HDR. Finally, we look at how much quality and how many features you get on a dollar-by-dollar scale, to assure each of our top streamers is not only a great experience but also a great value.
Is now a good time to buy?
Whether or not now is the time to jump on one of these streaming media devices depends on what catches your eye. For Roku models, the answer is a definite yes. Buy one of the most recent Roku streamers — launched in October — and you can be fairly certain that you’ll be set for the next few years, even if you buy a new, top-tier TV.
Likewise, Amazon and Apple just launched new editions of their Apple TV and Fire TV, respectively, with 4K and HDR support. Apple tends to take longer to update their hardware, so if that’s the route you want to go, now is the best time to buy.
The Nvidia Shield TV is similar to the above devices, though in this particular case it’s whether or not to buy at all. Nvidia had been planning a successor to the Shield TV, but dropped those plans and we haven’t heard anything since. Still, despite relatively limited 4K and HDR support for the time being, this streaming box packs plenty of horsepower, and continues to gain more features with every software update.
Roku: Roku’s interface is common across every model, whether you’re talking the top of the line Ultra model or the entry-level Express. There is also a certain look to Roku apps, and you won’t find interface differences across different apps as much as you might on other platforms. As we’ve mentioned before, you’ll find nearly every streaming service or channel you care about represented here, and unlike certain other platforms, you won’t find any gaps, with the notable exception of iTunes, which is only available on Apple streamers.
Amazon: Amazon only offers two Fire TV models — the Fire TV and the Stick — but the interface is the same for both. Apps differ much more here than those found on other devices, and this can be a benefit. PlayStation Vue, for example, currently offers a much more intuitive interface on Fire TV devices. However, as Amazon wants to drive users toward its own store, there are some missing services here: Google Play isn’t available ( there is a workaround), nor Vudu. Both are available on Roku devices, and Vudu is available on every other streamer listed here.
Apple TV: The Apple TV user interface lies somewhere between Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Apps have a fairly consistent look, but you’ll always be able to tell you’re watching on an Apple TV. Similar to Amazon, Apple would prefer users buy and rent content via iTunes, so you won’t currently find apps for Amazon or Google Play (though an Amazon Video app is in the pipeline, perhaps launching soon). There is a fairly easy workaround, however, as both services offer mobile apps that allow content to be streamed to an Apple TV via AirPlay.
Chromecast: The Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are very different than the other streamers here in that you’re never browsing an interface on your TV as you would with the other services here (unless you’re actually using a TV with built-in Chromecast) — instead, you’re simply sending content to your TV from a computer or mobile device. Still, there are limitations. Streaming Amazon content to a Chromecast device, for example, isn’t possible. Workarounds are available, but they aren’t as simple as they are for the Apple TV. Android TV: Android TV is a little different than the other options here, in that manufacturers can put their own spin on the interface, similar to phone manufacturers with Android. The Shield TV implementation falls somewhere between the Roku and Fire TV in terms of looks, with apps exhibiting plenty of individuality. As with the Chromecast Ultra, Amazon Video isn’t available out of the box, though it can be cast or sideloaded if you want to dive under the hood. Words and terms you need to know 4K Ultra HD: The highest resolution currently available, around four times that of 1080p HD (3,840 x 2,160). It is quickly becoming the standard for new TVs. 802.11ac Wi-Fi: The most recent and fastest Wi-Fi standard, not as fast as Ethernet, but faster than 802.11n. Android TV: A smart TV platform powered by Android and available across smart TVs, set-top boxes, and more. Casting: A term, popularized by Google, for sourcing content from the internet from a mobile device or computer to a TV or set-top box. HDR: Short for High Dynamic Range, HDR offers better contrast and more colors than standard dynamic range. It’s considered by many to be a more notable visual improvement than 4K Ultra HD resolution itself. HDR10: One of the two most popular HDR formats, and an open standard backed by Samsung, Sony, LG, and other companies. Dolby Vision: One of the two most popular HDR formats. Proprietary, and less popular than the other format, HDR10, Dolby Vision has advantages, such as the ability to gauge your HDR TV’s capabilities and tailor the HDR experience.
Update: We included information about the new Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire devices.
Source : https://ph.news.yahoo.com/best-media-streaming-device-buy-162917674.html