Tired of paying too much for cable? If so, join the thousands of customers who left their subscription cable service last year.
Yet they’re not missing out on their favorite movies and shows. They’ve ditched the cumbersome and expensive cable box for a multimedia streaming box.
While Roku was the first company to release a multimedia player to the masses, rivals Google and Amazon are looking to get their own piece of the pie. Now that consumers have more choice than ever, most find themselves struggling to choose the right player for their needs.
It can be a difficult choice, so here’s an in-depth look at the best TV multimedia players on the market.
Leading the pack is Google’s popular streaming device, Chromecast. Of the three media streaming players listed in this article, Chromecast is perhaps the easiest for new cord-cutters to adopt.
The set-up is as easy as it gets. Connect the device to a television via the HDMI cord, then use a mobile device to stream content directly to the television.
Chromecast is a great choice for those who love to stream music, watch Netflix, or show off their photos. And since users stream content from their phones, there’s no need to worry about a clunky user interface.
If that wasn’t reason enough to love Google’s device, it’s also affordable. The basic model retails for $35, while the more powerful, HDR-capable model costs $69.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
A standard Fire TV Stick retails for a suggested MSRP of $39.99, which may turn some consumers toward the more cost-effective Chromecast.
But before ruling out the Fire TV Stick, it’s important to understand that Amazon’s streaming stick does far more than the competition.
Not only can users stream their favorite movies and shows through the hottest apps, but the stick can stream music from Amazon Music, as well as games through the Amazon TV App Store.
Last but not least, searching for those apps is a cinch thanks to the inclusion of Amazon’s Alexa voice control, automatically installed in each remote.
Roku Streaming Stick
While other streaming sticks have an edge over Roku’s devices, the grandfather of streaming sticks still outperforms them all. After a few minutes, it becomes quite clear why the company boasts an impressive install base of 15 million users.
Sure, it may not be the most complex piece of technology, but it does exactly what one needs it to do. Plus, it’s hard to beat the price of $30 for a lower-end model and $69.99 for the newer model with 4K and HDR capabilities.
Though the UI is a bit clunky and outdated, it gets the job done and navigating through menus is simple.
And if users can’t find their favorite app pre-loaded onto the hardware, they can connect to the Roku Channel Store. From there, they can choose from thousands of channels, including Amazon and Hulu, as well as niche channels featuring genre films and specialized content.
It may not be the fastest streaming stick on the market, but it is the most reliable.
Choosing The Best TV Multimedia Players
Choosing between TV multimedia players can be quite tough. Ultimately, a user’s decision should come down to price, intended purpose – do users want to stream games as well as TV and movies? – and whether a user has a 4K television.
In truth, consumers can’t go wrong with either of the three top streaming sticks.
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