Every American with a smart TV prefers to buy a streaming media player, to have access to services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. Currently, the best three products from the market are the Apple TV, the Amazon Fire TV and the Roku 3, which come with a lot of features and decent prices. Below, you’ll find out more about them and you’ll decide which one deserves your money.
Apple TV (third generation)
Apple’s streamer costs $70 and it can be ordered from the official website. It looks like a small black box with rounded corners and it measures 23x98x98mm and weights 272grams. It’s powered by an Apple single-core A5 processor and it’s powered by a built-in 6-watt universal power supply. The device is paired with a remote control and connects via Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and it has Bluetooth support for Apple Wireless Keyboard (but the software version for Apple TV must be 5.2 or later). The maximum video output is 1080p and the users will get an iTunes Store account, so they can buy or rent movies, TV shows, music, or to listen to iTunes Radio. In addition to getting another iCloud account, to view photos and videos from iCloud photo stream, or to watch movies in iMovie Theater, the users will have access to the Apple Music subscription service and with the AirPlay feature, they can stream content from iPads, iPhones or iPod Touch devices, to a TV. The streamer supports AirPlay mirroring, so you can mirror anything you have on your iOS device. Unfortunately, from the list of supported services are missing Amazon, M-Go and Vudu, but the users have access to HBO Go, HBO Now, WatchABC, Showtime Anytime and other popular channels.
Amazon Fire TV
This streamer is more expensive at $100, but that’s because it has gaming capabilities and extra features. It looks like a black box, as well, but with sharp corners, it measures 115x115x17.5mm and it weights 281 grams. It’s powered by a quad core Qualcomm Krait 300 processor clocked at 1.7GHz, which is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset along with Adreno 320 graphics and 2GB of LPDDR2 RAM. It has an internal memory of 8GB, but you can add a USB drive to expand the storage. The streamer runs on Fire OS 3.0 Mojito and supports voice commands. The FreeTime feature will offer a kids’ environment, allowing the parents to limit the access for viewing content, and if they agree to let their kids play games, they can buy a game controller which costs $30. The users can subscribe to Prime Music songs and playlists, connect Bluetooth headphones to listen to music, and watch movies from the most important channels.
Roku 3 (second generation)
It costs also $100, but here’s what you’ll get in exchange: 2,000+ channels in the U.S., a remote with a voice search button, a free application which allows using a smartphone or tablet, the Roku Feed feature, which allows tracking content that interests you, so that you’ll be alerted when your favorite movie will hit streaming services etc. If there are more people in the same room with your, or sleeping, and you don’t want to bother them, you can plug in a headphone into the remote and you will watch movies without making any sound. The device measures 89x25x25mm, it weights 141grams and it’s powered by a BCM11130 900 MHz processor with 512MB of RAM, and has an internal memory of256MB, which supports expansion.