According to available data, Global Entertainment Industry is expected to top $2 Trillion in 2016. This whopping number is in largely contributed by the emergence of the internet. Thanks to online content, we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want, and on whichever device we want. Yet, nothing matches the pure bliss of watching those eye blinding, explosion ridden, blockbuster action films, or experiencing the nail biting moments of your favorite sports on the big screen. However much we may love our portable devices, the big screen home theater always has a special place in our hearts. Be it the comfort of the couch, or the direct access to popcorn in the kitchen, watching shows on TV is a pleasure. That’s why we bring to you the best streaming players to take your TV viewing experience to another level. You can find the newest and best television and video streaming service provider right here.
Roku 3 ($95.94)
Roku is presently in its third installment of absolute dominion over the streaming players industry. This completely unassuming player sports more than 2,000 channels – something that its competitors do not even come near to. Its services include Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Google Play Movies and TV, Amazon Video, Hasbro Studios, and many others. The box comes with a remote control that can even be used as a motion control device. For private television experience, the remote control has its own headphone jack. Perhaps the most pleasant experience of owning the Roku 3 is navigating through its beautiful and intuitive cross platform interface. It also comes with a powerful search feature that finds you the exact content you are looking for. Moreover, unlike other devices, Roku 3 does not need a USB for storage. Instead, it comes with a microSD card slot for extra space for apps and games. The device can be connected to the internet via Wi-Fi, or through Ethernet. No doubt, Roku 3 is the best streaming player in the market, and at this price, it is a steal.
Roku Streaming Stick ($46.99)
What’s better than Roku 3? Well, nothing actually, but if anything can beat a Roku, then it has got to be Roku itself. The Roku’s Streaming Stick is the best in the market, and comes with all the great functionalities of Roku 3. Do not be mistaken by its size. This benign looking stick is as much of a monster as its big brother. It is loaded with more than 2,000 channels, and streams them in all their high definition awesomeness. Roku Streaming Stick does away with the bulky size of Roku 3, and fits snugly into any HDMI equipped TV. It comes with a remote control, but does not sport the headphone jack or the motion control system in Roku 3. However, we are certainly not complaining since it comes at half the price. You can also control your entertainment using iOS and Android apps. Like we said, the streaming stick is as awesome as its bigger counterpart, and significantly less expensive.
Now that you have met the industry’s best, let us take a look at those that offer the most value per buck. Google’s Chromecast comes nowhere near Roku’s content, and certainly isn’t as robust. But, one thing that separates Chromecast from the rest is its simplicity. You can use the device from apps that are already
on your device, or which you can download. It doesn’t come with an interface, and the content navigation and selection are done on the smartphone, tablet, or the PC. Once you have selected, the content for streaming, the dongle streams it from the cloud without using your device any longer. One of the most useful features of Chromecast is that it allows you to stream the content directly from your Google Chrome. Apart from this, it supports thousands of third party apps, which are capable of streaming content to it. Even with all these features, it costs only $27.97, which makes it the best value for money streamer on the market.
Nexus Player ($69.99)
Nexus player is Google’s second offering in the streamer category. Nexus Player is a set-top box, manufactured by Asus for Google. It has a variety of apps, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and others. Google brings two of its most powerful features to the Nexus Player. One, it has the voice-activated search feature, which can be accessed through remote control to browse through the content. Second, it features Google Cast – the control of media playback on TV from other devices, just as in Chromecast. The only downside of this streamer is the glaring absence of the Ethernet port. Although you can stream content using Wi-Fi, the absence of Ethernet port is something that might push away fans of its fans. Nevertheless, the Nexus range of devices is known for their great features, and low cost design models, and the Nexus Player continues its tradition by selling it at an affordable price of $69.99. An interesting addition is the integrated gaming feature, which offers a great experience for those of you who pick the optional gaming controller.
Amazon Fire TV ($99)
Amazon Fire TV is one of the slickest and the best performing streamers out there, albeit at an above- average price of $99. The device is loaded with thousands of hours of free movies and shows. Apart from the free services, the device has hundreds of thousands of TV show episodes and movies for streaming. It features everything from Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and so much more. It even has dedicated gaming support, which means you can buy an optional gaming controller for an extra $40. Also, it comes with a voice recognition system, which makes the content search a breeze. This device has been a great hit among Amazon Prime users, and the reasons are aplenty. You might notice an irritating aspect of the device – the first party apps are always in plain view, while you have to navigate to apps section to use third party apps. The interface is not great, but it has a powerful hardware and offers excellent HD experience. Currently, the device is not being sold by Amazon on its website, and we expect the next version of the device to hit the market soon. Anyway, given the price range at which the current version of Fire TV is being sold, we certainly think Roku 3 is a better bang for the buck.
Apple TV (Next Generation – $149)
Since its release in 2007, Apple TV has been one of Apple most neglected products. While few of its competitors may have overtaken it, it still remains one of the better offerings in the market. However, a fourth generation version of the Apple TV has recently been announced, which we think will have hardcore Apple fans swooning all over it. And rightly so. The new Apple TV’s controller comes with motion control feature for playing games. It even has a touchscreen above a traditional keypad, for better menu navigation. What’s more, you even get a single-button click access to Siri. This time, Apple has opened up its hardware for third party developers. So you can expect better and improved ways of interacting with the streamed content. Apple TV is already one of the t content streamers out there in the market, and it seeks to outperform itself by offering movies and TV shows of its own. However, the company is not ready with it yet, and it will be some time before that happens. As for the newly arriving Apple TV in October this year, the 32GB internal storage version costs $149, while its 64GB sibling costs $199. We will not discuss whether it is worth its value, as Apple fans will buy it regardless. So why bother. Moreover, they could be right too. Let’s wait and see.