Streaming services and streaming media players make it easy for people to consume entire seasons of their favorite shows and all of their favorite movies seamlessly. Here are some tips to help you pick the best streaming media player for you.
Things To Consider
Smart TVs Include Streaming Capabilities
Smart TVs have been designed and engineered to operate with streaming media services right out of the box. You might not have to purchase a dedicated media player if this is the case.
Streaming Media Players And Services Are Affordable
Compared to traditional cable and satellite television, dedicated media players and streaming services are much more affordable.
Picking The Right Type
Internet Speed Dictates Streaming Quality
You’ll need high-speed Internet to watch streaming services in crystal-clear high definition. Your broadband speed will dictate the quality of your stream as well as how much it has to buffer before it plays.
5 Mbps Is The Baseline
This is the bare minimum speed you will need to have to stream high-definition content. Ideally you will have 10 Mpbs or higher. Regardless of your speed, picture quality usually starts off lower and builds within 30 seconds or so.
Features To Look For
Set Up Should Be Effortless
Look for streaming media player solutions that include an almost effortless setup and connection to your Wi-Fi network.
Multiple Connections Are Best
All streaming players include Wi-Fi connectivity, but look for ethernet jacks, HDMI connections, DLNA software, and the ability to cast via Bluetooth from your mobile devices.
Organized Applications Make Things Easier
All streaming devices are going to include “app store” compatibility. Be sure that they offer this in an organized way to eliminate headaches.
Universal Search Is Best
The best streaming media service devices include “universal search” capabilities which will search across ALL streaming service providers to find the content you’re looking for.
Smartly Designed Remotes Are Worth It
There’s nothing worse than dealing with a clunky remote. It’s worth investing in a quality remote if you have the budget for it.
Amazon currently offers two different streaming media players to stream their content as well as content from other services as well. The Fire TV is their set-top box and the Fire Stick is their stick style player.
The Apple TV allows you to purchase or rent movies from the iTunes Store but also gives access to Netflix and YouTube (though Amazon Prime is left out).
Google is responsible for the Chromecast devices, but all of the Android-based media players out there run off of the operating system that Google pioneered.
Best known for their videogame hardware options, this company got into the streaming services game recently and offer a streaming media player/gaming console hybrid that is very popular.
One of the pioneering companies in the streaming media hardware industry, Roku shipped their first model in 2008 and now make some of the most popular streaming media devices available for sale today.