We have gathered information from expert reviews, feedback generated by consumers, activity on social media sites, compared value for the money, prices, and brand quality in order to find the best streaming player on the market so you can enjoy a wide variety of movies, music, TV shows and more. While we were researching the best streaming devices the Roku 2 XS kept surpassing the competition due to its ability to stream over 600 channels in high definition clarity, its compatibility with almost any TV and the convenient MicroSD slot that provides you with plenty of storage for all of your favorite games. While this is the best streaming media player we realize that this model might not fit all budgets or be easily available when you need it which is why you should also consider the Roku 3 4230R as an alternative option. Its lower price easily fits most budgets and it is still able to stream hundreds of channels so you can enjoy a wide range of entertaining movies, games, sports, music and TV shows from the comfort of your home. This streaming device will only work with an HDTV which should be considered before you make your final decision.
How to Buy a New Streaming Player
A media streaming device is an inexpensive way to watch your favorite TV shows and movies without have to pay for costly cable or satellite service. Streaming boxes are easy to use, and often come with additional apps and services that you won’t find on a smart TV. If you are ready to “cut the cable” but don’t want to give up favorite shows and channels the following tips can help you find the best media streaming devices.
There are two basic types of streaming players and each has its own advantages. Set on top boxes are designed to connect to a HD TV, and there are several models to choose from. Since the size and shape of the box can vary according to the manufacturer, it is relatively easy for you to find one that fits in with your system. Set on top boxes also come with plenty of ports and USB connections so you can easily connect your mobile devices.
Stick style media players are typically less expensive than set on top boxes, but you are giving up some speed and performance. These small streaming devices simply plug into the HDMI port on your TV so you can access your favorite shows and movies. If you don’t need the fast response times necessary to play some of the graphic rich online games, an inexpensive streaming media stick might be the best choice for you.
Most appreciated Products – Comparison Table
|Product||Features||Price||Dimensions||Wireless||Our Rating||Get more info|
|Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and many more||$$||3.3 x 3.3 x 0.9 inch||Included||A+||Full review
|Amazing remote with headphone jack||$$$$||3.5 x 3.5 x 1 inch||Included||A||Full review
|iTunes movies and TV shows||$$$||3.9 x 3.9 x 0.9 inch||Included||B+||Full review
|Great with mobile devices, 2000+ streaming channels||$$$||3.5 x 3.5 x 1 inch||Included||B||AMAZON
|Access to Video Unlimited, a library of 4K titles||$$$$$||9.8 x 9.8 x 2.1 inch||No||C||AMAZON
Before you decide on a streaming player it is important to make sure that it is compatible with your internet connection. Not only will this determine if you can even use the streaming device, it will also affect picture quality. If you are only streaming media content to one device in the home, an internet speed of 5Mbps will let you enjoy your favorite shows.
Homes that are streaming media content to more than one device will need at least 10Mbps, but some recommend speeds up to 25Mbps. This is especially important if you want to take advantage of 4K content. Faster internet connection speeds are also necessary if you want to watch action packed movies without annoying buffering.
Being able to connect your devices to the streaming player is also important, and this includes your TV. If you own an older TV you might need an analog-video connection, and most mobile devices require a USB port. An Ethernet jack allows you to have a wired internet connection, and inputs for headphones are always convenient. All video streaming devices come with at least one HDMI input so you can easily connect to your HD TV.
Streaming TV devices often come with a wide array of features that can improve your experience. If you want to avoid spending hours trying to setup the streaming device and ensure that everyone can easily use it, you might want to look for one with a “WPS” label. With Wi-Fi protected setup there are not any passwords to enter or remember, all you have to do is press a button to enjoy streaming media content.
Other convenient features to consider include the ability to organize and manage your apps on the home screen, and “universal search” functions are always appreciated. This lets you search for a movie or show across several streaming services at one time so you can quickly find what you are looking for.
If performance is important you might want to choose a streaming player that comes with dual band Wi-Fi capabilities. This ensures that internet signal is not interrupted even when other devices are using the same frequency. You also want to choose a streaming player with an easy to use remote. Backlighting will make it easier to see the buttons in the dark, and voice active controls are great when you want to search for specific titles. Programmable buttons for often used functions are also a convenient option to have.
There are several brands to choose from, but there are a few that stand out from the others. Amazon, Apple and Google are some of the most recognizable names, along with Roku and Nvidia. Vudu and Mohu are also well respected brands. When you are trying to decide on a brand consider the design of the streaming player, along with the services it is compatible with.
Even though we can’t choose the right device for you we can help you make an informed decision, which is why we have the best streaming players showcased below.
Top rated streaming players in 2016
A growing number of the current top rated streaming player reviews from both technicians and satisfied users underline the efficiency of the Roku 2 XS model, a product very popular in the US. The Roku 2 XS delivers an impressive 1080p visual streaming experience worthy of sharing with friends. Once Roku XS is up and running, you will have access to 600+ channels, coming from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu and also HBO GO in 1080p high definition quality. You can also play games through game-ready remote thus expanding the whole experience.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.82)
If you got bored of the same TV programs and nothing seems to draw your attention here is the right “treatment”: one of the best streaming players in 2016. Over 1.000 channels and headphones which can be connected to the motion control remote are now available just in one tinny product. If you don’t like the remote, there is absolutely no problem because thanks to the iOS and Android apps your mobile phone can be used to control the device. Plus, you can transfer files from phones or tablets directly to your TV. The only problem is that now you have to fight your family for the remote.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($80.89)
With this set on top box you have access to thousands of shows, movies, music and games, along with international channels. The streaming service comes with the box free of charge, and will even install updates automatically. It is extremely easy to setup, simply connect the device to your internet and TV. You will also appreciate knowing that the Rveal streaming player comes with a limited warranty and U.S. based customer support. It also comes with a convenient remote for easy control.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299)
This streaming media stick ensures that you won’t miss your cable TV provider. You will still have access to your favorite shows, along with thousands of movies, music and games. The Fire Stick simply plugs into the HDMI port on your TV and you can immediately start streaming all of your favorite media content. This streaming player also comes with 1GB of memory so you can save the progress on your games. It is also capable of providing you with the high quality performance you need to avoid buffering and annoying lag times. As an added bonus the Fire Stick also gives you access to movies and music on Amazon Prime.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
If you need a high performance streaming player the RQN MXQ might be just what you are looking for. It is capable of supporting HD playback, and comes with a powerful 3D graphics processor. This streaming player will even allow you to connect a USB mouse so you can play Android games on your HD TV. There are four USB ports so you can easily connect multiple devices, along with inputs of newer and older model TVs. The large vents on the side of the media player prevent overheating, and its sleek appearance blends in beautifully with the rest of your gear.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($32.99)
Apple is well known for its high quality products and to this extent the Apple TV MD199LL/A streaming player makes no exception. With a beautiful and modern design, the Apple TV MD199LL/A allows your TV to become the center of your multimedia and visual entertainment life, bringing lots of enjoyment to all members of the house. You will be able to see all of your favorite movies and TV-shows through iTunes right on your big screen LED or LCD TV. Furthermore, your computer will wirelessly synchronize with your Apple TV, enhancing the cinematic experience. This is the reason why thousands of satisfied customers consider the Apple TV MD199LL/A as one of the best streaming players in 2016.
Buy from Amazon.com for: See the Price!
Built to deliver impressively lightning fast performance, the Roku 2 4210R Streaming Media Player 2016 model lets you watch more than 2000 streaming channels free, on subscription, via rentals or through purchases. The new streaming media player lets you search across multiple channels so you can watch more than the standard TV fare when you want, as you want. Make the most of what streaming media sources have to offer with this revolutionary device. The easy-to-use remote is geared with channel shortcut buttons so you won’t need to consistently jog your memory every time you want to enjoy a show, video, movie, music and much more.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($52.99)
It is really not surprising why a lot of people love the Sony FMP-X1 4K Ultra HD Media Player, as evident on the best streaming players reviews. It is because it has 10 pre-loaded bonus feature films and a regularly updated library that contains full-length feature films and TV shows in 4K Ultra HD that is fully accessible. It also has 100 titles to choose from, giving you a wide selection of alternatives to download. From a collection of titles, including new releases, classic movies and TV episodes, you’ll surely have a lot of alternatives, with Ultra HD rentals.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($429)
Considered by a growing number of people as one of the best streaming players in 2016 due to its high quality design and solid functionality, the Roku 2 XD allows the user to watch movies and TV shows from Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, VUDU, Netflix and HBO Go. All of your favourite movies and TV-shows will be present right in the palm of your hand without having to deal with restrictions. The device has a simple, wireless set-up process that takes only a couple of minutes. The Roku 2 XD delivers a complete cinematic experience in impressive 1080p high definition clarity.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($98.35)
Now, your dream of having a real web experience straight from your TV screen is possible with the Sony NSZGS8 Internet Player with Google TV. After testing this gadget, its built-in Google TV feature, voice search capability and more application choices with the Google Play Store, exposed this product as being the real deal. If you are looking for your favorite movies’ or shows’ highlights, you can now have them instantly by simply typing thanks to the improved searching ability of Google. On top of it, you don’t need to have switch inputs to use Google TV because it is already connected to your cable or satellite service. With an innovative remote control that is also universal and a multi-touch pinch-and-pull zoom control, among others, there is nothing more to look for.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($269)
Most of the current top rated streaming player reviews coming from thousands of satisfied users underline the efficiency of the Sony SMP-N200 model, a product known for its amazing characteristics. Due to its wireless synchronization feature, the Sony SMP-N200, once installed on your television set allows you to watch various movies, documentaries, TV-shows from Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus or HBO Go. The Sony SMP-N200 streaming player allows the user to view 1080p high definition clarity videos without any problems or restrictions. This is the reason why so many people consider the Sony SMP-N200 a great addition to any home.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.95)
Products which are no longer available
At the present more and more families consider the Roku LT model as one of the best streaming players in 2016 because of its precise functionality and great responsiveness. With a modern design, the Roku LT can stream around 600+ channels to your television set via wireless very easy and without any restriction. Roku LT can deliver 720p high definition video quality every time. Once you install Roku LT you will be able to see movies and TV shows from online channels like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video or HBO Go.