Streaming players make it possible for you to watch a variety of entertaining media content on your TV, and there are several options to choose from. To ensure you find the right streaming media player to meet all of your entertainment needs we have included the following informative tips that will also help you save time and money.
How to choose a streaming player
There are several types of streaming players to choose from, and each has its own advantages. In most cases, finding the right one will depend on your budget and what you want to watch.
Set on top boxes: These convenient streaming players sit on top of your TV or a nearby shelf. Available in a range of prices, the small box connects to your TV and delivers the media content via a cable or through the satellite provider.
Streaming players: Available in a range of sizes and styles, it is relatively easy to find a streaming player that fits your needs and budget. Unlike set on top boxes which require a cable, these convenient devices can be either wired or wireless.
Apple TV: If you want to enjoy the shows and movies offered by popular streaming services, this small box might be exactly what you need. Its wireless design lets you place it almost anywhere near your TV and it is also the only streaming player that is compatible with iTunes.
Amazon Fire TV Stick or Box: Compatible with Amazon Prime, consumers can choose the portable stick or small set on top box. Both devices plug easily into your HDTV to stream thousands of shows and movies, and come with a convenient remote. An app can be downloaded with the stick so you can use voice commands to control the remote from a compatible smart phone or tablet. The remote included with the box is already capable of recognizing voice commands without downloading the app.
Roku: This brand offers consumers three streaming options, and all are easy and convenient to use. Each one is capable of streaming a wide variety of media content, though gamers might want to consider choosing a Roku 3 since it also comes with a headphone jack. Prices will vary between the different options, so it is important to decide which features you need before you choose a streaming player from Roku.
Google Chromecast: This small streaming player simply plugs into the HDMI port, and it is compatible with most Android devices. There are also thousands of TV shows and movies to choose from, along with plenty of entertaining apps. Once the Chromecast app has been downloaded, you can also use your phone as a remote.
Other Streaming Options:
A smart TV or Blue-ray player can also be used to stream media content, along with some newer gaming consoles. This allows you to still play your discs, along with stream new content. Prices will vary, so it is important to make sure you choose a device that comes with the features you need, and fits your budget.
Remote Control: While most streaming players do come with a remote, it is still important to make sure that it has the features you need to easily watch your content. Gaming consoles use the controller as a remote, which can be confusing for some consumers, and it might not include all of the functions you need. Downloadable apps let you use your smart phone as a remote, and some controllers offer voice activated features for added convenience. Prices can also vary, and should be considered before you choose a streaming player.
Internet Speed: Since you are streaming the content it is important that the media player is capable of sustaining a fast and secure connection. Most experts recommend using a wireless N router that is capable of a download speed of 10Mbps or higher. This will prevent buffering that can cause content to lag or stutter, and ensure smooth and reliable media streaming. If you are planning on streaming 4K content you want an internet speed of 20Mbps.
Setup: All streaming players require some setup, but most are quick and easy. You will need to know your internet password in able to connect the device, and have the necessary cables and wires if needed. Some might require additional apps to be downloaded, while others need you to create an account. The type of player your choose will determine how it is setup, and most also provide helpful customer service that will walk you through the steps.