Media streamers: which company has the best one?
There is a growing cord-cutting movement in the U.S., where people are returning their cable boxes and streaming TV shows and movies through apps on media streaming sticks and boxes instead.
There are many options on the market! CNet takes us through the pros and cons of each one:
- Roku ($50-$80): Roku has the most streaming apps available, including YouTube, and seems to be the first to get new apps. The remote has a headphone jack, great for late-night viewing. You can also search cross-platform for shows, and the Roku will tell you how to get your TV cheaper with a subscription somewhere else. However, you can’t mirror content to your TV.
- Google Chromecast ($35): The catalog of apps is growing, but this streaming stick doesn’t have a remote, unlike most of the other media boxes. To pause/rewind, you have to use your phone or tablet.
- Apple TV ($69): If you’re an Apple person, this is the option for you. You can mirror information from Apple devices to the TV, as well as control the box from its own remote. All of your movies, music and shows you’ve already purchased with Apple are also in your library. Apple will have exclusive access to HBO Now, a streaming service from HBO for those without a cable subscription.
- Amazon Fire TV ($39-$99): Amazon Fire TV stick and box provide support for the popular Amazon Prime Instant Video service but provides less support for other providers, focusing on Instant Video instead.
- Google Nexus Player ($99): The android platform (and voice search!) makes Nexus stand out, function wise. However, there are less streaming apps available than any other player.