As we shared, our Roku box was one of our best purchases of 2013. With exorbitant prices for digital cable, many people are going the route of the streaming media player. With ones like Roku, you can view media that’s on your computer – whether pictures, music, or movies – and they offer plenty of channels for you to choose from, free and subscription.
Even if you viewed the free stuff, you can surely find something to keep you entertained. With their increasing popularity, companies are coming up with new ways to capitalize and stand out in this market. Here are two new contenders.
Amazon Fire TV
The box stands out for offering a Quad-core processor and a lot more memory than most of it’s competitors at 2 GB. They’ve also boasted at it’s ability to play over 100 dedicated games with more to come, unlike the other systems. The game controller for the system can be purchased separately.
This device also boasts a voice search option, unique to the category. Amazon Fire TV also allows you to “fling” what’s on your tablet display straight to the TV screen. I am uncertain, but it seems like this works only for a Kindle Fire tablet. Overall the Fire sounds like a good competitor in the Streaming Video Player market for $99 and a 30-day trial.
Roku Stream Stick
Roku has also released it’s newest version. Moving away from the tiny box that has been around since it’s inception, they have introduced the Roku Streaming Stick.
This design seems a choice to capitalize on the ever growing popularity of the Google Chromecast.
Other than the design, Roku has improved on their product in a few ways. Unlike its predecessors, you are able to cast videos from your phone to your TV using mobile apps, such as Netflix and YouTube. This is a bit of improvement, but few of the streaming media players have yet to offer a Youtube channel (outside of Google’s own Chromecast, for example).
With Roku, you can also use your phone as a remote control. The only thing missing from the included Roku remote is the headphone jack, with this model. I thought that was a great thing to add on, and it’s sad they did not continue it with the Streaming Stick. The streaming stick is $59.99.
Overall, these two seem like good options to consider if you are willing to cut the cable cord. With these, or their competitors, you will be saving money in the long run.
Do you own either one of these new players or their competitors? What do you like about streaming media players? What do you think are the limitations of such media players?