In the past couple of years, Google and Amazon have really gotten into our living rooms. So I think it's time to take a look at the best media streamers to take that last HDMI port on your TV. The three big players are Google, Amazon and Roku, but which ones are the best for you? Let's take a look at a few of these.
The Roku 3 is the only Roku I've actually had the pleasure of using. It's a pretty great media streamer, you can add all kinds of channels to the Roku 3, including Sling TV, Amazon Instant Video, WWE Network and more. One of my favorite features of the Roku though is that you can plug in your headphones to the remote and get the audio through your headphones instead of the TV.
Amazon Fire TV
The Fire TV came out before the stick. And it's been a pretty popular set-top box. Of course, having game features as well as Amazon Instant Video on tap definitely help out. There's a ton of apps that are optimized for the Fire TV and there's a bunch of services that are coming soon. Amazon is adding more and more every month.
The Chromecast arguably started the whole media streamers/dongle, hype in the past couple of years. The Chromecast is a $35 HDMI dongle that can do just about anything. It can play from a variety of apps and be controlled straight from your smartphone. It does support both Android and iOS as well.
Roku HDMI Streaming Stick
The Roku Streaming stick does just about everything that the Roku 3 does, but it's just in a HDMI dongle instead of an actual set top box. You do still have the bulkier remote control, that does still have a 3.5mm headphone jack as well. But its only about $35-40, around the price of the Chromecast.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a rather interesting device. It does just about everything that the Fire TV does, except games. Well that's not entirely true, it does do games, but the game controller doesn't work too well with it. The Fire TV Stick is a small dongle, similar to Roku's Streaming stick and the Chromecast. And is only $39.
Google Nexus Player
The Google Nexus Player is the first Android TV device from Google. It's built by ASUS, and looks very similar to the Fire TV, except that it's a circle instead of a square. It supports a ton of Google Play apps, with more coming each and every day. There is also a game controller that can be bought alongside it.