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The best streaming video player to buy right now



So you've decided to buy a streaming player. It's actually a device that fewer and fewer people need these days, as most 4K TVs come with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and the other basics preinstalled. But maybe the embedded apps are laggy and frustrating to use or you do not have all the ones you want.

There are countless gadgets you can plug in and use as a Netflix or Amazon Prime Video machine, but today's options can do much more than that. Everyone has universal search to find just the show or movie you're looking for ̵

1; no matter what service it's on. They offer every voice checks to make your evening sofa more convenient. And video quality is better than ever, with lots of 4K HDR content to make the most of any new TV you buy.

Each product has its own unique features that the others lack. Apple TV 4K has AirPlay and if you are an iPhone user, you are already connected to your personal media – movies, music, photos – out of the box. Amazon's Four TV Stick 4K brings with it Alexa's power of attorney.

But the main feature of these devices is to offer a wide range of apps, an intuitive user experience and great video. Fortunately, the check of all three boxes will cost a lot less than $ 100 in 2018. In fact, you only need to spend half.

Best for most: Roku Premiere Plus / Roku Premiere


Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Roku's $ 50 Premiere Plus is a small little box that gives a great value. It offers most apps of any TV gadget, doing both 4K and HDR, and is still the easiest system to use the popular options.

Compared to Amazon's offer, Roku's app directory is stronger; You get a proper YouTube app and also Walmarts Vudu service, which is a great source of 4K HDR movies. And Amazon can be fooled by promoting its own original content on Fire TV. In addition to advertising its free Roku Channel, Roku does not have an agenda to push. When searching for items, all third-party applications are on equal terms. Roku will always favor any service so you can see content for free as part of a subscription you always pay for, as it should be.

  • Old Score

Good stuff

  • 4K and HDR for only $ 40
  • Easy to use interface
  • Fast performance and good power

Bad Stuff

  • No Dolby Vision
  • IR remote control requires visible line, missing voice support and volume / power buttons
  • Does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi networks

Premiere Plus is a fast-paced general practitioner and you will rarely experience shock or hiccups when navigating menus or surfing . The Wi-Fi only supports 2.4 GHz networks, so if your home layout is dependent on 5Ghz, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus $ 60 will be a better option. Premiere Plus is exclusively sold at Walmart and includes a voice gap that you can use without pointing directly to the TV. If you are not near a Walmart and do not want to order online, other retailers offer $ 40 Roku Premiere, which is the same core product, but comes with an IR remote without voice. Roku lacks Dolby Vision, but HDR10 content still looks great on the big screen.

Premium Experience: Apple TV 4K


Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

At $ 179, Apple TV 4K is at a completely different price level than Roku and Amazon. But if you're willing to spend so much, you'll get the most polished experience of any set-top box on the market.

Apple TV 4K makes all ; It supports 4K, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and HDR10. It is the box we recommend to take full advantage of all the features of a high-end TV. Apple's iTunes Store has a huge vault of content that can showcase these features. The menus are more modern and stylish than those at Roku, and Siri is a bit better on speech search than the Rokus system. App selection is as strong. One star is that YouTube does not want to stream in 4K on Apple TV because Apple does not support Google's favorite video codec.

  • Good content
    • Works all: 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Dolby Atmos
    • Modern, User-Friendly Interface
    • Excellent App Selection
    • ] Free Upgrades to 4K for Existing iTunes Movie Library

Bad Things

  • Much more expensive than main competition
  • YouTube does not play in 4K
  • Some apps do not allow direct rentals or purchases

Apple's device is very powerful and shines fast in daily use. If you have entered the company's HomeKit smart home ecosystem, Apple TV acts as a hub and allows you to control these gadgets remotely when you are away from the house.

But many people will find Apple TV 4K's price difficult to swallow. It costs $ 120 more than Roku, and the two are very similar when it comes to a streamer's main purpose: to get you to the content you want fast. Both devices deliver great video quality.

Personally, there is another reason I would consider choosing Apple TV 4K over its competitors: privacy. Apple is far less invasive when it comes to tracking streaming habits. And it anonymizes the data it collects. Roku, however, keeps track of much and knows what you are looking at. (See section 3.) And it always phones at home with that information. If it makes you feel uneasy, there's something to be said to pay extra $ 100.


Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Roku Premiere and Apple TV 4K are the best options for a wide range of people . But depending on other factors, you can find Amazon's Four TV Cube or Stick 4K more convincing; Alexa is a very practical assistant assistant. If you're a serious joke and tinker, it's always the beloved Nvidia Shield. But I think most people will find themselves very pleased with Roku – especially for the price.

Verge Score

Good stuff

Bad Stuff

Good stuff

  • Adds Alexa and 4K HDR to your living room entertainment system
  • Controls more than just your TV
  • Remote now includes volume and power buttons
  • Covers up voice commands even when playing video or music

Bad things

  • Stumbles when you control specific devices and set-top boxes
  • Does not include HDMI cable
  • Still do not offer any Dolby Atmos content or a YouTube -app

7

V Erge Score

Good Things

  • Very Powerful Hardware
  • Best Support for Snowmobile Favorites like Kodi
  • Provides Most Flexibility for Users With NAS
  • Unique Feature Features

Bad Stuff

  • Android TV is not as easy to use or as fast as other alternatives
  • Like Apple TV 4K, more expensive than competition
  • Less app selection than Roku

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