Best Streaming Media Players

Over the last few years, the phenomenon called streaming media has exploded in popularity. The customer demand has been increasing for all those gadgets that allow people to watch streaming Internet content more easily from their own TVs. Since there are a lot of methods to stream online content directly to your TV, it’s quite difficult to choose the right one. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages that choosing between set-top boxes, compact streaming sticks and game consoles can be extremely difficult. After a lot of research into the pros and cons of different streaming methods, we finally found 5 that will surely satisfy your needs. Take a look at the matrix below and choose the right one for you and your family.

Top 5 Best Streaming Media Players Comparison

1. Rveal Streaming Media Player 2. NVIDIA SHIELD TV 3. Roku Ultra 4. Amazon All-New Fire TV 5. Amazon Fire TV Stick
BEST MODEL OUR CHOICE
Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

General Information

Brand Rveal Electronics NVIDIA Roku Amazon Amazon
Item model RT1 Shield Ultra-4660 B01N32NCPM B00ZV9RDKK
Dimensions 4.5 x 4.5 x 0.7 in 8.8 x 6.29 x 3.9 in 4.9 x 4.9 x 0.85 in 2.6 x 2.6 x 0.6 in 3.4 x 1.2 x 0.5 in
Weight 0.5 lbs. 0.5 lbs. 0.5 lbs. 0.2 lbs. 0.3 lbs.
Color Black Black Black Black Black
Included Accessories Basic Remote
HDMI Cable
Ethernet cable
Power Adapter (US)
User Manual
Mic for voice search
Hands-free voice support
Handset jack for private listening
Dual vibration feedback
IR blaster for TV volume&power control
60+ hour gaming battery life
Voice remote with TV power and volume buttons
Headphone jack for private listening
Gaming buttons and lost remote finder
Headphones for private listening
Two AA batteries
Power adapter
Alexa voice remote
USB cable
Quick start guide
Product guide
Two AAA batteries
Power adapter
Alexa voice remote
USB cable
Product guide
Power adapter

Technical Specifications

Operating System Android Lollipop Android 7.0 (Nougat) powered by Android TV and Google Cast (Chromecast built-in) Android, Apple iOS Android, Apple iOS Android, Apple iOS
Processor Quad-Core 2.0 GHz NVIDIA Tegra X1, 256-core GPU Quad-Core Amlogic Quad-core 1.5 GHz ARM 4xCA53 MediaTek Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz
Storage 8GB NAND Flash ROM 16 GB MicroSD card slot for additional channel storage
USB port for local playback
8 GB internal 8 GB internal
RAM 2 GB DDR3 3 GB N/A 2 GB 1 GB
Wi-Fi Connectivity IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wireless
2.4GHz/5GHz
802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz
5 GHz Wi-Fi
Captive Portal support
802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless
10/100 Base-T Ethernet
Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi supports 2×2 MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.1/BLE N/A Bluetooth 4.2+LE Bluetooth 4.1
Output resolution supported 4K Ultra HD High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz over HDMI and USB
High-resolution audio up-sample to 24-bit/192 kHz over USB
1080 HD up to 60fps 2160p
1080p
720p up to 60 fps
720p
1080p up to 60 fps
TV compatibility 4K Ultra HD TVs Most TVs with HDMI input HD TVs – Up to 1080p (1920 x 1080) with up-scaling from 720p
4K UHD TVs – Up to 2160p at 60fps (3840 × 2160) with up-scaling from 720p and 1080p
4K UHD HDR TVs – Supports HDR10 technology
TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 Hz
HDCP 2.2 and TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 50/60 Hz
Most TVs with HDMI input
Ports HDMI, USB (2), Micro USB, Micro SSD, SD/TFAudio S/PDIF, Ethernet, A/V Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 and CEC support, Two USB 3.0 (Type A) Power, HDMI 2.0a, Ethernet 10/100, microSD, USB HDMI output, micro USB for power or optional Amazon Ethernet Adapter HDMI output Micro USB for power only

Features

Remote
Voice Support
Audio Support Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD (pass-through)
DTS-X and DTS-HD (pass-through)
AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WAVE, AMR, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, PCM
WMA, WMA-Pro, WMA-Lossless
DD+/DTS (pass-through)
DTS Digital Surround pass through over HDMI Dolby Atmos compatibility
Dolby Digital Plus,
Dolby Digital
Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo
HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
Content formats supported N/A Xvid/ DivX/ASF/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MPEG-TS/MP4/WEB-M Video — H.264/AVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), H.265/HEVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), VP9 (.MKV)
Audio – AAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); MP3(.MP3, .MKV); WMA (.ASF, .WMA, .MKV), FLAC (.FLAC, .MKV), PCM (.WAV, .MKV, .MP4, .MOV), AC3/EAC3 (.MKV,.MP4. .MOV, .AC3), DTS (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), ALAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .M4A)
Image — JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)
Video – HDR-10. H.265, H.264
Audio – AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC)
Photo- JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Video – H.264 1080p30H.265 1080p30
Audio- AAC-LC, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), HE-AACv2 (eAAC+), AC3 (Dolby Digital), eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, AMR-NB, AMR-WB
Photo- JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Internet Applications Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, Skype Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Video Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Video

Warranty&Support

Warranty 1-year 1-year 1-year 1-year 90-day
Customer Support
Online Manual

Top Rated 2018 Streaming Media Player Reviews

1.Rveal Streaming Media Player

After reviewing more than 15 media players, we are proud to include the Rveal player on our list. With it at home, you can watch the same thing over and over again. It comes with an incredible collection of TV shows, music, games, live channels and international programs. As compared to other media players, this model comes an ultra HD and Quad Core Processor and 2 GB DDR3 RAM which makes any apps installed run much better. What we really like about this device is the picture and sound quality of the streams. NBC, ABC, ESPN, CNN and Fox are only a few of the LIVE TV channels available. As far as features are concerned, this media player comes with a solid remote control that works seamlessly. In comparison to other similar products, this product does not promise what it cannot deliver. Overall, this is a streaming media player that will surely satisfy all your needs.

PROS

CONS

Very easy to use High price
From cartoons, music and movies, it has content for all age groups.
Powered by Android
Great customer service

VERDICT

The Rveal Streaming Media Player is more than just a player. It has a nice black color and a stylish design. More than that, it is equipped with multiple updates and content of the highest quality. As compared to the NVIDIA SHIELD player, it is much easier to use. You just have to scroll through channels and navigate drop down menus in order to make the program selection easy. Like any other streaming player, it comes along with a few drawbacks. The initial cost of this device is high compared to other media players available for purchase.

2.NVIDIA SHIELD TV

There is a lot to appreciate about this new models. But out of everything, the most impressive changes are the ones that happened to its operating system, Android TV. When you picture a streaming player, you might think about a slim square plastic box. This model is not as you might think. It comes with an interesting stylish design that features a mix of crisscrossing lines. This version has 16GB of storage and comes with Android 7.0 (Nougat) powered by Android TV and Google Cast (Chromecast built-in). Furthermore, it is equipped with a remote control and Shield Controlled gamepad. This is absolutely necessary for hands-free voice control with Google Assistant. Although its hardware is 2 years old, this Android device is still one of the most powerful media players available for sale. Thaks to its 4K HDR powerhouse you will be able to watch Google Play movies and TV in 4K and Amazon and Netflix in 4K HDR.

PROS

CONS

Streaming game options work very well. Relatively expensive
Hands-free Google Assistant support. The games require a very fast connection
Content rich
Slimmer, lighter design

VERDICT

If you are looking for a powerful Android TV, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV is exactly what you need. It comes with a streaming micro-console with plenty of gaming tricks and Google Assistant with support for hands-free voice commands. The most important change of this player is the microphone on the controller. Additionally, there is an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, a connector for the included power adapter and an Ethernet port. All other new features are designed to make this player much better than the previous version.

3. Roku Ultra

As mentioned above, the market is overflowing with a broad array of different types and brands of streaming media players. There are so many, that finding one that is the best is almost impossible unless you know what to look for. However, if you want digital audio, USB connectivity, 4K resolution, HDR support and more than 3500 streaming channels, than the Roku Ultra media players is exactly what you need. The operating system of this device has not changed very much in the last years, but it still is very powerful and extremely fast player. K=Like many other media players, it comes with a voice search which can be controlled either by the remote control of the mobile apps. It may sound strange, but we really like this remote control because it is not just a basic remote. It includes an audio jack for private listening and a microphone for voice search.

PROS

CONS

It can access more movies and TV shows in 4K and HDR than many other rival devices. Its content in 4K and HDR is still uncommon
It provides the user with many apps It doesn’t work with Dolby Vision HDR.
Unparalleled channel selection
Small, quiet design

VERDICT

Buyers looking for a quality and efficient streaming media player, should consider the Roku Ultra media player. It is equipped with a quad-core processor, full 4K output and is capable of supporting both Dolby and HDR audio. In a similar price tag, you can consider the NVIDIA SHIELD TV which has a lot of interesting options for gamers, especially for those who have professional gaming PCs. Keep in mind that it is more expensive than the Roku Ultra and it may not worth the money, especially since the Roku Ultra provides the same benefits.

4. Amazon All-New Fire TV

The Amazon All-New Fire TV is one of those video streaming players designed to support 4K and HDR video technologies. As compared to its predecessor which was able to support 4K video at 30 fps, this new model can support HDR10 and Dolby Atmos at 60 fps. More than that, it comes with the latest Alexa voice control remote that you will not find at the other competitors. The most noticeable aspect of this device is its design. It is not just a simple, plastic box that can be placed near your TV. It is more than that. It is a stylish square box with a glossy finish that will surely fit any décor in your home. It is powered via a micro-USB slot and controlled with a remote that hasn’t really changed too much. The Amazon All-New Fire TV is a 4K Ultra HD player. It is also worth mentioning that it has full access to the UHD content from both Netflix and Amazon Prime. All in all, it has a few good features, so it is an option worth taking into consideration.

PROS

CONS

Alexa voice control remote No Dolby Vision
Good 4K and HDR library No access to Atmos content
Seamless operation
Easy to use

VERDICT

After reviewing more than 10 media players, we can truly confirm that this is an option worth taking into consideration. It is efficient and impressive. It comes with a good 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 8GB of internal storage and 2 GB of RAM. Although it is limited to 1080 p streaming, it still is much powerful than Fire TV Stick. However, with this media player you can watch more than 500.000 TV movies from Netflix, YouTube, HBO, Prime Video and more.

5. Amazon Fire TV Stick

If you are looking to purchase an affordable media player, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a great option. It is by far an excellent choice at a reasonable price. As compared to its previous version, it is much faster and the 802.11 ac Wi-Fi ensures more stable streaming. However, it has the same 1 GB RAM as its predecessor and 8 GB of on-board storage for games and apps. The voice commands work extremely well for this version. It is very easy to use. You just have to press a button on the remote, hold it and speak. Generally speaking, this product does not do anything special, but it still is a good product which makes a great job. All its features, including the Alexa voice commands are a great way to operate it and the extra speed from its new processor and improved Wi-Fi makes all this process a breeze.

PROS

CONS

Easy to operate No 4K
Alexa well-integrated Content search has blind spots
Speedy interface
Well priced
Faster and more stable

VERDICT

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is another product whose incredible features place it in the 5th position. It is a great version that comes with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa, thousands of channels and apps, including HBO, Amazon, YouTub, NBC and more others. It comes with a lot of advantages but there are also a few downsides. For example, it comes with a 90-days warranty. As compared to other models in our comparison chart, this product has the shortest lifespan. Overall, it is a good product that you must take into consideration.

Comments are closed.