Video streaming is one of the amazing advantages of super-fast internet connectivity. Through streaming, viewers can enjoy multiple TV contents at the snap of their fingers. More and more institutions are introducing different video streaming gadgets to attract people’s attention (most popular being Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Apple TV) and with these developments, video contents are becoming increasingly available. With the amazing and increasing amount of video contents on the web, gadgets are produced at alarming rates by different organizations for video streaming.
If you want to buy a streaming device, then the tips below will help you in your decision making process.
Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV guarantees users a swell time through numerous contents. This devices costs anything from £79.99 and features the 4K Ultra HD playback which displays movies and TV programmes in an enviable 3840 x 2160p resolution.
This media box is not exclusively the one that streams music in 4K but it could be more affordable compared with other devices that proffer the same service. It has a compact built and sheen exterior that can go along with the living room setting. Amazon Fire’s remote control has Wi-Fi connection that makes it possible to control the device despite visible obstructions in sight. The controller is also rugged despite its small size and is better than earlier models of the Amazon Fire TV that feature Bluetooth remote controls.
This version of the Amazon Fire TV is over 70% more responsive than its earlier versions, featuring the PowerVR GX6250 GPU that powers it up for wonderful gaming experience and a system memory (2 GB) for speed.
Likewise, Amazon Fire TV features an 8GB internal memory, that is expandable to 128GB, through the microSD port at the back of the box.
However, to enjoy the UHD playback, users will first get a display that is compatible with this media box that allows for a 3840 x 2160p resolution and features similar HDMI 2.0 connection that is on Amazon Fire.
Failure to find a compatible device for this streaming service will hinder users from enjoying 4K copy-protection of Amazon Netflix or Prime; but they can still enjoy YouTube in 4K if this tickles their fancy.
The Amazon Fire TV is powered by a version the Android OS, with yet another impressive software feat in its voice search. The voice search is a part of the device setup which proves fast, accurate and responsive.
The downside of Amazon Fire TV, however, is that contents are largely based on the catalogue of Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant. The device seems blind to other sources despite the fact that it boasts to consult 75 different sources for movies and shows.
The Google Chromecast is a contending video streaming gadget with a lot of goodies to offer users. It features Wi-Fi connection antenna for internet and apps (including Spotify, Showtime Anytime, Tidal, HBO Now, Pandora, YouTube and Netflix) for only $35.00.
Cheaper than the Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast performs similar functions that the Amazon media box can do – if not more. A dumb TV becomes smart in no time after plugging the puck of this device into the HDMI on the TV.
Users can have all the fun that there is to TV programmes and movies by simply tapping on “Cast” to watch the shows and movies on the apps that are compatible to the Google media box through tablets or smartphones. This makes the control of the device a lot more convenient as streaming is done from the tablet or smartphone.
The disadvantage of this device however, is that it only displays TV contents in an average 1080p resolution while Amazon Fire displays at 3840 x 2160p resolution. But its advantage is that it is much affordable compared with Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV and could even be the most affordable video streaming gadget in the market.
Still, Google Chromecast lacks user interface and connect to other devices for directions on what to do but displays fantastic understanding with various devices (PC, tablet and mobile phone) as it connects swiftly and smoothly.
Interestingly, Google Chromecast outperforms Amazon Fire TV because of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna. This almost completely prevents buffing time experienced while using Amazon Fire TV for streaming videos.
Another benefit of using the Google streaming gadget is that users will have access to a variety of third party apps and other apps that belong to Google. Apart from Netflix and YouTube mentioned above, there are much more apps like Deezer, Artkick and AllCast.
Moreover, Google Chromecast has the ‘Fast Play’ function that allows videos to buff while you are currently watching a TV show. This is done base on prediction algorithms, determining the video that the user will see next based on choices made in the past. This makes it easy for you to quickly transit between a program to the next.
Apple is renowned for quality hi-tech gadgets. The company is also famous for its expensive, yet high-end products and these features rub off on the Apple TV, except that this time, users may be disappointed with the latest software version of the Apple TV streaming gadget (tvOS 10.2).
A visible flaw in Apple TV is that it lacks the variety in contents that other gadgets have but a strong point for the Apple device is that it is compatible with various third party apps such as Twitch, HBO and Adobe.
Nevertheless, the voice assistant (aka Siri) in the TV app is almost non-functional by failing to respond to user’s commands. Moreover, text input with the Apple TV remote control can cause a headache and pairing the Apple TV to other Apple devices still doesn’t resolve this problem.
However, Apple TV can still give users amazing TV experience by giving them access to watch movies and shows smoothly in 4K and features an 802.11 ac Wi-Fi antenna – just like the Google Chromecast.
Apple TV video streaming gadget has two different sizes: the 64GB version and the 32GB version. 64GB costs about $199 while 32GB is billed at $149.
Google Chromecast is the clear winner in this race for some obvious reasons. Firstly, Google Chromecast outshines the Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV when it comes to content. Also, Amazon Fire TV cannot perform as effectively as Google Chromecast despite displaying contents in more quality version than the Google gadget.
Finally, Google Chromecast is an amazing option when considering price and efficiency.