Where To Get The Best Deal On The Top 5 Streaming Media Players of 2014
What are the best streaming media players in 2014?
Streaming video is in. You don't need to mess with DVDs, BluRays, Redbox, downloading torrents, or (time to catch up with the modern world), VHS. Why waste time and gas going out to rent a movie or waiting on a DVD to arrive in the mail when you can watch nearly anything you want over the Internet? You don't need a smart TV to do it. There are plenty of low-priced streaming media boxes you can connect to your TV that will let you watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube, HBO, and many other streaming video services.
These boxes are easy to set up, just plug them in and start watching! You'll get thousands of HD-quality movies and videos, plus music and more. Some devices even include games! No more messing around with connecting your computer to the TV or hunting for torrents of the movies you want to watch. Find out where to get the best streaming media boxes at the best prices and order yours today.
1. Roku 3 Streaming Media Player - One of the most popular and feature-rich media boxes
The Roku 3 is one of the best streaming media players out there. It can do 1080p HD video to give you the best viewing experience. Includes thousands of streaming media services. Watch movies from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Vudu, Crackle, and many more. There are 49 news and weather channels such as CNBC, WSJ, and Fox News. Listen to music from Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Cloud Player. Watch sports from Watch ESPN, MLB, NBA League Pass, UFCTV and others. It even includes a free Angry Birds Space game.
2. Amazon Fire TV - Streaming 1080p with voice search
This box is a game changer. It is the best way to access Amazon Prime Instant Videos with thousands of free movies and TV shows, millions of songs, and hundreds of games. Voice search that actually works so you don't need to type in searches one letter at a time. The best specs of any media box available today with a quad-core processor, 2GB of memory, 1080p HD video, and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. This is a great device for children as well, with the included Amazon FreeTime that limits screen time and personalizes content for the kids. Play games like Minecraft and Monsters University. Also includes all the popular media streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Crackle, NBA Game Time, Watch ESPN, Showtime, Plex, iHeart Radio, and hundreds more.
3. Apple TV - Newest 3rd Generation - Clean, Simple, and Just Works
The Apple TV is one of the first and best media players you can get. With a simple and clean user interface, anyone can use the Apple TV to enjoy full 1080p resolution HD streaming video. It includes the best streaming media sources including Netflix, iTunes, Vimeo, and more. Use AirPlay to stream games, videos, and more from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC right to your TV. You can even mirror your iOS device to the TV for sharing content on the big screen.
4. Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player - #1 Best Seller on Amazon
This nifty little media player is no bigger than a thumb drive, but it can play loads of content. It plugs right into the HDMI port on your TV, and allows you to stream content from your Android or iOS device or from a Chrome web browser in either Windows or Mac. It supports the most popular streaming video services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, ESPN and more. You can also view many mobile apps from your smart phone, tablet, or a Chrome browser window on your PC or laptop.
5. G-Box Midnight MX2 Android XBMC Streaming Media Player - * Best Deal / Best Value *
This is the box to get if you want to use XBMC (XBox Media Center), the most popular HTPC software. It has a dual core CPU and a dual core 3D graphics processor to deliver the best Android experience possible. No need to jail-break this device to get the content you want. With the plugins available for XBMC, you can stream virtually any movie or TV show imaginable for free. This device also has the best warranty, which unconditionally covers it for 1 year from purchase. It automatically updates to the latest version of Android so you'll always stay current with the latest features. Install Android apps from the Google Play store for you favorite streaming media. Browse the web on your TV with the built in browser. Plug in an external hard drive to one of the four USB ports to play your personal media collection. You can even download a SNES emulator and play nostalgic video games!
6. WD TV Live Media Player Wi-fi 1080p - Internet entertainment on your TV and play your personal media collection
The WD TV is a high-performance streaming media offering from Western Digital. It supports virtually all audio and video file formats to play your personal media collection from a USB device or network drive. Also streams thousands of movies, TV shows, and music from Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and more. Use the included remote control, or turn your smartphone or tablet into a touch-screen remote. Play games like Texas Hold'Em or Soduku. You can even extend your living room TV around the home or around the world with a connected Slingbox.
How To Use A Streaming Media Player
You'll need the following to use these devices:
High-speed Internet (DSL, Cable, FiOS)
Wireless router - (Most devices also support a wired Ethernet connection)
HDMI Cable (Most of these media players come with one)
Free HDMI port on your TV
Setup of these devices is a simple as:
1. Connect HDMI cable to the device and your TV
2. Plug in the power
3. Connect to your home network using WiFi or a wired Ethernet cable
4. Turn on your TV and enjoy your new entertainment center
Control the media player with the supplied remote control, your smart phone, or a tablet. You'll be able to use any of the included streaming media apps and most media players let you install the apps you like and remove those you don't use.
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How to Stream/Watch Neflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more on your TV
My Experience with Streaming Media Players
I've been using streaming media players for several years. I first got started by connecting a laptop to my TV using the old RCA cables. Then I decided to build my own Home Theater PC (HTPC). At the time, Boxee was the popular software and XBMC was another option. Over the years I've also used Windows Media Center, Plex, MediaPortal, and MythTV. With the many options available today, it's easy and much less expensive to just purchase one of these media boxes.
I currently use a Chromecast on occasion, but my favorite media player is a Raspberry Pi with XBMC. It allows me to access my personal media collection over a network share and stream video from many different services like YouTube and Crackle. The best part of using XBMC is that it has plugins like 1Channel and IceFilms that provide almost any streaming movies and TV shows I can think of, from the most recent blockbusters to old films like Ben Hur or Clint Eastwood westerns.
If you like tinkering with gadgets, trying new software, playing with Linux, or just want to learn how, a Raspberry Pi with XBMC is the way to go. If you'd prefer just plugging in something that works out-of-the-box, any of the players listed above would make a great choice.