Netflix and Hulu and other streaming media services have become a huge part in the lives of this generation, and nearly everyone has had an account at some point somewhere. With such an impact on the way we spend our time, it makes sense that there have been devices created solely for the purpose of media streaming.

From computers to tablets, we all love watching our favorite movies, series, and other shows fast and on-demand. With streaming players, you can link your Netflix, Hulu and other accounts up to it instead of purchasing a smart TV or a console that has these apps already installed. Using a media streaming player is a great way to get connected with your favorite shows, but making the decision on which one is best for you is important.

What all goes into purchasing a media streaming player? What exactly does it do? Are there other alternatives? Most modern DVD players and gaming consoles already have the option to use wifi to access your accounts like Netflix, but getting a media player specifically for the job can make the experience better. It is solely created for these kinds of accounts.

Features

Different brands and models will come with various features, but they’ll all have the basic functions. For some features, you’ll have to pay a little more for those, but the prices for basic models from the popular brand stay fairly cheap, making this a great option for families looking into using a media streaming player.

Some of the things you can expect to find on every player are a small size, the minimum picture image of 1080p, and a super simple set-up. It’ll cost a little more for things like 4k resolution, a voice feature function, games offered through an app store, and other things that brands will throw in as added benefits.

Most of the features found on name brand models will include other bonuses specific to their brand, such as iOS games.

Best Options

Several companies have released a model or two dedicated to this kind of streaming. Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV are the top contenders for this industry with affordable devices that connect to their own networks as well. Prices from these brands range in price, with Chromecast being the cheapest at $35. Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV can range from $100-$150 for the best models, making the most expensive, but you’ll get the most for your money.

There are other brands with better options and various models, like Roku and Android TV, which aren’t quite as popular as the popular names in technology. Taking a look at the Roku 3 best price can be found at under $100 with all of the features in the higher costing models.

For big fans of Amazon and those with a Prime membership, getting an Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick and pairing it with a streaming player can complete the collection.