Streaming Media Player Comparison Chart to Cut the Cord on Cable TV

Don't forget to check out the companion guide: Buying a gadget for streaming video

There are two kinds of streaming gadgets: set-top boxes and HDMI sticks. Streaming boxes are larger and more expensive, but tend to be more powerful.

HDMI sticks are the size of USB drives and plug right into your TV's HDMI port. That means less clutter in your entertainment center and they're also cheaper.

I've split them into two charts - scroll down for the streaming sticks chart.

Streaming boxes

Apple TV (4th Gen) Apple TV (3rd Gen) Roku 1 Roku 2 Roku 3 Roku 4 Google Nexus Player Amazon Fire TV
Price $149 32GB, $199 64GB $69 $50 $70 $100 $130 $100 $100
Resolution (max) 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p, 4K Ultra HD 1080p 1080p, 4K Ultra HD
Video connections HDMI HDMI HDMI, Composite HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI
Audio connections HDMI HDMI HDMI, Composite HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI
Other connections USB-C microUSB No microSD, USB microSD, USB microSD, USB microUSB microSD, USB 2.0
Wired networking Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes
Wireless networking Dual-band Wi-Fi Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11n 802.11n 802.11n Dual-band Wi-Fi Dual-band Wi-Fi Dual-band Wi-Fi
Remote Control Remote with Siri voice commands Yes Remote + Roku app Remote with headphone jack + Roku app Remote with headphone jack + Roku app; voice search Remote with headphone jack + Roku app; voice search Yes with voice search Yes with voice search; optional game controller available
Local Storage 32GB, 64GB None None None microSD, USB port microSD, USB port 8GB 8GB internal expandable to 128GB with microSD
Paid movies & TV iTunes, Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Now, Watch ESPN, more iTunes, Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, ESPN Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go sports, more Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go sports, more Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go sports, more Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go sports, more Netflix, Google Play, Hulu Plus, HBO Now, Showtime, more. Netflix, Sling TV, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, more
Free movies & TV YouTube, Vimeo YouTube, Vimeo YouTube, Crackle, Fox News, Huffington Post, more YouTube, Crackle, Fox News, Huffington Post, more YouTube, Crackle, Fox News, Huffington Post, more YouTube, Crackle, Fox News, Huffington Post, more YouTube, Crackle, Huffington Post, more YouTube, Crackle, Vimeo, Huffington Post, more
Music Apple Music iTunes Pandora, SHOUTcast, Rdio, Soma FM, more Pandora, SHOUTcast, Rdio, Soma FM, more Pandora, SHOUTcast, Rdio, Soma FM, more Pandora, SHOUTcast, Rdio, Soma FM, more Pandora, Vevo, Google Music, more Prime Music, Pandora, more
Other services Functions within App Store environment for gaming, more; streams audio and video from Apple gadgets via AirPlay Streams audio and video from Apple gadgets via AirPlay 1000+ channels including games 1000+ channels including games 2500+ channels including games 2500+ channels including games Google Play apps; Game controller; Streams video from Android, iOS, Chromebook 3000+ channels, apps & games; IMDB integration; FreeTime parental controls
Purchase Stream, Rent Stream, Rent Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own
Apple TV Apple TV Roku 1 Roku 2 Roku 3 Roku 4 Google Nexus Player Amazon Fire TV

Streaming sticks

Roku Streaming Stick Google Chromecast Amazon Fire TV Stick
Price $50 $35 $40
Resolution(max) 1080p 1080p 1080p
Video connections HDMI HDMI HDMI
Audio connections HDMI HDMI w/ Surround Sound HDMI
Other connections No No No
Wired networking No No No
Wireless networking Dual-band Wi-Fi Dual-band Wi-Fi Dual-band Wi-Fi
Remote Control Remote + Roku app Smartphone, tablet or computer Remote + app; voice activated remote upgrade available
Local Storage None None 8GB
Paid movies & TV Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go sports, more Netflix, Google Play, NFL Sunday Ticket by DirecTV, other Android and Web apps (Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video and sports via browser) Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, more
Free movies & TV YouTube, Crackle, Fox News, Huffington Post, more YouTube, Vimeo, other Android and Web apps YouTube, Crackle, Fox News, Huffington Post, more
Music Pandora, SHOUTcast, Rdio, Soma FM, more Google Music, other Android and Web apps Prime Music, Amazon Music, Vevo, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Tunein
Other services 1000+ channels including games Stream online video from smartphones, tablets and Chrome browser on Mac or PC 3000+ channels, apps & games; IMDB integration; FreeTime parental controls
Purchase Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own
Roku Streaming Stick Google Chromecast Amazon FireTV Stick