Streaming media player boxes

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

(Bonus:Need more help choosing the best video streaming option? We have other helpful charts that will help you make an informed decision. Click here to see a chart comparing streaming sticks, and here for a comparison of streaming service channel line-ups.)

Here is a chart comparing popular streaming boxes.

Streaming boxes

Apple TV 4K Apple TV (4th Gen) Roku Ultra Roku 3 Roku 4 Amazon Fire TV Cube Nvidia Shield
Price $179 32GB, $199 64GB $149 32GB $100 $110 $100 $120 $199 16GB, $299 Shield Pro 500GB
Resolution (max) 4K HDR (2060p) 1080p 1080p, 4K Ultra HD, HDR 1080p 1080p, 4K Ultra HD 4K Ultra HD and HDR 4K HDR
Video connections HDMI HDMI HDMI, 4K video HDCP 2.2 HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI
Audio connections HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI HDMI
Other connections Gigabit Ethernet, IR receiver USB-C Micro SD, USB microSD, USB microSD, USB USB No
Wired networking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wireless networking 802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO; simultaneous dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Dual-band 802.11ac 802.11ac dual-band MIMO and Ethernet Port 802.11n Dual-band Wi-Fi Dual-band 802.11ac 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
Remote Control Remote with Siri voice commands Remote with Siri voice commands Voice remote with TV power and volume buttons, headphone jack Remote with headphone jack + Roku app; voice search Remote with headphone jack + Roku app; voice search Alexa voice-activated Yes
Local Storage 32GB, 64GB 32GB None microSD, USB port microSD, USB port 16GB 16GB, 500GB
Paid movies & TV iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, Hulu Plus, HBO Now, Watch ESPN, more iTunes, Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Now, Watch ESPN, more Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Go sports, Sling TV, more Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go sports, Sling TV, more Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go sports, Sling TV, more Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, more Netflix, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies & TV, iTunes, Sling TV, more
Free movies & TV YouTube, more YouTube, Vimeo The Roku Channel, hundreds of other free streaming channels YouTube, Crackle, Fox News, Huffington Post, more YouTube, Crackle, Fox News, Huffington Post, more Amazon Prime free with Prime membership, YouTube, more YouTube, more
Music Apple Music Apple Music Pandora, iHeartRadio, Vevo, more Pandora, SHOUTcast, Rdio, Soma FM, more Pandora, SHOUTcast, Rdio, Soma FM, more Prime Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, more Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music, iTunes
Other services Apple TV App to browse content from more than 60 video services, Amazon Prime app Functions within App Store environment for gaming, more; streams audio and video from Apple gadgets via AirPlay Roku app, thousands of streaming channels 2500+ channels including games 2500+ channels including games Dolby Atmos audio, compatible with Amazon Echo, more Google Assistant, smart home hub, NVIDIA games, game controller, more
Purchase Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own Stream, Rent, Own
Apple TV 4K Apple TV Roku Ultra Roku 3 Roku 4 Amazon Fire TV Cube Nvidia Shield

 

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