How to choose a media player?
If you like to watch movies and series on the big screen, enjoying the comfort of home, when and how you want, then perhaps a media player is a great option for your home. That’s just how to choose the right device, because there are so many different options around and it’s not always clear where to start. So, we will tell you how to choose a media player if you decide to get one.
What is a media player?
A media player is a device that has not yet gained wide popularity in Russia. However, this attitude towards the device is completely unfair. With the help of a media player, you can access numerous streaming services and watch movies, series, and listen to music. The device does not take up much space and connects to your TV or computer.
Among the most popular versions of the device, one can single out Apple TV, which is regularly updated and appears at almost every conference where new company products are presented.
Choosing media players from Apple, Google or Amazon (the latter, unfortunately, is not adapted to the Russian market), the user gets not only the opportunity to watch and listen, but also control the device using voice assistants.
Do you need a media player?
The first and main thing to decide is whether you need a media player. It’s quite simple to understand here, for starters, if you have already purchased a smart TV, then it may turn out that it is able to cope with the playback of applications without the help of a third-party device, therefore, some of the streaming services will be available directly through it.
However, don’t immediately dismiss the idea of a media player just because your TV can play Netflix. There is another point that needs to be taken into account – smart TVs are equipped with their own OS, which becomes obsolete over time and ceases to provide support for a number of applications. This is not all, since the choice of streaming services on them is very small. Therefore, if you are one of those who prefer a truly wide range of movies and series, the media player may still be the right choice for you.
In any case, before making a final decision, weigh the pros and cons. Keep in mind that a media player may also become outdated, but due to its price and portability, it is much easier to change it. Moreover, if you do not watch TV, you can connect it to a monitor or computer.
In today’s market, the standard definition used on media players is 4K HDR. Accordingly, the image, if supported by both the TV and the streaming service, will be of excellent quality. Older models offer Full HD resolution, which is no less popular, since most TVs and monitors still support it.
By connecting a media player, most often via an HDMI port, the user can enjoy programs that offer hundreds, and sometimes thousands of services and channels. Some devices also provide access to gaming applications.
Another factor worth noting is that most 4K TVs are likely to have smart features. Therefore, it is fair to say that media players will be more useful for those who prefer to use Full HD resolution for now. By the way, such media players are much cheaper than 4K even in conjunction with a Full HD TV.
In this case, you will have to decide on the range of functions that you would like to get from the device before moving on to the purchase.
Type of media players
Media players can be of two types – miniature or large – set-tops.
First, let’s talk about Set Tops, they are slightly larger than their small counterparts and are equipped with a rather powerful stuffing.
Miniature or streaming sticks are correspondingly smaller in size, as well as in power. They are cheaper, but more convenient to use.
At the same time, specific functions depend only on the model you choose. Most devices try to connect Netflix and Spotify, in countries where Hulu, Amazon Video, Pandora and Plex are available, they also come standard. Well, if you are dealing with Apple TV, then iTunes will definitely be available to you.
Alternatives to media players
More often than not, you shouldn’t think about buying a media player if you already have a game console. Why? Most consoles support a number of popular streaming services. For example, the Xbox One gives you access to over 60 apps, the PlayStation 4 supports about 50. The Nintendo Switch only supports one, Hulu, which is only available in the US. In addition, access to content can be more expensive through a set-top box than through a media player.
Perhaps media players are not so popular precisely because they have many alternatives. Perhaps the alternative with the most possibilities is connecting the computer directly to the TV. Thus, you will have access to a much larger range of streaming services, games, music, etc. However, this is perhaps not the easiest option.
Therefore, for much more convenient access to everything, there are media players.
Media players on the market
Xiaomi Mi Box 3 is a TV set-top box from a popular Chinese manufacturer. Its special convenience lies in the fact that the Android TV 6.0.1 system is completely Russified.
With Xiaomi Mi Box 3, you can access 4K videos from Youtube and other popular services. In addition, the device allows you to listen to music, view photos, use social networks, games and even video calls on the TV.
Android TV allows you to use Google Play and syncs with Android devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. Thus, you can control the device even from a distance. In addition, the kit includes a remote control with a six-axis gyroscope. This allows you to use it as a joystick. In addition, you can connect a mouse or keyboard to Xiaomi Mi Box 3 using a Bluetooth connection. Also, the device supports voice control for searching and working with external hard drives and USB drives. The device also has built-in Wi-Fi.
The small size and durable plastic housing due to its design will fit perfectly into any interior.
The Google Chromecast Ultra is an upgraded version of the Google Chromecast streaming stick media player. A small tablet in a stylish case from the popular manufacturer Google is capable of supporting 4K video with Dolby Vision and HDR. The main feature of the device is that Google Chromecast sends a link to a video or other content to a big screen so that you can enjoy it with your friends. But this is far from the only use of the Chromecast. For example, it can be synchronized with Google Home or Google Assistant. Some games also support the Chromecast interface, and you can also display weather information or photos directly on the screen.
Among the shortcomings of the device, one can note the lack of a remote control, but an Ethernet cable is included in the kit. The design of the device is very simple and practically does not differ from previous versions of Chromecast.
Management is very simple, just download the Chromecast app from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. Then you just have to choose what you want to watch and enjoy the content.
Apple TV 2015 is one of the most popular media players that runs on tvOS. With this device, you can watch your own movies, as well as use various services available from the Internet. A distinctive advantage of Apple TV is its full integration with other Apple devices. If you use an iPhone or iPad, you can easily use them for remote control. Apple TV supports Siri. Everything you prefer to watch is available in one place with a simple and clear interface. Beyond that, the Apple TV case is a small set top in classic Apple design. It fits easily near the TV without taking up much space and fits any interior, providing convenience and comfort when watching content.
Rombica Infinity K8 is another media player that provides access to Internet services and social network clients, to online cinemas such as IVI, MEGOGO, TVZavr and of course Youtube. Separately, it is worth noting that the media player allows you to view content in Ulta HD 4K resolution. That’s not all, as the device supports Dropbox, Google Drive, and Yandex Disk.
With the Android TV system installed, Rombica Infinity K8 allows the user to download and use apps from the Google Play Store. The kit includes a small set-top itself and a special remote control that allows you to easily control the device.
As a more affordable alternative, you can choose the Rombica Smart Box 4K V001 media player. The device is a little simpler, but also allows you to watch videos in 4K format. The media player gives you access to streaming services and many other features. With a simple, neat package and a remote control included, Rombica Smart Box 4K V001 can be a simple solution for your home.
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