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Best Android tablet for streaming video

Best media players  May 25, 2019 – 02:43 am
Best Android Video Players

The Roku 3 is a premium player with a superior feature set to rivals. The wireless headphones are a boon and the UK content selection is superb, although we experienced lip-sync issues and network media playback is too unreliable.

Owners of the original Chromecast have very little reason to upgrade the new model. Google has improved the design with the Chromecast 2 and added better Wi-Fi. We also like the new app and, in general, the device is a bargain at £30. However, the Roku Streaming Stick outclasses it for less than £10 extra with more content available, a remote control and excellent user interface.

Thanks to its powerful internals and nice interface, the Fire TV Stick is a great gadget for watching Prime Instant Video, Netflix, and UK catchup TV. The remote may lack a mic, but you can still use voice search in Prime Instant Video using the iOS, Amazon or Android app. We still prefer the Roku for its sheer breadth of content, but if you're a Prime member, this is one of the best ways to watch the Instant Video service.

If you have a 4K TV and a Netflix subscription, the Chromecast Ultra is worth the £69 asking price. The fact it is so easy to use and works best with the Google Home app means you can easily throw it in a bag and use it on different TVs wherever you are, as your phone or tablet carries your streaming subscriptions with you.

If you don’t have a 4K TV then go with the £30 Chromecast, but otherwise if you want a no-nonsense media streamer the Chromecast Ultra is one of the best going.

We’re extremely impressed by the Nvidia Shield both as a media streamer and as a games console. The beautiful UI and game-streaming technology is powered by one of the most impressive mobile processors on the market at the moment, and provides an experience akin to playing a PS4 or Xbox One. The native 4K resolution that supports 60fps playback is better than any other offering in the UK at the moment, with the Fire TV only being able to support [email protected] GeForce Now has been coined as the ‘Netflix for gaming’ and although the library may be a bit sparse at the moment, the experience is great – being able to choose from a library and play it instantly is an intriguing experience and gives us a glimpse at the future of on-demand gaming.

The only real disappointment comes with the selection of catch-up TV apps, as we could only install BBC iPlayer, leaving those who want to use the likes of All4, Demand5 or ITV Hub without any option. The Shield is so close to being the perfect media streamer but without access to popular apps like those mentioned, it’ll always fall short.

The Q10 Pro prices itself out of range for those wanting a simple, no-frills box that adds Android functionality to their TV set, but the HiMedia offers so much more than this. Fantastic format support, expansive storage options and good 4K image quality make this a great Kodi box for enthusiasts.

The Fire TV is an excellent set-top box which is powerful and well designed. The voice search works well too, and Alexa is coming, which will make it far better. The interface is slick and easy to use, even if it can be confusing working out what you can watch on an Amazon Prime subscription. The Fire TV is one of the best video streamers, but it really makes sense if you pair it with a Prime Instant Video subscription and use Amazon's other services. 4K content at no extra cost is a huge bonus but don't forget that many 4K TVs already have the Prime Instant Video app. This means it's going to appeal to people who want 4K Prime Instant Video (or Netflix) but their TV doesn't have it. If that's you, just double-check your TV has an HDMI port which supports HDCP 2.2, otherwise you'll find 4K videos won't play.

For some people - mainly those with iOS devices and no 2nd- or 3rd-generation Apple TV - the new box is a great media streamer and games machine. However, there's no escaping the high price and limited selection of apps. And if you're not interested in gaming, you're just as well off buying a 3rd-generation Apple TV or Roku for less than half the price. Competition from other gaming media streamers is stiff, too, with Amazon's £79 Fire TV offering more UK catch-up TV as well as similar gaming performance, expandable storage and support for 4K content. Ultimately, the 4th-gen Apple TV has potential (Apple may even upgrade the software so it supports 4K at some point) but right now that potential is far from realised.

Sky Q is a whole new TV platform, built around flexibility of viewing both online and offline. The kit looks suitably sexy and makes the old Sky+ box look like a dinosaur. The ability to record up to four channels at once solves many of the old clashes that depressingly showed up in the old Planner listings. Would any one ever use all four channel to record while watching a fifth? I doubt it but it’s a nice option. The cheaper non-Silver Sky Q box can record three while you watch a fourth, and even that looks generous. The extra storage on the Sky Q 2TB box will be appreciated by most of us – even though it’s mostly clogged up with stuff we wished we had the time to watch. You’ll either love or loath the new Bluetooth remote, and getting used to the new controls and user interface will infuriate you until you’re used to the changes. But in the end we suspect you’ll quickly come to grips with the new setup and enjoy Sky Q for its range of services and flexibility of viewing. With an extensive range of content on offer, 4K at no extra cost, and the ability to take recordings with you via the app, Sky Q is the best home entertainment package you can get right now.

The new DTR-T2100 box is a vast improvement over its predecessor, being much faster and quieter. It also uses less power and starts up quicker.

From a technical point of view, the Apple TV is as slick and neatly designed as you'd expect from Apple. However, its reliance upon iTunes and Netflix is frustrating for users outside the US, and the Apple TV won't live up to its considerable potential until Apple bites the bullet and opens it up to a wider range of online video services.

For under £15 and various value bundles, the second generation Sky Now TV Box is a great budget media streamer. It not only allows contract-free access to a wide range of Sky content but also a number of other apps including BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. It's just a big shame that Now TV is limited to just 720p.

A perfectly capable media streamer, with dedicated remote control, for only £10 may look an indisputable bargain. It's light on features and obviously geared towards Sky's content, but if you want an inexpensive, fuss-free way of watching the occasional football match or TV series, it would be just the ticket providing Sky sorts out its streaming servers.

The Roku 2 is yet another decent media streaming box from the market leader and we like the new Roku Search and MyFeed features. However, these are available on the other Rokus and the slightly high price means you'll want to pay the extra for the better remote which comes with the Roku 3 or save money by getting the similar Streaming Stick.

Source: www.pcadvisor.co.uk

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