Selecting A Media Player Based On Your Needs

Anyone that has tried to look for a steaming player recently can tell you that there are a wide range of options available to them. If you are planning on purchasing something in the near future then you will want to stop and think about what you want it for.  That will definitely help you determine what type you need to purchase.  Are you looking for a media player for the photos and videos that you have on your phone or computer?  Or, are you looking for something that is going to be able to stream and download movies that might be available on your cable network?  These are all serious things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to selecting the right player for your needs.

Now, there are a lot of individuals that are going to tell you that a media player is actually a media streamer.  However, that is not the case.  There are some differences when you consider both of these.  You do need to know what the differences between the two of them really are if you want to make sure that you are picking out the correct item.  Consider the following key items when you are trying to determine what you would like to purchase.

First off, it is very important to know that a media player is going to be used to play any and all of the media that you have on your computer, phone, and hard drives.  It will be acting as a media server.  However, a media streamer is going to work off of an internet connection and it will not always be able to play any of the saved media files that you have on your devices.

As you can see, there are a lot of different things that you are going to need to keep in mind when it comes to these devices.  It will be very important for you to think about a few key points when you are trying to decide what you really want to purchase.  Just remember that there are so many different items.  It can be very difficult to decide what will really be the best option for you unless you keep a few key points in your mind.

 

1.)     How easy it is to use and customize -  It goes without saying that not all individuals are able to fully understand what is needed to work a media streamer or player. With that being said it will be very important to make sure that you are selecting a player or streamer that is very easy to use and that you will be able to customize the way that you want it.

Roku2 with remote

Roku is thought to be one of the easiest to work with.  However, the WD TV Live is reported to have really large icons and a menu that is very easy to follow.  If you are interested in being able to share with others then you are going to want to look at the Boxee.  This will allow you to let others know what you are watching.  Now, you will find that Netgear’s Neo TV 550 will handle just about any format but you will only want to use this if you have experience and know what you are doing.

Netgear 550 with remote

2.)    Streaming online or downloading – You always have to ask yourself if you want to be able to stream movies and such from the internet or are you looking to download files from your own media source.  If you would like to be able to connect to different sites then you will want to make sure that you are looking for a media streamer that will interest you.  It will also be a good idea to actually check on the product to see if it has a partnership with some of the services that you would like to use.  An example of this would be the Roku box.  Yes, you can stream with it. But, if you are looking to play items off of your computer then you will need to have special software for the product.  WD TV is good for both and it is very easy for most individuals in your family to learn how to use.  Boxee can do both as well and it will also be able to organize all of your files.  Finally, you will see that the Netgear Neo TV 550 will not be able to play any of the saved files that you have.

wd tv hub live with remote

3.)    Storage – You may find that you do not have as much storage on your computer as you thought. Or, maybe you have so much information on your computer that you are running out of room.  It would be nice to have a media player that is also going to have storage that you can take advantage of.  Doing this also means that you do not have to have your computer on if you are looking to play the files that you have on there.  Now they will be on your media player.  The WD TV is good for this.  Other computers can access it and you will also find that you can use it with any computer in your home.

4.)    Format compatibility -  it will always be a good idea to make sure that you are paying attention to the formats that your files are saved in when it comes to the streamer or player that you are selecting.  It would be a good idea to make sure that you are paying attention to identify if it will play MKV or even blue rays.  You might find that the Netgear’s Neo TV 550 is going to be the best because it is going to be able to play all of the different formats that you might have on your player.

5.)    Apple TV – Those individuals that know how to use iOS will want to considier the Apple TV.  You will have the option to mirror what you are watching on your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV.  In the end, if you would like to be using Hulu and other streaming sites like this then you have to consider getting a different media player.

apple tv with remote

6.)    Stand alone vs. build it – Of course, there are going to be benefits to each of these options.  First, you will see that the quality of your video may be much better when you have an all in one option because you will not have to worry about the signal going through a number of different formats and conversions.  However, you are not going to be able to take your player anywhere with you because it is inside of your television.  You might want to get one that is free standing.  They are so small now that they can be taken with you anywhere that you want.  You will also find that most of these are going to be relatively cheap as you can often get one now for approximately $50.