Comparison of digital media players

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A digital media player is a home entertainment consumer electronics device that can connect to a home network to stream digital media (such as music, pictures, or video).

Standalone streaming players[edit]

This list does not include discontinued or legacy media players.

Maker Model (Debut year) Current version (year) Connectivity Audio output Maximum video resolution Video formats supported Network USB Internal media storage Card reader slot Remote control
Amazon Fire TV (2014), Fire TV Stick (2014) Fire TV Stick (third generation, 2020), Fire TV Cube (second generation, 2019), Fire TV Stick 4K (2018) HDMI (w/ CEC) HDMI 4K@60fps (Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K); 1080p (Fire TV Stick) H.265/HEVC, VP9 , H.264, H.263, MPEG4-SP, VC1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 10/100 Ethernet (via external dongle) 1× micro-USB for ethernet dongle and OTG storage (Fire TV Cube), 1× micro-USB for power and ethernet dongle (Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K) 16GB (Fire TV Cube), 8GB (Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K) None Bluetooth/IR remote with Alexa, Android app, iOS app
Apple Apple TV (2007) 6th generation (2021) HDMI (w/ CEC) HDMI, Bluetooth, 4K@60fps (HDR) H.265, H.264, MPEG-4, Motion JPEG 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Gigabit Ethernet None 32GB (4th Gen) or 64GB (5th Gen) NAND Flash None Siri Remote, iPhone app
Google Chromecast (2013) Chromecast with Google TV (CCTV; 2020) HDMI (w/ CEC) HDMI 1080p; 4K@60fps (Ultra) H.264, VP8 (Chromecast)

H.263, H.264, H.265/HEVC, VP8, VP9 (Chromecast Ultra, CCTV)

802.11b/g/n/ac (Chromecast), 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (Nexus Player, CCTV) 1× micro-USB for power (Chromecast),

1 x USB-C for power, ethernet and peripherals (CCTV)

2 GB for buffering (Chromecast), 8 GB for buffering (Nexus Player, CCTV) None None (Chromecast controllable by mobile device or Chrome browser);

Bluetooth/IR remote with Google Assistant (CCTV)

Nvidia SHIELD Console
(2013)
Nvidia Shield TV
(third generation, 2019), Nvidia Shield TV Pro
(third generation, 2019)
HDMI (w/ CEC) 3.5mm, HDMI 4K@60fps MPEG2/4, XviD, DivX, MKV (H.264), MP4 (H.264), MOV (H.264), HEVC (H.265), WMV9, VC-1, VP8, VP9 802.11ac
10/100/1000 Ethernet
2x USB 3.0
1x micro-USB
16GB,
500GB (SHIELD Pro)
Micro SD IR remote (all models)
Roku Roku Streaming Player (2008) 8th & 9th generation

Express, Express+, Streaming Stick+, Premiere, Ultra LT, Ultra (2018)

HDMI HDMI (all models), Optical Toslink (Ultra) 4K@60fps; 1080p on Express and Express+ H.264/AVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), H.265/HEVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); VP9 (.MKV) 802.11a/b/g/n (Express, Express+, Premiere)
802.11ac (Streaming Stick+, Ultra LT, Ultra)
10/100 Ethernet (Ultra)
1× USB 2.0 (Ultra models)
1× micro-USB for power (Streaming Stick+ Roku model)
256MB - 512MB Micro SD (Premiere+ & Ultra) IR remote (all models)
Wi-Fi Direct (Streaming Stick+, Ultra)
Headphone jack (Streaming Stick+, Ultra)

Gaming systems[edit]

Manufacturer System (year) Connectivity Maximum video resolution Video formats supported Network USB Internal media storage Card reader slot Web browser Remote control Network file server Network file client
Microsoft Xbox Series X/S (2020) HDMI 4K@120fps (Xbox Series X);

1440p@120fps (Xbox Series S)

Many 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 10/100/1000 Ethernet 3x USB 3.1 512GB or 1TB SSD None Yes IR remote sold separately Unspecified DLNA
Microsoft Xbox One (2013) HDMI, HDMI-in, optical audio 1080p;

4K@60fps (Xbox One S, Xbox One X)

Many 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 10/100/1000 Ethernet 3x USB 3.0 500GB up to 2TB hard drive, not user-upgradeable None Yes IR remote sold separately Unspecified DLNA
Microsoft Xbox 360 (2005) HDMI, component audio/video, composite audio/video, optical audio 1080p[1] Many 802.11a/b/g/n, 10/100/1000 Ethernet 3x USB 2.0 4GB up to 500GB hard drive, user-upgradeable None Yes IR remote sold separately Unspecified DLNA
Sony PlayStation 5 (2020) HDMI 4K@120fps Many 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 10/100/1000 Ethernet 2x USB 3.1, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB-C with USB 3.1 825GB SSD, user-upgradeable None No IR remote sold separately N/A DLNA
Sony PlayStation 4 (2013) HDMI, optical audio 1080p;

4K (PS4 Pro)

Many 802.11 b/g/n, 10/100/1000 Ethernet 2x USB 3.0 500GB or 1TB hard drive, user-upgradeable None Yes IR remote sold separately None DLNA
Sony PlayStation 3 (2006) HDMI, composite audio/video, component audio/video, optical audio 1080p Many 802.11a/b/g/n, 10/100/1000 Ethernet 2x USB 2.0 (4x USB 2.0) 12GB[2] up to 500GB hard drive, user-upgradeable Some early models include card readers,[3] other models do not. Yes Bluetooth remote built into controller, IR remote sold separately None DLNA
Nintendo Wii U (2012) HDMI, component audio/video, composite audio/video 1080p H.264 via browser[4] 802.11a/b/g/n, 10/100 Ethernet 4x USB 2.0 8 or 32 GB NAND flash, not user-upgradeable SD card Yes IR remote built into GamePad None None

Content agreements[edit]

Internet video services[edit]

Model Amazon Video Crackle Flixster Google Play (Google TV) Hulu iTunes (Apple TV) Movies Anywhere Netflix Sling TV[5] Vevo Vimeo VUDU WWE Network YouTube UltraFlix
Amazon Fire TV Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apple TV Yes (3rd generation and later) Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 4th generation and later Yes with software version 7.2 and later Yes (HD)
Asus Cube Yes No No Yes Yes No ? Yes No No No No No Yes No
Google Chromecast/Nexus Player Yes[6] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hisense Pulse No Yes Yes Yes No No ? Yes No No No Yes No Yes Yes
Little Smart Box No Yes Yes Yes Yes No ? Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Microsoft Xbox Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes[7] Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
NanoTech Nuvola No No No Yes Yes No ? Yes No No No No No Yes Yes
Nintendo Yes No No No Yes No ? No No No No No No Yes No
Roku Yes Yes Yes Yes[8] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (as of Apr. 30, 2021, YouTube TV has been removed due to a dispute with Google)[9] Yes
SHIELD Android TV Yes Yes Yes[10] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes[11] Yes Yes
Sony PlayStation Yes Yes No No Yes Yes ? Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No
Vizio Co-Star Yes Yes No No LT only No ? Yes No No No Yes No Yes Yes
Western Digital WD TV No No Yes No Yes No ? Live and Play versions No No Yes Yes No Yes No

US television services[edit]

Model Charter Spectrum Verizon FiOS Comcast Xfinity Watch ABC PBS Fox Now A&E Bloomberg Disney Channel FX Now History Channel Lifetime MTV SyFy Watch ESPN Encore Play EPIX HBO GO HBO Max Showtime Anytime Starz Play
Amazon Fire TV Yes Yes Yes[12] Yes[13] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes[14] Yes[15] Yes (was unavailable until Nov. 17, 2020) [16] Yes Yes
Apple TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Google Chromecast Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Xbox Yes No No Xbox 360 only Yes Yes Yes No Xbox 360 only Xbox One only, Xbox 360 upcoming[17] Yes Yes Yes Yes Xbox One only Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Roku Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (was unavailable until Dec. 2020) Yes Yes
Sony PlayStation No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No

NOTE: These tables are not comprehensive or all inclusive; some pay-TV services may not have contracts with certain networks or refuse to serve networks on certain platforms.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://forums.xbox.com/xbox_support/f/7/t/439531.aspx
  2. ^ Leadbetter, Richard (February 3, 2013). "PlayStation 3 12GB Super Slim review". Eurogamer.
  3. ^ Caron, Frank (June 4, 2008). "Gone baby gone: the death and afterlife of a 60GB PS3". Ars Technica.
  4. ^ "Wii U Internet Browser Specs". Nintendo.
  5. ^ "Watch Online with TV Streaming Devices". Sling TV.
  6. ^ Moon, Mariella (9 July 2019). "Amazon Prime Video finally works with Chromecast and Android TV". Engadget. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Xbox Support". support.xbox.com.
  8. ^ Moynihan, Tim. "Bad News for Amazon: Google Play Movies and TV Are Now on Roku". Wired.
  9. ^ Welch, Chris (April 30, 2021). "Roku removes YouTube TV from channel store as dispute with Google escalates". The Verge. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  10. ^ "Movies by Flixster, with Rotten Tomatoes - Apps on Google Play". play.google.com.
  11. ^ "WWE Network Help - Watching on Android TV". help.wwe.com.
  12. ^ "Watch Xfinity Stream App on Amazon Fire TV". Xfinity. 2 November 2021.
  13. ^ "WATCH ABC app arrives on the Amazon Fire TV". AFTVnews. 5 October 2015.
  14. ^ "EPIX app arrives on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick". AFTVnews. 16 May 2017.
  15. ^ "HBO available on Amazon Fire TV". Amazon.
  16. ^ Spangler, Todd (November 16, 2020). "HBO Max Is Finally Coming to Amazon Fire TV".
  17. ^ Warren, Christina (January 16, 2014). "FXNow Streaming iOS App Launches Ahead of 'Simpsons' Release". Mashable.