Most Popular Streaming Players
Comparing Nexbox A95X and Roku Ultra
- Very cheap
- Easy to use
- Unable to be rooted
- Inconsistent network performance
- 4k is unbearable
- No third party streaming services
This little guy being the best seller in Amazon last 2016 I was curious to see what the hype was all about. I had mixed feelings when I was looking at this one but best read below for more details.
On the budget friendly side of the Android TV Box market is the Nexbox A95X. Out of the box its got that cheap plasticky look with a dash of red in the corner as all Nexbox products. It comes with an IR Remote, a user manual, HDMI 2.0 cable, and a DC power adapter. Its wired connectivity is robust which is great. Aside from the DC power jack it has 2 USB ports, an AV port and an SPDIF coaxial port as well as an HDMI and LAN port.
Other Chinese boxes are mostly rooted and sadly that's not the case here. Rooting is especially important if you want the ability to grant permission to apps to run on the device. Meaning no new apps can be integrated which sucks. SD and HD video playing is all good but even if its advertised as a 4k box, dont do it as 4k is barely watchable here. It also doesnt have access to other streaming providers such as YouTube, NetFlix, Hulu, to name a few which is puzzling. Overall the UI and the device runs stable at least but its just lacking so much and the performance is just "meh".
It is cheap, and I mean Chinese level cheap. At below the $50.00 range this still disappoints me as it gives us a bare-bones TV Box experience mixed with several annoyances that are deal breakers. I think this is what drew Amazon buyers to purchase this, I bet this was also the most returned though. Buy a Roku instead, the price is close and the experience is so much better.Read full review Hide full review
- Small, simple design
- Extensive channel selection
- Easy to use interface
- Cheaper than most
- No HDMI cable included
- Remote can be clunky at times
Roku has turned itself into the go-to guys for home TV entertainment by cleverly releasing products that fit all walks of life, from the college student in a dorm room to full blown home theater junkies. As its name implies, the Roku Ultra is the do-it-all model and this one pulls no stops.
While coming in a small, simple design like always, just the black hockey puck-ish style of Roku, the Roku Ultra claims to have it all. It offers 4K resolution, HDR support, digital audio, USB connectivity, a remote control with voice search and a headphone jack, and more than 3,500 streaming channels. It has power and HDMI ports, and there's also an Ethernet port, a digital audio output, a microSD card slot and a USB port. All inside a square-ish device, at 4.9 x 4.9 x 0.9 inches. Not to mention its classic, snappy, easy to navigate OS and media player is still working like a charm, it can even recognize even the most obscure media file extensions.
One thing this could have used is an HDMI cable to come with it. At around $110.00 this is expected. Even the inferior Roku 4 had an HDMI cable along with the box. The Controller has a fair bit left to go as it can get clunky at times, and otherwise be too responsive you end up all over the place.
But these shortcomings are bearable as all the features are given, and executed well indeed. The price is right, and you get your moneys worth and then some. The Roku Ultra is today's TV box to beat.Read full review Hide full review
Media streamers come in two types: TV sticks or TV boxes. Generally speaking, there are a few main differences between the two. The most obvious one is size. TV sticks are much more unobtrusive because they plug into the back of your TV. Boxes need to sit on a shelf or on top of the TV. Second, sticks are generally less expensive than boxes. On the other hand, they usually do not have the same advanced capabilities as boxes, both in speed and in available content. That’s the trade off. Finally, boxes tend to come with more connections and better remotes, though the differences here only matter for specific situations, such as a desire to plug your TV box directly into your AV receiver through an optical audio output. If you don’t use an AV receiver or can use the receiver’s HDMI connection, this won’t matter to you.Hide
4K or Ultra-HD is the latest (and highest) screen resolution for TV sets. If you have a 4K TV, you must have a 4K capable TV box or stick in order to stream at the maximum resolution. For reference, 4K is about 4 times the resolution of 1080p. It’s also important to note that a 4K streaming experience is impacted by a lot more than just your TV and media streamer. You must also have a fast enough internet speed to stream at this quality, an HD or 4K subscription to your favorite apps (which is typically more expensive than a standard plan), and an approved media player for 4K by the app/company. For example, Netflix only allows 4K streaming from certain manufacturers. If you can check all of these boxes, you’ll be able to enjoy 4K viewing from your TV box or stick.Hide
Random Access Memory, or RAM, determines how much information a device can process simultaneously. You may have heard it in reference to computers or phones. But media streamers have RAM, too, and usually the more the better because it means the device functions quicker, switching between apps more quickly and experiencing less buffering. Although, more RAM typically comes with a bigger price tag. That being said, if you only plan to watch Netflix, and not use any other apps, you may not need to pay for the extra RAM. Situations where you would need more RAM include 4K streaming or constant switching between different apps, where more RAM would create a smoother, faster experience.Hide
Measured in GB or TB, storage capacity on a media streamer limits the number of apps, movies, shows and games you can download on your device. More storage comes at a premium price, but may be worth it for users who plan to download a lot of content, apps, or games, especially if you want to avoid the trouble of deleting content to create room for new content.
Some devices will also have an SD card, microSD card, or USB slot for expanded storage. While you’ll need to purchase the card separately, it’s another way to increase your device’s storage capacity.
- Google Play
- Amazon Prime or Instant Video
Some media devices offer the opportunity to download content (rather than stream it) for a quicker experience uninterrupted by buffering. An example of this is Apple TV, which allows users to download TV shows and movies from iTunes to store on the device. This feature usually only comes on TV boxes, partially because it requires a larger storage capacity. You can choose from a library of movies and TV shows to download, which can take a while depending on your internet speed. However, if you want to watch movies in 4K but have a slow internet connection, downloading the content first is a way around this. Keep in mind that 4K files are extremely large, so plan ahead for downloading.Hide
Some media streamers will come with a web browser that allows you to search the internet on your TV, in addition to the myriad of apps available for download. While an interesting feature, the experience is often clunky and slow if you do not have an advanced remote—think typing a web address using the arrow buttons and on-screen keyboard. That can take forever! Still, some users may find this useful for searching quick information, checking email, browsing social media or other sites, or other simply internet activities. You may also be able to purchase a special remote or controller to streamline web browsing.Hide
A TV box or stick that connect to broadcast is key for those who want to watch live TV. Oftentimes, you can pay for a subscription to a TV network’s app (HBO, Starz, CBS, etc.), but this can add up financially. You might be better off purchasing a satellite or cable subscription, which you can use a live-broadcast-capable media streamer to watch. Or, if you’re not particular about watching live programs, you can wait for the show or movie to release on Netflix and skip the hassle of a TV box or stick that connects to live TV.Hide
If the TV box can connect to broadcast TV, you may be able to record live programs and replay past programs within a certain time period. This means no more missing your favorite shows! Set the box to record shows or movies ahead of time, or browse the guide for shows you may have missed, all within one device. Note that this feature will require a larger storage capacity to hold your various recorded programs.Hide
While watching live TV, you may want to pause the program or rewind a part you missed. Some media streamers are limited in how far you can rewind, such as 30 minutes. Also, if you pause the program for a certain amount of time, it may start playing automatically when it reaches that limit. Still, it can be convenient to pause TV while you use the restroom, check on your dinner that’s cooking, or do a quick chore.Hide
If the TV box or stick comes with a remote, it may also double as a microphone or contain a headphone jack for private listening. Microphones are useful in remotes because they allow you to use your voice to control your TV, like searching for programs, changing channels and apps, turning volume up or down, turning power on or off, updating settings and more. The headphone jack or auxiliary port allows you to plug headphones into your remote, so you can listen to your TV without disturbing other members of your household.Hide
- Headphone Jack
- App Specific Buttons (Netflix, YouTube, etc.)
A microphone—whether in the remote or on the box/stick—allows the user to control the TV using their voice. You can search for programs, change channels and apps, turn volume up or down, turn power on or off, update settings, and more, all without pressing a single button (besides the one to activate the microphone). However, your device must come equipped with a microphone for this work. Keep in mind that a microphone on the remote, which can be held very close to your mouth for clarity, will be much more effective than yelling at the microphone on your TV box or stick.
For the companies that have their own proprietary voice program, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, the TV boxes and sticks from those companies come equipped with these voices. So, if you have an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, you can use all of the Alexa capabilities through it.Hide
Some media streamers allow you to control your TV with your smartphone or tablet by downloading an app on your device. The Google Chromcast is one example of a media streamer that does not use a remote, and instead relies on an app on your smartphone or tablet to push content to your TV. You may like this if you find yourself losing remotes often, or if you prefer to browse content on your phone rather than your TV.Hide
If you plan to use your media streamer for gaming, you’ll need a controller. Some TV boxes and sticks use the remote as a controller, which is sufficient for basic games and kids play. You may also receive a special gaming pad included with your device, or have the opportunity to purchase one, for a more advancing gaming experience. Finally, a smartphone is another gaming controller alternative, if the device allows you to connect with your phone or tablet (likely through an app). The level of gaming you wish to do will depend on what controller you need.Hide
The different network connections available for media streamers includes Ethernet, wireless/Wi-FI, Bluetooth, satellite, aerial/cable, and AirPlay. Most all media streamers will have Wi-Fi. If you have high speed Wi-Fi wherever you plan to use the device, this will suffice. However, a more reliable connection option would be Ethernet directly to your router. For that, you would need a TV box. AirPlay is another option for streaming content, but it only works on Apple devices. AirPlay allows you to push video and audio to your TV from another AirPlay device (smartphone, tablet, computer, etc.) if you have an Apple TV.
Finally, some media streamers (usually TV boxes) come with the ability to connect to your cable or satellite services and stream content over broadband, though most people purchase TV boxes and sticks because they want to get rid of cable/satellite. Still, if you want one device to rule your entire TV experience, a TV box with this capability will do the trick.Hide
The different outputs or device connections include HDMI, digital optical audio output, USB, SD or microSD. TV sticks will connect to your TV through HDMI, but won’t contain any outputs (except for power to the wall or the TV’s USB input). TV boxes can come with several other outputs, such as a digital optical audio output for connecting directly to your AV receiver for sound output. It may also have a USB connection for plugging in your own media. And, there may be slots for SD or microSD cards to expand the total storage of your device. This comes in handy if you plan to store music, recorded programs or downloaded content (e.g., movies and TV shows) on the device.Hide
- With KODI for playing almost all latest audio and video formats.
- Dolby plus DTS audio encoding for dynamic sound
- HDR color
- Midnight Mode
- Lost remote finder
- Smartphone remote controlled
- Voice search
- Internet radio playback
- Internet video playback
- Digital audio playback
- Digital photo playback
- Digital video playback
- On-line Internet gaming
- Perfect for HD and 4K Ultra HD TVs, features fast quad-core processor and 802.11ac dual-band wireless.
- Exceptionally brilliant picture quality. 4K Ultra HD at 60fps with four times the resolution of 1080p HD.
- Vibrant HDR displaying an incredible range of colors, brighter whites, and deeper blacks.
- Fully loaded with digital audio output, convenient point anywhere remote with voice search and remote finder, headphones for private listening, and gaming controls.
- Dolby Audio over HDMI and optical
- NOTE: Kindly refer the Instructional Video from the Image Section and User Manual from the Technical Specification before use which is highly recommended.
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