Best WIFI TV Box

If you look around the internet, you will find several versions of the live stream TV box.  In reality, there are only three viable options available if you are looking for a legitimate streaming media player TV box.

Amazon Fire TV

Apple TV

Roku Streaming Player

Whenever you want to pick up something like this, it is always good to know the particulars, as each of these have different versions.  In this post, we will only deal with the Amazon and Roku products.

Before we get into it, if you are reading this, you are interested in a live stream TV box.  We all know cable or satellite television is expensive, and it looks like it will continue on this path.  These streaming devices are great because you can pick the type of media (through individual apps) that you want to watch.  I just want to make something clear.  You will be streaming shows from the Internet.  This means that you will need to have a decent home Internet plan.  If you have a low end plan at your home, you will probably need to upgrade to one of the top tier options for a satisfying viewing experience.

I have read reviews for Sling TV, HBO Go and some other apps, and they complain that they have these buffering issues, or the screen will just plain freeze.  These people do not realize that there are a few things in play here.  Like I mentioned, you need decent Internet speeds, and while you are at it, you will ned to make sure your router is fairly new.  If you have an old router, that will also hinder your connection speed.

I am just being real here.  If you have the right equipment, you will get the best results.

Both Amazon and Roku have two types of devices:  The USB stick style and the slightly larger, box type.  The latter has the option to plug directly into the router.  Plugging the device into the router will help with the video quality.  I get the fact that sometimes you cannot plug it into the router, but if that is an option for you, I would recommend doing it that way.

Here are the best stream TV box options

Amazon

The Amazon Fire TV is probably a name you hear quite often when streaming TV devices are discussed.  There are three flavors of the Fire TV line:

  • Amazon Fire Stick
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition

By the way, you do not need a Prime subscription in order to use the Amazon devices.  I have heard questions about that, and there seemed to be some confusion about the issue.

live stream tv boxAmazon Fire Stick

If you want a streaming option that is stable and portable.  This is the media player that you want.  Four items come into the box:

  • Fire Stick
  • Alexa Remote
  • Power cord
  • HDMI extender

A simple solution…all you need to do is plug it into the HDMI port of your television.  If you do not have an Amazon account, just sign up for one because you will need to sign in.  This also makes it easier when you are downloading apps from the App Store.  Once it boots up, you have all you need to start watching your favorite shows.

You get 1GB of memory, and 8GB of internal storage.  You cannot expand this, so what you see is what you get.  What can you store with 8GB exactly?  I have about 15 apps and I still have about half of the space left, so that is my best guess.  Don’t quote me on that, but I wanted give you a rough idea.  You cannot really give a hard number because the apps come in various sizes. You can always delete apps you are not using and add new ones, so this will not be an issue.

Did I say portable?  This is the best thing about the Fire Stick.  You can take it with you.  Take it to a friend’s house.  Use it in the hotel on your trip, whether it be business or pleasure.

The remote has Alexa Voice.  This is a cool feature if you want to use it.  You can ask it to perform a number of commands, like open specific apps, get weather reports, or get movie times at the nearest theater.

media player tv boxAmazon Fire TVmedia player tv box

Here is what you get:

  • Fire TV
  • Alexa Remote
  • Power Cord

The Fire TV is the larger version (literally) of the Fire Stick.  When I say larger, it is a little bigger, but it is not large by any means.  You get more processing power, 2GB of memory.  You get the same 8GB of internal storage, but you have a  Micro SD slot to expand the memory up to 200GB, so if you think you want more space, this is the one for you.  You also have a USB slot for even more expansion.

You can also plug this device directly into the router.  Plugging the device directly into the router will give you better performance, as wired connections in general offer superior performance.  For example, listen to music through speakers that are plugged into the music player vs. bluetooth speakers.  The wired speakers will always win for sound quality.  This is the same with your internet connection.

The Fire TV will also stream in 4k if you have a 4k TV. There’s more 4k content added all the time, so this should be a consideration if you are planning to get the 4k television.  Just to be clear, you do not need 4k to enjoy this device.

One thing, though, is that it does not come with an HDMI cord, so I just wanted to make you aware of that.

live stream tv boxAmazon Fire TV Gaming Edition

The only difference between this and the Fire TV is that you get the Game controller.  You also get two games; Shovel Knight and Disney Duck Tales.  If you have a gamer in the house, you may want to consider this option.

There’s also an Android and IOS app so you can use your mobile device or tablet as a remote for any of the Fire devices.

 

Roku

Roku has six different players, but we will concentrate on three of the devices.

  • Roku Streaming Stick
  • Roku Premiere
  • Roku Ultra

media player tv boxRoku Streaming Stick

What’s in the box?

  • Roku Streaming Stick
  • RF remote
  • Power cable
  • Power adapter

The Roku Streaming Stick is a similar product to the Amazon Fire Stick.  A portable device that you can take on the go.  An advantage that Roku has over the Fire Stick is that they have access to more apps, and the search function for Roku is superior to the Amazon products.  Like Amazon, there is an app for your mobile device.  One great feature of the Roku app is the private listening feature.  You can just plug your headphones into your mobile device, and listen to the audio privately.  This is good if you want to watch late at night when others are sleeping!

The included remote has a point-anywhere feature.  This means that you do not have to point the remote directly at the tv for it to work.  That is because it is RF (radio frequency) instead of IR (infrared).  There are also channel shortcut buttons for Netflix, Amazon, Sling TV and Google Play.  This makes it a little easier to access those shows you want to watch!

wifi tv boxRoku Premiere+ Streaming Media Playerwifi tv box

What you get:

  • Roku Premiere+ Streaming Player
  • Advanced remote
  • Headphones for private listening
  • Power adapter

This is the more powerful option, with the ability to plug the device directly into the router.  Just like the Fire TV, plugging directly into the router will give you better performance.  This is a 4k device, so you will be able to watch in the best quality if you have that 4k TV.  There is a micro SD slot to expand your storage.  It also comes with the RF remote as stated above, with the shortcut buttons:  Netflix, HBO now, Sling TV and Hulu.  The device also has IR compatibility so you can still use your favorite universal remote.  The included headphones plug directly into the Roku remote, so you do not have to use the mobile app.

stream tv boxRoku 4 Streaming Media Player 4K UHDstream tv box

These come in the box:

  • Roku Ultra Streaming Player
  • Advanced remote
  • Headphones for private listening
  • Power adapter

This is the most powerful of the three devices.  The Ultra has an optical out for audio, and a USB out for local playback.  The Ultra remote also has gaming buttons, and a speaker.  What is the speaker used for?  Well, the Ultra has a remote finder button.  Just press that, and the remote will let out an audio tone to let you know where it is.  You know, when it slips in between the couch cushions, or when that two year old hides it.

Overall the Amazon Fire and the Roku products are pretty comparable.  Roku has more apps available, so that will make it an attractive option.  If you are already in the Amazon ecosystem, meaning you have a Fire Tablet, or an Amazon Echo, you may want to get a Fire TV to be consistent.

I hope this information was useful for the best WIFI TV Box.  No matter which stream TV box you choose, you cannot go wrong with any of these devices.  You will just need to decide whether or not you want the stick, or the ability to plug directly into the router.  Just click the product names above to do directly to their Amazon.com page.