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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Set-Top Box Showdown: Apple TV vs. Nexus Player vs. Roku 4

There are nearly as many companies making set top boxes as there are TV shows that you swear you’re going to get around to watching one of these days. Today, we’re examining three of the 70-573 best: the Apple TV, the Nexus Player, and the Roku 4.

The Contenders

For this showdown, we’re focusing solely on three popular standalone boxes with their own storage, operating system, and remotes. If you want more affordable, minimal options, you can check out our streaming stick showdown. Here are the boxes we looked at:

Apple TV ($150): For years, Apple’s set-top box 70-595 has been one of the  newcerts standouts, if only because it was the only player on the block of its caliber. It’s still one of the most expensive on our list (excluding some Android TV options), but it’s got all the polish you expect from an Apple product.
Nexus Player ($70): Unlike the others on this list, Google has a multi-device platform called Android TV that you can get on a variety of devices. I tested the Nexus Player, which was launched in 70-663J November of 2014. You can find newer, more expensive units like the Shield TV from NVIDIA($200) or the Razer Forge TV ($100), however in my testing the old Nexus Player held up just fine, presumably thanks to some much-needed updates since its initial launch.
Roku 4 ($130): The Roku 4 is Roku’s newest set top box. It’s capable of 4K streaming and, as we learned in our streaming stick showdown, Roku is platform agnostic, meaning you don’t  70-668 have to worry about one company (like Apple or Google, cough) pushing their own content library at the expense of others.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. We left out the Fire TV, after its performance in the streaming stick showdown. However, if you’re a die-hard Amazon Prime Video  70-573 user, and don’t use much else, it may be worth a look. However, if you like a variety of services, read on. We also didn’t cover theWestern Digital WD TV, or any  70-671 video game consoles because, frankly, there are just too many to compare. Here’s how our top three choices stacked up.