Although the $70 Apple TV is getting a little long in the tooth — with its last major upgrade coming in 2012 —it’s a must-have for Apple-centric users who have a lot of content stored in iTunes, on a Mac computer, or on Apple’s iCloud.
Not surprisingly, Apple TV has the company’s usual super-friendly interface, and it seamlessly integrates with iTunes TV show, movie and music libraries, and Apple’s iCloud storage service. You can also use Apple TV to access the new Apple Music subscription service.
Amazon Fire TV, the retailer’s first streaming media player, offers fine, responsive performance and a few unique features. Fire TV lets you search for content using voice commands, and it offers a kids’ environment, called FreeTime, that lets parents choose what their kids can see and set time limits for viewing. Fire TV also has one of the most credible gaming platform of any streamer we’ve tested, with titles including “Minecraft-Pocket Edition,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Monsters University.” But you’ll really need to spring for the optional $30 game controller.
For more info on streaming media players, visit ConsumerReports.org.