App showdown: Roku vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV vs. Fire TV vs. Android TV
App selection should be one of the biggest factors in choosing a streaming media player, because all the fancy features in the world don't mean much if you can't actually watch what you want.
The good news is that there's decent app parity among the major streaming media devices, including Apple TV ($69 to $199), Amazon's Fire TV ($99, or $39 for the Fire TV Stick), Roku ($50 to $130, depending on the model), Chromecast ($35), and Android TV devices such as the Nexus Player ($100) and Nvidia Shield Android TV ($200). If you're just looking to watch Netflix or Hulu Plus, pretty much every device on the market will have you covered.
Still, each platform does have its hang-ups, which you can see in the chart below. Have a look, then keep reading for some takeaways and caveats: