How to Choose the Right Brand of Television Media Streaming Device.

Many guests of the Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Target come to the store looking for a television media streaming device.  They are met with several brands to choose from and do not know which one to pick.  Luis Arquillo, who works at the Target has some advice for those wondering which brand to select.  “The major brands of television media streaming device are Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku.  The bottom line is if you already have memberships, accounts or other equipment with any of the four brands that is probably the brand of streaming device you should purchase” said Luis.

Luis went on to say, “if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, or perhaps you own an Amazon Fire Tablet or Amazon Echo then the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Fire TV would be the best choice.”

“Or if you own music or movies in an iTunes account or own an iPhone or iPad then the Apple TV or Apple TV 4K makes the most sense for you,” said Luis.

Luis explained that if you consume most of your media through Google and the Google Play Store, then a Google Chromecast device makes the most sense.  This choice is especially true for those that already own a Google Home device.

Luis then went on to explain, “that if you aren’t already enjoying the products or services of Amazon, Apple, or Google, then perhaps a Roku device is for you.”

“Except for playing music and movies on iTunes, a Roku supports all the other major streaming apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube.  Besides, if you happen to be a Spectrum or Xfinity cable subscriber, only on a Roku can you load their services streaming app and avoid the monthly fee for the cable box you would otherwise need,” he said.

If you are using products or services from more than one brand, say for instance you own an Apple iPhone but use the Google Play store to consume your music and movies then choosing gets more complicated.  “I recommend you try to find someone who already uses an Apple TV or a Chromecast to try them out.  Go with whichever experience seems better for you.  Perhaps you’ll like the way one device works over the other”, Luis told me.

Not everyone will have the opportunity to take any of these devices for a test drive before investing in one.  Unfortunately, the store does not have any demonstration models.

“If you are flying blind then I recommend you go and read some of the reviews for these devices that you can find online,” said Luis.  “The online reviews might leave you with a better feeling for one brand over the others.”

“If cost is a deciding factor then I recommend you go with a Roku which has the lowest entry price point,” Luis concluded.

Noah Reynolds who also works at Target and is a veteran Xbox player had an alternative solution in mind.  “I recommend you use an Xbox One as your streaming device,” Noah said.  “An Xbox One costs a minimum of $229, way more than the streaming device alternatives already discussed but in addition to being used as a streaming device, you can use it to play all the latest video games.  An Xbox One is how I roll,” he added.

Photo of media streaming device section of the Elizabethtown, Target store with the display above and devices below.  Taken 3/25/2018 by Dennis P. Collins with an iPhone X.

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Photo of Noah Reynolds holding an Xbox One while standing in front of the Xbox display at the Elizabethtown, Target.  Taken on 3/25/2018 by Dennis P. Collins with an iPhone X.

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