With the purpose of enjoying various digital media content from online streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, HDO NOW, Hulu, and more on home theatre system with a big screen, more and more people are looking for the better option for them to cut the cord.
Nowadays, there are two main choices for playing online streaming content on their televisions – buy an all-in-one smart TV, like Samsung smart TV, Sony Bravia TV, etc. equipped with some online streaming services and apps or content a top-rated media streaming box to streaming online digital media to TV, such as Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, etc.
View also: Top 5 Media Streaming Boxes
With the built-in online streaming services and integrated functions, smart TV sometimes could be cheaper and easy to use without extra connection. However, how about user experience? Probably not! Before making the final decision, let's compare the pros and cons of media streamer and smart TV from different aspects, including available content, cost, ease-of-use and flexibility so that you can make the right decision on choosing smart TV or media streaming player.
Part 1. Media Streamer vs. Smart TV: What Is It
When it comes to smart TV, the first thing coming up to your mind must be kinds of "intelligent" television sets with integrated Internet and interactive "Web 2.0" features. Today, a wonderful smart TV must be equipped with streaming apps, services, and games for offering customers more entertainment. Media streamer, also called media streaming box or media streaming player is developed to stream online digital content, such as movies, TV episodes, music, etc. to your TV from online streaming apps and online media channels, such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Vudu, Plex. By the way, there are many powerful and professional media streaming boxes in the market, such as Google Chromecast, Apple TV.
If you would like to choose a suitable media streamer, you can visit this review: Top 5 Best Media Streamers of 2017.
Part 2. Media Streamer vs. Smart TV: Pros and Cons
Available Content - Media Streamer Wins
No matter which one you would like to purchase, you should take the available content supported by media streamer and smart TV into consideration firstly. Generally speaking, media streaming player could provide more online channels for customers to stream than smart TV. Certainly, mainstream online services are available for both devices. But, the best media streamers, such as Roku and Apple TV, have Amazon instant videos or iTunes digital content, as well as other particular content, including HBO Go and Sky's Now TV. Let's have a look at smart TV, only Samsung smart TV has accessibility to HBO Go. In a nutshell, media streamer is better than smart TV since it provides more available content for watching.
More Tips: As mentioned above, Apple TV is the only streaming device that supports iTunes digital content because the iTunes videos are encrypted by FairPlay DRM technology. If you want to purchase a non-Apple TV streaming media for special requirement, and would like to stream iTunes movies and TV shows to TV as well, you can use a professional iTunes DRM M4V removal tool to remove DRM protection from iTunes M4V videos in advance. In this case, you can refer to DRmare M4V Converter that can losslessly remove DRM from iTunes movies so that you can easily cast iTunes M4V videos to Chromecast or play iTunes movies on Roku, etc.
Cost – Smart TV Wins
Regarding this concept, it's hard to decide the better one. According to the market quotation, a smart TV will cost around $100, or less at $80, more than a "dumb" TV. But the price range of media streaming boxes could be from $39 to $199. So it depends on which one offers your wanted digital content and which one you choose in the end. Besides, if you are able to purchase an all-in-one smart TV with built-in online streaming services that you need, that's really an ideal solution. But if you already have a smart TV, buying a cheaper media streaming is a better choice for saving money instead of purchasing an expensive smart TV.
Ease of Use – Draw
With the excellent and clean user interface, media streaming boxer seems to be easier to streaming online digital content with faster speed than smart TVs. However we must admit that with the development of technology, almost all professional smart television sets are able to do this job well. As long as you choose the fantastic media streamer or smart TV, you are allowed to get into your any wanted digital content in seconds.
Flexibility – Media Streamer Wins
Another consideration we need to take into is the flexibility. Smart TV is lack of flexibility compared to the media streamer, since smart TV receives limited upgrades, such as its interface, apps and compatibility that they could be updated during the year they are launched. However, media streaming box has undergone lots of software updates to improve available content, such as apps, online streaming services, provide easy-to-use user interface, or add more catalogues to its voice search since launched.
Part 3. Conclusion & Suggestion
Every coin has two sides. From what we mentioned above, both media streamer and smart TV have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, before you decide buying media streaming box or smart TV, you should clearly understand what content you need actually. In order to save money, maybe a functional smart TV that supports your desired streaming services is a better choice for you rather than pay for both smart TV and media streaming box. But, if you only want to enjoy more digital content over the Internet on your big screen, you can buy one of the best media streamers.