And the Best Streaming Video Player Is…

Ready to ditch expensive cable TV? Professional reviewers give these streaming video players top marks.

The newest Roku 3 came out on top in Consumer Reports’ latest analysis of streaming media players.

Combined with streaming video services like Netflix, devices like the Roku 3 can offer more affordable alternatives to cable and satellite TV.

In its latest comparison, Consumer Reports pitted the second-generation Roku 3 against two other leading players, Amazon Fire TV and the third-generation Apple TV.

All three are set-top-style devices, meaning they generally are connected to and sit atop a traditional television, enabling the TV to receive and display streaming video.

Consumer Reports, a nonprofit publication, notes that all three of these players are worth considering.

But it rated the latest Roku 3 best “mainly on the basis of its unrivaled assortment of content,” which includes streaming movies and TV shows from Amazon, Blockbuster, HBO GO, Hulu, M-GO, Netflix and VUDU.

CR also said the Roku 3 is “fast and easy to use once you’ve set it up.”

Apple TV’s merits include a price of $70, making it $30 cheaper than it was a year ago — and $30 cheaper than the Roku 3 or Amazon Fire TV. It’s also a “no-brainer” for people who already own Apple devices, CR says.

Amazon Fire TV was recognized by Consumer Reports for continued improvement of its content and “a few unique, worthwhile features that make it a great choice, especially for parents and gamers.” It also comes with free access to Amazon Prime music.

Earlier this year, the tech website CNET also named the Roku 3 the “best streaming device, period” in its “Best media streamers of 2015” comparison. CNET dubbed Apple TV the “best streamer for Apple users” and Amazon Fire TV “best for casual games, voice service.”

Last month, Consumer Reports pitted two popular streaming video services — as opposed to players — against each other. Netflix earned an overall score of 3.5, and Amazon Prime Instant Video got a 3.4.

To learn more about streaming video options, check out:

What’s your favorite streaming video service or player? Share your thoughts with us and other readers in a comment below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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