2. Amazon Fire TV
Pros: Easy-to-use interface, fast streaming performance, instant access to Amazon Instant, voice searching, and captive portal feature for improved dorm room/hotel Wi-Fi
Cons: Caters best to Prime subscribers, gamepad sold separately, and limited HBO GO service
Our take: Apps, games, and media streaming—the Fire TV bears many of the same facets as its competitors. The differences here lie in the customization, speedy performance, and Amazon’s premium services. Its smart buffering system does a snap job of preparing TV shows in advance, which always helps when catching up on the latest episode of Game of Thrones on HBO GO. Comcast and Charter subscribers won’t have that luxury. Personal profiles are also a nice touch that allows for easy parental controls. And when it comes to voice search, Amazon’s proven to be king. You just need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber to get the most out of the box. Well, that and an extra $40 for the additional gamepad to indulge in its wide collection of games.