Buying a Media Player

A media player converts your existing TV into a Smart TV, giving you access to the internet, email and much more. This guide to buying a media player outlines your purchase options.

Media Players 101: How to buy a media player

When shopping for a media player (also known as media streamers), keep in mind that each brand supports different streaming media services and has a different configuration. If your goal is to get access to streaming media, you’ll want a media player that supports a wide range of media services. Similarly, if you plan to do a lot of Web surfing, look for a model that includes an Internet browser. To play movies selected from your stored film library, choose a media player that can connect to an external hard drive. Different media players offer different advantages, but with a little research you'll find the device that meets your needs.

Media Player Features

Streaming Media Services +

All media players support some online services that stream audio and video media. Netflix, iTunes and Songza are some of the most popular. Many US-based services are not currently available in Canada, but that is expected to change soon. Also, new Canadian-based services such as Roku are coming online as well. If you have a favourite streaming media service, be sure to choose a media player that supports the service.

Internet Browsing +

Most media players connect your television to the limitless potential of the Web. But be aware that some models have limited operating systems (OS), so your browsing experience will not be the same as on your computer. Check the capabilities of a media player’s OS before making a purchase.

Wi-Fi +

Wi-Fi is a technology that lets an electronic device connect to the Internet wirelessly. Some media players come with built-in Wi-Fi, which makes your player more portable and eliminates another cable from your TV area.

Device Controls +

Every media player comes with its own remote control. But many players allow you to control the device from a keyboard or your smartphones or tablet.

Storage +

Many media players will let you store files internally to play back at a later time. A related feature available on some models is the ability to connect to an external hard drive.

Media Player Buying Tips:

  • Find out which media services are supported by a player before purchase
  • Check whether Web browsing is available
  • Test the control to be sure you like how it operates
  • Check for local file storage
  • If local file storage is available, check which file types are supported

Media Player Alternatives

A media player is specifically designed to convert your TV into a Smart TV, but you have other options that allow media streaming as well. You may already use your laptop to watch YouTube videos — that’s media streaming.  All you need is a cable between the two to stream media from your laptop to your TV. That said, it may not be the handiest option if you also use your laptop in other areas of the house. Plus, laptop power consumption is relatively high. Internet-connected gaming consoles like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are also increasingly popular options for streaming media. Most gaming consoles offer Web browsing, and many have added streaming media services too.

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Media Player Product Care Tips

  • Keep food and liquids away from your media player
  • Do not remove the device cover
  • For servicing, contact a qualified professional
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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