Set Top Box Features

Over the years, I’ve used a number of different set top boxes for viewing media.  So far I’ve yet to find the perfect option.  Mainly because in addition to our home Plex server, we also use a number of additional online streaming services for watching shows, and the support of those services varies quite a bit from device to device.

Some of the functionality I care about is a Plex client (obviously), Netflix, Amazon video streaming, Hulu and the ability to cast video from my computer in some manner (Google Cast or Airplay).  The ability to watch live or pre-recorded TV is also a plus.

Device Plex Netflix Amazon Hulu Google Cast Airplay Live TV DVR
TiVo Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Roku  Yes Yes  Yes Yes No No No  No
Chromecast  Yes (1)  Yes (1)  No Yes (1) Yes No  No  No
Android TV Yes  Yes  No (2)  Yes  Yes No (3)  Yes (4)  No
Roku  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No  No  No
Amazon Fire TV/Stick  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  No (3)  No (3)  No  No
  1. Indirectly supported through Google Cast.
  2. Supported on a small subset of Android TV devices, like Sony TVs with Android TV built in.
  3. Possibly supported unofficially through third party apps.
  4. Supported via independent HD Homerun device if available.

One item worth noting about the DVR functionality of these platforms.  There is current a beta version of the Plex server software which implements a DVR using network enabled TV Tuners like the HD Homerun.  Once it makes its way into the stable releases, some amount of DVR functionality will be available on all Plex client platforms.

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