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Best Streaming Players Under $200: Updated July 2021

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$200 might sound like a lot for a streaming player and especially when there’s plenty of streaming players available for less than $100 and even plenty of great options that cost less than $50. However, the purchase of a streaming player is similar to an investment, so it may prove worthwhile to spend more on a steaming player for some individuals and households.

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Those who have cut the cable cord typically save each month through streaming. That’s whether its through a live TV streaming service or just by cutting live TV from their viewing diet altogether. As those savings add up over time, the cost of a more expensive streaming player eventually pays for itself.

Again, no one actually needs to spend $200 to take advantage of the savings that streaming has to offer, but considering a device upgrade is likely to result in a better streaming experience overall.

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Best streaming players under $200 summary

PlayerRetail priceCheck current price
Amazon Fire TV Cube$119.99Amazon
Apple TV HD$149+Apple
Apple TV 4K$179+Apple
NVIDIA SHIELD$149.99Amazon
NVIDIA SHIELD Pro$199.99Amazon
Roku Streambar Pro$179.99Roku

Here’s a closer look at the best streaming players under $200.

Amazon Fire TV Cube

Amazon streaming cube new

The Amazon Fire TV Cube is about as good as the streaming experience gets from Fire TV. After all, this is not only an Amazon-made product, but it’s Amazon’s flagship Fire TV player.

Pros Cons
Unique designNot ideal for non-Prime members
Built-in speaker
4K
Alexa
Far-field technology
Great for Prime Video streamers

Amazon has gone with a completely new design with the Fire TV Cube. It’s a cube and its design is not just for appearances sake. Within that cube is a speaker and around eight microphones. The Fire TV Cube also features Alexa and the speaker is there to make sure Alexa can respond to your questions and smart home commands at any time, including when the TV is switched off. In addition, the additional microphones are included to make sure Alexa can hear you more accurately, and from further away.

Besides the voice assistant capabilities, the Fire TV Cube brings all the goodness associated with the Fire TV platform. That not only means a wealth of video streaming apps to choose from, premium subscriptions through Prime Video Channels, but also a tighter integration with both Prime Video and IMDb TV.

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Live TV streaming apps available on on Fire TV Cube:

  • AT&T TV
  • fuboTV
  • Hulu Live TV
  • Philo
  • Sling TV
  • Vidgo
  • YouTube TV

Popular streaming services available on Fire TV Cube:

Apple TV+NetflixStarz
Discovery PlusParamount PlusTubi
Disney PlusPluto TVYouTube
HBO MaxPrime Video
HuluShowtime

Apple TV HD

Apple TV HD 2021

The Apple TV HD is Apple’s take on a streaming player and while it is a fairly generic-looking device, it does come with more than enough video streaming app support to suit most individuals and households. For those already invested in Apple’s ecosystem in particular, the Apple TV HD is likely to be a great option for streaming videos and other content..

ProsCons
Good for Apple device ownersExpensive for HD player
Apple TV+Generic design
Wide selection of appsNot ideal for non-iOS users

Running on tvOS, the Apple TV HD brings together content already associated with an Apple account with the most popular streaming services. This obviously includes the Apple TV+ streaming service. While you can access Apple TV+ on other platforms as well, the experience is likely to be better and certainly more tightly integrated with Apple’s own player.

One of the downsides with this device is that it is limited to 1080p. Considering this is a fairly expensive streaming player, the lack of 4K support is not ideal and likely to put some individuals and households off.

Live TV streaming apps available on Apple TV: HD

  • AT&T TV
  • fuboTV
  • Hulu Live TV
  • Philo
  • Sling TV
  • Vidgo
  • YouTube TV

Popular streaming services available on Apple TV HD:

Apple TV+NetflixStarz
Discovery PlusParamount PlusTubi
Disney PlusPluto TVYouTube
HBO MaxPrime Video
HuluShowtime

Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4k

Generally speaking, there’s not a lot of difference between the Apple TV HD and the Apple TV 4K, other than the obvious support for 4K HDR. However, that alone may help to decide whether this is the right Apple TV streaming player. Put simply, for those that want access to 4K support, and the rest of a setup is already 4K-ready, then this is likely to be the better option.

ProsCons
Best device for iOS usersExpensive
Apple TV+Generic design
Wide selection of appsNot ideal for non-iOS users
4KLimited features
The best player Apple offers

If you don’t need access to 4K content, then there’s not much point spending the additional money Apple is charging for the 4K version. Yes, this model does also run the latest processor as well, but again the difference in performance is more catering to the 4K demands than anything else.

While the Apple TV 4K fixes the biggest criticism with the Apple TV HD, the price makes this an expensive device. Considering the price starts at $179, the Apple TV 4K is considerably more expensive than other 4K compatible players. In some cases, offering fewer features as well. However, similar to the HD version, for those more invested in Apple ecosystem, then it might be worthwhile opting for Apple TV over the other streaming players, even if it costs more.

Live TV streaming apps available on Apple TV 4K:

  • AT&T TV
  • fuboTV
  • Hulu Live TV
  • Philo
  • Sling TV
  • Vidgo
  • YouTube TV

Popular streaming services available on Apple TV 4K:

Apple TV+NetflixStarz
Discovery PlusParamount PlusTubi
Disney PlusPluto TVYouTube
HBO MaxPrime Video
HuluShowtime

Nvidia Shield TV

NVIDIA streaming player

Whether or not you think the Nvidia Shield TV is the best streaming device overall, it is certainly the most powerful Android TV streaming player around, resulting in a powerhouse that brings together the best access to video and game streaming.

ProsCons
Unique designDowngrade in some areas compared to previous model
Powerful streaming deviceExpensive
4KNo game pad included
Dolby Vision
AI-Enhanced upscaling
Wide app support
Regular updates

The Shield TV comes with a clear emphasis on gaming with a dedicated “Nvidia Games” section that includes free-to-stream games. This is in addition to the option to buy AAA games and stream them as well. While the Shield TV is no Xbox or PlayStation, its gaming features easily eclipse any gaming benefits offered by any of the other streaming players on this list.

Of course, all of that is without even taking into consideration the actual purpose of the Shield TV – video streaming. The Shield TV features 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision HDR, and Dolby Atmos support. As well as support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You also get Nvidia’s own AI-enhanced upscaling feature thrown in for free. This is a form of digital upscaling that draws on AI to predict and include what’s missing from the video’s quality. Using this feature, content can be upscaled from 720 and 1080p to 4K.

Live TV streaming apps available on Nvidia Shield TV:

  • AT&T TV
  • fuboTV
  • Hulu Live TV
  • Philo
  • Sling TV
  • Vidgo
  • YouTube TV

Popular streaming services available on Nvidia Shield TV:

Discovery PlusParamount PlusTubi
Disney PlusPluto TVYouTube
HBO MaxPrime Video
HuluShowtime
NetflixStarz

Nvidia Shield Pro

SHIELD TV Pro streaming player

The SHIELD TV is good enough for most streamers. In fact, it is probably more than enough for most streamers. For those that feel they still might need some more power, however, there’s the Shield TV Pro.

ProsCons
The most powerful streaming deviceExpensive
Advanced game-streamingBetter-suited to advanced users
Plex Media ServerNo game pad included
Samsung SmartThings Hub
4K
Dolby Vision
AI-Enhanced upscaling
Wide app support
Regular updates

If you don’t consider yourself an average streamer, then the Shield TV Pro. might be the streaming player for you, as it comes with all of the same features as the standard Shield TV, as well as a number of upgrades as well. The first is the actual specs. The standard Shield TV comes with 2GB RAM and 8GB storage awhile the Shield TV Pro bumps them up to 3GB and 16GB, respectively.

In addition, the Shield TV Pro is positioned as the gaming version of the Shield. While the standard version is also a gamer-oriented streaming player, the Shield TV Pro takes it to the next level. For those that want to play the very best games available through Android, then the Pro is the streaming player to go for.

The upgrades don’t stop there either. The Shield TV Pro is also capable of running as a Plex Media Server,, resulting in another difference between the standard and Pro models. With a Plex Media Server set up, users can watch more, stream more (including to other devices) and just generally do more. The same can be said for those interested in expanding their smart home, as the Shield TV Pro is capable of working as a Samsung SmartThings Hub.

Live TV streaming apps available on Nvidia Shield TV Pro:

  • AT&T TV
  • fuboTV
  • Hulu Live TV
  • Philo
  • Sling TV
  • Vidgo
  • YouTube TV

Popular streaming services available on Nvidia Shield TV Pro:

Discovery PlusParamount PlusTubi
Disney PlusPluto TVYouTube
HBO MaxPrime Video
HuluShowtime
NetflixStarz

Roku Streambar Pro

Roku Streambar Pro

The Roku Streambar Pro is not your average streaming player. Technically, it’s not even a streaming player. What it is, is a soundbar. However, it is a soundbar that comes with Roku OS built right in, resulting in a soundbar that also doubles as a streaming device.

ProsCons
Space-saving designExpensive
Better sound quality2-in-1 designs not always optimal
4KLesser specs than other devices
Roku OS
Works with Google Assistant
Works with Amazon Alexa
Bluetooth audio streaming

The obvious benefit of this design is that you don’t need to find a place for the additional streaming player. As long as there is room for the actual soundbar, then this can be a good space-saving solution for those that want a streaming player and better sound quality.

As this is a Roku device, buyers can also expect a wide level of app support, as well as access to The Roku Channel – Roku’s dedicated solution for streaming select TV shows and movies for free.

For reference, Roku is not the only platform that’s moved to soundbars as there are also Android TV and Fire TV Editions soundbars available as well. The difference is, streaming player soundbars powered by other platforms tend to cost more than $200. In contrast, the Roku Streambar Pro is priced at just $179.99.

For those in need of an extra bass boost, the company also sells a compatible wireless subwoofer separately – also priced at $179.99.

Live TV streaming apps available on Roku Streambar Pro:

  • AT&T TV
  • fuboTV
  • Hulu Live TV
  • Philo
  • Sling TV
  • Vidgo
  • YouTube TV (through the standard YouTube app)

Popular streaming services available on Roku Streambar Pro:

Discovery PlusParamount PlusTubi
Disney PlusPluto TVVudu
HBO MaxPrime VideoYouTube
HuluShowtime
NetflixStarz

Last updated: July, 2021

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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