There are more choices than ever when it comes to finding and buying the right digital media player, but the one that many people seem to struggle with the most is whether or not to buy a wireless media player.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of wireless players as a way to help you gather the information you need to decide which approach is best for your needs. Bear in mind this is a fairly simple rundown, aimed at those without an advanced knowledge of networking.

The Advantages of a Wireless Media Player

The advantages of choosing a wireless version are numerous, many of them being quite similar to the advantages of choosing wireless versions of other technology components such as TVs, computers, and the like.

Accessibility

A wireless media player increases the accessibility of your stored files, making it simple to view them on your TV as well as on a wirelessly connected laptop or desktop computer. This gives you greater choice when it comes time to decide where and how you want to access your digital media files.

Online Streaming

Even if you have no Local Area Network (LAN) pot nearby, you are still able to browse the internet looking for all kinds of digital media files. Once you find them you can stream them directly to you’re player, as it is connected via a wifi network.

Installation Location

You’re not forced to install a wireless digital media player directly as part of your home entertainment system if you don’t want to do that. Because it’s accessible wirelessly you can instead install it inside a cabinet, a closet, or in any other out of sight location you like. The only limitation to keep in mind is signal strength; you’ll want to make sure the player has enough signal strength to reach through any walls, doors, or other physical obstacles.

The Disadvantages of a Wireless Media Player

There are some disadvantages to choosing a wireless player to keep in mind as well.

Controlling Internet Services

Depending on the digital media player you choose and the user interface software, you may find it difficult to navigate the various onboard internet services using just the remote control. Very few players are compatible with keyboards, and this is a definite negative of those players that are internet ready.

Network Setup

Although the network setup process has generally improved greatly over the last few years, it can still be a bit temperamental in some cases, particularly when trying to connect wirelessly. If you’re well versed in wireless networking this is less frustrating, but if you’re not that experienced then you might need to spend a bit of time with the manual or quick start guide to work this out.

Cost

In general, wireless digital media players are going to be more expensive than comparable wired players. The cost difference can vary quite a bit, depending on the quality of the internal wireless equipment and other factors. You’ll need to decide if having the wireless capability is worth it when it comes to setting your buying budget.