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What is the best streaming device? We know, there are a lot of streaming devices on the market. From Roku to Fire TV, there’s no shortage of choices when it comes to picking out a new set-top box or streaming stick for your living room. But not all streaming devices are created equal: some offer better sound quality than others, while others have more robust search features and other bells and whistles that might make them worth the extra money. Read on below for our take on which streaming device is best in various different categories, so you can find one that suits your needs!
With the increase of streaming services HBO Max, Disney Plus, Peacock, Hulu, Netflix, and Apple TV. Almost every streaming service is providing you great watching experience with features such as 4K streaming, Dolby Atmos audio, and many more. In order to have them play with all the available features, you need a perfect streaming player. Let’s dive into some of the best streaming devices, we will also include why they are best and what makes them good.
Chromecast with Google TV
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The cheap and best streaming device
The Chromecast with Google TV Streaming Device is a popular device that lets you stream movies and shows on your television. You can cast whatever content from your phone or computer onto the screen of your TV to watch it, whether that’s YouTube videos, Netflix series, or anything else. The installation process only takes about five minutes as all you have to do is plug in the HDMI-supported streaming stick into an open port on the back of your HDTV and connect it via Wi-Fi as well as a power outlet
While this streaming device has relatively few apps available for use (compared to Roku devices), its simplicity makes up for what it lacks in quantity. This isn’t a gaming system, so those looking for more robust entertainment will want to go with a different streaming device.
Advantages of Chromecast with Google TV Streaming Device
- Lacks in quantity, but not quality: The Chromecast is a simpler device when it comes to the apps available and its interface. It’s more about streaming content than playing games on your TV.
- HD screen mirroring: This feature allows you to easily cast whatever show or movie from your phone onto the big screen of your television for viewing with friends or family who aren’t as tech-savvy.
- Works across all screens: You can also use this streaming stick if you have an Android tablet running KitKat (or higher) or iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches that are running at least iOS 11.0 software version installed on them, no need to worry about compatibility!
- Affordable price: At just $35, the Chromecast is one of the cheapest streaming devices on Amazon.
- Easy to set up: All you need to do with this device is plug in your HDMI cable and then connect it via Wi-Fi as well as a power outlet. Once that’s done, you can control all the settings from anywhere using your phone or tablet!
The only real disadvantage with this streaming stick is that there are few apps available for use (compared to Roku devices). This isn’t a gaming system, so those looking for more robust entertainment will want to go with another type of streaming devices, such as an Apple TV or Android TV Box. If simplicity’s what you’re after, the Chromecast with Google TV Streaming Device is a great pick.
Nvidia Shield Pro
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For Pro’s and Gamers
The Nvidia Shield Pro Streaming device is an Android TV box that streams movies, TV shows, and other streaming services. The device also does not need a separate gaming console because it can play the latest video games with its own graphics processor. That means you can mix in some PC gaming without having to buy any extra equipment.
It comes at a hefty price of $199 for the base model but includes Amazon Video, Netflix and YouTube preloaded on the set-top box, so there’s no need to download them from Google Play or App Store separately.
Advantages of Nvidia Shield Pro:
- The Nvidia Shield Pro Streaming device features a sleek interface and voice controls for all TV watching.
- Supports pass-through for Dolby Vision, HDR and Dolby Atmos surround sound
- Has a more intuitive interface than other streaming devices on the market
- Voice controls are hands down its best feature. For example, you can say “Nvidia Shield Play” to get it to start playing your favorite show or movie. You can also use your voice to search content by title, genre, actor name, etc. – Nvidia’s universal search function is comprehensive enough that you’ll never have to go digging into app stores ever again in order to find what you’re looking for.
- It also offers access to Netflix’s library of TV shows, movies, and documentaries in HDR with Dolby Atmos surround sound.
- Nvidia Shield Pro streaming devices are the only set-top boxes that support Google Assistant as well as Amazon Alexa — so you can use your favorite voice assistant on whichever platform you prefer. The remote control is included with the base model or available separately if it was lost by accident.
However, there are some disadvantages to this product: One being that games cannot be played offline, which means an internet connection must always be active when playing video games. Another disadvantage might be its high price tag at $199, but many streaming devices on the market are in this price range and there is no discount for buying a second device.
Roku Streaming Stick Plus
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One for all
The Roku Streaming Stick Plus is one of the best streaming sticks available. It offers crisp, high-definition video and rich audio in Dolby Vision HDR (where supported). And its interface is some of the most responsive you’ll find on a streaming device like this. The remote has a headphone port so that you can watch late-night movies without waking up your roommate. There’s also an Ethernet jack for wired internet connections, but Wi-Fi connectivity should be decent enough if you’re close to your router or modem. Though it lacks voice controls, all other features are solid when compared with competitors at this price point.
Advantages of Roku Streaming Stick Plus
Roku Streaming Stick Plus advantages include sharp video and audio quality; responsive user interface; remote includes headphones for watching late-night movies without disturbing others; Ethernet jacks for wired internet connections.
- Crisp video and audio
- Responsive interface
- The headphone jack on remote
- Ethernet jacks for wired internet connections
- Voice controls are not necessary at this price point. All other features in the Roku Streaming Stick Plus compete well with competitors.
Lack of Voice Controls: The remote does not have a microphone, which means you can’t use your voice to search for content or even speak with the device (you’ll need an app on your phone). You also won’t be able to use Roku’s universal search feature that finds shows from across all channels if they’re available.
No Live Television Support: If you want a streaming stick that supports live television, consider the Fire TV Cube instead; it includes full-featured traditional remotes as well as Alexa integration, so you can just ask it what you’d like to watch. It’s pricier than other streaming sticks, but it’s not worth the investment if you’re a heavy TV watcher and want to have access to live TV features.
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Difficult for some users to install: If you’ve never installed an app before on your streaming device, this might be difficult for you; navigate through Roku’s website and download apps from there instead of using their downloadable app store. You’ll also need time-consuming network configuration too as well (though most people probably won’t run into problems).
Apple TV 4k
The best(Only for Apple users)
The Apple TV is an excellent streaming device for those who want a sleek, minimalistic design and plenty of features. Its interface will be familiar to anyone with an iPhone or iPad, it’s intuitive and easy to navigate, especially if you have other iOS devices. You can play all the games you find on your phone from here, too; they show up right in Notification Center, so there are no excuses! It supports Dolby Vision (as well as HDR) and has access to Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu Plus, Showtime Anytime among others. There’s also iTunes content available at higher prices because that service isn’t included in this price range.
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Apple’s recent update brings some new apps like the popular games Words with Friends and Trivia Crack, as well as upgrades to the more generic apps like Photos. The Apple TV is $149 for 32 GB or $199 for 64 GB.
Advantages of Apple TV 4K:
- Sleek minimalistic design that’s easy on the eyes
- Plenty of features with clean UI
- Intuitive interface that you’ll be familiar with, if you use any other iOS device such as iPhone or iPad
- Supports Dolby Vision (as well as HDR) which provides better quality video content than regular TV and streaming services do without it.
It’s more expensive than some other options in this range because it doesn’t include the iTunes service that can be found on Apple devices. This means you won’t be able to buy movies and shows from here without paying a higher price. Also, it requires an iOS device for setup as well