Even when you’ve found a decent streaming service, perhaps one of the many free services offered, the next step would be to find a reliable streaming device to view your favorite shows, whether on Netflix or somewhere else.
The 5 best tv streaming devices
The Amazon Fire TV Cube takes the cake from all choices. It isn’t just a highly-fit media streamer that supports any big video and audio format, it’s a spectacular intelligent home and home theater hub that lets you control almost every connected device you own.
We think the Amazon Fire TV Cube is an outstanding streaming device for everyone, but if you’re still unsure, we have good recommendations for every budget.
Roku Ultra (2020)
The prior iteration of the Roku Ultra had been our choice for the best premium streamer, and the current 2020 version reaffirms the honor.
Apart from supporting 4K, HDR10, and HLG, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos now still have compatibility with the Ultra (2020), which can be compatible with both the Fire TV Cube and the Apple TV 4K with media support.
Like the Fire TV Cube, the Ultra boasts an Ethernet port, but you never need that – the latest Ultra-powerful 802-11ac MIMO dual-band Wi-Fi is now available from Roku. It also has a USB socket, so you can access content with any compatible device.
The package also includes a “lost remote” button that can activate a sound from the remote (even though we all know it’s under the sofa). The remote has a headset jacket for private hearing and power/volume controls, which will adjust the TV volume, depending on the make.
Amazon Fire TV Cube
It took a lot to take out a Roku device from our top position, but the Fire TV Cube grabbed the crown of the kingdom of streaming devices. This may be a surprise, notably because the product was originally advertised to have nothing more than the first Fire TV box to have Alexa standalone support — no additional Echo speaker required. In truth, however, it is full of powerful technologies and features that will allow you to control virtually everything in your entertainment center, with limited remote uses.
With ports that support HDMI CEC and HDMI ARC alongside IR blasters, you can use voice commands to turn on your TV, switch between applications and switch inputs on other connected devices, including game consoles, A/V receptors and Blu-ray players. You should instruct Alexa to do things like “play stranger things,” and the cube can turn to the TV and sound system and launch the program automatically on Netflix – all without a remote control. It’s like the home theatre version of talking to the Enterprise computer.
Alexa needs some voice prompts from the package, but A.I. A helper can learn to understand your type of feedback. Amazon has vowed to regularly upgrade the voices of Alexa and to change the helpers to fit the needs of users, ensuring that the more people use clear and even ambiguous speech can be recognized.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite
When Roku released its $30 Express, it seems like our best budget range is a no brainer. But progress is relentless, and when Amazon unveiled the Fire TV Stick Lite, we realized the Roku Express had reached its match.
The Fire TV StickLite offers HDR support (HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG) for the same price as the Express, Dolby Atmos passthrough (perfect whether you have a TV, a soundbar, or an A/V receiver supporting it) or remote control with a voice control system Alexa.
It provides 1080p full HD video that’s still fantastic (especially on HDR) and you can cover the entire thing from your TV, no noticeable wiring, much like most streaming sticks.
It’s pretty difficult to find defects with the Fire TV Stick, but if you made us select something, we would say there are no power, volume, or mute buttons on the remote, so you must keep your TV remote mobile, and the new Amazon Luna subscription gaming service is not supported on that fire TV.
Apple TV 4K
With many cool features that seem to develop every year, it is a perfect alternative for Apple supporters and a strong (if expensive) rival for Roku, Amazon, and Google’s high-end products.
The Apple TV 4K has some tricks, starting with its superfast A10X Fusion processor. State it this way: Your internet access would be the only one that carries this box easily.
There is also a great feature to encourage users to directly copy login details from iPhones, iPads and Apple laptops to Apple TV, minimizing dramatically the amount of time they waste entering their passwords. Moreover, if you have an Apple TV with a third or fourth generation, it instantly syncs your previous tvOS layout to ease life. If you have ever downloaded iTunes films or TV programs, they are all available and Apple can upgrade them for free to the 4K HDR versions when and if they are made available in that format.
You can use Siri to scan for material from all of Apple’s subscription platforms with intuitive questions and comments like “Show me 4K films on Netflix” rather than focusing on tedious jargon. And while Apple’s app catalog is not as diverse as Roku’s, all the big companies including Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV and Amazon Premium Video are available.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro
Most devices in this list are based solely on streaming content, but the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is a different strategy, including the “TV” in its name. The platform features 4K resolution and HDR streaming capability based on Android TV, but the Shield TV Pro is developed for gamers in particular.
And over 200 games are available via Android TV, many exclusively on Shield TV. If you’re a computer gamer, it can be made much more enticing because of the opportunity to download PC games to your Shield TV when kicked back on the sofa. It has 16GB of data, a backlit, voice-capable remote control with dedicated media buttons (which the previous version did not have) and it is equipped with Google Assistant and Chromecast. Currently, the Shield TV is the only video streamer that Disney+ content can be broadcast to.
The latest Tegra X1+ processor is 25% faster than the previous Tegra X1 Shield TV Pro, offering even improved gaming performance. You can purchase a wireless game controller made by Nvidia, but it isn’t included in the package anymore. Rather, Nvidia expects that most purchasers would prefer to use an existing Bluetooth controller, like the DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers—both are compliant with the Shield TV Pro.