Best Streaming Devices
Which streaming box is best for cord cutters? And what are your options on streaming sticks? This buying guide will help you pick the right device for your TV. What Streaming divice is the best? How do you stream live tv? How do you stream Free Movies and TV Shows?
Once again Amazon got pretty much everything right with its latest streaming stick. The Amazon Fire TV 4K of course supports 4K streaming, but it also delivers all the HDR formats you could want (including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision), it supports Dolby Atmos soundtracks for truly immersive audio, and it includes hardware-accelerated MPEG-2 video decoding for cord cutters who want to stream live TV over their home networks.
You’ll find Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant onboard, too, and the new remote can control your TV’s power and volume—including a mute function. It’s not absolutely perfect—YouTube TV subscribers will be disappointed to hear they’ve been ignored—but it is the best deal in media streaming hardware you can buy today.
Even though it hit the market in 2017, the Roku Streaming Stick+ remains a strong contender in 2020, and it’s a great choice for YouTube TV subscribers. You’ll find a lot to like in Roku’s user interface, its dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter, and its remote control. It’s a 4K streamer of course, but it supports only conventional HDR, not HDR+ or Dolby Vision.
If you don’t need to the stronger Wi-Fi capabilities the Roku Streaming Stick+ offers, the latest version of the Roku Premiere+ offers many of the same features and costs $10 less.
Like always the Apple TV 4K is very expensive, but it’s an obvious choice for folks who’ve devoted themselves to the Apple ecosystem—including the new Apple TV+ streaming service . It’s the only streaming box that supports iTunes videos, Apple Music, and AirPlay streaming—not to mention Dolby Vision HDR—and it serves as a Home Kit hub for remote control of your smart home.
The Siri remote offers great voice control features, and it has full support for TV volume and power. The previous-generation (1080p) Apple TV also remains available for a slightly less premium $149
Chromecast is an ideal alternative if you like the idea of using a phone or tablet as the remote control. Because all the navigation happens on a separate device, Chromecast remains cheap, and the 2018 version is even faster. You can get years of use out of this device without feeling like it’s become obsolete. Consider the Chromecast Ultra if you’re rocking a 4K TV.
The 2019 edition of the Roku Express, on the other hand. is not a good deal, in our opinion. It’s inexpensive enough at $30, but its too-cheap remote control doesn’t have buttons for controlling your TV. That means you’ll constantly be juggling two remotes, one to turn your TV on and off and to control its volume, and the second to control and choose the programming you want to watch on the Roku Express.
The Roku Express+ is a Walmart exclusive and it costs $10 more, but its remote control has volume, power, mute, and voice search buttons on its remote. That’s worth at least 10 bucks in our book.
Sling Media AirTV Player + Adapter
Sling TV subscribers who are also interested in receiving over-the-air broadcast TV might be interested in looking at the AirTV Player + Adapter, although we found it to be a disappointment
Voice control is the future of the smart home, and Amazon comes closest to delivering it in the living room with its second-generation Amazon Fire TV Cube. Could it be even better? For sure, and our review points how the areas where it still falls short. But nothing else comes close—yet.
We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to inexpensive streaming devices. From Fire TV Cubes to Roku streaming sticks, if all you’re after is the latest shows streamed without fuss, you can do so without spending all that much money. But what if you’re after a bit more ‘oomph’ from the gadgets serving your TV?
Enter the 2019 edition of the Nvidia Shield TV Pro. An Android-powered set-top-box / games console, it’s about as powerful as streaming devices come, and is jam-packed with features that will tempt movie and video game fans alike.
Whether you’re after high-spec PC gaming streamed to your TV, or 4K movies in multiple HDR formats, it’s got you covered. It does offer less value for money than previous models however, despite a spec bump.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro at Amazon for $449.93
We’re big fans of the Nvidia Shield TV Pro – but is it the essential upgrade over earlier models that it could be?
The latest advanced NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor delivers up to 25% faster performance than the prvious generation.Cinematic Experience. Bring your home theater to life with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos Surround Sound–delivering ultra-vivid picture quality and immersive audio.All-New Design. The new SHIELD TV is compact, stealth, and designed to disappear behind your entertainment center, right along with your cables.Unlimited Entertainment. Get the most 4K content of any streaming media player. Watch Netflix, Amazon video and Vudu in crisp 4K HDR, and YouTube, Hulu Live, Google Play Movies & TV and more.Voice control. The built-in Google Assistant is at your command. See photos, live camera feeds, sports scores, and more on the big screen.