Streaming Devices for TV
Who doesn't love streaming? Not everyone wants a Smart TV though, and considering that, which streaming device should they then get? We reviewed the top streaming devices from Roku and Amazon as well as Apple and Google to help you find the best streaming device for 4k.
The best streaming devices, aside from a Smart TV are the easiest way to enjoy all your favorite TV shows and movies from Netflix, Prime and other streaming services. How can you decide which device is the best pick for you when there are so many choices?
We've checked out nearly every streaming device available, as well as major smart TV systems, such as Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon, and Apple TV. These add-on streaming devices have simpler remotes, streaming dongles, and better search than the operating systems that are built directly into smart TVs. These add-on streaming devices are way more affordable than replacing your entire TV.
How do you choose the best 4k streaming device for your TV?
There are multiple things to consider when selecting a streaming device. Does your TV support 4K? 4K HDR? Dolby Vision? Are you concerned about whether your streaming device takes full advantage of what your TV supports?
Last but not least, consider your budget. While the Apple TV 4K may be the most expensive device on this list, it is worth the additional cost for those who are invested in Apple's ecosystem. For those looking for something more flexible, a Roku TV with support for all three of the assistant platforms might make more sense.
Is it important to have a streaming device AND a smart television?
Not necessarily. Many smart TVs include major smart TV operating systems that allow users to download popular apps, such as Netflix, Prime or Hulu. Samsung's smart TVs provide a wide range of such features, some of them come installed with the Android TV operating system. TVs can now be seamlessly integrated with popular streaming platforms such as Roku and Google Chromecast.
If your TV's interface does not contain the content you require, it can cause problems. Spectrum customers who own an LG smart TV, for example, won't be able to find the Spectrum app via LG's platform. In such cases, you'd rather not invest thousands on a new TV, but much rather buy a add-on streaming device for a fraction of that cost.
Are all Rokus the same?
Yes and no. Roku devices have the exact same software so all Roku devices can access the same search, channels, settings, and layouts.
Roku models are different in their physical appearance, the ability to playback at various resolutions and HDR format - such as 4K/Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision - and the additional hardware features included with the package.
The entry-level Roku Express plugs into your TV and sits beside it. While the device has access to all Roku's content it does not offer 4K playback. It is not capable of turning on and off your TV.
It also lacks advanced features such as voice control or remote locater capabilities. If you are looking for 4K streaming and Dolby Vision access, or a powerful remote, you should consider a Roku.
Are all channels available on every device?
Each streaming device can access major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Max, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus. However, not all streaming services have access to all channels. The Spectrum TV app is a good example.
The app is available on all platforms but not on Amazon Fire TV. Before you make a purchase, it is a good idea to check to ensure that the device has all of the apps that you need. You might find yourself in a difficult situation if your device does not have the app you need for your favorite service.
What are the differences in streaming platforms?
A streaming device is a must-have component of your entertainment center. Smart TVs may not always have all the apps. It can be difficult to choose the right streaming device. Even more difficult if you're looking for a 4k streaming device for TV. There are many similar $50 options.
But should you spend $99 on something like the Roku Ultra? Roku Ultra, the company's highest-end streaming box, comes with a remote finder and the ability to stream audio through its 3.5mm headset jack. This will allow you to not wake your spouse while binging on your favorite shows late at night.
It even includes a pair of earbuds. If you're feeling fancy, you can stream your music to your wireless headphones using the Roku app.
The Roku 4K streaming device can access Roku's entire suite of apps, services, and content. It also supports Dolby Vision (Dolby Atmos) and Dolby Vision (Dolby Vision). Roku now supports AirPlay 2 (and HomeKit) compatibility with all 4K streaming devices.
This means that Apple fans can stream to the box directly from their Apple devices or use Siri to control it. Whichever you prefer, Google Assistant or Alexa, both are supported by the Roku Ultra.
See details: Roku Ultra Streaming Device HD/4K/HDR/Dolby Vision
Is 4k streaming affordable?
Nobody wants to put a hole in their pocket for anything. Looking for the perfect 4k streaming device that contains all the streaming platforms and fits the budget can be really a task for anyone, to be honest. We all spend hours watching movies and shows from the best streaming services. To help you choose the right one for you, we compare them with those at similar prices.
Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K is one of the best streaming devices for 4k and has a huge USB thumb drive that plugs into your TV's HDMI port. You have control over all your smart home devices with this remote.
Dolby Atmos is supported by Fire TV. You'll have access to the Fire TV catalog of apps and services that support streaming. This includes all major platforms and some games. Plus it's more affordable than it's competitors.
See details: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device
Alternatives to Roku
Streaming devices can be a great way for you to catch up on all your favorite shows. But if you're looking for something other than Roku or Apple streaming devices for your TV, there aren't too many others! You will have multiple options, but trusted 4k options with all the streaming platforms are rare!
For a few years, the original Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K was a great purchase. It just got even better by making it Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K "Max". Amazon Fire Stick 4K Max streaming device for tv has faster internals, Wi-Fi 6 support, and Dolby Vision.
The latest Alexa Voice Remote is included in the package. It doesn't offer hands-free voice access, but it does provide proper TV controls.
It doesn't alter the great experience that you will get with Amazon Fire TV OS. The home screen might still seem cluttered for some users, but that's a sign of how much great content there is in the Amazon ecosystem.
You can start with Amazon Prime Video which includes all the series and movies you want as well as a lot of original content.
You can then add things like IMDb.tv which is Amazon's advertising-based streaming service that offers free movies and other shows.
Connect an antenna to your Amazon Fire TV Recast to get local broadcast channels in your Fire TV app. This is all before we get to the many third-party streaming apps and games available on Amazon Fire TV. This streaming device for TV is a perfect choice and hard to beat.
See details: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max streaming device
Looking for the next best 4k streaming device for TV?
Want a video streaming player that is a master of all trades, steam link, and a powerful list of games? But we all know the options here are very slim. We all want better 4k alternatives but we don't always find them.
NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Pro 4K streaming device for TV It transforms your ordinary moments into extraordinary experiences with moving audio. You can control your SHIELD with Google Home, Alexa, or Amazon Echo. Dolby Vision transforms TV viewing with HDR that is inspired by cinema.
It delivers vivid, real-life images with highlights up to 40x brighter than standard pictures and blacks up to 10x darker than normal. Your favorite apps, photos, and videos can be cast to your TV from your smartphone.
Apple TV 4K
The new Apple TV 4K is excellent, but it can still be a bit expensive if you own the old model. The 2nd-gen Apple TV 4K appears similar from the exterior. The A10X chip was replaced with an A12 Bionic.
It seems to perform a little better. The Apple TV 2nd-gen supports 4K at 60fps, with HDR, instead of 30fps. It is not possible to find many apps that offer this level of content, except for sports and rapid action. But we think it will increase in popularity very soon.
The Siri Remote design is the best part of the Apple TV 4K. The old remote's touch interface wasn't great. Although the remote can still be used to touch and gesture, it has actual buttons as well as a jog wheel that is intuitive. It reminds me of old iPods. However, the one thing that would get in the way is the cost.
Roku’s interface is consistent across all models, regardless of whether it's the top-of-the-line Roku Ultra or the entry-level Roku Express. Roku apps are also known as "Channels" and have a consistent look.
You won't see interface differences between apps on different platforms as much as with other platforms. As we mentioned, almost all streaming services and channels are represented here. Unlike other platforms, there won't be any gaps.
Amazon is a streaming service that offers a single experience on a variety of devices. There are four streaming sticks available at different prices. Also, there is the Fire TV Cube which provides the same features, hands-free voice controls, multiple Fire TV TVs with the operating systems built-in, and soundbars from third parties that have Fire TV OS as well.
Apple TVs are made to be seamless, especially when used in conjunction with other Apple products. Apple TV can not only offer a large number of streaming apps but also supports Apple Arcade and Apple TV+.
It can also be used as the master control for the HomeKit device. You can stream HomeKit-compatible security cameras to your Apple TV in just a few mouse clicks.
The Apple TV App is a curated and personal interface for browsing content from your favorite streaming service. It also houses Apple TV+. Other features include watchlists and watch next. There are also dedicated tabs for live TV and sports.
Apple would prefer users to rent and buy content through iTunes. You won't find an app for Google Play Movies, TV, or TV. However, there is a way around it. Sign in to YouTube and your purchases will appear. Google Play has a mobile app, which allows content streaming to an Apple TV through AirPlay. However, this is only available for iOS devices.
Android TV has a different interface than the others. This is similar to how Android phone manufacturers use Android. On Shield TV and Chromecast-with-Google TV, you'll see that many apps display individuality.
This contrasts well with the visual consistency of Roku apps. There were some problems with the initial release, like Amazon Prime Video not being available outside the U.S. . Android TV devices come with the Google Assistant which allows voice commands and smart home control.
Google is slowly migrating Android TV from Android TV to the Google TV interface. The interface debuted on Chromecast with Google TV. This interface removes the emphasis on individual apps to make way for a personalized and curated content recommendation layout which is likely to be much more helpful in finding something to watch.