The best streaming devices can make an old TV look like new, an eco-friendly and cost-effective solution that will be needed with the switch off to DVB-T2 and the new HEVC standard.
It is possible that you are among the many who own a TV from a few years ago, with excellent image rendering but without smart features. Or maybe you have a smart TV that, due to company policies and the “weight” of contemporary apps, does not perform satisfactorily and does not support some of the major streaming and video apps. There are more and more similar cases and, with the transition to the new European television standards, they will increase. Even if your device is certainly still valid, the software has become so slow and obsolete that it cannot be used extensively or the lack of support for current technologies could decree its premature end. Whether yours is a traditional TV or one of the first smart TVs,
Best Streaming Devices
Table of Contents
Best Streaming Devices | Comparison Table 2023
|Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV controls) | Dolby Vision||Amazon||Check Price|
|Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV controls), HD streaming device||Amazon||Check Price|
|NVIDIA Shield TV | 4K HDR Streaming Media Player||NVIDIA||Check Price|
|Roku Express 4K+ 2021 | Streaming Media Player HD/4K/HDR with Smooth Wireless Streaming and Roku Voice Remote with TV Controls, Includes Premium HDMI Cable||Roku||Check Price|
|Roku Streaming Stick 4K 2021 | Streaming Device 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision with Roku Voice Remote and TV Controls||Roku||Check Price|
|Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV controls), Dolby Vision||Amazon||Check Price|
|Roku Streaming Stick+ | HD/4K/HDR Streaming Device with Long-range Wireless and Roku Voice Remote with TV Controls||Roku||Check Price|
|Roku Premiere | HD/4K/HDR Streaming Media Player, Simple Remote and Premium HDMI Cable||Roku||Check Price|
|Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote Lite (no TV controls), HD streaming device||Amazon||Check Price|
Best Streaming Devices | 2023 Products Overview
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How to choose a streaming device
The convenience of connecting a small device to the back of the TV is hard to overestimate. So, what are the questions you should ask as you decide which one to buy?
What channels do you want to watch?
Among most streaming sticks (and boxes, for that matter), there are popular channels that are common to most. For example, you will find Disney +, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and recovery services like BBC iPlayer on many devices. Some boxes and sticks also have Apple TV +, the other great source of premium content.
Of course, in addition to purchasing the hardware, you need to pay a subscription for each service. Some sticks, like Roku’s, offer literally thousands of services (which it calls channels).
So why not settle for the apps on your TV?
Good point. After all, many new smart TVs have apps like Netflix built in or easily downloadable. Some even have a dedicated Netflix button on the remote, for example. But the convenience of having the app built into your TV doesn’t mean it’s the easiest way to use it. Rewind and fast forward are important controls, and it’s often easier on a streaming stick remote than on the controller meant primarily for your TV.
Do you want microphone control?
Again, very few TV remotes have built-in microphones, while Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and others have smart remotes that, at the push of a button, let you control the stick with your voice. There are other benefits that no television has. For example, with Apple TV when you miss a snippet of dialogue, you can press the button and ask “What did he say?”. The Apple TV box responds by rewinding 15 seconds and playing the video with subtitles turning off again afterwards.
Should you pay for 4K or HDR?
Well, it depends on what TV you have. Of course, that’s not useful if your TV isn’t 4K or HDR compatible. On the other hand, there is often only a small surcharge to pay for future proof if you think you might be upgrading your TV soon. Oh, by the way, there are no 8K compatible boxes available, and they’re unlikely to be for quite a while.
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Do you want other apps besides TV channels?
For example, how about playing? Apple TV has a lot of games on board. It’s true that the Apple Remote isn’t ideal for gaming, but there is compatibility with different game console controllers that makes for the best of both worlds. Gaming is the main reason the Apple TV Box comes with different storage capacities, so you can download and archive games rather than just streaming them, like you do with movies. Aside from apps like Netflix, there are also services where you can rent or buy the latest movies or TV shows.
How much do you want to pay?
As always, this will be a key factor. Apple’s box is more expensive than most, while Amazon’s and Roku’s sticks are much more affordable, for example. In short, whatever your budget, you can find a highly capable streaming device.
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Every product on this list has been tested in real-life situations, just like you would use it in everyday life.
Sticks and streaming devices are something that multiple Pocket-lint team members use every day, so testing them against each other is pretty straightforward for us. We can’t wait to compare not only the image quality and sound performance each can bring to the table, but also to see how easy they actually are to use.
Price and value are a key consideration, of course, as are the broad compatibility of each device and the possible lack of key streaming services.
As with any roundup, it is not possible to provide a list that works for every type of user, but we rely on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team – as well as thoroughly evaluating the areas above – to make our own. best in this respect.
What we always tend to avoid when making these choices are useless comparisons of specifics and marketing lines; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what it’s like to use each streaming stick. Our verdicts are concise, but this is purely in the interest of brevity.
Buy Streaming Devices – Shopping Guide and Tips
In this section for those who want to buy Streaming Devices, we have written a small buying guide . This contains the most important criteria in the form of a checklist, which should always be considered when selecting or purchasing. If you follow our expert checklist, you will surely find the best product in the Streaming Devices category.
- Manufacturer: Are there any reputable manufacturers or well-known brands for Streaming Devices?
- Products Overview: Do you have informative and grounded reviews on the topic?
- Customer ratings: Are the ratings available from people who have purchased and tested the product?
- Product dimensions: what dimensions are required or are they even possible?
- Consumption: What is the latest test result published by the consumer organization on Streaming Devices?
- Test results: Which models became test winners in the Streaming Devices product group?
- Price: How much budget do you have for Streaming Devices?
- Comparison: In conclusion, we recommend a comprehensive price comparison to find the best one!
In the checklist above, you should particularly consider the results of the Consumption test . Streaming Devices consumer test ratings and test winners can be an important piece of information in your search for the best product. Our recommendation: For product evaluation, you need to purchase more than one product in order to compare them directly with each other. This way, you can take your comparison test at home and identify your test winner individually.
Best Streaming Devices | Video Explanation
Conclusion and summary
Finding the best product is certainly not easy as Streaming Devices is sold by many brands But if you pay attention to the researched tests or Altroconsumo trial reviews, you will make a good selection. Because in the end, no one can decide for you which product yours should. So it is important to look at the ratings and reviews from different sources.
By the way, you can also check out the best lists of established trade magazines and their online presence, which are constantly updated. There too there are many tips and information about best streaming devices and the best test results. It is best to look at the current year rankings to make sure that the product is still available in the desired form. Reputable magazine editors often run their own tests so you can benefit from their expertise.