Before you can stream your favorite TV series and movies, you’ll need to decide how you’ll watch. In addition to your computer, phone, or smart TV, there are many streaming devices that will let you stream all of your favorite apps on your TV.
In this post, we’re comparing a few of the most popular streaming devices.
A recent study showed that Roku is the most popular streaming player choice in the US. The company launched a new set of devices in September. These are the devices currently available:
- Roku Express $29.99
- Roku Premiere $39.99
- Roku Streaming Stick+ $29.99
- Roku Ultra $99.99
- Roku Express+ $39.99 (Available at Walmart)
- Roku Streaming Stick+ Headphone Edition $59.99 (Available at Best Buy)
- Roku Ultra LT $79.99 (Available at WalMart)
Two “classic versions” of Roku devices are also available on Amazon: the Roku Streaming Stick for $49.99 and the 2018 Roku Express+ for $30 which can be used to connect to older TVs.
Roku holds the title of the most popular streaming device because of its affordability and user friendly design. Setting up a Roku is simple and once you’re connected, you’ll be able to personalize the menu to easily find your favorite apps and content.
Some versions of the Roku come with the voice command remote, allowing you to open apps and find content more easily. Just push and hold the microphone button and use your voice to search for a specific show or movie, browse content, launch channels, and give playback commands.
Amazon has a family of Fire TV products which includes streaming devices, smart TVs, speakers, and DVRs. Here are the Fire TV streaming devices currently available:
- Fire TV Stick $19.99
- Fire TV Stick 4K $24.99
- All-New Fire TV Cube $89.99
One factor holding many people back from choosing a Fire TV in the past was the lack of support for YouTube and YouTube TV. But as of September 30th, YouTube and YouTube TV are back on Fire TV devices. In fact, YouTube TV quickly became the most popular live TV streaming service on the Fire TV.
One benefit of choosing the Fire TV is the integration with Alexa which allows you to use the Alexa Remote to launch and control content. Many apps even have further controls so you can browse, search, and change channels within supported apps. If you have an Amazon Echo device, you’ll have even more options.
Apple customers will appreciate the simple design and quality of the Apple TV streaming device. These are the options currently available:
- Apple TV 4K 32GB $179
- Apple TV 4K 64GB $199
- Apple TV HD $149
If you’re a loyal Apple customer, you already know that Apple makes sleek, well-designed products, and the Apple TV is no different.
Apple TV has redesigned the menu and features of the device, making it more user friendly for individuals and families. Separate profiles allow each member of the family to personalize their screen and find their content faster. Apple TV devices also come with a Siri remote, making it easy to use voice commands for finding, launching and controlling your content.
The Nvidia Shield is an Android-TV based player that has recently gotten a new look and a 25% performance upgrade. These are the Nvidia Shield devices currently available:
- Nvidia Shield TV $149.99
- Nvidia Shield TV Pro $199.99
The new Nvidia Shields come with a new HD to 4K AI upscale that will dramatically improve any HD stream to a picture that is far closer to 4K. Nvidia says they have also made the NVIDIA Shield compatible with both the PS4 and Xbox One controllers for better gaming.
Both new Nvidia Shields come with an updated remote that adds motion-activated backlighting on the buttons making it easier to use in the dark. The new remote also runs off of two AAA batteries to make it easier to replace the remotes.
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