Are you looking to upgrade your TV watching experience? With so many streaming devices on the market, figuring out the ideal match for your needs can be daunting. To fully enjoy the convenience of streaming, you need the best device to match your setup. We’ve grouped the top picks, in no particular order, and separated them into 4K and HD to help you decide.
Compatible with everything from HD to 4K HDR TVs, Roku Ultra provides impeccable visuals, offering resolutions that can go up to 2160p at 60fps. The visuals are just one of the many reasons this device has a prominent place in the conversation. The Ultra ensures an immersive audio experience with its Dolby Atmos decode via HDMI, provided you’re equipped with compatible speakers, as well.
Connectivity is also a breeze, thanks to a easy to use remote. Also it offers strong WiFi with a 802.11ac dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi and an Ethernet port. The Roku Voice Remote Pro is a gem in itself, especially with its lost remote finder feature. Additionally, for those invested in smart home ecosystems, the Roku Ultra smoothly integrates with platforms like Apple AirPlay, HomeKit, Google Home, and Alexa.
Sporting its fastest-ever octa-core 2.0 GHz processor, Amazon’s Fire TV Cube blows past its predecessor with over 20% more punch and twice as much power as the Fire TV Stick 4K Max. This device comes with a built-in mic and speakers that allow you to control your TV, soundbar, or receiver with just your voice commands.
One of the most prominent features is its support for Wi-Fi 6E, making it the first streaming media player to embrace this latest incarnation of Wi-Fi technology. This forward thinking guarantees an ultra-smooth streaming experience. As for visuals and sound, its 4K resolution coupled with support for Dolby Vision, HDR, and Dolby Atmos audio is enough to make even the harshest critics crack a smile. The device even seamlessly integrates into your smart home. Use Alexa to make video calls, manage your smart devices, or even get a live feed from your Ring camera. It’s noteworthy to mention that this device does not support the Amazon Kids app.
Check it out for yourself on Amazon
Amazon’s arsenal continues to impress as its Fire TV Stick 4K Max brings its own impact to the streaming scene. Packed with power and providing more than 40% more potency than its previous version, this Fire TV stick boasts rapid app startups and an incredibly fluid navigation.
Following Amazon’s embrace of new tech, Wi-Fi 6 support gives users the best 4K streaming experience of any prior Fire Sticks. From popular services like Netflix and Disney+, users have access to a vast universe of over a million movies and TV episodes. For gaming aficionados, the device’s 750Mhz GPU promises fluid gameplay and awe-inspiring graphics. The integration of Alexa into the voice remote not only simplifies content discovery but also manages smart home tasks efficiently.
Roku’s Streaming Stick 4K offers a compact yet powerful streaming solution. Designed to cater to modern HD or 4K TVs, users are treated to amazing visuals with efficient upscaling. Its dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi keeps you stream without any hitches. Despite its compact stature, weighing in at a mere 0.90 ounces, this device doesn’t compromise on performance. Its voice remote is a unified control center, combining TV power, volume, and mute buttons for a hassle-free experience. Plus, in the age of smart homes, this stick is more than ready to work in harmony with major platforms like Apple AirPlay, HomeKit, Google Home, and Alexa.
Google’s Chromecast with Google TV is a fusion of personalized entertainment and advanced tech. The device actually tailors content recommendations based on user history and active subscriptions, all consolidated in one user-friendly interface. With a dedicated remote, equipped with voice search, content discovery is just a command away. Users can enjoy a rich visual feast, whether enjoying movies, shows, or live TV, all rendered in stunning 4K HDR. This new devices delivers the Chromecast’s ability to provide a seamless streaming journey, without the need to hop between apps, makes it a must-have for entertainment enthusiasts.
The NVIDIA SHIELD Pro promises a whole new level in steaming and, to its credit, it does not disappoint. This is the most powerful option available right now. The Dolby Vision’s ultra-clear HDR brings cinema-quality brightness and contrast into you home. Then, when matched with Dolby Atmos, it produces sound that feels like everything is moving around you, creating a fully immersive experience.
The SHIELD’s powerful NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor doesn’t just offer smooth streaming—it also uses AI to upgrade HD videos to 4K in real-time. Add to that its sleek design with expanded storage and two USB ports, an you have a streaming option that fits right into any tech enthusiast’s setup.
An enhanced remote featuring voice search, backlit buttons, and even a locator for those pesky “lost remote” moments offers more value to this option. Clicking right into any smart home, SHIELD Pro offers hands-free controls through Google Assistant, is compatible with Alexa, and includes a built-in Chromecast 4K for easy content sharing. And for gamers? There’s a world of options on Google Play Games and GeForce NOW, with top titles like Fortnite at your fingertips (though you might want to grab a separate game controller).
Apple fans can upgrade their streaming game with the Apple TV 4K. This little powerhouse device offers a litany of features to enhance your world of entertainment. Experience your favorite shows and movies in breathtaking detail with 4K Dolby Vision and HDR10+ technology. With vibrant colors and lifelike images, you’ll feel immersed during every viewing session.
The selling point goes beyond visuals. Apple TV 4K also takes your audio experience to a whole other level with Dolby Atmos. This technology is responsible for the three-dimensional sound that envelops you in a cinematic atmosphere. Essentially taking the theater into your living room, you’ll feel every whisper, explosion, and musical note in astounding clarity.
Faithful followers of the Apple brand will feel right at home with the Siri Remote. Its touch-enabled clickpad provides intuitive control, making it easier than ever to find your favorite content, adjust settings, and explore new possibilities. A hub for all things entertainment the Apple TV 4K brings you movies on Apple TV+, healthy activities with Apple Fitness+, your favorite tunes on Apple Music, and access to a gaming paradise with Apple Arcade. This excellent integration of Apple’s ecosystem makes Apple TV 4K a standout streaming device in 2023.
Streaming is streamlined with the Amazon Fire TV Stick. 50% mightier than the previous version of the HD stick, this device ensures smooth Full HD viewing. Its packaged Alexa Voice Remote is more than just voice-activated. It adjusts both power and volume, ensuring an integrated control experience over your entertainment system.
In terms of content, there are over a million movies and TV episodes from giants like Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video available on this small device. Even live content is available via SLING TV, YouTube TV, and similar platforms. Don’t miss the handy Guide button for a curated view of timely broadcasts.
Audiophiles aren’t left out. There’s premium listening via Amazon Music, Spotify, and more. Elevated through Dolby Atmos audio on compatible titles and devices, a listener can feel enveloped you in thick sound. Setting it up is a breeze. Simply plug, play, and enjoy.
Inexpensive but powerful, the Roku Express gives HD viewers an affordable, user-friendly way to dive into high definition streaming. This device handles high def displays up to 1080p and can smartly upscale from 720p. Whether you’re an early adopter from way back when or just starting out or a streaming enthusiast, Roku Express has you covered. The intuitive home screen highlights top streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+, eliminating endless scrolling. And if you love multitasking, the Roku mobile app doubles as an additional remote with voice search. Despite its pocket-sized design, this gadget packs a punch in audio with DTS Digital Surround and Dolby features. Plus, it pairs effortlessly with Apple AirPlay, Google Home, and Alexa, making it a versatile addition to your entertainment arsenal.
For the cost conscious, we recommend the onn 4K Streaming Box. Presented as a gateway to ultra-high-definition content with Dolby Audio enhancement for a bargain of a price, this device unlocks access a universe of shows and movies with the smart convenience of Google TV. No more app-hopping; just seamless streaming with voice-activated search capabilities. Inside, its Quad-core Cortex-A35 CPU and Mali-G31 MP2 GPU, combined with 2 GB RAM and 8 GB storage, promise smooth performance.
If you’re keen on crystal-clear 4K or smooth HD playback, there’s a device that’s just right for you. From the powerhouse entertainment center centerpieces to the budget binge boxes, the choices are rich and varied. Your pick boils down to what you love to watch, the tech you already have, and of course, your budget. Dive in, explore the options, and elevate your home entertainment game. Here’s to countless hours of great content!