Cutting the cord makes a lot of sense in the post-pandemic era. While the relevance holds true for almost every life scenario as cutting the cord would minimize touch, achieving the same for your television sets is what feels like the need of the hour. Content streaming picked up pace in 2020 and it has been amplifying, ever since. Considering this inclination, media streaming gadgets have also started selling like hotcakes.
Furthermore, there is no denying the fact that Smart TVs often cost a fortune and enthusiastic users often end up relying on streaming devices for getting an experience similar to the Smart counterparts. Then again, not every streaming device is created the same and in the subsequent sections, we shall enlist the best ones, according to user preferences, targeted requirements, and even budget.
The Relevance of Streaming Devices
Streaming devices are omnipotent gadgets, capable of supplementing any TV package in the best possible manner. Therefore, if you are a content connoisseur with a penchant for online video consumption via platforms like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and more, a streaming device is probably the best option to invest in.
While some might argue that online content can be experienced over smartphones and even laptops, nothing works better than enjoying the same over the big screen. Besides, certain streaming devices also allow you to pair home-theatre applications, making your television set an all-inclusive entertainment module. Lastly, streaming devices are also accommodative towards IPTV and web streaming services, allowing you to consume literally any form of media that is trending at the moment.
Here are some of the best selections to consider:
1# Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K: Best 4K Streaming Resource
Amazon has always been one of the market leaders in the streaming realm. While the latest Fire TV Stick is already making several heads roll, the Fire TV Stick 4K is what makes quite an impression. Firstly, this device boasts HDR content selections, allowing you to experience videos in the best possible version.
That’s not it as the Fire TV Stick 4K even comes equipped with Dolby Atmos support. This functionality makes it the best possible resource for third-party resources like Kodi, Plex, Emby, and more. Besides, there are many add-ons for Kodi that work like charm provided you consider using them with the Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device.
This means, the concerned media streaming gadget is even open to customizations, provided you know which app to side-load. Lastly, Amazon also brings a new and improved remote controller into the mix, powered by Alexa-compatibility.
2# Roku Ultra- Best with Bluetooth Connectivity
If you are looking for an all-inclusive media streamer that is Bluetooth compatible and comes equipped with a faster processor, Roku Ultra is the name to consider. The new and remodeled version is, therefore, better at processing information and considerably avoids system slowdowns.
Not just that, the new Roku Ultra comes equipped with a reliable remote control, wherein you get access to a headphone jack, support for voice control, and the launch buttons. However, Roku isn’t all that open towards third-party applications, which might be a deal-breaker for certain enthusiasts.
3# Fire TV Cube: Best with Voice-Control
For users interested in voice-controlled devices, the Cube from Amazon is one of the better innovations. The second-generation Cube paves the future for IoT-centric streaming devices. Moreover, you also get side-loading access, allowing you to customize photos, skin, and even web streaming interfaces, at will.
4# Apple TV 4K: Premium Offering
Those who are more comfortable in the Apple ecosystem can opt for the Apple TV 4K. While the ease of usage and customizability quotient isn’t as high as offered by the Fire TV Stick and Cube, this is the only variant that comes with AirPlay streaming support, as a part of the webcasting or mirroring support.
Apart from that, Apple also makes room for the iTunes video support and Apple Music, whilst allowing you to reap the benefits of the Dolby Vision support. Plus, if you purchase this streaming device, it becomes easier to use the same as the HomeKit hub, as a part of the futuristic AI setup.
Then again, the Siri-controlled remote controller also deserves a special mention, courtesy of the entire voice-centric conglomerate.
5# NVIDIA Shield TV: Most Innovative one around
As a gamer, you can blindly put your faith in the Shield Android TV. While the price point seems off-putting to some, the functionality is rather unmatched. What works best for this media streaming gadget is the exceptional processor. This entity makes it easier for you to experience 4K upscaling via the AI innovation in play.
As major manufacturers are already speculating the inclusion of AI into the streaming realm, the step might be best welcomed by NVidia owing to the compelling chipset. However, if you are an adventurous use, the Shield Pro is also up for grabs, albeit at a higher price tag. Then again, the Shield TV should be your go-to device if you have plans of watching broadcasts whilst cutting the cord.
In addition to the mentioned gadgets, you can also consider investing in the Sling AirTV player which is quite basic and doesn’t live up to the price tag.
Purchasing a media streaming gadget isn’t all that difficult if you know where to look. However, in most cases resolution, playback quality, and existing app selection become the major pet-peeves for the witting users. Then again, most of the mentioned devices eliminate every possible loophole and the number one device on the list also scales beyond the rest when content discovery attributes are concerned.
Lastly, if you are still looking to fine-tune the searches, consider gadgets that offer the best audio codec functionality followed by remote control features that allow you to pair the same with smart home-bound devices. However, the security safeguards in play also need to be prioritized if you are using the streaming device at the office or a place where Shadow IoT could be an issue.