Best Streaming Devices – New age and technology have given us a bunch of things to munch on, one of such is what we feed our sight with. People no longer do everything offline of recent, we prefer going online to do the things we use to do online and even much more.
Games, communications & interaction, conference meetings, movie nights, soothing or loud music, and more have all found their way to the internet space.
There are several ways to watch online content through your mobile device, computer (desktop or laptop), Television set, or even your game console. You might have direct streaming support or not, or you might have a game console connected to it with built-in streaming services.
If neither of your Television set or game console has streaming support features or doesn’t include the exact media features you desire, you can get a dedicated media streaming center or hub.
Most media streamers permit you to set up your Television set with any local or online media streaming services for about a hundred dollars. A streaming device or media player, according to Wikipedia, is the delivery of Internet content in real-time, much as live Television broadcasts content over the airwaves via a television signal.
Before we go ahead to give you the best varieties of streaming devices available in the market, it’s also important to guide you on what to look for in choosing the best streaming devices as this will help you make a suitable choice of streaming device for yourself.
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What To Look For In Choosing Streaming Device
- Size Is Not A Measuring Stick – If you vividly recall the story of David & Goliath, you’ll definitely agree with me that the tallest, most huge guy in the room is not always the toughest or anywhere close to the smartest.
Infinitesimal devices like Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s FireStick, etc. can do most of what their bigger counterparts do. They only come short in speed since the big boys have enough room to pack in more processor speed, thereby making them faster than our tiny guys.
If you like to keep it simple, you can go with the tiny guys, but if you want to come out with a loud bang and enjoy the speed you’ve always loved, then you’ll have to call in any of the big guys like NVIDIA Shield TV, etc.
- Performance – Generally, set-top boxes are quicker than streaming sticks; hence the amount you spend relates very much with the loading speed and smoothness you’ll enjoy.
- Private Listening Options – Several gadgets support Bluetooth and headphones when you really don’t want to disturb other people in your environment. That is why the Roku players support wired headphones through the Roku mobile app, and through the remote control on its expensive set-top boxes.
- Resolution/ Playback Quality –The screen resolution points to the quality of the TV display, mostly the horizontal lines of pixels. There’s a big shift from the normal High Definition Television (HDTV) to the Ultra High Definition sets (UHD, also known as 4K). The 4K from its name has 4 times more pixels than the HDTVs. It also has an upper hand in the sense that what usually is a tiny display on HDTV is more visible on it with brighter texts too. Again you don’t have to look around much before finding a 4K TV.
If you have a 4K television, you may need a streaming box that takes total advantage of those capabilities to avoid what I refer to as “Wasting graphics.” But in recent times, you will not find a modern device that doesn’t have the support of a minimum of 1080p resolution.
- HDR Support – HDR means High Dynamic Range. This is one of the many lovely features that 4K sets gave to us. This counts for more colors, an increase in brightness, extra contrast, etc. The UHD alliance made a basic standard referred to as HDR10 or Ultra HD Premium. Don’t buy a streaming device just because of HDR support abandoning all other features, but you can still get it if you’ve considered other features the device has, and it satisfies you, then you can get the HDR support since it is the new trend.
- Captive Portal Support –If you have a plan to take your streaming device on the road, you may come in contact with Wi-Fi networks that require a web browser for logging in. This can be referred to as a “captive portal,” and not all streaming devices authorize or support it.
- Network Connection – This is all dependent on you. If you use only a Wi-Fi, you can go for a streaming stick, but if you have Wi-Fi dead spots in your place or don’t have Wi-Fi at all, you can opt-in for a set-top box which allows you to use both Wi-Fi and Ethernet cable depending on what you’ve got.
- Selection Of The App – Occasionally, this is the most important factor to consider in choosing a streaming device, but over time, app selection has begun to look similar no matter which device you decide to choose.
- Remote Control Features – Some remote controls are saddled with buttons for fast forward, rewind, and some other special purposes, while others take a more minimalistic approach. Some remotes can control your television sets volume, and some accommodate microphones for voice demands. All the remote controls are imperfect, therefore take a look at the ones that are accommodated with each box to decide what stands out for you.
- Price – If you are on a budget, you might consider choosing a streaming stick as it is way cheaper than the set-top box. The set-top boxes range from x2 of streaming sticks upwards.
- Connection Procedures – If you hate stress or don’t like seeing clusters of wire everywhere, you probably want to go for a streaming stick since you can only attach it to the HDMI port of the TV, and you’re done.
- Storage Capacity – A look at Amazon’s FireStick shows that it has 8 GB storage capacity, which isn’t common in most streaming sticks. But with the way technology revolves, apps are now moving from the normal harmless small size MB to bigger chunks, which will soon kick out the streaming sticks while the set-top boxes will rule the streaming world since they were built for storage.
List Of Best Streaming Devices
Before choosing your streaming device, here’s a little list:
The Amazon Firestick offers streaming options for your favorite TV shows, documentary, etc. Amazon’s FireStick or Fire TV Stick is one of the most rated streaming devices. The FireStick is usually connected to the HDMI port of your smart TV. It also stores all your favorite contents from TV shows to documentaries, to music, a plethora of games, endless photos, even your favorite movies. It is a portable device that makes it possible to carry around.
The FireStick is an android based device. It doesn’t support the Android Play store becomes it comes with its own store, the Amazon store.
Amazon Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen)
The latest Amazon introduction of their streaming devices, the second-generation streaming TV cube launched the sometime last year 2019, comes packed with a 4K Ultra High Definition, coupled with a hands-free feature known as Alexa. It makes you feel like The Iron Man speaking to his robots because you get to control your TV with your voice, and since we don’t really like remotes, this eases the stress.
ROKU Streaming Stick+
This device enters the market, offering us 4k Ultra HD with 4k Ultra HD for spotlight channels. It’s got great picture quality with portability features. You can stream seamlessly with its long-range wireless receiver. It’s also got HDR support with voice remote like the Amazon Fire Cube (2nd Gen).
This is also a streaming device that runs on Android OS. It streams contents through the use of downloaded apps and offers the much needed 4K Ultra HD. It can play games, as well as stream them from compatible sources.
I’ll be waiting to hear from you on the device you chose. Have a great time.