Best Video Streaming Devices: Video Streaming has become a common thing these days, pushing cable TV to the boundaries. Streaming has made individual entertainment a little less of a feat.
The market is teeming with Video streaming platforms, each competing for the other, making the choice more difficult. They can instantly convert your boring living room environment into an entertainment paradise.
From sticks to boxes and cubes, I have listed down multiple Video Streaming Devices that have excelled in various fields when compared to the others available in the market. The top considerations being the best high-end streamer, best for gamers, best for Amazon fanatics, and the best for on-budget streamers.
In today’s digital age, the way we consume media has undergone a significant transformation. Gone are the days when television was the sole source of video content. Enter video streaming and streaming devices, the contemporary powerhouses driving our media consumption habits.
In this SEO-optimized article, we’ll delve into the intricate world of video streaming and video streaming devices, explore their myriad benefits, and answer the often-debated question: Is a TV considered a streaming device?
What is Video Streaming?
Video streaming is the process of transmitting video data over the internet in real-time, allowing viewers to watch content without downloading it. With streaming, the video plays as it arrives, rather than waiting for the entire file to download first.
Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube are popular platforms where you can stream various kinds of video content, ranging from movies and TV shows to user-generated videos.
What is a Video Streaming Device?
A video streaming device is a hardware component that allows you to access video streaming services on your TV, computer, or other displays. These devices often come equipped with software platforms and app stores to facilitate easy navigation and selection of streaming services. Popular examples include Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV.
6 Best Video Streaming Devices in 2023
Let’s dive into the best offers by each streaming device and see which one fits your needs better. Make sure that you have subscribed to one of the reliable internet connections like Spectrum internet plans before diving into the world of streaming. Without any more delays, let’s dive in:
1. Roku Streaming Stick+
Roku Streaming Stick+ is the perfect choice for someone who wishes to stream 4K and HDR through an easily understandable interface. This one has the best price-to-feature ratio when compared to several other sticks available in the market. You can even enjoy Dolby Atmos quality Audio, and 4K HDR display via a device that will conveniently hide behind your TV.
Owing to its latest 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless support, you can set it up anywhere within your home’s Wi-Fi range. All you need is a TV with an HDMI port, even better if Roku Streaming Stick+ has a USB port to power the stick conveniently.
2. Apple 4K TV
This one with a $100+ price tag is a good choice for those who have an eye for such detail and can appreciate the features it comes with. Some of the star features include Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Vision HDR compatibility, to-notch voice control features, an attractive remote, flexibility in upconversion and nothing less to be expected from Apple, a simple yet functional user interface. The Apple 4K TV is equally good even for someone who is not an “Apple Person”.
3. Nvidia Shield TV
A $150 price tag without game controllers is a hefty one, no doubt. But if you have been looking for a streamer that’s good for everything, Nvidia Shield it is. Nvidia Shield TV comes equipped with a whole library of games both console level and Android ones, on top of 4K and HDR video quality media player.
Moreover, it boasts having a Google Assistant with a complete built-in smart home control, integrated with HDHomeRun, a steam link, Plex server capability, NAS access, and whatnot.
4. Roku Express
Roku Express conveniently comes within the price of a Blu-ray movie disc. Imagine getting a complete media streamer within the price of a movie disc.
Roku Express offers all the goodness of an average Roku platform with a remote, and HDMI cable and a sticker for easier installation on top of that. This one meets most of your streaming needs without costing you a limb.
5. Google Chromecast
Chromecast is one of the cheapest ways to stream videos on your TV. Unlike most streamers, it doesn’t come with remote control, instead, it uses a combination of Mobile phone and Voice control of a Google Assistant to call shows, control, and search them via voice commands.
6. Roku Ultra
A $100 price tag makes it the most expensive Roku of them all. But if you are the one who won’t settle for anything less than everything, then Roku Ultra is the one for you.
The image quality and the operating system in Roku Ultra are more or less, the same as Roku Stick however, it comes with a remote finder for someone as forgetful as myself.
Its controller also has two additional buttons that can be customized to our desired services. On top of this, Roku Ultra has a lot more to offer, to justify that $100 price point.
Benefits of Video Streaming Devices
Video streaming devices offer a plethora of advantages that contribute to their widespread popularity:
- Versatility: These devices support a wide range of apps, from video streaming services like Netflix to music apps like Spotify.
- Convenience: With a streaming device, you can convert any regular TV with an HDMI port into a smart TV, capable of internet browsing and app usage.
- Cost-Efficiency: Many streaming devices are reasonably priced, offering an affordable alternative to smart TVs.
- Portability: Due to their compact size, streaming devices are portable and easy to set up, making them perfect for travel.
- User-Friendly: Most streaming devices come with an intuitive interface, making it easy for people of all ages to navigate.
- Regular Updates: Unlike traditional TVs, streaming devices frequently receive software updates, adding new features and security patches.
- High-Quality Streaming: These devices often support high-definition and even 4K streaming, ensuring a quality viewing experience.
Is a TV a Streaming Device?
This is a subject of much debate, but the answer largely depends on the type of TV in question. Traditional, non-smart TVs are not streaming devices as they can’t access the internet or run streaming apps on their own. However, smart TVs, which come with built-in streaming capabilities, can indeed be considered streaming devices.
Key Points to Consider
- Built-in Apps: Smart TVs often come with pre-installed streaming apps like Netflix and YouTube.
- Internet Connectivity: Smart TVs can connect to Wi-Fi, allowing for direct streaming without requiring an external device.
- Limited Flexibility: While smart TVs offer streaming capabilities, they are often less flexible in terms of software updates and app support compared to dedicated streaming devices.
- Cost: Smart TVs are generally more expensive than buying a regular TV and a separate streaming device.
Video streaming and streaming devices have revolutionized our media consumption patterns, offering unparalleled convenience, quality, and flexibility. While smart TVs can function as streaming devices, dedicated streaming hardware often provides a more versatile and cost-effective solution.
Understanding the ecosystem of video streaming and its associated devices can help you make an informed decision, suiting both your viewing habits and your pocket.