Best media streaming devices for your TV

Don’t have a smart TV? Don’t worry, you don’t have to stream online videos on that tiny smartphone screen. There are plenty of media streaming devices on the market, readily available to smarten up any television. The DGIT family is all about finding the best products for everyday users, and so we enlisted their help to create a list of the best, and then we threw them into the ring for a free-for-all deathmatch. Of course, sometimes you just want a quick answer to the question “which is the best?” That’s where DGiT’s TL;DR comes into play. TL;DR: Apple TV 4K is the best choice for Apple users, iTunes fans, and those who want an easy to use, polished experience. It doesn’t have as much content as some of the other options on this list and has some limits when it comes to music streaming services, but it’s still a great product and one we find easy to recommend. Nvidia Shield is the best choice for those  that want speed, power, and the ability to game at near-console level. It also supports a ton of apps and services, making it a flexible choice that also has Google Cast support and Android TV baked right in. Roku Streaming Stick+ is the best choice for those that want tons of channels, wide support, and a platform that is often the very first to get new services and features. There’s also the Roku Ultra for those that want a bit more omph, or the Roku Streaming Stick for those that don’t need 4K and a few other fancy features. Google Chromecast is the best choice for those that want a cheap no frills solution. The original Chromecast is $35, and the 4K model runs $70. Obviously this is an oversimplification. There are many streaming devices, and they all have different pros and cons. In the video above we also take a look at Fire TV and dive into a few of the big differences between all these platforms. But what if you have a Smart TV, or are thinking about buying one — do you even need a media streaming device in the first place? Is there any reason to get a media streamer if my TV is already smart? It’s true that most TVs released in the last few years have their own app ecosystem. Still, many times these platforms have a few flaws that make a stand alone device a better fit. Smart TVs see infrequent updates. If you have a several year old smart TV it’s possible the platform practically has been abandoned. Newer models from Samsung, Apple, and others do a slightly better job but still generally lag behind settop boxes here. Smart TV platforms sometimes have limited app support. You might get a handful or two of the popular choices but newer or niche services often are ignored. The interfaces are often clunky. Some newer models support built-in Roku, Android TV, or other improved platforms that negate this issue but it’s still a factor for older televisions and many budget offerings. Diving down the rabbit hole Okay, we’ve given you a quick look at our favorite picks and an excellent video from DGIT’s Evan that puts these choices through their paces. Of course there’s plenty more to say. This quick guide was meant to get you started on your media streaming journey. Be sure to check out the full guide at DGIT for a deeper dive down into what makes each of these devices unique. Disclosure: E-Commerce Content is independent of editorial content and we may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

date: Sat, 10 Feb 2018 22:00:36 +0000