Entertainment has changed over the years, from live performances to Hollywood movies and TV shows, it has come a long way.
However, what we once used to watch on television screens with a cable TV connection is now available through streaming services offering us much more flexibility to watch what we want and wherever we want to watch it. Recently, the demand for home entertainment has increased even more because many of us have been forced to stay at home, thus increasing the demand for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Sling TV. Most smart TVs nowadays are pre-loaded with the major streaming apps, but the older versions lack this facility so a streaming device is required.
There is a wide variety of streaming devices in the market with varying features and different prices. However, not every device is the same, so we will help you to choose. We will discuss all the best devices that you must look into before you decide to buy the one that fits your requirements. Once you have a streaming device, all you would need is a good internet connection like AT&T internet, a television, and of course, some free time to enjoy the plethora of content you can find on the streaming services available online. Just make sure your internet package comes with enough data to cater to your viewing habits so that you do not have to worry about overage fees or speed throttling.
Let us discuss some media-streaming devices, shall we?
For most of us, budget is usually the deciding point of whether or not we buy something. This is why Roku has become so famous because it offers a reasonable price and an easy-to-use interface. It also supports almost every channel there is and allows you to watch content with minimum advertisements. You can search for content using the voice search option, subscribe to be notified about the latest episodes of your favorite shows, and watch videos incognito by plugging-in your headphones to the remote or your smartphone. Different models vary by size, price, and quality so you can choose what works for you.
Just like the company does not need an introduction, neither does the Apple TV. Needless to say that an Apple TV is much more expensive than any other streaming device in the market, but if you have the money and you are a die-hard fan of Apple products, then this is the best fit for you. You can access all your bought and rented content as well as everything you have liked on your Apple TV. Use Airplay to stream videos on your phone or use the Siri remote to voice search something on your TV.
Next in line is the Fire TV by Amazon. There are mainly three categories of devices, namely Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV Cube. If your smart home manager is Alexa, then one of these devices will fit perfectly in your home. All of them offer a vast variety of channels like most of their competitors, however, the interface may be a little complicated for the less tech-savvy among us. Although, that hurdle can easily be overcome as almost everything is voice-controlled. There is a built-in mic for Alexa and you can enjoy 4K streaming while staying on budget.
Let us put the conventional streaming services aside for a bit and move on to the unconventional. That’s right, we are talking about Google Chromecast that allows you to stream live content and on-demand videos that are not available on any other platform. You may not get a remote or menu with this affordable device but you can Cast an audiovisual to your TV by accessing Netflix, HBO, or any other app of your choice on your smartphone. Hence, there is no need for a remote since you will be using your phone to control everything. If you are a Google Chrome or Android user then you can use the Mirroring option to stream anything you want.
Nvidia Shield TV
Not to overlook any target audience, let us include the Nvidia Shield TV in our discussion to cater to the gamers among us. This is by far the most kickass device you can purchase. It allows you to play your favorite games and run Android TV – is there anything else one could ask for? The Shield TV is equipped with Nvidia’s hardware that is famous for Android-based games like Grimvalor, Alto’s Adventures, plus exclusive Shield games like Tomb Raider and Borderlands 2. On top of this, you can stream cloud-based PC games using GeForce Now. Moreover, if you go for the pro version, you will be able to watch movies and TV shows from a USB drive as well as enjoy some hardcore gaming.
These are a few options for the different kinds of viewers with different priorities. Whether it is quality, variety, or budget, you will find something that suits you in the above options. You may be looking to play your favorite playlist while you cook, or something to watch the latest of everything you love, there is surely a device appropriate for your needs. However, try watching TV the old-fashioned way occasionally for the sake of nostalgia. It is good to look back sometimes to appreciate how far we have come.