9 Best Streaming Devices in 2019

best streaming devices
Watching a popular TV show or one of your favorite movies is a widespread pastime activity. And no one wants it to be spoiled by bad picture or sound quality. Thus, it’s always wise to take care of your leisure time comfort and get one of the best streaming devices with a top-notch performance.

How to choose the best streaming device

TV

Whatever functions you would like to have, everything starts with TV you’ve got. Old TVs are compatible with Roku Express+ but if you are a lucky owner of 4K HDR TV then it’s better to have a look at Apple TV 4K, Roku Ultra or any other high-end model.

Content source

Pay attention to the sources you get most of your content from. Different streaming devices can offer different sources. So, if your streamer doesn’t support iTunes, for example, and you need it then there is no sense in buying Roku streamer and it’s better to get Apple TV 4K.

Wired or wireless

Some of the streamers support both types of connection while others are suitable for a wired Ethernet or wireless connection only.

Performance

The general level of streamer performance depends on the supported type of resolution. Not all of the offered devices have 4K and HDR. What is more, some of them are not provided with Dolby Atmos audio that is responsible for immersive sound. Additional micro SD card slot is also an important feature, and if it’s absent then there’s a high chance that you will have a lack of memory.

Remote Control

Almost all modern streamers can offer remote control. Still, all of them include a different spectrum of available options. The updated versions of streaming devices have Siri or Alex voice control.

Gaming

If you need a streaming device not only for movies but also games then pay attention to whether your streamer has got any gaming options. In this case, the best example of perfect gaming streamer is NVIDIA SHIELD TV.

Best Media Streaming Devices in 2019

Fire TV Stick 4K

Great Streaming Device With Dolby Vision

fire tv stick 4k
If you want to experience a combination of top-notch image quality and immersive sound then check out Fire TV Stick 4K. This device delivers 4K Ultra HD streaming at up to 60fps. There is a great range of colors to make the image look more lifelike and thanks to Dolby Vision, HDR and HDR10+ it comes with excellent clarity. In order to make everything even more true to life there is Dolby Atmos audio for impressive sounding.

Fire TV Stick 4K is not only top-tier image and audio quality. It also means high-grade control and access to thousands of channels and websites. This streaming device comes with updated Alexa Voice Remote, so it won’t take you much time to find a nice comedy for the evening or your favorite track. Alexa can also check the weather forecast or bring down the light.

This streaming device offers an astounding variety of channels you can use to search for TV shows or songs. Fire TV Stick 4K provides content from Hulu, Netflix, STARZ, SHOWTIME, IMDb Freedive and others. Access to YouTube and Facebook is also available. Note that this media streaming device comes with an improved processor for 802.11ac Wi-Fi what guarantees fast performance.

Pros:

  • affordable price
  • excellent image quality with Dolby Vision, Atmos, HDR10+, and HDR10
  • Dolby Atmos audio
  • fast performance
  • Alexa Voice Remote
  • supports thousands of channels
Cons:

  • no Google Play apps
  • cumbersome menu system
  • requires inconvenient power adapter

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Roku Ultra

Excellent Streaming Device for TV

roku ultra streaming media player
Roku Ultra is a top-notch streaming device which is a great option for those who value high-quality performance. It comes with The Roku mobile app, so your Android or iOS device can easily become a streaming companion. Besides, it allows controlling Roku player and provides private listening due to the headphone jack and included premium JBL headphones.

Note that this media streaming device offers ultimate connectivity of two types – dual-band wireless and Ethernet port for wired connectivity. Roku Ultra is also designed with voice remote which has buttons for TV power and volume plus. There is also lost remote finder as well as keyboard search.

This media player streams videos in HD, 4K and HDR. The image quality is clear and rich in colors. Roku Ultra offers lots of streaming services including Netflix, HBO NOW, Prime Video and many others. What is more, there are available cable alternatives like YouTube TV, ABC News and Sling TV as well. On the whole, buying this streaming device you get access to more than 500,000 movies and TV shows.

Pros:

  • user-friendly
  • great variety of content
  • the Roku mobile app
  • remote control
  • a headphone jack for private listening
  • supports external drives
  • wired Ethernet connection
Cons:

  • can lag
  • no Dolby Vision HDR support

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Roku Streaming Stick+

Great Streaming Device to Replace Cable

Roku Streaming Stick+
Here’s another example of best TV streaming device. Though both Streaming Stick+ and Ultra are representatives of the same Roku family, they have certain differences you should be aware of when choosing the most suitable product that corresponds to your needs and requirements.

So, Roku Streaming Stick+ is also a new 2017 model with great 4K, HDR and HD resolution. Still, unlike Ultra model this one is a wireless receiver only. It means that if you want to have a wired connection then Roku Ultra is the best option for you. But if you want to have the best streaming device to replace cable then here it is – Roku Streaming Stick+ is a great chance to do that.

This streaming device is great for wall-mounted TVs. You can easily plug the stick into the back of your TV and have a clutter-free setup. What is more, it has a strong streaming signal, so you will enjoy movies even if a router is far away from you.

Pros:

  • portable and compact design
  • 4K, HDR, HD streaming
  • Voice Control
  • powerful streaming signal
  • easy setup
  • great Wi-Fi connectivity
  • price
Cons:

  • no wired Ethernet connection
  • compatibility
  • no Dolby Vision support

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Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

The Best Kodi Streaming Device From Amazon

fire tv stick with alexa voice remote
One of the best budget streaming devices to consider is Fire TV Stick. It comes with Alexa Voice Remote, so it’s one of the best options in case you need such a feature. This media streaming device is designed with power, mute and volume buttons, so you can easily control your TV, soundbar and receiver. Content control is also available. Just ask Alexa to find a movie or TV show you’d like to watch as well as news and sports. Another great bonus is control of lights, thermostats and smart home devices which are compatible with Alexa.

It is easy to set up and supports any HDTV. Fire TV Stick comes without any cables, so it’s very portable. Besides, you don’t need any additional apps to install.

Pros:

  • affordable price
  • improve Alexa Remote Control
  • easy setup
  • fast performance
Cons:

  • not all subscriptions are free
  • poor tech support

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Chromecast Ultra

Best Streaming Device for Netflix

Chromecast Ultra
The next representative of the best video streaming devices is Chromecast Ultra. It shows fast performance thanks to built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Still, in order to enjoy wireless performance you need to have a wireless router which doesn’t come together with Chromecast Ultra.

With Chromecast Ultra you can enjoy 4K Ultra HD or HDR. In fact, whatever type of resolution you’ve got this streaming device will optimize it to show the best picture you can get of it. Besides, it offers not only TV shows and movies but also songs, games and sports from more than 1000 channels such as Pandora, Netflix, YouTube and HBO NOW.

We also like its remote control option. You can just use your phone to control the volume or pause a movie. And the main thing here is that at the same time you can call or text a friend. As well as many other TV streaming devices this one allows you to control content using your voice – Chromecast Ultra works together with Google Home.

Pros:

  • Voice Control
  • price
  • 4K Ultra HD/HDR
  • plentiful channels
  • fast wireless connectivity
  • simple setup
Cons:

  • only for 4K TVs
  • blue tint exposure on TV
  • no remote control
  • no Amazon Instant Video support

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Apple TV 4K

Best 4K Streaming Device

Apple TV 4K
This is not only the best but also the most expensive 4K streaming device on our list. Apple TV 4K delivers top-notch streaming video and is compatible with 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision TVs. It also uses Siri Remote Control to make your experience more exciting.

Having the A10X Fusion chip Apple TV 4K shows super-fast performance for all your apps and games. You will have access to the content from iTunes, Hulu, Netflix and ESPN. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy YouTube in 4K or enjoy Dolby Atmos audio. And here comes the main question – is it worth the money you pay for it?

Still, if you want to have premium 4K quality and you are ready to spend a pretty penny on it then why not to purchase Apple TV 4K? Its streaming quality is smooth and polished. Its performance is always fast. So, if you’ve got a powerful 4K TV then it will be a real crime not to get this high-grade streaming device.

Pros:

  • 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision
  • smooth streaming
  • fast performance
  • Siri voice control
Cons:

  • price
  • no Dolby Atmos audio
  • no 4K for YouTube

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Roku Premiere+

Another Great Affordable Roku Streaming Device

roku premiere plus
Here’s another great streaming device from Roku. Unlike Roku Ultra its Premiere+ is more budget-friendly and offers 4K Ultra HD image. It also streams in HD and HDR picture quality. There is a voice remote that comes with volume and TV power buttons as well. It allows you to control the player and use your voice to find the necessary content.

Roku Premiere+ is rather simple to install. To do this you need to plug it into your TV using Premium High Speed HDMI Cable which comes together with this streaming device. Then connect to the Internet and Roku Premiere+ is ready for streaming. Sure, it’s a bit more time-consuming than Fire TV Stick installation, but it’s not a difficult one.

This Roku streaming device offers access to more than a thousand channels. It supports The Roku Channel, ABC, CW, Netflix, VUDU and others. Besides, there are available some cable alternatives such as DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV. Thanks to free Roku mobile app you can also get your iOS and Android devices as streaming companions.

Pros:

  • affordable price
  • supports HDR10
  • fast performance
  • free Roku mobile app
  • Voice Remote
Cons:

  • takes a while to set up
  • poor tech support
  • not all subscriptions are free

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NVIDIA SHIELD TV

Best Streaming Device for Gaming

NVIDIA SHIELD TV
Unlike Roku Express+ NVIDIA SHIELD TV is more suitable for up-to-date TVs. Thanks to 4K HDR Powerhouse you can enjoy Netflix and Amazon Video in smooth 4K HDR. All other channels such as YouTube, VUDU and Google Play Movies & TV are available in 4K.

Thanks to Connected Google Life you will have access to all your Google content. Besides, Google Assistant provides smart home features, so you can easily share your Google photos in 4K and cast apps to your TV with Chromecast 4K.

Gamers will be pleased to learn that this example of best video streaming devices offers NVIDIA-Powered Gaming. It means that you can cast games from your GeForce-powered PC to your TV in 4K HDR with 60 fps. What is more, you can get NVIDIA-powered cloud gaming on demand with GeForce NOW.

Such option as voice control is available too. This streaming device has Smart Home Ready, and you can also add SmartThings link to get a wireless connection to the lights, speakers or thermostats.

Pros:

  • 4K/HDR
  • Connected Google Life
  • NVIDIA-Powered Gaming
  • Smart Home Ready
  • Hands-free Google Assistant support
Cons:

  • price
  • GeForce Now streaming requires additional purchases and a subscription

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Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen)

The Best Media Streaming Device Overall

fire tv cube 2 gen
Looking for the best of the lot? Then have a look at Fire TV Cube. As well as Fire TV Stick it comes with Alexa Voice Control. As there are far-field voice recognition, 8 microphones and beamforming technology this streaming device is able to hear your voice from any direction. Alexa will also search content for you, play it as well as pause or fast forward. What is more, you can use your voice to control TV power and volume, soundbar and even change satellite channels.

Fire TV Cube provides a high-grade image quality of 4K Ultra HD at up to 60 fps. There is also unparalleled sound quality thanks to Dolby Atmos audio. Note that this streaming device comes with a built-in speaker, so you may easily listen to the weather forecast or news as well as control smart home devices even with your TV off.

There is access to thousands of channels with more than 500,000 movies to choose from. Fire TV Cube also supports YouTube, Reddit, Facebook and other websites with Firefox and Silk browsers.

Pros:

  • Alexa Voice Control
  • far-field voice recognition
  • Amazon’s parental controls
  • access to tons of content
  • good processor
  • 4K Ultra HD
  • Dolby Atmos audio
  • wired Ethernet connection
Cons:

  • expensive
  • no HDMI cable

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Summary

We all love quality. Streaming devices aren’t an exception. A good product will make your TV more functional and powerful, the best one will make it show its best performance ever. Find a streaming device that will suit your TV. Then check whether it has all options you are looking for and hurry up to enjoy your favorite movie or TV show.

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