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The Best Streaming Devices in 2021
With so many streaming devices currently available for purchasing, deciding on which one to buy can seem overwhelming.
Streaming device prices start as low as $24.99 and can go up to $199.99. Commonly known brands include Amazon Firestick and Apple TV, but there are several other options that you may not have heard of that are well worth the hype. If you’re in the market for a new way to stream, read on to learn about the best streaming devices available in 2021.
The Best Streaming Devices You Can Buy
H2: The Best Overall Streaming Device: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
- Resolution: 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR, and HDR10+
- Models: Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K
- Storage: 1.5GB DDR4
- Features: Voice commands, live TV, Alexa controls
When choosing a streaming device, the availability of streaming apps and channels is one of the most sought-after features. The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K boasts 500,000+ shows, movies, and thousands of available channels and apps — and, as an Amazon Prime customer, you get access to thousands of movies and shows available exclusively on Prime Streaming Video.
Even with all of its features, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is still budget-friendly with a price tag of $39.99. Since it’s a small stick that plugs in directly to your TV, you don’t need shelf space to store it — it also stays charged by simply keeping it plugged it into your TV’s USB port.
The voice-activated remote (which can be paired with any Alexa) makes it easier than ever to search across all of your apps and channels to find exactly what you want to watch.
The Best Streaming Device for Small Budgets: Roku Express
- Resolution: HD
- Models: Roku Express 4K+, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Ultra, Roku Streambar
- Storage: 512 MB
- Features: Movies and series on Apple TV+, Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, SHOWTIME, and Hulu with Live TV
The Roku Express streaming device offers access to thousands of movies and shows through popular apps such as Apple TV, Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Showtime, and Hulu — all at a price low enough to have one in every room! The sleek design and included high-speed HDMI cable make this Roku easy to set up and start streaming right away.
The remote is simple and easy to use and offers additional movies and shows for free on the Roku Channel. This little device provides a unique feature: the Roku mobile app, which allows you to use your phone for voice commands, a second remote, and more.
The Best Streaming Device for Apple Fans:2021 Apple TV 4K
- Resolution: 2160p, Dolby Vision and HDR10
- Models: Apple TV
- Storage: 32 GB-64 GB
- Features: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 Surround Sound, A12 Bionic Chip Processor, Dual Band Wireless, Bluetooth 5.0
The 2021 Apple TV 4K features everything there is to love about Apple and more. With upgrade options to Apple TV, Apple Fitness, and Apple Arcade, plus live TV streaming from Hulu, YouTube TV, and Sling TV, this streaming device is sure to keep you entertained for hours on end.
2021 Apple TV 4K allows access to all of the most popular apps and channels and comes with a Siri remote with a touch-enabled clickpad (similar to the early generation iPods we knew and loved). The new generation Apple TV also has a lightning-fast processor and large hard drive storage options, as well as a sleek black-box design that goes nicely with any decor.
H2: The Best Streaming Device for Techies: Nvidia Shield TV Pro
- Resolution: 4K HDR, Dolby Vision
- Models: Shield TV
- Storage: 16 GB
- Features: Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, AI Enhanced Upscaling, Tegra X1 Processor, Voice-Activated Backlit Remote with Lost Remote Locator
Offering a high-end Android TV streaming experience, The Nvidia Shield TV Pro boasts movie theater-quality pictures delivered through AI upscaling — a fancy way for saying they take low-quality images and enhance them. The device has large RAM and storage, plus Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band AC Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0 for easy connectivity.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro has 2 USB 3.0 ports for storage expansion, USB cameras, keyboards, and controllers so you can use multiple devices for gaming and much more. The remote is voice-activated and can be used to control Google Home devices and Google apps, as well as to quickly locate your favorite shows and movies across apps and channels.
Users can access thousands of apps and channels, including popular streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney +, and Hulu. With a Nvidia game controller (sold separately), you can even get your game on and play popular games directly through the NVidia interface. One final awesome feature is the built-in Google Chromecast 4K which allows you to stream anything from your phone directly to your tv.
The Best Streaming Device for Google Fans: Chromecast with Google TV
- Resolution: Up to 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10
- Models: Chromecast
- Storage: 8 GB
- Features: Intelligent organization of apps, voice remote, 3 colors
For Google fans, the Chromecast with Google TV is the clear choice. With its intelligent design of apps and content based on your preferences, there’s sure to be endless home entertainment whenever you turn on your TV.
Built-in Google TV features live TV, a separate space for children’s apps and channels with available parental controls, and the personalization options that Google users are accustomed to.
The Chromecast with Google TV remote is voice-activated and can also be paired with other Google devices. This device has a unique feature that allows you to curate watchlists across apps and platforms — no more searching through multiple apps or channels to find what you’re looking for! Simply use the voice-activated remote to search for the title or actor, then add it to your watchlist. When you’re ready to watch, Chromecast will find the best streaming app or service for you. It’s that simple!
Which Streaming Devices are best for your Life & Style?
Netflix is the most popular streaming service and a must-have for watching all your favorites (hello, fall Halloween movie marathon!) and more — luckily, all of the streaming devices mentioned above either have Netflix built-in or the option to download it. So when it comes to choosing a streaming device, the other most important features are ease of installation, availability of content, storage, speed, price, and picture quality. The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Roku Express, Apple TV 4K, Nvidia Shield TV Pro, and Chromecast with Google TV are all excellent options.