The days of cable televisions are over. Well not really over but almost over. More people have control over what they want to watch and when they want to watch it. This used to be a problem with cable TV service – you have to wait and adjust your schedule based on what the TV channels had to offer. Right now there are several streaming devices out there in the market. Typically it allows us to watch our favorite shows from a single device. The only requirement is having a high speed internet connection so you can watch your shows with the best definition possible and with no buffering issues.
In case you already have a device that can stream media, a playstation, XBox, smart TV or the like you can still benefit from having a standalone streaming device. Most are cheap enough to get one for every TV you own. Others would simply make use of file sharing app like ShareIt or Dropbox. Smart TVs usually have really ugly and not functional interfaces. The better route would be to spend the extra $100 that smart TVs usually cost compared to a regular TV and spend them on the polished and snappy experience you get from a streaming device. In case you don’t like the streamer interface, you can switch it for another one.
Let’s go ahead and compare a few of the hot streamers on the market to see which you will benefit the most for.
The Apple TV 4th Generation is a solid choice for those that want to have their streamer based around their Apple ID or currently own other apple products, this will facilitate communication between all devices. Some of the apple TV’s features are:
- Remote with swiping and voice features
- Access to the Apple app store
- Gaming with the standard controller or gaming controller
Running on tvOS (tv Operating System), powered by an A8 chip with 64-bit architecture and with storage capacities of 32GB and 64GB, $149 and $199 respectively, this is one of the most expensive streamers currently available, but in case you own another apple device like a mac computer, you can do some cool extra things like mirror your computer to your TV without having to connect any extra wires.
If you want to save some cash and add portability look into the amazon fire TV stick, while the tech specs are a little lower for this device (1GB of memory, 8GB of storage and a Dual-core processor), the price is lower too, starting at only $39.99 this is one of the best streamers if you’re on a budget and don’t mind losing the snappier feel or the better gaming capabilities of the regular Fire TV.
If you’re interested in controlling the streaming experience with your phone and at the same time save some bucks look into the Chromecast, it will allow you to stream videos from Youtube or google play apps that support the streaming experience. The Chromecast is basically an extension of your phone, you will be mirroring whatever you play on your phone to your TV and will use your phone as a controller, not bad for $35.
If you want a cheaper alternative to Chromecast, then you can opt for Showbox APK. It is a video streaming android app that will cost you nothing and will leave you nothing. Unlike any other, this app will not restrict you from certain shows and films. It is also available for PC.
Just as the Amazon Fire TV, the Roku comes in several varieties, as a streaming stick, streaming player and a 4K UHD Player. In case that you still own an older TV you can get a Roku 1 for $49.99 which can be connected through HDMI or A/V cable. The Roku 4 has some nice extra features including the 4K content, a remote with a built in headphone jack for listening wirelessly and a slot to add an extra microSD slot for expanding its storage all running on a Quad-core processor for a price of $129.99.
Soon to be hitting the road this summer of 2016, it promises a full nationwide coverage with three priced packages which will be available in 12 major markets. Although they may be fairly new to this industry, I’m a bit excited how this will turn out seeing there seems to be multiple simultaneous device streams in each of the package. Quiet convenient if you plan to install screens in different room.
When purchasing a streaming device analyze your needs, do you want the most basic version of the streamer or will you need some extra bells and whistles for gaming? Will you be using the streamer on only one TV or do you need multiple streamers to cover all the TVs at home? For a lot of people the most basic versions will suffice, however if you’re a heavy user that needs a snappy response look for one of the more complete versions with higher processing and memory.