A streaming device instantly transforms your regular TV into a smart TV. All you have to do is plug one of these little devices into the back of your TV, and you’ll be able to watch Netflix, YouTube, HBO, and much more. But with so many streaming media players on the market today, it can be difficult for you to choose the right one. To help you decide which device is best for you, we narrowed down your choices to the best streaming devices for 2020.
Finding the right streaming device can be frustrating. To make it easy for you, we have created a quiz that will help you find the perfect streaming device for you and your TV. Give it a try by clicking the button below:
The Best Streaming Boxes for 2020
While these streaming devices look like old cable boxes, they come with a lot more features. You can play music from your computer, install streaming services, and cast videos from your phone to your TV. Plus, you don’t have to buy into a costly subscription plan. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a TV with an HDMI port.
Amazon Fire TV Cube
From the outside, this streaming device looks exactly like last year’s Cube-shaped box. However, it comes with an upgraded processor that makes it two times faster than the previous model. This means it will load your shows faster, and you will experience less buffering and better resolution.
The new Fire TV Cube also combines the features of a streaming box with the Echo smart speaker in one device. This means you can control your TV with your voice – so you never have to touch the remote.
All you have to do is say “Alexa play It’s a Wonderful Life,” and your TV will start playing the movie. And, with more than 500,000 movies and TV episodes to choose from, you’ll always have something to watch. You even have access to live stream services, such as AT&T Live Now, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and more.
If you’re a sports fan, then you’ll want to get one of the many sports apps, such as ESPN+, NBA League Pass, NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB.TV, and NHL.TV.
The Fire TV Cube can also integrate with your other smart home devices, which means you can use it to control your smart lights, smart thermostat, or smart coffee maker.
The new Fire TV Cube supports 4K Ultra HD video, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG.
The Apple TV 4K
If you have more than one Apple device, you might want to consider getting an Apple TV streaming device too. With 4K and HDR (high dynamic range) capabilities, this device lets you watch your favorite movies shows in the highest quality.
On top of that, Apple TV 4K also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, as well as Dolby Atmos for a superb audio experience. With its WiFi capability, you can stream content from your iPhone to your TV using AirPlay. You can also control your TV using the Siri-enabled remote.
As an Apple user, you can buy or rent over 100,000 movies and shows from the Apple TV app. Or you can stream videos from third-party streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, HBO Now, Showtime, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and many more.
As for sports apps, you can access ESPN+, NBA League Pass, NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB.TV, and NHL.TV.
If you want to stream the highest quality videos, the Apple TV 4K has a Gigabit Ethernet port for a faster Internet connection.
The Roku Ultra has been around for years, but it’s still one of the best streaming boxes today. With this device, you can stream 4K videos at 60 frames per second, as well as HDR content.
The Roku Ultra also comes with a remote control, or you can use the Roku voice controls to find your favorite movies and TV episodes. The remote also allows you to plug in your headphones, in case you want to stream and listen privately. It also has a “remote finder” feature, so you’ll never lose your remote again.
As for the Roku Ultra’s wireless connectivity, you can stream 4K movies with dual-band wireless that supports 3.5GHz and 5GHz channels. So this device will work with any router you have.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro
If you’re looking for a high-end streaming device, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro has everything you need. It has a powerful processor, a 256-core GPU, and 3GB of RAM, so you’ll never experience loading screens or lag again. Plus, it has Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10, so you’ll always get the highest quality images. It even has AI upscaling, which will enhance your movies to 4K for the best resolution possible.
This streaming device gives you access to over 5,000 apps available on the Google Play Store, including YouTube TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and much more. It also comes with a state-of-the-art remote control that includes a remote finder, so you’ll never lose your remote. And, you can use it as your smart home hub to control your smart devices with the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
If you’re a gamer, you’ll love the GeForce Now service, which lets you stream top-tier games to your TV. All you need in a fast internet connection, and you can stream games like Fallout, Tomb Raider, NBA2K19, and more than 400 others. This streaming service, which can run up to 60 frames per second, doesn’t even require you to have a PC to play these games. However, you will need to pay a monthly fee of $7.99 to have access to all the games.
Roku Express Plus
If you have an older TV, the Roku Express Plus is the best streaming device you can get. Unlike other streaming devices, which use HDMI ports to connect to your TV, you can set this streaming box up with composite cables that are used on almost every older TV. The yellow, red, and white cables plug into your audio and video ports of your TV, or you can use an HDMI cable as well.
Then, you can download the Roku app and use your smartphone as a remote control. Plus, you can plug in some headphones, so you won’t disturb your family while you’re watching TV late at night.
You can access most of the popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. And most movie apps, including Vudu, Movies Anywhere, Google Play Movies, and more.
The Roku Express Plus also works with the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa for voice control. However, the Roku Express Plus only streams video up to 1080p, so this is not a good choice if you want to watch ultra-high-definition movies.
The Best Streaming Sticks for 2020
If you want a smaller and cheaper streaming device, you should consider getting a streaming stick. These devices are small enough to hide behind your TV, but they come packed with just as many features as a streaming box. Here are the best streaming sticks for 2020.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
If you’re looking for a small streaming device that you can take with you wherever you go, the Amazon Fire TV Stick has everything you need and more. While this device costs much less than Amazon’s flagship streaming box, it still allows you to choose from more than half a million movies and TV episodes.
The Fire TV Stick is only about the size of a pack of gum, but it gives you more internal memory storage than any other streaming stick on the market. You can also control it with voice commands using the remote or your Amazon’s Echo device.
To set up the Amazon Fire TV Stick, you only need to plug the device into an HDTV port on your TV and into a wall outlet. After that, just connect to the Internet and start streaming from Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and many more streaming services.
Google Chromecast Ultra
If you’re looking for an affordable device that can stream 4K videos to your TV, then the Google Chromecast Ultra is your best bet. This streaming device, which actually comes in the shape of a disc, uses a streaming method known as “casting.”
This feature allows you to “cast” content from your phone, tablet, computer, or smart speaker and load it up on to your TV. In other words, it lets you stream videos from any of these devices to your TV.
When streaming videos with the Google Chromecast Ultra, you can use your phone to control your TV wherever you are in your home. You can watch your favorite movies and TV shows from most streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
You can also use the Ethernet port for a faster and more reliable Internet connection.
Once you have your streaming device, check out our guide on how to make Netflix run better.