With a streaming device, you can instantly transform 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 thousands of movies and TV shows on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and 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, here is our list of the best streaming devices of 2020, from the best budget streaming stick to the best high-end 4K streaming device, and everything in between.
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:
Roku Express+: Best Streaming Device for Older TVs
If you have an older TV, the Roku Express Plus might be the only streaming device that will work for you. Unlike other streaming devices, which connect to your TV with an HDMI cable, this streaming device comes with composite cables that can be found on almost every older TV.
This streaming box comes with yellow, red, and white cables that plug into the audio and video ports of your TV. And, if you don’t know what kind of ports your TV has, you can still connect this streaming device with an HDMI cable as well.
The Roku Express Plus also works with the Google Assistant and Alexa, so you can control your TV with voice commands. However, the Roku Express Plus only streams HD video, so this is not a good choice if you want to watch 4K movies. And, since Roku stopped making this model a while ago, it is quite expansive if you can find it at all.
A streaming stick is small enough to hide behind your wall-mounted TV, and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Lite is the cheapest option on the market today. This budget streaming stick will give you access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes for under $30.
Amazon’s new Fire TV Lite is a stripped-down version of the company’s best-selling Fire TV stick. While Amazon upgraded the processing power and added Dolby Atmos sound to its new streaming stick, it also removed the TV controls from the remote. That means you’ll have to use another remote to turn your TV on and off or control the volume on your TV, soundbar, or receiver.
The Fire TV Stick Lite remote does feature a voice control button, so you can ask Alexa to search for movies and TV shows and launch apps or channels. However, this streaming stick has a maximum resolution of 1080p, so you can’t use it to stream 4K content.
If you have a 4K TV, the Roku Streaming Stick+ is one of the best streaming devices you can get. This model has a long-range wireless receiver, so you won’t have to point your remote directly at the TV.
Plus, the Roku Streaming Stick+ remote comes with volume and power buttons, so you won’t need to use another remote to control your TV. The remote also has a voice button that lets you search for content by title, actor, director, genre, and more.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ works with Alexa and the Google Assistant. It supports 4K and HDR streaming, so you will get the best picture quality for your Ultra HD TV. This Roku model also supports private listening with the Roku app, so you won’t disturb your family when watching TV at night.
Chromecast With Google TV: Best Streaming Device for Google Users
Google made some major upgrades to the Chromecast in 2020. The new Chromecast now comes with a remote and the Google TV interface. But don’t worry, you can still use this streaming device to cast videos from your smartphone, tablet, or computer to your TV.
The previous Chromecast models did not come with a remote or an interface, so you could only cast videos from your smartphone and other devices to your TV. With the Google TV interface, you now get all the streaming channels and apps that other streaming devices come with, such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more.
Google’s new remote has volume and power controls, along with an input button, so you won’t have to use another to access Google TV. The remote even has a Google Assistant button that you can use to search for content with voice commands. And, with Bluetooth 5.0 support, you can connect your Chromecast to your headphones for private listening. This streaming device supports 4K streaming, HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos.
Roku recently upgraded its best streaming device to improve the WiFi capabilities and make it faster. That means you can use the new Roku Ultra in any room in your home, and you won’t experience as much buffering as before.
Unlike most streaming sticks, the new Roku Ultra comes with an Ethernet port, so you can connect it directly to your WiFi router to get the best picture quality possible. It is also the first standalone streaming device from Roku to feature Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound. With this device, you can stream 4K videos with HDR.
The Roku Ultra’s remote control also comes with a headphone jack, so you can watch your shows without disturbing your family. Plus, there’s a lost remote finder on the streaming box, which makes your remote beep, so you can find it easier. The 2020 version of the Roku Ultra is available for pre-order now, and it will be released on October 15, 2020.
Amazon Fire TV Cube: Best Hands-Free Streaming Device
The Fire TV Cube is Amazon’s best streaming device so far. This streaming box comes with Alexa built-in, so you don’t have to touch your remote to control your TV at all. Plus, you can use this streaming box as a smart speaker to control your other smart home devices as well.
With the Fire TV Cube, all you have to do is say “Alexa play It’s a Wonderful Life,” and your TV will start playing the movie. It comes with eight microphones that can hear your voice commands, no matter where you are in the room. There’s even support for Bluetooth 5.0, so you can easily connect your headphones, speakers, and game controllers to this streaming device.
Plus, the Fire TV Cube comes with a powerful hexa-core processor, which means your shows and movies will load faster. The Fire TV Cube supports 4K streaming, HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos. It even supports 7.1 surround sound, which makes it great for home theaters.
Apple TV 4K: Best Streaming Device for Apple Users
If you have more than one Apple device, you might want to consider getting an Apple TV. This streaming device lets you “mirror” your iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer’s screen directly to your TV. Then you can use the Siri-enabled remote to control your TV with your Apple devices.
The Apple TV 4K is powered by an A10X Fusion chip, which makes it one of the fastest streaming devices today. Plus, it comes with a Gigabit Ethernet port, which means you can connect it directly to your WiFi router and get the fastest connection possible. It also supports 4K video, HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos, making it the most powerful streaming device on the market.
You can get the Apple TV 4K with 32 GB or 64 GB of storage space, which us more than enough space for all your movies and TV shows. Plus, the Apple TV comes with Siri built-in, so you can use voice commands to find new movies and TV shows. If you don’t have a 4K TV, you can save some money by getting the Apple TV HD.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro: Best Streaming Device for Gamers
If you’re looking for a fast streaming device, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro has the best features you can get. It comes with a powerful eight-core processor, a 256-core GPU, 16 GB of storage, and 3 GB of RAM, making it the fastest streaming device on the market.
The Nvidia Shield Pro supports 4K streaming and Dolby Vision HDR. Plus, it uses artificial intelligence to upscale HD content to 4K at 30 frames per second. That means your old movies and TV shows will look better than ever. Plus, it supports 7.1 surround sound with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus.
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 more. It also comes with a state-of-the-art remote control that includes a remote finder, so you’ll never lose your remote. It also comes with the Google Assistant built-in, and you can use it to control your smart home devices.
If you’re a gamer, you’ll love the GeForce Now service, which lets you stream top-tier games from the cloud. All you need in a fast internet connection, and you can stream games like Fortnite, Fallout 76, Grand Theft Auto V, and hundreds of other titles. However, you will need to pay a monthly fee of $7.99 to have access to all these games.