The recent trend for streaming TV is evolving at a rapid rate to move beyond the regular online streaming sites. Apple brought out Apple TV in 2011 and, since then, many companies have been offering their own TV streaming devices or boxes, which can be attached to any television or device with an HDMI output and a WIFI connection. Channels such as Netflix, Amazon TV and Apple TV have made streaming television an increasingly popular way to enjoy home entertainment. With far more variety to choose from, these streaming channels host al the big shows, as well as movies and documentaries. The streaming devices help users to receive a wealth of television without the inconvenience of streaming via a laptop or tablet. A TV streaming device means you can watch what you want, when you want, on your big widescreen TV. I love my TV shows and am fed up of watching them on my tiny Macbook Air screen so I’ve done some research to help me find the best streaming device. Here is my breakdown of the best of the best:
Apple TV 2015:
Particulary useful for someone who, like me, owns a multitude of Apple devices as the Apple TV device connects well with these. The price is average and the voice control works extremely well. The variety of television available for streaming is vast, as can be seen here.
Amazon Fire TV Stick:
Extremely good value for money, the Amazon Fire TV Stick does the job but just doesn’t have the same streaming capacity as some of the other devices. If you’re on a tight budget and not too fussy about the TV you watch or have very specific shows in mind, then this device really is a bargain.
Google Chromecast 2015:
Much like the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the Google Chromecast is inexpensive but is also limited in the variety of television that the user can stream.
The Nvidia Shield is by far the best streaming device for people who are into gaming. It’s an Android device with a very hefty price tag and is, therefore, only really recommended for people with a serious gaming habit.
The Roku 4:
The Roku 4 is very expensive but it does have the added benefit of providing an excellent 4K video stream. For serious 4K video heads this device would be worth the extra cost.
The Roku Streaming Stick:
By far the best streaming stick on the market, the Roku streaming stick is inexpensive, compact and offers a lot of variety. It is, unfortunately, much slower than the streaming boxes that Roku are producing.
The Roku 2:
Without doubt, the Roku 2 provides the best value for money. It’s fast, has superb variety and looks sleek. Plus its ecosystem is second to no other brand.
The Roku 3:
The Roku 3 is almost identical in terms of aesthetics, speed and variety as it’s older brother, the Roku 2. The main difference being that the Roku 3 has a voice search capability which, in my humble opinion, makes it worth the extra cash. It’s not much more expensive than the Roku 3 but this extra feature just makes it hands down the best streaming device that is currently on the market.
I am, without doubt, going to get my hands on a used Roku 3. Although the new model is not remotely overpriced or out of my budget range, I just don’t see the point in buying new. Roku peoducts have such a good reputation that a used Roku 3 will be in as good condition as a brand new version. These devices are almost indestructible and so by buying a used Roku 3 I will be saving myself a significant amount of cash without compromising on the quality of the product. There are several used Roku 3 devices for sale here.
A used Roku 3 in good condition tends to start at around half the cost of a brand new device and I have even come across some brand new, boxed, never used Roku 3 devices for around half the price of a new one too. It seems that a real bargain is to be had here.
Laziness is my Vice:
The reason I would rather buy a Roku 3 over a Roku 2 is because I am, on the whole, pretty damn lazy. I would rather tear the living room apart searching for the remote than simply change the channel on the set itself. With a Roku 2 I’d have to manually search for the television shows I want to live stream. With a Roku 3, on the other hand, I can simply communicate with my device and tell it what I want to watch. Simple!
Ok, I’m off now to buy my used Roku 3. As always, it’s been great talking to you. I’ll be back soon with more tips, reviews and tales of all things tech.