Tech Tip: How to choose the right streaming media device

How To: Compare streaming media devices.

Many of you may be considering streaming device as we move into the holidays. As more and more people cut the cord to stream their favorite movies and TV shows, an increasing number of companies are jumping into the fray by producing new devices and platforms for viewing the content you want to watch.

We’ve picked five of our favorite media streaming devices (in alphabetical order) to help you get an idea of what’s available. We’ve included basic information, along with a few pros and cons, to give you an idea of their distinguishing features.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is currently the fastest Fire TV Stick that Amazon offers—and it’s definitely the way to go if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber. It comes with all the apps you’ll need for streaming, and features Dolby Atmos sound, Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HDR10+. It also supports WiFi 6, and has great live TV integration. If you’re thinking about an Amazon Fire TV streaming device, this model is one to consider.

  • Pros: Fastest performance from any of the current line of Amazon Fire TV Sticks. Handy live TV integration.
  • Cons: A lot of Amazon ad content.

Apple TV 4K
If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, this is one of the fastest and most practical 4K streaming devices available. It allows you to share your tvOS on-screen content quickly and easily from most Apple computers, iPads, or iPhones.

The Apple TV 4K tends to be on the pricey side, so it might not make sense for people who don’t already use Apple devices or have streaming Apple media in their libraries.

  • Pros: New and improved remote. HDR streaming. Multi-user support.
  • Cons: Relatively expensive.

Chromecast (Google TV)
If you don’t have a favorite platform, the Google Chromecast offers a neutral gateway to all your streaming devices. Chromecast hooks directly into the HDMI port on the back of your TV, and draws its power from the USB port. It can then function as a receiver for streaming video links sent from your PC, phone, or tablet.

  • Pros: Generally lower-priced than most of its competitors. Lots of available streaming services.
  • Cons: 4K streaming requires an upgrade to the Chromecast Ultra.

Roku Streaming Stick+
With a quad-core processor, the Roku Streaming Stick+ is one of the faster streaming sticks on the market today and it can access all of your favorite platforms, such as Netflix and Hulu, as well as many other apps in 4K UHD.

  • Pros: Relatively inexpensive. Fully 4K HDR capable. Large app selection.
  • Cons: Yes, it has a large selection of apps, but they’re a mixed bag in terms of quality.

TiVo Stream 4K
The TiVo Stream 4K features a sleek design, a voice-enabled remote, and an Android TV platform with access to thousands of apps. Furthermore, Chromecast is built in. The TiVo Stream 4K aggregates apps and content from a wide variety of channels, including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus and HBO Max through its own app interface.

  • Pros: Fast 4K streaming. Supports most services and apps.
  • Cons: Live TV guide offering is overly weighted towards Sling TV.

Are these the only devices you can use to stream content? Not at all. We’re only scratched the surface with a few of the most popular ones currently on the market. There are a wide variety of devices that you can use to watch your favorite movies and TV shows—from your personal laptop or tablet to many popular video game consoles.

Blackfoot Communications is here to help! Have questions? We’d love to hear from you!