A media streaming device can transform your so-called dumb TV into a smart one that plays shows and movies from Disney Plus, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Prime Video, and other streaming services.
The best of the bunch is the Roku Ultra with its easy-to-use interface, 4K video streaming, HDR support, voice control, and simple remote.
See more: HDR can make your 4K TV look brighter and more colorful than ever — here’s everything you need to know about this must-have display feature
The world is changing. Gone are the days when a cable subscription was necessary to watch all the latest and greatest TV shows. These days, the best TV shows are coming out on streaming platforms like Disney Plus, ESPN+, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Of course, the best way to take advantage of services like Netflix is by streaming shows straight to your TV.
There are plenty of devices out there to help you connect the latest and greatest video streaming services to your TV, and they’re not all created equal. Before buying, you’ll want to consider a few different things.
For starters, you’ll want to think about whether you want a fully-fledged streaming box, which comes complete with its own operating system and allows you to download and install apps. The alternative is a device like the Google Chromecast, which basically streams content from your phone or computer (called casting); instead of installing Netflix on the TV-connected device, you’ll install it on your phone or computer and then stream from your phone to the Chromecast, which is plugged into your TV’s HDMI port.
Next up you’ll want to keep in mind the specs of your TV. Not all streaming sticks and boxes are able to handle 4K content or HDR playback, so if you have a 4K TV, you’ll want to get one that can stream 4K videos; the reverse is also true, as a non-4K TV won’t be able to take advantage of 4K playback. Last but not least, it might be worth considering the ecosystem you’re most plugged into. For example, Android users might be able to get more use from an Android TV device, while those using an iPhone and Mac might prefer the Apple TV.
We’ve done the research and testing to find the best streaming sticks and boxes to turn your dumb TV into a smart one that can access videos from Disney Plus, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and more.
Note: Nearly all of these products require access to the internet over Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Products that support casting require a smartphone or tablet.
Here are our top picks for the best streaming boxes and sticks:
Best streaming box overall: Roku Ultra
Best budget streaming box: Roku Express
Best high-end streaming box:
Source:: Business Insider