TV has changed in the last ten years. At one point in time, it was either cable or nothing. Now, with the popularity of Netflix, Hulu and internet TV at an all-time high, cable is the exception rather than the rule. If you’ve been looking to cut the cord and watch internet TV, you’re probably wondering what the best streaming device for your living room is. How can you narrow them all down, though? That’s what we’re here for.
There are a number of options out there for streaming. Whether you’re an Apple fan who wants to use Apple TV for your content, or you want something smart-home integrated like Alexa, there’s a ton of options. Maybe you’re looking for something more general-use, like Roku? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular streaming options and what each brings to the table. Hopefully this will help you narrow down your options and make a good decision.
Fire TV is Amazon’s proprietary TV streaming platform. There are budget options, like the Fire TV Stick, which just plugs into the back of your TV, and more full-fledged platforms like the Fire TV Cube. No matter which one you’re looking into, there are a number of similarities between the platform’s various hardware devices. Namely, the user interface and the Alexa integration. If you like using your voice to pull up your favorite shows, Fire TV is for you.
For those who really enjoy voice commands, the Fire TV Cube comes with a remote that offers voice-control option. You can navigate menus, search for actors and movies and issue commands all with your voice. It feels very natural to command your entertainment in much the same way you command your smart home features. For people who like high-tech solutions that just work without lots of fiddling and tech knowledge, Fire TV is a perfect fit.
Roku is a very well-known name when it comes to streaming devices. From the budget-friendly Roku Express to full-blown smart TVs with Roku integration, there are versions of the streaming platform across the spectrum of budgets. The best thing about Roku is how straightforward and simple it is. The remote is small and sports only a few buttons. A clean, simple user interface shows you the information you need to see to find your entertainment.
If you’re new to the world of internet TV, or just want a simple way to turn your old TV into a smart TV, the Roku is the best option for you. While it might not sport the same wide variety of options and features as Fire TV or Apple TV, Roku offers a great platform for users who want a simple and clean platform. The low entry price of the Roku Express is also a huge selling point for the platform.
For those users who are fans of the Apple ecosystem, Apple TV is a no-brainer. Offering a great, seamless experience across your Mac, iPhone and Apple Watch, the Apple TV is a great extension of the clean design and deceptive simplicity that makes Apple so popular. Logging in to apps is simple, as you can copy passwords and logins directly from an iPhone or iPad.
While the Apple TV ecosystem doesn’t offer as many apps as a system like Roku, it’s still a robust hub for your media. If you have lots of pictures or videos on your phone you’d like to see on your TV, AirPlay 2 gives you that option. You can even issue voice commands through Siri to find TV and movies you’d like to watch. The only downside? The higher-than-average price when compared to the competition.