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Best Picks Best picks by The NetDigz Editors

Roku Ultra

Best Streaming, Universal


Roku Ultra
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details

Fire TV Cube

Best Streaming, Amazon


Fire TV Cube
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details

Apple TV 4K

Best Streaming, Apple


Apple TV 4K
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details

Roku Streaming Stick 4K+

Best Budget Streaming


Roku Streaming Stick 4K+
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details

Fire TV Stick

2nd-Best Budget Streaming


Fire TV Stick
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details
 
We highly recommend you stay with these specific models to ensure a hassle-free experience with TV streaming services.
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Best TV Streaming Device for 2021

 11/8/2021 3:02:19 PM GMT

Cut the cable cord, save some money, and watch TV the way you want. These TV streaming devices are reliable and easy to use.


Who doesn't like to save money? When it comes to bloated cable or satellite channel bundles, your paying a lot of money for content you never use. Fortunately, streaming service providers have evolved to a level where they are as reliable and easy to use as the outmoded cable services. Even better, you can select services that better match your viewing needs, and instead of paying upwards of $100 per month or more for your service, you can replace it with streaming TV services at a significantly lower cost.

It does take a layer of knowledge to select the right streaming devices to replace your cable boxes or satellite receivers; but, we're here to help. The good news, is that like the streaming services that provide the content, the manufacturers of the media devices that deliver the content to your TV, like Amazon, Roku, and Apple, are now delivering fool-proof, easy to set up equipment at very reasonable prices.

Many factors are taken into consideration to determine the best media streaming devices for your TV, including - video and audio formats supported, signal strength, interface ports, and ease of use. Reviews and ratings also consider what ecosystem is prevalent in your home (Apple vs. Google vs. Amazon), and how you might use home integration with your Wi-Fi devices.

One final note - these are the worthiest products in the streaming world today and they all perform admirably. If you are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem (and are willing to live with Apple's premium prices), the Apple TV 4K will be a good choice. Likewise, if you're heavily invested in the Amazon/Alexa ecosystem, then the Fire TV players listed would be a good choice. The Roku devices provide the best of both worlds, as they play nice with all of the three primary technology ecosystems, have the least bias in their menus, and cover the largest spectrum of streaming services available today.



The NetDigz Editors rate the Roku Ultra as the Best Universal TV Streaming Device.
   Photo by Roku Pinterest Pin for Best Universal Streaming Device
 
The Roku Ultra runs on a very fastest processor, providing smoother performance and less wait time for streaming content to load. Performance is further enhanced with a powerful dual-band Wi-Fi antenna for a stronger wireless signal. If you're near your router, you can make a wired connection via the provided Ethernet port.

Roku's remote communicates over Wi-Fi, so you can place the player inside your entertainment cabinet and still have full control. A "Mic" button on the remote gives you voice command capabilities, and is compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google. An included pair of earbuds can connect to the remote, allowing you can watch TV without disturbing others. The channel interface is simple, with customizable channel access, and easy to navigate.

Also available is a free Roku mobile app that lets you operate the player using your Apple® or Android device. The app lets you setup the player, choose your shows, and control everything else from your phone if that's your preferred remote control method.



The NetDigz Editors rate the Fire TV Cube as the Best Amazon TV Streaming Device.
   Photo by AmazonPinterest Pin for Best Amazon Streaming Device
 
The Fire TV Cube video quality is excellent, supporting everything up to 4K picture quality with all the premium HDR formats including HDR 10, HDR 10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG. Audio performance is also well executed with support for Dolby AtmosDolby Atmos®, Dolby Digital Plus 7.1/5.1 surround sound, and stereo. Compatible televisions and audio equipment will perform at there highest levels with content provided through the Fire TV Cube.

The Cube serves as a full Amazon Alexa device with far-field microphones for easy hands-free voice communication with Alexa, to control your TV, plus a full ALexa experience to answer questions about the weather, control smart home devices, and much more. There is an HDMI port on the rear for connecting to your TV, IR port to allow the remote to interact with the Cube box is hidden in an entertainment cabinet, and micro-USB port, and a micro-USB port to use with the included Ethernet adapter if you don't want to connect to the router wirelessly.

Amazon prioritizes its own Prime Video content aggressively, there are ads that show up from time to time, and the home screen cannot be customized. Also, make sure you have a high quality HDMI cable on hand, as the Fire TV Cube does not include one.


The NetDigz Editors rate the Apple TV 4K as the Best Apple TV Streaming Device.
  Photo by ApplePinterest Pin for Best Apple Streaming Device
 
The Apple TV 4K delivers clear and bright images with natural color. With upscaling of lower resolution content and Ultra High Definition video that supports the most important HDR (High Dynamic Range) formats, the Apple TV 4K delivers content flawlessly. Also, the Apple TV 4K can output high-resolution Dolby® Digital Plus surround sound and Dolby Atmos® to compatible home theater systems.

The Apple TV automatically defaults to the best available format supported by your A/V setup and the content you're watching making for an enjoyable viewing experience. The Siri Remote has received a major makeover this year, making it much more intuitive and therefore easier to use. If you want to use your iPhone® or iPad® as a controller, you can download the Apple TV Remote app and control your TV directly from your device.

The system also lets you control your HomeKit-enabled smart home devices through the Apple Home app. The Apple TV also has Apple AirPlay, allowing you to share content from your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® or a computer running iTunes®. With AirPlay Mirroring you can display your Apple portable device's screen on your TV.



The NetDigz Editors rate the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ as the Best Budget Universal Streaming Device.
  Photo by RokuPinterest Pin for Best Budget Universal Streaming Device
 
       The Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ is a compact device that plugs directly into a TV's HDMI port, delivering the largest selection of 4K and HDR streaming video services, movies, shows, and music available. It connects to your network wirelessly via Wi-Fi and employs a high-gain antenna to ensure better and more consistent connections at longer distances from your router.

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ supports a full range of video content, including HDR, HDR10+, Dolby Vision; and HLG, and likewise, facilitates all the important audio formats, including Dolby Atmos®.

Roku's remote communicates over Wi-Fi, so there are no issues with the stick being on the back of the TV. The remote has a "Mic" button that allows voice control, and the Streaming Stick 4K+ is compatible with the Alexa, Siri, and Google voice assistants.

The remote has a rechargeable built-in battery that includes a lost remote finder function.

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ utilizes a quad-core processor to provide a snappy interface, allowing smooth menu navigation and channel loads. Roku's unbiased search function will display multiple streaming sources for anything you wish to watch, allowing you to choose the least expensive option available.

When using the Streaming Stick 4K+, cost-conscious cord-cutters quickly learn that cable and satellite subscriptions are equivalent to burning money. If you prefer to operate the player from your smartphone rather than the remote, Roku's free mobile app is available for both Apple® and Android devices.


The NetDigz Editors rate the Fire TV Stick as the Best Budget Amazon Streaming Device.
  Photo by AmazonPinterest Pin for 2nd-Best Budget Streaming - Amazon
 
The Fire TV Stick 4K supports a full range of video content, including standard HDR, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision; and likewise, facilitates all the important audio formats, including Dolby Atmos®. Home screens are bright, colorful, and operation is snappy and smooth; however, the menus are heavily biased toward Amazon's content.

The Fire TV Stick provides excellent interoperability with its Alexa voice control. Access is provided by a voice control button on the remote to issue commands into the integrated microphone. Voice control is responsive with consist comprehension such that issuing commands feels natural.

Although the stick is a bit on the large side, space conflicts are mitigated by using the included HDMI extender, which also serves to improve the Wi-Fi performance. As with the Roku Streaming Stick+, the Fire TV Stick 4K also includes is a USB wall plug that improves startup performance and eliminates the need to draw power from a USB port on the television.