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5 Best Streaming Devices 2021: Fire TV Stick, Roku, more

August 18th, 2021 at 10:08 AM
Best Streaming Devices

We have gone away from the question, “What channel is that show on?” as a society. Now, you’re more likely to ask someone, “What platform is that show on?” So much of TV these days can be classified where someone can watch it. Plenty of people have cut the cord over the past few years, relying only on streaming services to get their entertainment. If you don’t have a smart TV, you need to find a way to get those streaming services. That’s where a streaming device comes in. These are gadget you plug into your TV that will help you stream shows and movies. For those who are new to this, you probably are wondering how to get Netflix or Hulu. With the five best streaming devices that we’ve listed below, you’ll be better equipped to know where a show is located.

The best streaming devices for picture resolution

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
5 Best Streaming Devices 2021: Fire TV Stick, Roku, more Image source: Amazon

If you have a 4K TV, you want a 4K streaming device. That’s why the Fire TV Stick 4K is such a solid choice. This delivers brilliant pictures with access to 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR, and and HDR10+. This comes with an Alexa Voice remote that allows you to search for channels, apps, and more easily. You can also control the volume of the TV with it. This delivers Dolby Atmos sound on select titles. There are tens of thousands of channels on this. You will also have access to all of Alexa’s skills and all of the database knowledge. You can download Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and more. Watching more than 500,000 movies and TV episodes will sure keep you occupied. Also, you can watch live TV and sports, thanks to the ability to watch subscriptions with SlingTV, YouTube TV, and more.

Key Features:

  • Delivers brilliant pictures with access to 4K Ultra HD
  • Dolby Atmos sound on select titles
  • Can watch live TV and sports
Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV controls) | Dolby Vision… List Price:$49.99 Price:$34.99 You Save:$15.00 (30%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Connect with more devices with this best streaming device

The Roku Express 4K+ 2021 gives you flexibility for watching your favorite shows and movies. This is a wireless device that streams smoothly. This will allow you to connect with multiple devices that are on your network, so more people can watch at once. All of your favorite channels, like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, YouTube and more, are front and center on your customizable start screen. It comes with a premium HDMI cable just to plug in to the Internet. You can power up your TV, control the volume, and use the Roku all from the Roku remote. Watch live TV on the Roku Channel and also on more than 150 other channels. You can also use voice controls with this remote. Stream in 4K, HDR, and HD with sharp resolution, thanks to this. Furthermore, this can be mounted to keep it in one place.

Key Features:

  • Customizable start screen
  • Watch live TV on the Roku Channel and more
  • Wirelessly connect to multiple devices
Roku Express 4K+ 2021 | Streaming Media Player HD/4K/HDR with Smooth Wireless Streaming and Rok… List Price:$39.99 Price:$29.99 You Save:$10.00 (25%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

This one is for Apple lovers

Best Streaming Device for Apple Users
2021 Apple TV 4K Image source: Apple/Amazon

If you love your Mac, your iPhone, and iPad, check out the 2021 Apple TV 4K. This gives you the technology that you’re used to with an easy-to-navigate interface. The sound that kicks in, thanks to the Dolby Atmos technology, will blow you away. It fills the room for an immersive experience. This has 4K high frame rate HDR with Dolby Vision. It delivers fluid and crisp video. Also, an A12 Bionic chip gives a big boost to audio, video, and graphics. You’ll have a better game and app experience because of it. This also has a Siri Remote with a touch-enabled clickpad. All your streaming apps are available to download and enjoy. You can also get more out of your TV by using Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, and Apple Music.

Key Features:

  • A12 Bionic chip
  • Siri Remote with a touch-enabled clickpad
  • Dolby Atmos sound technology
2021 Apple TV 4K (32GB) List Price:$179.00 Price:$169.00 You Save:$10.00 (6%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

A streaming device for lower resolution

Best Streaming Device for 1080p TVs
Google Chromecast 3rd Generation Image source: Google/Amazon

Not everyone has a 4K TV. For those who don’t, check out the Google Chromecast 3rd Generation. You’ll still be able to stream your favorite shows and movies on this. The resolution is up to 1080p 60fps. You can watch live TV, YouTube, and stream photos. You just plug this into your HDMI port and you’ll be able to stream immediately. This has over 2,000 apps such as Netflix, Peacock, Bravo, HBO Max, Discovery+, and more. Chromecast and your Google Home also will work together to activate voice commands, allowing you to search more seamlessly. It supports Android 4.2 and higher, iOS 9.1 and higher, macOS x 10.9 and higher, Windows 7 and higher operating systems. This also works with cast-enabled apps.

Key Features:

  • Has over 2,000 apps
  • Can stream photos and shows
  • Supports a number of operating systems
Google Chromecast (3rd Generation) Price: Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Replace cable with this device

Best Streaming Device to Replace Cable
NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV 4K HDR Streaming Media Player Image source: NVIDIA/Amazon

The NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV 4K HDR Streaming Media Player delivers high performance. It is powered by a NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor, making it the most powerful Android TV streaming media player. This delivers vivid pictures with Dolby Vision HDR and booming surround sound with Dolby Atmos technologies. This will enhance HD video in real time to 4K. It is compact and designed to disappear behind your entertainment center. This has a built-in power supply, Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band AC Wi-Fi, and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. The new remote has backlit buttons and is customizable to your liking. Working with so many apps, it lets you stream all of your entertainment. Also, you can add a game controller (sold separately) and play games like Fortnite right on your TV. This gives you access to live TV from Hulu Live, YouTube TV and many more. The voice remote works with the built-in Google Assistant for responsive commands. Also, you can control it all seamlessly through Google Home or Alexa or Echo. There’s also a lost remote indicator.

Key Features:

  • Built-in power supply
  • Voice remote
  • Enhances HD video in real time to 4K
NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV 4K HDR Streaming Media Player; High Performance, Dolby Vision, Google… Price:$149.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Check out our guide to the best 4K TVs!

Chris Hachey handles e-commerce and sponsored content for BGR. He has worked as an editor and writer for over a decade for various publications and distribution services. He focuses on consumer products to help you find the best of what's on the market. When he's not searching for the top deals, he's likely watching his favorite sports teams or walking around his hometown with his fiancée and his dog.

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