Streaming Devices: The days of needing a cable plan to watch your favourite movies or TV series are long gone, because you can now stream anything you want whenever you want, The majority of TVs come with app stores that let you download all the most well-known apps, including Netflix, Hulu, and others.
Some of you might not be aware that you can obtain such programmes without always having a smart TV. By acquiring a streaming device, you can easily convert any TV into a smart TV. These devices have user-friendly interfaces and their own operating systems, so you may download any software you want right away.
There are various options available, but if you want the finest experience possible, you must consider their specifications. Choose a streaming device that supports 4K content if your TV is huge. Nobody wants to face lag every time they want to view something, therefore the gadget also needs to be quick and responsive.
Let’s take a look at some of the top streaming devices available in 2022.
20 Best Streaming Devices To Buy In 2022
1. Chromecast With Google TV
The Chromecast with Google TV is still the greatest option overall for your home theatre even though it has been out for well over a year. Long-term use has revealed a few drawbacks, like a small storage capacity that can become clogged with system files and programmes, but that hasn’t stopped us from heartily endorsing Google’s newest puck-shaped device.
Coming up on its second anniversary, it’s still a wonderful buy with a great UI, a great remote, and support for all the audio and video standards you’d expect.
2. Nvidia Shield TV Pro 4K
This tiny wedge-shaped box is a great choice because of its adaptability and capacity. It offers the GeForce Now service, which enables you to play PC games on your television, runs on Android TV and combines a streaming device and gaming console into a small package. It also has built-in Chromecast and Google Assistant functionality. Where this really shines is in its AI upscaling, which can improve HD videos to 4K resolution and add clarity (perfect if you don’t want to shell out the additional cash for the most expensive Netflix tier). All the main streaming providers are accessible through it, and it is quick and user-friendly. The only drawback? It is more expensive than every other model on our list.
3. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
Yes, the name is long, but the $55 Fire TV Stick 4K Max is without a doubt Amazon’s one the beet streaming devices in years. Although the UI still has some flaws, performance has never been greater thanks to an upgraded processor and more RAM. There are seldom any app loading delays, and switching between several services merely requires a few clicks. Everyone won’t be happy with it; those who want a device that supports the Assistant will need to go elsewhere. But the company’s most recent Fire TV Stick is well worth your consideration if you don’t mind Alexa or a hefty dose of advertisements on the home screen.
4. Onn Android TV 4K
Giving up Google’s Chromecast in favour of this Onn Android TV box might not be a bad idea if you’re looking for the most cheap box available. Similar specifications, including built-in Dolby Vision and Assistant support, provide a comparable solution at a much lower cost. You’ll have to make up with a basic Android TV interface that lacks some of the extras that the Chromecast offers, such as Dolby Atmos and HDR10+. However, it is the least expensive box on this list, costing only $30 and frequently going for even less. Get one for each space in your home.
5. Roku Express 4K+
Roku is the industry leader in low-cost streaming devices, and there are currently innumerable varieties available. The Express 4K+, which supports Alexa and Google Assistant, 4K and HDR10+, and better networking than the Express standard, is the best entry-level stick the firm currently produces. Although many people either love or loathe Roku’s user interface, the majority of the standard services you’d expect to see on the competition are available. Although it generally costs $40, it is frequently discounted to as little as $25, making it the ideal price for a TV in a guest room or your bedroom.
6. Roku Streaming Stick 4K
If you’re a Roku customer looking for a better experience, it’s smart to upgrade to the $50 Streaming Stick 4K. It is more effective, loads more quickly, and performs better all around. The largest improvement in this is Dolby Vision, which your TV must support if it is to be useful. The remote is the only thing that separates Roku’s Streaming Stick 4K and 4K+, but if unbranded shortcuts are crucial to you, you must select the more expensive model.
7. Nvidia Shield
In 2019, Nvidia completely revamped the $150 Shield TV non-Pro model, opting for a tube-based form that is simple to conceal behind your television. Choosing the (relatively) less expensive model might not be a bad idea if you don’t need all the high-end bells and whistles of the company’s top-tier streamer. As long as you can justify the cost, it’s a good upgrade because it has more storage and faster speed than a Chromecast. Just keep in mind that this version is not a Plex server.
8. Apple TV 4K
The most recent $180 Apple TV 4K, which has an A12 Bionic — the same chip used in the iPhone XS — may be the most potent streaming device available right now. It can substitute a home console reasonably well thanks to Apple Arcade, and the updated remote now has a D-pad again after earlier iterations had a touchpad instead. Although it obviously lacks Cast functionality and AirPlay won’t be much use to many of our readers, it is a respectable substitute for the Shield TV Pro if you own Apple devices. Even Apple Arcade games can be played on it.
9. Roku Express
Not a big fan of 4K? The entry-level Roku device, which costs less than £30, has the same assortment of apps but only supports HD video. This could be all you need if you don’t have a more modern television. It features a simple UI that even your grandparents could use, like all Rokus do. When on sale, it can occasionally be found for less than £20, and at that cost, it’s a terrific bargain. Roku now offers a 4K version of the Express if you prefer its size and shape to that of the streaming stick.
10. Google Chromecast (3rd Generation)
The older Chromecast model is perfect if you want to keep things simple because it doesn’t have an interface and lets you cast content from your phone to the TV. It also lacks a remote control because playing is controlled by your phone, but because this device is small and unobtrusive, it is a cheap method to upgrade a “dumb” TV.
11. Now TV Smart Stick
This is worth a look if you don’t care much about 4K content and just want a better interface than your smart TV. The Now TV stick, which runs on the Roku operating system, works well with Sky’s services and also provides you access to Netflix, Disney+, and catch-up platforms. One drawback is that you can’t add some well-known apps to the stick, such Prime Video. You could purchase a Chromecast or a Roku Express for the same price, but what makes this different is that it comes with a tonne of material to get you going. Take advantage of this offer to get a month’s worth of Sky Cinema and Entertainment.
12. Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite
You can save money by choosing this option if you’re a Prime member who wants the advantages of a Fire TV device but doesn’t require 4K quality. Even at full price, it still offers a lot, including a large selection of apps, quick performance, and an Alexa remote you can use to search for content. It’s frequently on sale (we’ve seen it for as little as £14.99 during Black Friday) (but not to control power or volume on your TV).
13. Roku Streambar
Want to enhance both your audio and streaming video systems at the same time? The Streambar from Roku is a three-in-one gadget that can be used as a Bluetooth speaker for in-home music playback, a 4K HDR streaming player, and a soundbar for all of your TV’s audio. Although it is smaller than competing soundbars, we discovered that its audio is more potent than most TV speakers and that it can become loud without losing clarity.
14. Roku Ultra
More than twice as pricey as one of the top streaming devices option, Roku’s most expensive streaming box may be worth the upgrade for you if you find the extra capabilities appealing. The 2022 model is essentially the same as the earlier iterations, except it now has the superb Voice Remote Pro.
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K Plus, which also comes with the Voice Remote Pro, is Roku’s alternative package if you really adore the remote and want to save some money. Though its processor isn’t quite as powerful as the Ultra’s, the Streaming Stick 4K can perform almost all of the same tricks, including Dolby Vision HDR.
15. Xbox Series S
The greatest console that also functions as a streaming device is arguably the superb (and genuinely available) Xbox Series S, which costs $299. (that you can find without dedicating your life to hunting it down). It can run streaming media apps like Netflix, Disney Plus, and more, but it cannot display games in 4K. You’ll be glad to know that Kodi can be installed on the Xbox Series S if you are familiar with it. The fact that it also supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision HDR, and Movies Anywhere will please the rest of us.
However, given that the Xbox Series S costs the same as six Chromecasts with Google TVs, it’s a good thing that it also includes a top-notch console.
16. Tivo Stream 4K
Numerous applications? Check. A reasonable cost? Check. Including support for your personal media on external storage? Oh, yes. The Tivo Stream 4K is a fantastic streamer that belongs in this hall of fame for the top streaming gadgets. Additionally, it has HBO and Peacock, unlike some streaming gadgets. Users of Sling will value the live TV integration, and the Google Assistant will carry out your spoken instructions.
17. Xfinity Flex
The Flex is a very affordable option to gain access to streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix and is free for Comcast Xfinity Internet users. Additionally, you may monitor and manage other devices linked to your home network using the Flex.
However, compared to other streaming devices, the Flex includes somewhat fewer services—Disney+ and Spotify, to name a couple—which restricts its applicability. However, Flex devices get early access to the newest streaming service as NBC’s Peacock is available well before its official nationwide debut on July 15. This almost completely makes up for any gaps. Yes, Comcast is providing Peacock Premium to Flex devices for free (a $4.99 value), and it should arrive soon if it hasn’t already.
18. Manhattan T3-R
The Manhattan T3-R is a fantastic choice if you still prefer watching TV over streaming services. If you miss something on TV, you can catch up on it using the catch-up apps from all the major UK broadcasters. It offers Freeview Play, which includes 85 channels, 15 of which are in HD.
With a 500GB or 1TB HDD and the ability to record two channels while watching a third, you have the choice of pausing, rewinding, or watching TV episodes as they are being recorded. Most significantly, the software is straightforward, user-friendly, and stutter-free.
The sole criticism? the lack of 4K material beyond what is offered on YouTube and BBC iPlayer due to the absence of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video apps.
19. Logitech Pro Stream Webcam
It’s essential to have a high-quality webcam on hand if you want HD video quality. A full HD glass lens, two built-in mics to record your speech in excellent audio, and automatic light correction should you be in a scenario with bad lighting make Logitech’s Pro Stream Webcam one of the best on the market. Overall, we strongly recommend this product.
20. Amazon Fire TV Cube
The most potent streaming gadget offered by Amazon has to be the Fire TV Cube. You receive flawless 4K streaming thanks to the device’s Hexa-core processor. Although the gadget already has Alexa built-in, the free Alexa Voice Remote is not necessary. Not only will Alexa assist you in choosing what to watch, but you can also ask her to set reminders, check the weather, and other things.
Additionally, it can manage any connected devices through GDMI-CED, infrared, or the cloud. The cube contains eight built-in microphones, so even if you’re rather far away from it, it can plainly hear you. The Fire TV Cube transmits media at a maximum frame rate of 60 Hz in 4K Ultra HD.
The sheer number of Streaming Devices options available might be overwhelming, especially since they all essentially provide access to a similar selection of channels and content. Since it is possible to watch Apple TV+ on a Roku or Amazon Prime Video on a Chromecast, the features that distinguish the hardware from their platforms are minor—the remotes, the user interface, and the overall experience. We think the Chromecast with Google TV is the greatest choice, but any of the items on our list would work just fine.