While cable used to be a necessary part of any home, times are changing. Now it’s more popular to cut the cord and use streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. To make the most of these, you’ll need the best streaming device too.
There are plenty of these gadgets on the market, which is both good and bad. You have a variety to choose from, but that can make it hard to narrow it down. To help, here are the five best streaming devices for 2020.
1. Roku Streaming Stick Plus
Roku is by far the most popular streaming service, running on 41 million devices in the U.S. It’s easy to see why, too, as the Roku Streaming Stick Plus is the best all-around streaming device out there. It supports 4K and HDR, all major streaming sites and costs just $50.
The Streaming Stick Plus has a better Wi-Fi connection than other Roku devices too. It also supports voice controls and, since it’s app-agnostic, doesn’t prefer one streaming site over another. It may not be the newest or most advanced device out there, but it’s hard to beat.
2. Chromecast with Google TV
The Chromecast with Google TV is a close second to the Roku and the best option for Google fans. Like the Roku, it streams in 4K HDR and costs just $50. It also gives you helpful controls with Google Assistant and an excellent user interface.
Since Google owns YouTube, the Chromecast with Google TV favors YouTube TV over other services. You can still access all the others, just not with the same level of support. If you’re already used to using Google devices, this is an excellent option.
3. Amazon Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen)
If you want something more out of your device, the Amazon Fire TV Cube may interest you. Unlike the previous two entries, this isn’t a streaming stick but a specialized smart speaker. The Fire TV Cube gives you both the most widely sold smart speaker and a streaming device.
At $120, this isn’t the cheapest option, but you get more features than a typical stick. It’s fast, delivers high-quality video and audio and has top-notch voice controls. If you don’t already have a smart speaker, this hybrid device is worth a look.
4. Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite
If you like Alexa but have a smaller budget, the Fire TV Stick Lite may be right for you. At just $30, it’s the most affordable streaming device on this list. It may not have 4K streaming, but it does feature HDR and Dolby Atmos audio support.
The Fire TV Stick Lite also has Alexa voice controls, but not to the extent of the Cube. Fire TV naturally prefers Amazon Video over other sites, but you can access almost everything else too. Know that Fire TV doesn’t have an HBO Max app yet, though.
5. Nvidia Shield TV
Nvidia, the world leader in graphics cards, has also gotten in on the streaming device game. The Nvidia Shield TV may be pricey, but it may be the best option for gamers. On top of streaming video, it’s also a gaming console.
The Shield TV streams in 4K, is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa and supports Steam Link. It does more than just about any other streaming device. Its $150 price tag may turn some people away, though.
Find the Best Streaming Device for Your Home
There’s no one answer to what the best streaming device is. It’s a mostly subjective question, so you’ll have to make that choice yourself. These five options are a great place to start, though.
These five devices all offer excellent features. Compare them to see which you like best.
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