The streaming devices of the likes of Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV or the Chromecast Ultra have come of age, allowing people to let go of their cable subscription for good. Although a stable and reasonably fast internet connection is a pre-requisite to let the devices stream content to the TVs, the continued surge in demand for the devices prove they are here for the long run.
Mentioned here is a quick compare of the three most sought-after streaming devices currently ruling the roost of the market, which includes the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku Streaming Stick and Google Chromecast Ultra.
Amazon Fire TV Stick: The Amazon offering comes bundled with a remote that again is powered by the Alexa smart assistant, the same that serves as the backbone of the company’s Echo range of speakers. The remote is voice controlled too, which makes it naturally best suited for those who already have the Alexa speaker in their homes. Also, there is no dearth of entertainment option with the Fire TV Stick, what with access to content from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW, YouTube, and so on, besides Amazon Video as well.
The device is compatible with any TV that offers an HDMI out port, irrespective of it being Android or iOS based. At $35.00, it also is among the cheaper options but has a max display resolution of 1080p. Buy Amazon Fire TV at $24.99.
Amazon Fire TV 4K resolution: This happens to be the Amazon solution for those who’d like to view things in super high resolution. As is already mentioned, the device supports operation with 4K TVs, which is also complemented with integrated support for Dolby Atmos Audio.
Everything else remains just the same as the base Fire TV Stick except for the price of course, which is a higher $69.99 for the 4K compatible Fire TV Stick. Buy Amazon Fire 4K TV at 69.99.
Google Chromecast Ultra: This happens to be the Chromecast that buyers need to have if they value top notch resolution above anything else. Also, coming as it does from Google, it is deeply entrenched in the Android ecosystem, making it easy to be operated from just about any Android mobile or tablet. That said, Google has also ensured the same ease of operation via any iPhone or iPad as well provided they download the requisite app for it.
Also, unlike other streaming devices, the phone or the tablet serves as the remote. Users would be required to search for the content via the app or Chrome browser and ‘cast’ the same to the Chromecast Ultra for viewing on the TV. Content can be streamed from Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, HBO NOW and such. As for its price, the Chromecast Ultra remains competitive at $69.00. Buy Google Chromecast Ultra at $54.00.
Chromecast: This happens to be the original version, one that supports up to HD quality resolution. At $35, it also happens to be the among the cheaper option while still offering to stream content from all major content providers such as Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, HBO NOW and so on. The other inherent benefit with Chromecast remains intact in that the device can be used to cast content from just about any device, including even the laptop while the devices can still be used for other functions. Buy Chromecast at $20.
Apple TV 4K: This is largely for the Apple fans, those who already have Apple TV installed in their homes. Apple iTunes is also the natural choice for streaming content though other options such as Netflix, Hulu, and ESPN too are available. The bundled voice controlled remote is powered by Siri and will respond with the same voice commands as it does on iPhones. The device is also the costliest of the lot, with a sticker price tag of $179.99. Buy Apple TV 4K.
Roku Streaming Stick+: Roku is among the pioneers here and have a compatible streaming player for the new age 4K UHD TVs as well. These are small and handy devices that can be plugged into any compatible TV that comes with an HDMI slot. It also boasts of a long list of supported content partners that range from Netflix, Google Play, Amazon prime Video, Hulu, CineNow, HBO NOW and so on. The device is also competitively priced at $69.99. Buy Roku Streaming Stick+ at $48.00.
Roku Express Streaming Media Player: This happens to be an original streaming device, one that limits display resolution to 1080p. It also connects to most HDTVs via a Wi-Fi network and can stream contents from Netflix, Hulu, and PBS Kids. It is compatible with both Android and iOS and happens to be cheapest of the lot, priced as it is at just $24.99. Buy Roku Express Streaming Media Player at $24.99.