The best streamer of 2021: Roku, Apple TV 4K, Fire Stick, Chromecast with Google TV and others in comparison

So, you need a new device to connect to your TV and stream videos, but you are not sure which one? We covered you. This guide will help you find the best streaming device that connects to your TV and broadcasts video – something you’ll probably use for hours every day to watch movies and TV. We reviewed all major and smart TV systems streaming devices on the market today, including Amazon, Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV. With the exception of smart TVs that actually run streaming software from Amazon, Google or Roku, these additional streaming devices you have more apps, simpler remote controls, better search and more frequent updates than the smart ones built into your set.

If you are looking for the best streaming device to use with this new one 4K HDR TV or if your current media streaming device is getting stuck in your tooth, chances are you’ll be more than happy with one of these.

Read more: The best live TV services for cable cutters in 2021

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Roku is our favorite streaming system, with the most streaming app options (now with HBO Max), the simplest interface, and the best search. It also has a content agnostic platform that doesn’t push any media streaming service provider, like Amazon Prime Video or Apple, over another. Plus it’s one of the cheapest TV options with 4K HDR, and even if your current TV doesn’t support those formats, your next one will probably be. And with the AirPlay update, this Roku device is one of the most expensive ways to connect an iPhone or other Apple device to a TV. Plus he may be three years old, but he is still our best choice. Read our review Roku Streaming Stick Plus.

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The Chromecast with Google TV isn’t as good as Roku Streaming Stick Plus, but this TV streaming device is closer than any other device on the market. It outperforms Streaming Stick Plus by adding Dolby Vision compatibility – to get it on Roku TV, you’ll need Ultra $ 100 – but its greatest power is Google Now voice search, which works well for finding things to watch. We also like the impressive integration with other Google services like Google Photos and YouTube TV. The interface looks more evolved than Roku, but in the end we prefer Roku’s simpler approach and reckless search results. Still, the new Chromecast is a better choice for those already living in the Google world. Read our review of Chromecast with Google TV.

The perfect foil for the above two $ 50 streamers, the Apple TV still costs $ 180, but is a better choice for people who want to check out all the feature frames – or who just want their Apple device to use Apple Arcade to play or take full advantage of their Apple One subscription packages. Video purists will appreciate his flexible HDR, while fans of Syria will dig up his voice extras. For most people, however, Apple’s honorable streamer is simply not worth the money, especially now that Roku has all the major apps, AirPlay, and Roku Ultra has Dolby Vision at almost half the price. Read our Apple TV 4K review.

Let’s get away from this first: if you prefer the simplicity of Roku menus based on apps like me, you might like Roku Express more (see below). But Lite presents Express in features for the money. The biggest advantage of this Fire TV is the remote control with built-in voice search and control (the cheapest Roku with voice remote control is the Streaming Stick Plus) thanks to Alexa. The Fire Stick remote control also does not need a field of view to operate. If you can’t reach a $ 50 player, Lite is your best bet. Read our review of Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite.

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Rock’s most expensive streamer is twice as cheap as the Streaming Stick Plus, but you may appreciate its additional features enough to want an upgrade. It offers more benefits, including a headphone jack and programmable shortcuts on the remote control, as well as our favorite feature, the remote browser in case you lose the clicker on the couch cushions. It also provides Dolby Vision video, faster responses, enhanced Wi-Fi and a wired Ethernet port – especially welcome if your home Wi-Fi is congested. Read our review of Roku Ultra (2020).

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We don’t really like it like Fire TV Lite, but still is and Roku. The Roku Express delivers all the goodness of the Roku platform, and includes a remote control, HDMI port and Micro USB port, HDMI cable and a small sticker that holds it in place. And it often sells for less than $ 30. Read our review of Roku Express (2019).

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I don’t like the other two $ 50 streamers on this list, but Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K already makes sense for people who already have their knees on Amazon devices. Like the Lite, Alexa bakes directly on the remote control. With voice control, you can search for videos on Amazon or turn on the Christmas tree. Or both at the same time. Include a huge selection of Amazon content as well as Dolby Vision HDR, and the Stick 4K is still a great choice. Read our review of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.

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On-board streaming soundtracks may be a relatively new development, but Rock’s new Streambar has nailed it. It has a Roku interface that we know and love, along with 4K HDR with enhanced sound for any TV, especially dialogue. It’s smaller and more affordable than its predecessor, the Roku Smart Soundbar, but we think the new Streambar makes more sense to most people. Read our review of Roku Streambar.


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