Google Chromecast UltraThe Google Chromecast Ultra is built solely to stream content from your phone or computer to your TV. That means there's no user interface, no apps to install. The flagship Chromecast is the Chromecast Ultra, which sets itself apart from other Chromecasts with its ability to handle 4K streaming, which is a pretty big deal. One of the great things about the Chromecast Ultra is that it interacts with your other Google devices. For example, you can tell a Google Home speaker to search videos on YouTube or play music on your TV through the Chromecast.
Nvidia Shield TVThe Nvidia Shield TV Pro Home Media Server is a great option if you also love gaming. It produces great images in 4K HDR quality, and it uses its Dolby Atmos and DTS-X features to offer a surround sound experience. It has a built-in Google Assistant feature, and Chromecast 4K so you can access your favorite apps. With the Nvidia Shield, you can access a range of streaming services and websites, and even use it for gaming. It is also Smart Home Ready, so you can use it to control other devices in your home via voice command.
Apple TV 4KThe Apple TV 4K supports iTunes videos, Apple Music, and AirPlay streaming—not to mention Dolby Vision HDR. It has every major streaming app, including Amazon Video and the interface is slick and user friendly. There is also an option that allows users to copy login info directly to the Apple TV from other apple gadgets, which saves login time. The Siri remote has full support for TV volume and power and you can search for content, including cross-platform searches. You can also send media via AirPlay 2 from a supported iOS device. You still have access to heavy hitters like Netflix, Sling TV, and more recently, Amazon Prime Video.
Roku PremiereThe Roku Premiere is capable of streaming more than 1,000 "channels" like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Amazon Video, Sling TV, and YouTube. The Roku Premiere is powerful enough to show 4K and HDR content. The Premiere also has a 4K Spotlight channel if you want to easily find 4K movies and shows. If you want to control the box from your phone instead of the included remote, you can do that with the Roku mobile app for iOS or Android. The inclusion of a free HDMI cable is also a great thing.
TiVO Bolt OTAThe TiVO Bolt OTA acts as a digital DVR for all the shows you watch from free channels. With the TiVO, you can record shows over the air and play them back at your convenience. It has 1 TB of memory and can record up to 150 hours of HD content. The Bolt OTA can also stream shows from services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and YouTube if you feel like using only one device for everything. The Bolt OTA requires you to buy the box and then pay for the TiVO service to get the most out of it.
Google ChromecastThe google Chromecast is a tiny, simple streaming device that works in tandem with devices you're already using — namely your phone or tablet. It supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR. Chromecasts use the apps you've already got on your phone to control playback and search for content. Google Home also makes search very convenient. The Chromecast is also deeply integrated into the Google ecosystem and supports Google Assistant, as well as any Google smart home devices. Users of iOS, Mac, and Windows devices can still get plenty of use out of the Chromecast as each of them supports casting across tons of apps.
Fire TV RecastWith the Fire TV Recast, you're able to watch live TV or record your favorite shows. The Recast gives you access to over-the-air channels, works with Prime Videos, and provides access to premium subscription services. Though a separate HD antenna is necessary to access OTA channels, the Fire TV mobile app helps you set it up in a spot with the best possible reception. It lets you record and watch up to two programs at once, and stores up to 75 hours of HD DVR recordings. Pair the Recast with an Alexa-enabled device to search for shows, change channels, browse, or schedule recordings, all with just a voice command.
Roku UltraThe Roku Ultra supports 4K and HDR. It features an Ethernet port to help improve connection speeds and even adds a MicroSD card slot to store even more apps or work as a source for pictures and video. It has a USB port, so you can view content from any compatible device. The box also features a "lost remote" button that will trigger a tone from the remote when you can't trace it. The remote has both a headphone jack for private listening and dedicated power/volume buttons that can control TV volume, depending upon the model. Night-Listening mode automatically adjusts volume scene-by-scene and the included JBL headphones offer great sound.
Roku Streaming Stick PlusThe Roku Streaming Stick Plus delivers 4K HDR video and Dolby Atmos Audio. The discreet design extends beyond just its physical profile. You can set it up anywhere within your home's Wi-Fi range — no Ethernet required. The only actual requirement with the Streaming Stick Plus is a TV or any display with a HDMI port and USB. One amazing thing about the Streaming Stick Plus an awesome user interface. Roku OS uses an app-agnostic approach, which makes finding the best place to watch what you want easier than with almost any other device on the market.
Amazon Fire TV CubeThe Amazon's Fire TV Cube features a combination of the Echo speaker and Fire TV stick. You can use the Alexa assistant to control your TV, cable box, soundbar or other audio equipment. Ask it to play your favorite shows or music, too. Even the volume can be controlled through voice commands. Amazon's Fire entertainment hub gives you instant access to all your favorite streaming services like Prime Video, Netflix, HBO, Showtime and more. That includes a large number of 4K Ultra HD-ready content that streams at a super-smooth 60fps. The Fire TV Cube also gives you direct access to YouTube, Facebook, and more with two built-in web browsers.