Finding the Right Device for Your Streaming Setup
TV has entered the streaming era, and many people are cutting the cable cord and turning exclusively to Netflix, Hulu, and other on-demand services. To help facilitate the change, many companies now sell streaming boxes and streaming sticks that bring these channels right to your TV screen, but which one of these devices is the best? There are many to choose from, but three in particular come with a distinct set of advantages:
- Roku 3 – There are at least 17 different types of streaming boxes on the market, but the Roku is probably the best of them all. One of the main advantages of the Roku is that it doesn’t prioritize streaming channels, and it lets you set the order you want your channels in, unlike the streaming products made by companies like Amazon that have channels and products to promote. The interface is also very easy to use and gives you a large selection of streaming channels to choose from. One downside: It can sometimes be slow, especially right after the TV is turned on. Roku also makes a streaming stick; it’s a bit slower, but it’s cheaper.
- Chromecast – Chromecast is fast, is easy to use, and has a large number of channels to choose from. Unfortunately, some in-demand channels aren’t available, such as Amazon, Starz, and Encore. It balances that out with an increasing number of apps and add-ons. The streaming stick is also cheaper than a Roku box.
- Fire TV – The main benefit of Amazon’s Fire TV is that it gives full access to Amazon Prime, including music streaming and lots of free videos. What it doesn’t have, however, is the same number of apps available for Chromecast or the sheer number of channels available through Roku.
If you don’t mind some occasional slowness, and you want the most channels, Roku is the best choice. If you mostly just use Amazon, Fire TV is the obvious pick. If you like being able to customize your device with apps, Chromecast is the one for you.
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