Choose the best streaming device for you from Roku Express, Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV or Mi Box S

by | Jun 3, 2021 | More Home Control | 0 comments

Streaming content on your TV became easier than ever, a smart TV can do the trick, however, it’s limited to a certain type of content and you will miss out on certain streaming services. Streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K, Apple TV and Roku TV support specific streaming services that aren’t supported by your smart TV.

Streaming devices also can change your regular TV to a smart one, with a fraction of the price.

If you want to change your regular TV to a smart one, or just want to upgrade your streaming experience then a streaming device is what you need.

And here we are comparing the most go to streaming devices in the market, to help you choose which one is good for you.

We will compare:

  1. Roku Express
  2. Mi Box S and Mi Box S with remote
  3. Chromecast
  4. Fire TV
  5. Apple TV
  6. Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro

Best streaming device

1. Roku

Roku’s budget-friendly range of streaming devices includes Roku Express, Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+ and Roku Ultra. All these models can be voice-controlled through a remote that you can buy separately.

best streaming device
best streaming device

This platform is the most open platform-agnostic streaming platform, as you can find more than 4500 channels or apps (free & paid). Free channels include Pluto TV, Tubi and Starz. While, paid channels include Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Now, CBS Access and more.

You can also find the Ad-supported Roku channel, which streams Free Movies and TV shows

  • Roku Express comes for 24.99$ with support to only HD content
  • Roku Premiere comes for 39.99$ with support to 4K HDR content
  • Roku Streaming Stick+ comes for 49.99$ with support to 4K HDR content and WiFi 5 connection
  • Roku Ultra comes for 99.99$ with support to 4K HDR content and has an Ethernet port and 2GB of RAM

Unfortunately, if you aren’t using VPN, you won’t be able to use most of these streaming services in some countries.

2. Mi Box S

The Mi Box S 4K from Xiaomi comes with many cool features that allowed it to take place in the best streaming devices list:

  • Smooth user interface based on Android TV official theme
  • Remarkable specifications
  • Strong performance
  • Ability to play games supported on Android, just through connecting a Bluetooth keyboard or gamepad
  • Reasonable price, about 55$ for the Mi Box S
best streaming device
best streaming device

The Mi Box S with remote was made earlier for the Chinese market only, but later they introduced a global version.

And as the name suggests, the Mi Box S with remote comes with a remote in the box, which has a dedicated Google Assistant hot button that gives you the ability to search and navigate your TV via voice commands.

Specifications:

  • Cortex-A53 Quad-core processor
  • Mali-450 GPU
  • Storage: 2GB DDR3 RAM and 8/32GB eMMC 
  • WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1 wireless connectivity
  • HDMI port
  • Audio AUX port
  • USB port
  • Built-in Google Chromecast

You can download Apps such as Netflix, Showmax, Prime Video, Youtube, HBO Now, Hulu and more from Google Play Store or change the official theme to another one you like. 

Unfortunately, You won’t find the Apple TV app. However, you can use 3rd-party App stores to side-load unsupported Apps.

Recently, Xiaomi introduced the Mi TV Stick, which supports Full HD resolution. This version is lower in performance than the original Mi Box S, as it comes with a smaller ram and storage.

3. Chromecast

The Google Chromecast is used arm in arm with your iOS or Android smartphone, tablets or PC to stream or mirror content streamed on them. Although it doesn’t come with a dedicated remote nor a user interface, the Chromecast is extremely popular as it supports every popular streaming service. You can control your TV via voice commands when joining the Chromecast with Google assistant.

best streaming device
best streaming device

Recently, Google implied that there are more than 20,000 Google Cast–ready apps available.

The company introduced 3 versions

  • 3rd generation Standard Chromecast in 2018, which retails for 35$ and:

-supports Full HD video at 1080p @ 60fps

– Has a HDMI interface to connect to your HDTV 

– WiFi 5 for connecting to the internet. 

– Ability to connect internet through Ethernet via a separate optional USB Ethernet adapter

– Micro-USB to power the device through your TV USB port or a USB power adapter.

  • Chromecast Ultra in 2016, which adds 4K Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range (HDR10, Dolby Vision) support to the mix. It retails for 69$.
  • Chromecast with Google TV which was launched recently is similar to Chromecast Ultra but with a dedicated remote and a different user interface.
    The remote is charged via a USB-C port and connects to your TV via an HDMI port.

The new Google Chromecast TV review

4. Amazon Fire TV

The Fire TV connects to your existing TVs to stream online content through Amazon’s own subscription service, Prime Video in addition to Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Apple TV, Spotify and more than 4,000 apps and games from Amazon Appstore. You can also find games on the Fire TV platform such as Hungry Shark Evolution, Pac-Man 256, Hill Climb Racing.

If you are a Prime Video member, you will get unlimited access to the service including original programs integrated into the Fire TV devices.

best streaming device
best streaming device

Amazon has 3 different versions of the Fire TV that runs on Fire OS and:

  •  Fire TV Stick
    – MediaTek processor
    – Supports Bluetooth 4.2 Low energy
    – Support WiFi 5
  • Fire TV Stick 4K
    – MediaTek processor
    – Support Bluetooth 5.0
    – Support WiFi 5
  • Fire TV Cube
    – Amlogic processor
    – Built-in Alexa functionality
    – Support Bluetooth 5.0
    – Support WiFi 5

Alexa support to control the TV via voice commands is available through a dedicated mic button on the remote.

The Fire TV devices have an App store with over 4,000 Apps and games, however, Amazon’s own services are not even supported outside the US unless you use VPN.

5. Apple TV

If you prefer the Apple Ecosystem, then the Apple TV is the one for you. The Apple TV works smoothly giving you great performance, with Siri integration in the 4th generation Apple TV for voice control. 

 best streaming device
best streaming device

The device comes with Apple TV+ service plus other famous services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, Showtime, DirecTV and more. You can also subscribe to a music streaming service such as Apple Music, Pandora Music and Qello.

Apple TV allows you to mirror content from your iOS device wirelessly.

The Apple TV 4K 64GB version is sold for 205$.

Features: 

  • A10X Fusion chip
  • 32/64GB storage
  • Connectivity:
    – HDMI 2.0 for connecting to your HDTV
    – Gigabit Ethernet for internet
    – WiFi 5 or Bluetooth 5.0 for connecting to additional peripherals and IR receiver
  • Powered by a wall socket power
  • Controlled via Apple TV remote
best streaming device
best streaming device

6. Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro

Considered the best Android streaming box, for 199$ you will get great performance whether in gaming or streaming content because of:

  • Nvidia Tegra X1+ chip
  • 3GB of RAM 
  • 16GB of storage
  • Two USB 3.0 ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet support
  • Dual-band AC WiFi 
  • Bluetooth 5.0 standard support
Yay or Nay: Ring Video Doorbell review

Yay or Nay: Ring Video Doorbell review

If you already tried video doorbells, then you already know how important they are. Putting your family safety first makes securing your home a priority. And that’s where Video Doorbells come into place.  Video doorbells help in protecting...

Nvidia Shield TV review, is it worth buying?

Nvidia Shield TV review, is it worth buying?

The latest Nvidia Shield TV model came in with a cylindrical black chassis that differentiate it from other similar products in the market. It’s a streaming video player like no other; for a reasonable price of 149$ you get an AI upscaling feature...

SwitchBot review: is it a Good deal?

SwitchBot review: is it a Good deal?

Home automation can be a confusing process because of different protocols, compatibilities and requirements for each product, not to mention the cost of going Smart. However, you can automate your home without all that fuss, simply by using...