The options for television streaming are becoming more varied, and depending on your budget and need, there are several options for you to choose from. If before, one needed to shell out at least $100 for a TV streaming device, nowadays $30 is enough to get you one.
If you are planning to purchase a TV streaming device or service for the holidays, here's a guide for you to help in your choices.
What makes devices differ from each other is the ease of access to videos and apps. There are devices that have voice features, but on-screen menus still require a remote to navigate.
Chromecast is one an exception to this, as with Chromecast you begin with a video from your iPhone or Android and cast it to the screen by tapping a button.
Roku has an almost complete app library, with only iTunes missing from its roster. If you want to access iTunes, you'll need an Apple TV for that.
Amazon's Fire TV does not have iTunes, ABC, Vudu, Freeform, and Google Play.
Apple TV has an extensive app selection as well, but it does not have direct access to Amazon, Google Play, Playstation Vue and Vudu.
A subscription to these services is still required, as the device only allows playback on big screens.
The Roku Express is the cheapest at $30, but expect a slower interface and no remote. But it's the best choice if you are looking for an entry level device which offers a wide app selection.
Next on the list is the Chromecast, which will cost you $35, very affordable for its price, but you will not get a remote.
Last for the entry level devices is Amazon's Fire TV Stick. At $40, a voice remote is included and Alexa assistant queries on various information.
Mi Box by Xiaomi is an Android device that will cost you $69. With that price, you can watch 4K videos, but of course, your TV must support 4K. So far some Netflix and Youtube videos offer 4K resolution.
Chromecast Ultra by Google will cost you $69 also, and it also supports 4K and HDR.
The Roku Premiere is the priciest of the bunch, at $80, but the problem is it has no voice support. You can get a Fire TV for $90 that has a voice remote and can support 4K.
For those who has more money to shell out, the choices are the Roku Premium Plus ($100) and the Roku Ultra ($130). Both devices have 4K and HDR, and you can the headphone jack in both remotes in case you want to watch but everyone in the house is already sleeping.
Apple TV starts at $149 and is great for those who want to do more than just watch as there are many apps that you can access through iTunes.