Currently, the most used streaming devices in North America are the Amazon Fire TV Stick, followed closely by Roku devices. As more and more people swap out their cable box and satellite dish for video streaming devices, these options will only become more and more popular.
While streaming devices are a convenient and affordable option, Smart TVs are becoming increasingly affordable over time. So while streaming devices are currently a great option, especially if you have multiple TVs you would like to leverage for streaming services, most people will start to opt for the Smart TV in the future.
In this post I'll look at some of the things you don't really need when it comes to your video streaming device and review some of the top recommendations for 2022, so that you can confidently decide with streaming device is best for your home entertainment needs.
So whether you're cutting the cable cord, or just keeping your options open, let's jump into video streaming devices and their features.
Here we go.
Things I don't think you need in a streaming device
The first one that comes to mind is the Fire TV Cube. While it has some great features, like 4K streaming and hands-free voice control, I don't think it needs to act as a smart hub for your home. Things like turning of your lights start to overlap with Smart Hub territory, and while this makes sense in the case of the Apple 4K TV, due to their lack of smart hub options, when it comes to Amazon and their smart hub options, from the Echo Dot to the Show, having another semi-addition to the hub space seems to be a bit of a stretch when it comes to the purpose behind this functionality.
Having a smart assistant built into everything. While I love the convenience of voice control, and integrated Alexa support can be nice on your Fire TV Stick remote, I would rather leverage an Alexa smart speaker, so that I can use it is a smart home hub, rather than depending on my TV remote.
Roku Streaming Stick 4K
Best in Affordability
Connecting via WiFi and plugging right into the HDMI port on your TV, keeping it out of sight with a simple setup. With better WiFi capability, it is fast and has long-range support, so you can plug this in and enjoy your favorite shows anywhere in your house.
Whether you are using the remote, or your voice, you can quickly search and control your streaming device. It is also compatible with popular voice assistants, like Google, Alexa and Siri.
Simple to use.
Includes voice control features.
4K streaming quality.
Only supports a wireless connection.
Show discovery and tracking not as intuitive as other brands.
Get your new streaming device today and enjoy 4K viewing!
Apple TV 4K (32 GB)
The Apple TV 4K is a step above the rest, including Dolby Atmos for the best in audio quality, the A12 bionic chip gives a big boost to your audio, video and graphics for the ultimate viewing experiences. With access to Apple Original shows and movies from Apple TV+, you can also access your favorite streaming services such as Netflix, Prime and Disney+.
The newly upgraded Siri remote with a touch enabled click pad makes interfacing with this device easy. You can also enjoy private listening with up to two sets of AirPods. Leverage your Apple TV as a smart home hub for your Apple HomeKit devices and enjoy the streamlined effect it will have on your home automation setup!
Intuitive streaming, show recommendation and tracking.
Dual purpose - can act as a smart home hub for Apple HomeKit
Protects user privacy - limited data collection.
4K streaming quality.
No voice control.
For anyone leveraging Apple HomeKit, this is the streaming device for you!
Chromecast with Google TV
Best for Google Assistant Users
Adding a remote has made this video streaming device a lot more functional. With great picture quality and a simplified navigation menu, this video streamer is an affordable option for all the Android users out there. Able to sync up with other Google devices, you can even sync your speakers to your Chromecast, creating a surround sound setting in your home.
This device is also family friendly, allowing for separate profiles for children, with parental controls to restrict access to different streaming services, time limits to screen watching and a set bedtime that stops streaming after that point. A choice you can feel good about putting in every room in your house and when its this affordable, why wouldn't you?
4K HDR video streaming.
Live TV only support YouTube TV.
For anyone leveraging Google Assistant products, or is team Android, this is the streaming device for you!
Video streaming devices still have a big role to play, as people continue to shift away from cable and satellite TV. The convenience of watching what you want, when you want and only paying for the subscriptions you choose is just too convenient. As people shift more into the on demand streaming space, video streaming devices will have to continue to improve their functionality over time.
What does this mean? Companies should stick to the basics of what viewers want. Intuitive menu navigation, smart algorithm recommendations, the ability to alphabetize watch lists, and fast, high-quality audio/visual content. Adding random bells and whistles will ultimately detract from what people are really looking for and not in an impressive way.
Which video streaming device will you add to your home today and why?
Let me know in the comments below!
Already have a video streaming device, but needing help with installation and setup? Reach out to one of our smart home techs today, so we can help get your smart devices up and running without the hassle!
Further reading on Local Intellitech: Have you ever wondered which video streaming device is right for you?
Checkout this blog post where I discuss everything you need to know about a Roku Streaming Device.
A cost-effective streaming device, the Roku streaming device gives you the smart TV experience, without the hefty price tag.
With different functionality like it's Private Listening Feature (instead of Bluetooth) and screen mirroring, the ability to access Apple Music and even Zoom on your TV, there is a lot this affordable streaming device can do!
Disclosure: I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. This site is not intending to provide financial advice. This is for entertainment only.