Most of the big names in set-top boxes have been busy upgrading their devices this year, which means you may need a refresh when it comes to Which 4K streamer is going to be the best buy for you. Here's our (relative) short, point-by-point guide to the best devices on the market, and how to tell the differences between them.
For the sake of brevity, we will not provide you with an exhaustive list of each app you can run on these devices, suppose you can get Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Plex, HBO, Showtime, and all the other common video game programs on these devices. unless we tell you anything else. Instead, we will focus on a handful of important differences in the software and app selections for each gadget.
We will also stick to the top unit in each line (Four TV, Roku), with a brief mention of the others.
More than ever, your choice of set-top box is less about the box itself and more about the second set you are using, and the ecosystem you've already invested in, and the digital assistants you already have friends with.
Apple TV 4K
Cost: $ 180 for 32GB Features and features are now largely comparable, with a few reservations, so you have to look at the bigger picture also. storage space, $ 200 for 64GB of storage space
Important Hardware Features: It supports 4K and HDR playback, as well as Dolby Atmos audio standard. You can control it with Apple's Siri, use it to manage devices that are compatible with Apple's HomeKit, and radiate its content through Apple's AirPlay.
Important Software Features: If you want iTunes movies and appear On the big screen with a set-top box, this is the only smart box that can do it (unless you use the movie resolution) – and that means it's the only box that covers everything from Apple, Google, Amazon and Rest. It works seamlessly with other Apple products and services like Apple Music, unlike any other streaming device.
Provides the best specifications of a device like this in the long term (Nvidia Shield Except) – which means faster and smoother operation for menus, apps and 4K playback based on the time we've used with it, as well as more potential for applications and games, although developers have not really embraced Apple's vision: Minecraft for Apple TV recently became real and nobody checked and it's no Spotify app.
The TV app makes an effort to reconcile viewing and searching across multiple services and more devices (start watching an iPad, stop watching Apple TV) It includes HBO Now, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu , but Netflix and YouTube are missing (you must use these apps separately).
Why can you buy it: Your entire movie collection is on iTunes, or you use a lot of oth's Apple devices and want to complete the set. It's perfect for screensavers from iOS or macOS, and everything you can do through it (presentations, images). With regard to the quality of the audio and video, you can come up with screen-60fps 4K, 7.1 surround sound. It is also one of the best.
Cost: $ 70
Important Hardware Specifications: Chromecast Ultra is no longer the latest Chromecast, but it's Still the only family who can play 4K and HDR content. It also has an Ethernet port, if you need it.
Important Software Features: Chromecast is not a standalone device and lacks a true interface or remote control by itself, instead, it's an extension of your phone, tablet, or laptop. It makes it very easy to use and also a little limited: You need another device to make it work.
Cool stuff that Chromecast can do in addition to the obvious video and music playback: Clear the entire screen of your laptop (via Chrome) or mirror an Android device screen, branch out in presentations and photos, allow easy guest access for visitors, and working with Google Home ("Hi Google, Play Netflix on My TV"). It is extremely versatile.
The big holes in apps are Amazon Prime Video and everything made by Apple (so no iTunes movies and no Apple Music). You do not get any kind of universal search across applications, either since it only runs from your phone or computer.
Why you can buy it: It's refreshing platform agnostics, without much of an interface of itself: It works with lots of apps on iOS and Android. , and with Chrome on Windows and MacOS. It has much more strings in the bend than just video streaming (screen and audio throughput) and it's relatively cheap – check out $ 35 Chromecast if you can live with 1080p.