What is a Streaming Device? Which are the Best Media Streaming Devices for 2022?
Have you cut the cable cord? Are you searching for a supplement for a TV package? If yes, it is time to purchase a media streaming device. Compared with a standard TV, media streamers like Amazon Fire Stick and more tend to have faster performance and bigger application selection.
There is so much competition between device makers, and hardware is becoming more capable, affordable, and faster. Thus, it sometimes becomes difficult to decide the right one for your home. But no need to worry. Below is the list of the best media streaming devices for 2022. But first of all, let us understand what a streaming device is and how it works?
What is a Streaming device? How Does it Work?
A streaming device is a hardware that helps you stream video and audio content on your smart TV. It is a small box or stick that you place in front of your TV set to connect to streaming sites. A streaming device works when you connect it to the Internet so that processing data can come from the streaming service. It is a standalone gadget that you connect to a streaming service directly.
If you want to use a streaming device, subscribe to the streaming service. Some services come with a monthly subscription, while others are free.
Best Media Streaming Devices for 2022
Below are the names of streaming devices in alphabetical order. So, go through this and make your decision to purchase a good streaming device:
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
The Amazon 4K Max is one of the best Fire TV sticks with improvements like Wi-Fi 6, a faster processor, and picture-in-picture support. Furthermore, if you have a ring doorbell, you can see a video when someone presses the button. In addition, it delivers 4K resolution at 60Hz, with support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and other HDR and surround-sound formats.
The 3 G remote adds additional buttons for TV control. Moreover, you can manage the volume of Bluetooth speakers and headphones using the remote control. There are also advertisements on the home screen and promotions for Amazon-owned content from IMDb TV and Prime Video.
Chromecast with Google TV
Google was a shadow of Amazon's streaming media till the arrival of Chromecast and, specifically, the Google TV user interface. Google TV succeeds Android TV and has been rolling out Smart TV since 2021. It is better looking, more searchable and intuitive, and crucially excellent in suggestion making.
It gives search results with an even hand. Top recommendations will be from streaming services that you already subscribed to. Though it does not have many apps like its rivals, you can make up for this by casting from your tablet or mobile phone.
Roku Streaming Stick 4K
The Roku streaming stick has a small size, but it is noteworthy. You will get the Dolby vision on the Roku stick to see your favourite streaming shows in the right colour balance and contrast. Moreover, this Streaming Stick is a perfect balance of performance and price, providing smooth streaming and quick navigation.
When you test the Streaming Stick 4k, you can see content crispness jump to 1080p and then 4k in a short time. You can also notice app loading like Chromecast with Google TV. It puts the app above the content, so it is a perfect streaming interface.
Nvidia Shield TV / Pro
Nvidia Shield TV has a cost thrice the entry-level 4K HDR streamers. However, it is an incredibly powerful streaming player due to its cutting-edge AI upscaling tech and Dolby Vision and HDR10 content support. In addition, you will get a revamped Shield remote with it and Android TV's latest version, serving as Nvidia's game-streaming service gateway.
Powered by a neural network, it has been 'trained' using hours of footage and hugely sharpened content. But it has a few limitations. For example, it doesn't offer Apple TV. Also, it is more expensive than a Roku Streaming Stick – but you get what you pay for.
Apple TV 4K
Though Apple's 4K TV box is an incremental improvement over the original, it is one of the best streamers to purchase. It has a zippy A12 Bionic, while an HDMI 2.1 port enhances 4K HDR frame rates to 60fps. In addition, Wi-Fi 6 improves connectivity, with a noticeable rise in stability and speed.
It has refreshed Siri Remote, which is beefier than before. But it remains a polished controller, with a universal power button to zap both TV and home cinema. It has all good apps, starting from Netflix to Disney+ when you talk about content. Moreover, they all support 4K HDR, Dolby Atmos, and Vision.
How to Test Streaming Devices?
Testing a streamer is a simple process that keeps content above the performance. Any streaming device can play video well, but a good one possesses robust search features, straightforward navigation, and various content suitable to all tastes. So, the first thing you can determine is the setup to see how simple and quick it is.
Then see what content gets highlighted and hidden and how the channel navigation is easy. Also, watch a few shows on various channels to gauge the video and audio quality.