Best streaming devices in 2022

Streaming devices have come a long way in the past few years, and they’re now the primary devices that connect to most TVs, be they smart or older models. They changed how we consume content from our couches and made it easier and simpler to enjoy our favorite TV shows and movies with friends or family. In an ideal world, the best streaming device is affordable, lets you access your favorite TV shows and movies, provides fast connection methods, and supports the highest-rated display technologies, such as Dolby Vision, HDR, and more. In this guide, we collected some of the best streaming devices money can buy in 2022.

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Should you buy a streaming device in 2022?

Smart TVs have gotten a lot better in recent years, yet they’re often bundled with ads and unnecessary apps you’ll never use and cannot uninstall. The user interface isn’t always intuitive, and they’re slow and take a while to load. That’s exactly where streaming devices come into play, as they often provide a better user interface, are easier to use, and can be much faster and provide faster connectivity options than some TVs. Streaming devices also integrate better with their respective companies and platforms.

For instance, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is excellent, if you’re already in the Amazon ecosystem. It allows you to order more popcorn, ask Alexa to dim the lights, and access purchased songs and movies. You don’t ever have to get up from your couch, and everything is only a few taps away, making it more convenient and easier to use than the built-in technologies in your smart TV.

Best 4K streaming devices

Chromecast with Google TV 4K

Google TV
Source: Google

Chromecast with Google TV 4K is one of the best streaming devices currently on the market. It comes with an affordable price tag, supports 4K HDR with Dolby Vision, has an intuitive user interface that collects all of your favorite shows and movies from all the streaming services you use and love, and even has Google Assistant built-in.

The Google TV platform allows you to watch shows and movies from your favorite streaming services, including Disney Plus, HBO Max, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and even Apple TV. There’s a massive selection of applications and games you can play and access, and it’s one of the best ways to watch content from the sofa or in bed, especially if you prefer Google’s implementation of things.

The Google TV remote is fairly simple and easy to use, and both the streaming device and the remote come in matching colors to offer even more personalization options. The device is available in three colors, Sky (Blue), Sunrise (Pink/Red), and Snow (White).

Chromecast with Google TV
Chromecast with Google TV

Make your TV smarter with a new Chromecast with Google TV that comes with a dongle, power adapter, and remote control to help you watch your favorite content on that old TV.

Apple TV 4K

LI Apple TV 4K 3rd generation 2022 watching movies

The new Apple TV 4K streaming device supports HDR and 4K Dolby Vision playback. It has high-frame rates to make fast action movies look smooth and crisp, and the new device is now equipped with the more powerful Apple A15 chip – the same chip that powers the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series of flagship phones.

We also have an excellent guide, comparing the latest Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation) vs Apple TV 4K (2nd Generation).

Suppose you’re already in the Apple ecosystem, and want an intuitive interface, a large selection of movies, games, and tv shows. In that case, the Apple TV 4K device is one of the best on the market, supporting all your favorite streaming services. The new revamped Siri remote even includes a USB-C port, and it has a sleek new design and buttons to let you get to your favorite sections faster.

Apple TV is one of the smoothest devices on the market, and the 4K model even comes with an ethernet port. While it’s on the more expensive side, it’s now more affordable than the last generation, and the 2022 version even supports HDR10+, which is often missing from other similar 4K streaming devices.

Apple TV 4K (3rd Gen., 2022)
Apple TV 3rd generation 2022

Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation) is the latest streaming box from Apple. It’s now powered by the new Apple A15 Bionic chip, and it can even play Dolby Atmos, and HDR10+ content from your favorite streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max. 

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon Fire TV Stick Remote and Dongle
Source: Amazon

The Fire TV Stick 4K supports cinematic 4K streaming with Dolby Vision support. It has nearly identical hardware to the more expensive Fire TV Stick 4K Max device but lacks Wi-Fi 6. That being said, both devices are excellent for streaming at up to 4K HDR content, and both devices support Live View Picture-in-Picture playback.

It’s a responsive device, and it’s excellent for enjoying some of your favorite applications, and streaming tv shows and movies. It’s an excellent choice for Amazon Prime members, and it’s often discounted to the same price, or even cheaper as the Fire TV Stick Lite, making it a perfect solution for most people who are looking for an affordable solution to watch high-resolution and picture-perfect content at their homes.

If you have a Prime subscription, love Alexa, want something on a budget, and have a 4K HDR-compatible TV, then the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is a fantastic choice. However, if you need a slightly more reliable and faster device, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max might be a better solution.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

The Fire TV Stick 4K supports cinematic 4K streaming with Dolby Vision, and it’s one of the most affordable 4K streaming devices you can get your hands on. It has a powerful chip that enables you to use your favorite apps and streaming services in the highest possible setting. 

Amazon Fire TV Cube 4K

Amazon Fire TV Cube 4K

The Amazon Fire TV Cube 4K is one of the most expensive streaming devices, but it’s unique cube shape offers a lot you simply can’t find in many other devices. The device features Wi-Fi 6E, providing fast speeds and a more reliable connection than older technologies, reducing the chances of you ever seeing the buffer window again – assuming your internet connection is sound and stable. It’s worth noting that there’s also an ethernet port on the back, for an even better connection. The device also acts as an Amazon Echo Dot, letting you access Alexa any time.

The device also has a high-speed HDMI cable, and IR extender capability, letting you control the device with a closed cabinet, placing the cube out of sight and out of mind. There is a time when you’d want to think about the device; that’s when you turn on the TV to watch 4K HDR content at up to 60fps.

The Fire TV Cube 4K is fast and powerful, and it’s an excellent companion if you’re already in the Amazon ecosystem, and heavily rely on Alexa and the Prime subscription for watching movies and streaming content.

Fire TV Cube
Amazon Fire TV Cube 4K

Amazon’s most potent streaming device, thanks to its Hexa-core processor. It comes with a built-in speaker, so you can ask it directly to stream your favorite content without picking up your Alexa Voice Remote, and you can also use it even if your TV is off.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

If you’re looking to step up your streaming game and have a large and high-resolution TV, you might want to invest a little more into the Roku Streaming Stick 4K. The device supports up to 4K HDR10/10+ and Dolby Vision content at up to 60fps, and it has an HDMI 2.0b port and fast network connectivity for faster downloads and streaming.

The app loading times and buffering speeds are fast, and switching between streaming providers and applications is seamless. The Roku mobile app also lets you control the device, use the keyboard, and use your phone as a remote. There are also casting options to share music, photos, and videos on the big screen, enabling you to do much more than on some other competing devices.

Overall, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is one of the best choices if you want speed and high-quality video in the living room or bedroom. The Streaming Stick 4K offers many unique features, fast performance, high-quality video, audio playback, and just about all the features you’d want from a device like this. Considering the price, and the modern hardware and software, it’s an excellent choice for those wanting a little bit of extra power at an affordable price.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K
Roku Streaming Stick 4K

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is an excellent streaming device. It supports up to 4K HDR10/10+ and Dolby Vision content at up to 60fps, and it has an HDMI 2.0b port and fast network connectivity for faster downloads and streaming.

Best HD streaming devices

Chromecast with Google TV HD

Chromecast with Google TV HD

We’ve already given you four reasons why you should buy the new $30 Chromecast with Google TV HD device, but in case you missed it, here’s a simplified version. The truth is that Google makes some of the best streaming devices on the market, and the HD model offers most of the same features as the 4K model, without sacrificing the excellent performance and the intuitive and modern user interface.

The main difference between the HD and the 4K model is that the higher-end device comes in more colors and supports up to 4K HDR content. The HD model supports content at up to FHD (1080p) HDR, which is still excellent, and more than enough for most users. Of course, the lower resolution also means less expensive, and it costs significantly less than its 4K sibling.

Google TV HD comes in a simple white color, has Google Assistant built-in, and has the same software features as its more expensive counterpart. If you like the Google experience and have already purchased many movies on the platform, then Chromecast with Google TV HD is an excellent choice.

Chromecast with Google TV
Chromecast with Google TV

Make your TV smarter with a new Chromecast with Google TV that comes with a dongle, power adapter, and remote control to help you watch your favorite content on that old TV.

Apple TV HD

LI Apple TV 4K 3rd generation 2022

The 3rd generation Apple TV is cheaper and much better than the last generation. Cheaper and better performance is a combination that we don’t often see from companies like Apple, but if anything, it’s proof that it’s not impossible, and we can expect surprises every once in a while. That being said, the new Apple TV (3rd Generation) is one of the best devices for Apple users, who want to experience one of the best interfaces and features, not to mention, seamless integration with their existing devices.

The new Apple TV HD is lighter, smaller, and comes with all the essential features, apps, and performance that most people need and demand. The new remote also has a USB-C port for charging. The new streaming device comes with 64GB of storage, but it’s worth noting that it no longer comes with a built-in ethernet port. If you want faster and stable internet via ethernet, you’ll have to upgrade to the higher-end model, which costs $149.

The $129 price tag is appealing, and it offers a solid performance, thanks to the Apple A15 chip, which can also be found in the flagship iPhones. It’s worth keeping in mind that while most devices come bundled with an HDMI cable in the box, Apple doesn’t provide it, meaning that you’ll have to spend extra to get it working out of the box, unless you have a cable lying around.

Apple TV 4K (3rd Gen., 2022)
Apple TV 3rd generation 2022

Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation) is the latest streaming box from Apple. It’s now powered by the new Apple A15 Bionic chip, and it can even play Dolby Atmos, and HDR10+ content from your favorite streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max. 

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is one of the best streaming devices, especially if you already have an Amazon Prime subscription and are on a budget. There are some compromises when it comes to this device, such as not having the option to change the volume or power on your TV using the remote, and only being able to watch content in HD resolution.

The Fire TV Stick Lite offers HD video streaming, and it even supports Dolby-encoded audio, 8GB of storage, and 1GB of RAM – which is plenty for using your favorite streaming services and a few apps here. It’s worth noting that the Quad-core CPU isn’t the most powerful out there, and if you want to play games, you should likely reconsider going for some of the more expensive 4K devices.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is best for those on a budget, and still using an FHD TV. If you want to access your favorite streaming services, movies, and TV shows, then the Fire TV Stick Lite is one of the best devices on the market, offering just that, with minimal compromises.

Fire TV Stick Lite
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is one of the best streaming devices, especially if you already have an Amazon Prime subscription and are on a budget. The device offers excellent HD-quality movies and a fast processor to provide reliable and stable speeds. 

Roku Express (HD)

Roku Express HD

The Roku Express is an excellent streaming device on a budget, and it offers an intuitive Roku TV interface, an excellent selection of applications, and an affordable price. Roku Express has a basic remote that lets you access your favorite streaming services, using the shortcuts on the bottom. It’s convenient and pretty straightforward.

If you’re new to the whole “streaming” world and you’re only just considering picking up a dedicated device for your TV, then you can’t go wrong with the Roku Express. It supports Dolby Audio and Dolby ATMOS through HDMI, DTS Surround Sound, and consumes very little power. It’s great for watching movies and using a few of your favorite apps from your couch, and it upscales HD content to FHD, making it look better on larger screens.

Roku Express
Roku Express HD

The Roku Express is an excellent streaming device on a budget, and it offers an intuitive Roku TV interface, an excellent selection of applications, and an affordable price. It supports Dolby Audio and Dolby ATMOS through HDMI, DTS Surround Sound, and consumes very little power.

Best for gamers

NVIDIA Shield TV Pro

LI NVIDIA Shield TV Pro

The NVIDIA Shield and the NVIDIA Shield Pro are some of the best and most powerful streaming devices on the market today. If you’re looking to step up your experience and play games, stream beautiful 4K content with support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, then you’ve come to the right place, as the Shield Pro has you covered.

The Shield comes with a standard remote control. It lets you add your existing gaming controller to enjoy Google Play Games, the NVIDIA GeForce NOW games, and multiple other AAA titles on the big screen in your bedroom, living room, or anywhere else. Streaming in 4K and at such high resolution has never been easier, and the AI upscaling is simply one of the best on the market.

If you’re after a home cinema-like experience, and want to access and play your favorite games on the side, then the NVIDIA Shield Pro is hands down one of the best streaming devices that lets you do just that.

NVIDIA Shield TV Pro
PBI NVIDIA Shield TV Pro

The NVIDIA Shield TV Pro provides an excellent streaming experience, supporting high-quality and upscaled video playback at up to 4K HDR. It also lets users play AAA titles directly on their large-screen TVs, and it lets you stream content from your favorite streaming services. 

Xbox Series X/S

Xbox Series S featured image
Source: Xbox

The Xbox Series S costs $299, and while the Xbox Series S is more expensive, you might already have it lying around at your home, and it might be your primary way to play AAA titles and relax after a long day. The gaming consoles can stream content in high resolution, and while the Xbox S only supports 2K streaming, the Xbox X can do 4K without a problem. Both consoles support Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR, making them an excellent companion for relaxing, catching up with friends, or watching your favorite content on the big screen.

The Xbox S is our recommendation for those wanting a perfect gaming and streaming experience on a budget. It’s a great device for consuming content and has all the features you want to find in a streaming device. It’s also ideal for those who want streaming capability and gaming in a single package, and don’t want to spend an additional $200 on the Xbox Series X.

  • Xbox Series S
    Xbox Series S

    The Xbox Series S is one of the best gaming consoles available today. It packs 10GB RAM, 512GB storage, a custom CPU/GPU, and other great features to have you playing your favorite games.

  • Xbox Series X
    PBI Xbox Series X

    The Xbox Series X is one of the most powerful gaming consoles on the market. It’s powered by the next generation of graphics, and it can provide excellent performance for playing AAA titles. It has fast loading speeds, high performance, and hundreds, if not thousands, of games you can choose from. 

Sony PlayStation 5

Sony PlayStation 5
Source: Pocketnow

The Sony PlayStation 5 can also stream video from your favorite streaming services, and if you already have one, then it’s probably not worth spending additional money on a dedicated streaming device, unless you want even more functionality, and don’t mind spending money.

The PlayStation 5 already has most of the streaming services built-in, and it now allows users to stream their favorite Disney+ content in 4K HDR quality, which wasn’t possible in the past. When it comes to casting, a dedicated streaming device will still offer the ultimate solution, but there are workarounds to mirror your phone’s display onto the console, thanks to some third-party apps and services.

PlayStation 5
Sony PlayStation 5

The Sony Playstation 5 console is one of the most powerful gaming consoles on the market today, and it provides excellent performance and experience for playing AAA titles. It has a DualSense Wireless controller with immersive haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and hundreds of games. 

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