Top Streaming Devices: A Must-Have Guide for 2024

With a new streaming device, binge-watching a TV show or marathon of movies can feel fresh again. It’s a useful upgrade for those with older TVs or those who aren’t fans of their smart TV’s built-in operating system. Streaming devices come in various forms, including dongles from Amazon and Roku, and set-top boxes like the Apple TV 4K. However, the differences between them can be challenging to decipher.

We’ve tested and reviewed numerous streaming devices and have compiled a list of our top eight picks. If you’re in the market for a streaming device, keep in mind that some modern televisions come with a selection of built-in apps, including popular streaming services. However, adding a streaming stick can be a cheaper alternative to purchasing a new smart TV.

When choosing a streaming device, consider the platform, price, and what you already have in your home. Popular platforms like Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, Apple TV, and Google TV offer a similar selection of streaming services, with the primary differences being the user interface. Streaming devices typically start at around $30 and can go up to $200, with sticks or dongles being more affordable and set-top boxes offering additional features like Ethernet connectivity and faster wireless connections.

Voice commands and ecosystem integration are other factors to consider when choosing a device. For example, if you’re already committed to a specific ecosystem like iTunes or Alexa, it might make sense to choose a device that aligns with that ecosystem.

We’ve rounded up some recommendations for the best streaming sticks, budget-friendly options, and set-top boxes for those looking for a dedicated streaming player with additional features. For example, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K supports 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision, and includes a voice remote.

Another great option is the Chromecast with Google TV, which provides a more personalized interface with robust voice controls and a dedicated remote. It features the new Google TV interface, personalized based on your watching habits, as well as Google Assistant integration.

Overall, a streaming device can breathe new life into your TV viewing experience, offering access to a wide range of streaming services and user-friendly features such as voice control and personalized recommendations.