Streaming dongles and set-top boxes are a fantastic way to upgrade your media streaming. Watch 4K HDR movies, play epic video games or listen to your favorite Nicki Minaj or Harry Styles songs are just a few examples of why anyone looking to step up their media streaming should invest in one.
Apple fans looking for something extra can treat themselves to the new Apple TV 4K, which works seamlessly with all your other iWorld gadgets for a more connected home experience. Furthermore, it boasts an advanced operating system and user-friendly user interface.
1. Roku Streaming Stick 4K+
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ is an outstanding entry-level media streaming device. Designed for simplicity, reliability and simplicity, its design provides everything you’ll need without unnecessary bells and whistles that could distract or confuse.
As with other Roku devices, the Streaming Stick 4K+ is an HDMI stick that plugs directly into an open HDMI input on your television and connects directly with your router using its included micro USB power cord with integrated Wi-Fi module. One potential downside may be its cable jutting out at an angled position from its housing; if your television back panel is particularly cluttered this could make hiding it more challenging.
This device also comes equipped with a useful voice-controlled remote for added convenience when coupled with other smart devices in your home, like Nest thermostats or Amazon Alexa speakers. Furthermore, when used alongside Apple HomeKit-enabled devices and Siri integration, the Streaming Stick lets you launch and manage streaming channels, search movies/TV shows for streaming access or adjust volume on TV with ease.
One key upgrade in this version of the Streaming Stick is support for Dolby Vision, which should lead to more immersive viewing experiences with HDR TVs. Furthermore, this model boots faster than its predecessor and provides enhanced Wi-Fi reception – but buyers who were happy with previous Streaming Stick models may not see much reason to upgrade.
Unlike competing products like Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Chromecast with 4K HDR, Roku’s Streaming Stick 4K+ does not require users to register an account with Netflix or HBO Max before watching content from those services – an attractive advantage for those with other subscriptions or apps they may prefer over them. Furthermore, our favorite rechargeable Roku voice remote comes equipped with built-in remote finders and personal shortcut buttons for quicker channel launching!
2. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K Max is an incremental but welcome improvement over their already excellent media streaming device, adding Wi-Fi 6 support and Dolby Atmos processing to an already stellar add-on streamer. Though, not a cheap device; to take full advantage of its capabilities you need a TV capable of handling 4K playback as well as home Wi-Fi capable of managing its increased bandwidth requirements.
As with other Fire TV devices, the 4K Max is powered through HDMI or USB if necessary if your television or soundbar’s ports can’t provide enough energy (a power supply is included with each purchase). With Amazon’s sticks come access to hundreds of streaming services as well as integration with Alexa Skills for even greater convenience.
The interface has been given an upgrade and now looks much more polished and attractive, with easy shortcuts for the services you use most frequently. The Blue Alexa button stands out more than before; voice navigation remains the easiest way to navigate through Alexa. A new remote offers extra buttons so that you can open up an electronic program guide or switch directly to a live channel with just the press of one key.
Testing demonstrated excellent performance, with no signs of lag or buffering when streaming Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in HD on Netflix. There were some minor visual artefacts during darker scenes but overall performance was excellent.
The 4K Max is equipped with HDR and Dolby Atmos support, making it look amazing on modern televisions with appropriate displays; however, older sets with weaker color or black levels might not support them. Furthermore, its extra RAM helps improve responsiveness reducing how often apps need reloading after switching them on or off; its main screen can even be reduced into a PIP box for checking your Ring doorbell! And of course you get an Alexa remote that controls smart home devices; an excellent addition for any TV user or great gift idea!
3. Apple TV 4K
The Apple TV 4K is an incredible streaming box that greatly improves picture quality, increasing picture resolution significantly. Although pricier than some rivals, its extra cost will more than make up for its greater picture quality and improved gaming experiences. Perfect for Apple fans and anyone wanting to maximize the potential of their TV sets. Among its many uses are HD and HDR content streaming as well as playing games compatible with certain apps as well as synching workouts with Apple Fitness+ sync workouts with TV media player features or acting as iTunes media player capabilities as well as multi user profiles support with intelligent suggestions based on viewing history based on prior interactions between viewers and devices based on viewing histories and viewing habits – these devices support multi user profiles while offering intelligent suggestions based on viewing histories and previous interactions between devices and devices based on such factors.
The new Apple TV is slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, featuring HDR10 high dynamic range support, gigabit Ethernet connectivity, USB-C power delivery and Apple’s A15 Bionic chip to speed up menu navigation and game play. Highly recommended for anyone already immersed in Apple ecosystem, non-Apple users will also appreciate it as an impressive device.
Apple offers two versions of the Apple TV: Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Ethernet. The former model is ideal for those that don’t require additional capabilities of Ethernet ports or want to integrate their Apple TV with HomeKit devices; Wi-Fi + Ethernet may provide better options if you wish to integrate smart lighting, locks and cameras as well as support for Thread and Matter (a new smart home standard being developed by Apple, Amazon, Samsung etc) within their homes.
One of the great strengths of Apple TV is its user-friendly interface. The home page provides quick access to apps, shows, movies, games and Apple Arcade – plus setup is quick and can be controlled either with your iPhone or Siri remote – not to mention being free from ads like some rival devices!
Apple TV stands out as an exceptional device due to its ability to sync up seamlessly with any iPhone, iPad, Mac and Xbox console to easily share content and play games on a larger screen. Furthermore, it uses your iPhone’s camera to adjust colors so they appear their best on television screens.
4. NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro
The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro stands out as one of the premier streaming gadgets on the market. Boasting cutting-edge support for 4K content and apps alike, its compact form makes it simple and user friendly. Furthermore, its impressive upscaler feature can transform standard 1080p content into vibrant 4K images that offer enhanced picture quality.
The SHIELD TV Pro is an Android-powered streaming device that enables you to enjoy Android games, movies and music apps seamlessly. Designed in a compact tube design that’s easy to fit behind any television set, its remote control features motion-activated backlit buttons for motion sensing backlighting functionality as well as voice search functionality. Furthermore, its Tegra X1+ processor ensures fast performance as AI upscaling enhances standard HD videos into near-4K resolution, creating more natural-looking visuals than standard HD resolution can do otherwise!
The Shield TV supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for an enhanced viewing experience of movies, shows, and sports events. In addition, its built-in Ethernet port makes streaming possible over wired home networks without interference; storage expansion via USB drives is possible, as is two ports for connecting external accessories like keyboards or controllers.
Shield TV stands out from other devices by offering access to PC gaming through Nvidia GameStream on your television screen. While this requires having an Nvidia compatible graphics card in your computer, it provides an excellent way to experience high-spec gaming without dominating your living room television screen.
As with the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro features an IR blaster to let you control your television with your smartphone. It has a built-in microphone and supports Google Assistant allowing for voice searches for information such as weather forecast or movie times – or display photos, live camera feeds and more on your television screen! Plus it comes equipped with a comfortable remote control including one that is preprogrammed with your most-used streaming apps!