In the ever-expanding world of tablets, iPhones, routers, and the many other Internet-powered devices, streaming devices occupy a rather special spot as they represent a link between your TV set and a new exciting world of Internet streaming. With one of these small devices, you can access a myriad of channels broadcasting anything from political debates to the crab fishermen's adventures in the Northern Seas! Also, there's a tonne of sporting events! To get your hands on one of these useful Internet-savvy contraptions, check out our top 5 list and choose the best one for your needs. Top brands only!
For those of you who have had the pleasure of dealing with streaming devices
, you already know how complex these little buggers can get, and how many features they can contain in their small rectangular bodies! Thanks to the recent advancements in technology, the manufacturers of these utensils have been able to introduce more and more valuable properties in their technical lineups. It's the same trend as with smartphones, really; initially, mobile phones were pretty much what their name suggested - phones that you can carry with you - but nowadays, actually calling someone is probably one of the last things you'd do with your cell phone!
As far as streaming devices are concerned, though, the recent expansion of their properties doesn't mean that the streaming part will become obsolete or otherwise less-used. On the contrary, thanks to perks such as 4K Ultra HD support and voice-control ability, these devices are bound to become even more successful at their task of showing media than they were before! So, in an effort to present to you all of these features that make up a well-made streaming device, our TopProducts team has done its homework, so that you don't have to.
The first feature to pay attention to is the Wi-Fi connectivity
. Typically, most of the early streaming devices were connected to the other relevant devices via a cable, but nowadays, models featuring a Wi-Fi connection are becoming more and more popular due to their convenience! Even though positioning your streaming device isn't exactly the hardest thing in the world to do, puttering about with miles of cables can get pretty frustrating. Not to mention the woes you'll experience when you'd like to clean up that area! Therefore, for all of you lazy bugs out there, a streaming device with a Wi-Fi connection may be a great solution as it’s convenient and easy to use.
The next thing you'll want to look into would be the number of apps and broadcasting stations that are supported by your streaming device of choice. The more of them, the better, would be the rule to go by, of course. Also, if you're into games, you may want to choose a model which will enable you to access more apps and games rather than TV stations and other broadcasting centers.
Now, let's mention a couple of niceties that can take your viewing experience to a whole new level. 4K Ultra HD support, for example, is a great thing that’ll really put your hardware to the test! Content that can be viewed in this resolution is characterized by crisp picture quality, which you can't really experience with the regular devices. That being said, 4K or Ultra HD as some people call it (although they're not the same thing), is best used for large screens, or extra-large TVs! Initially, 4K resolution was developed for cinemas to improve the quality of the picture on the big screen. As the technology advanced, however, and as the hardware became more potent, this trend slowly transferred to TV sets and consequently to streaming devices
Last but not least, certain models come with a cheeky new piece of voice-recognizing software, enabling you to simply tell your streaming device what you'd like to watch or fiddle with, and the thing works it all out for you, and delivers you your content in no time! Every day we're closer to the 'I Robot' scenario. Until it happens, though, we might as well enjoy some 4K TV, while we're at it!
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As pretty much all technical devices nowadays, streaming devices can be a bit pricey, but then again, since the technology advances so fast, the prices tend to go down rather quickly. When streaming devices, in particular, are in question, it's safe to say that their price depends on two factors: 1) the brand that produces them, and 2) how packed with various hardware and software features they are.
Typically, well-known brands such as NVIDIA and Amazon will put higher prices on their devices, but in all fairness, most of their models do come with more impressive features than those made by some lesser-known companies. As for the hardware 'n' software features, 'the more the better' principle is what applies here. At the end of the day, we believe that it's better to buy a well-branded product, so to speak, for a couple of bucks more, and then enjoy all the benefits it comes with for years to come!
If you take into account their size-to-complexity ratio, streaming devices are some of the most impressive high-tech contraptions today, packed with a variety of interesting features, from 4K resolution to voice-control browsing systems. If you'd like to lay your hands on one of these mean machines, check out these features first!
The list of features to pay attention to when buying a brand new streaming device
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- 4K Resolution Availability
- Size of the Storage
- Expendable Memory
- RAM Memory
- Micro SD Card Slot
- HDMI Connectivity
- Voice Search Technology
- Remote Control
- Auto Updating
As we always say here at TopProducts, a fair warranty can be a great asset for any product - especially a high-tech device. So if you can find a model that comes with one that would be optimal.
Construction and Design
Rectangular and featuring a number of holes, streaming devices aren't really much to look at, in all fairness. Typically, they're as big as your iPhone, just a little bit bulkier, and they come with a remote control and possibly a keyboard. On top of that, some models feature voice-recognition technologies such as Alexa, which render the remote control useless.
To be fair, we should point out that streaming devices aren't ugly, and some of them even sport sleek designs that can beautify your entire TV set if strategically positioned! Other than that, a model with a Wi-Fi connection may appear to be attractive as fewer cables means less mess and entanglement. All in all, there isn't much variation in the looks of the streaming devices, so we would advise you to go for features instead!
Performance and Ease of Use
Since they’re so complex, streaming devices may come across as intimidating to set up and use afterward. However, you shouldn't worry too much, as most of them nowadays come with automated setup processes. All you need to do to make it work is press a button or two, follow through with the steps, and Bob's your uncle! After you've managed to install the software, using the platform will be a piece of cake. Although there are a lot of options to choose from, you'll get a hang of them soon enough, and then you'll see the vast sea of possibilities that comes with this device. If you have a model with a voice recognition system, the browsing will be even easier!
Heavily rectangular and with a bunch of holes for various ports, streaming devices are like the Sponge Bob of the high-tech world. (Mind you, if you put it in the water, do expect some sparks, and for it to be utterly broken afterward.) If you'd like to get yourself a streaming device, and use it without putting it in the water, read our top 5 reviews on this subject and find the perfect model for you!