Best Media Streamers for 2018


January 3, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Home Entertainment


Roku Streaming Stick Plus

Best streamer overall

Design : 9Ecosystem : 10Features : 9Performance : 9
Lightning-fast responses, oodles of apps and a dead-simple interface help propel Roku’s streamers to the top of our lists. This 4K HDR streamer is so good and affordable you might want one even if you don’t (yet) own a 4K HDR TV.



Apple TV 4K

Best high-end 4K HDR streamer

Design : 9Ecosystem : 10Features : 9Performance : 9
With more features and capabilities than you’ll ever use, as well as Amazon video (finally!), Dolby Vision capability and overall superb performance and design, the Apple TV 4K is the best streamer on the market for those who want to afford it.



Roku Streaming Stick 2017

The best streamer if you don’t want 4K or HDR

Design : 9Ecosystem : 10Features : 9Performance : 9
For buyers who don’t care about 4K or HDR streaming, the Roku Streaming Stick is the best player on the market.



Amazon Fire TV (2017)

Best streamer for Alexa fans

Design : 9Ecosystem : 10Features : 9Performance : 9
The Fire TV is very good for everyone, but the best reason to choose it over Roku is if you have an Alexa speaker and want to use its superior voice control in your system.



Roku Express (2017)

Best basic streamer

Design : 9Ecosystem : 10Features : 9Performance : 9
You expect a streamer this cheap to suck somehow, but the Express does not. It’s plenty-fast, packed with apps and unlike Chromecast, actually includes a remote control. All you need to stream, nothing you don’t.



Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote

Best budget streamer with voice

Design : 9Ecosystem : 10Features : 9Performance : 9
Want to talk to your TV, and have your TV talk back? If yon have a 4K TV, choose the higher-rated Fire TV above. But if you’re on a tight budget and don’t care about 4K, the basic stick is a great choice.



Nvidia Shield (2017)

Best streamer for geeks, gamers

Design : 9Ecosystem : 10Features : 9Performance : 9
Sure it’s relatively expensive, but the do-it-all Shield belongs in the same conversation with other top-tier streamers. And if you can use its myriad other gaming, file-sharing and similarly geeky functions, it could be worth the extra money.



Roku Express Plus (2017)

Best streamer for old TVs

Design : 9Ecosystem : 10Features : 9Performance : 9
If your TV lacks HDMI inputs, you don’t have very many choices in streaming device. The Express+ is the best, delivering Roku’s superb app ecosystem, ease of use and even free cables.



Google Chromecast (2015)

Best value for phone-centric users

Design : 9Ecosystem : 10Features : 9Performance : 9
If you can watch it on your phone or tablet or computer, the dirt-cheap Chromecast can probably put it on your TV. The downside? There’s no separate remote, so you’ll need your phone or tablet or computer to use it. Or your Google Home speaker.



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