Staff-favorite streaming devices for 2024

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Most of nan best TVs person streaming apps and package built-in. Still, dedicated streaming devices stay incredibly popular. That’s in-part because they tin beryllium faster, much responsive and easier to usage than nan package connected your TV, according to our experts.

To study much astir nan champion streaming device, we said pinch electronics experts astir nan strengths and weaknesses of each of nan large streaming brands: deliberation Roku, Amazon, Apple and Google. Most of nan NBC Select squad usage streaming devices — we leveraged our individual acquisition pinch each marque to prime nan champion options connected nan market.

SKIP AHEAD Staff-favorite streaming devices successful 2024 | Do I request a streaming device?

How we picked our favourite streaming devices

We said pinch electronics and unit experts to amended understand really streaming devices are different from what’s built into your TV. Combining their proposal pinch our individual acquisition we selected streaming devices by keeping nan pursuing successful mind:

  • Resolution: We urge selecting a caller streaming instrumentality that tin support 4K resolution. All caller streaming products support 4K, and while you tin still bargain older models made for HD TVs, nan 4K versions aren’t overmuch pricier.
  • Ease of use: It shouldn’t beryllium a headache to dive into your favourite meal show. We prioritized streaming devices that person an easy setup and elemental personification interface. That intends you should not person a difficult clip uncovering Netflix aliases struggle downloading apps for illustration Disney+.
  • Extra features: Some streaming devices person further features for illustration ethernet ports, headphone jacks aliases Wi-Fi 6E support, meaning a faster relationship erstwhile paired pinch nan latest Wi-Fi routers. We considered and listed further features astatine nan bottommost of each of our recommendations.
  • Price: Most streaming devices costs betwixt $20 and $150. We included a scope of value options, but astir of our favorites costs astir $50.

Staff-favorite streaming devices successful 2024

Our favourite streaming devices travel from nan biggest brands connected nan market: Apple, Amazon, Google and Roku.

Best overall: Roku

I find Roku to beryllium nan easiest streaming level to use. I person group up Roku devices for friends and family, and it has ne'er taken maine much than 10 minutes to commencement watching shows. Roku is besides compatible with  Apple, Amazon and Google smart homes devices — astir competitors are only compatible pinch one.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Multiple NBC Select staffers emotion this Roku streaming stick. NBC Select editorial operations head Shari Uyehara uses this Roku instrumentality to watch her favourite TV shows connected apps for illustration Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, Max, Apple TV+ and more. She besides streams contented from Youtube and Apple Music. She loves that it is mini and portable — you tin easy plug it into a different TV if needed. The distant tin beryllium a small finicky though, buttons tin sometimes return a fewer presses to registry aft a fewer years of deterioration and tear.

Resolution: Up to 4K | Supports: HDR10+, Dolby Vision | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 | Remote features: Voice controls | Smart location compatibility: Roku, Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home

Roku Ultra

Roku Ultra

This is Roku’s premium streaming device, pinch a fewer other features compared to nan accepted streaming stick. It tin beryllium physically plugged into your Wi-Fi router pinch an ethernet cable, ensuring nan fastest velocity possible. The distant is improved excessively — it’s rechargeable and has a headphone jack if you want to watch your shows without disturbing others.

Resolution: Up to 4K | Supports: HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos | Connectivity: Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 6 | Remote features: Voice controls, headphone jack, rechargeable | Smart location compatibility: Roku, Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home

Best splurge: Apple TV

Apple TV streaming devices are immoderate of nan astir premium connected nan market. The rechargeable distant is 1 of nan best, made pinch a sleek aluminum lawsuit and coagulated buttons that guidelines nan trial of time, successful our experience. We for illustration that you tin besides power it by swiping connected nan directional touchpad alternatively of clicking. Apple TV devices besides support and sync to Apple apps for illustration Music, Photos, Facetime, Fitness+, Apple Arcade and more.

Apple TV 4K (128GB)

Apple TV 4K 128GB

While Apple does make nan somewhat cheaper Apple TV 4K (64GB), we urge this 128GB exemplary instead. It has double nan retention abstraction for apps, photos and games, positive ethernet support for fast, wired connectivity. It besides acts arsenic a smart hub, pinch Thread networking wrong (learn much successful our guideline to smart location hubs). New users get 3 months of Apple TV+, nan brand’s contented streaming service, included pinch acquisition (a $30 value).

Resolution: Up to 4K | Supports: HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos | Connectivity: Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 6 | Remote features: Voice controls, rechargeable | Smart location compatibility: Apple Home, Thread

For Amazon households: Amazon Fire TV

If your smart doorbell, plugs, and speakers are each powered by Amazon Alexa, see an Amazon Fire TV device. When synced pinch a compatible device, you’ll beryllium capable to power it done nan TV, according to nan brand. The streaming sticks are besides often connected waste and heavy discounted during events for illustration Prime Day and Black Friday.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

NBC Select subordinate updates editor Zoe Malin uses Amazon Fire sticks because they are small, enactment hidden down her TV and sync pinch her different Amazon Alexa-powered devices. She utilized Apple TV previously, but prefers Amazon streaming devices for Alexa sound controls and Amazon relationship notifications connected things for illustration upcoming orders.

We urge this 4K max version, arsenic it is faster and smoother to usage than nan regular TV Stick 4K, according to nan brand. You tin besides usually get it connected waste for nether $50. If you only scheme to usage this instrumentality pinch an HD (1080p) TV, see Amazon’s Fire TV Stick HD.

Resolution: 4K | Supports: HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E | Remote features: Voice controls | Smart location compatibility: Amazon Alexa 

For sharing content: Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast was 1 of nan first streaming devices connected nan marketplace that fto you easy stock what was connected your phone, tablet aliases laptop onto your TV. That’s still 1 of its top strengths today. Like other Google devices, it syncs to nan Google Home app and uses Google sound assistant.

Google Chromecast pinch Google TV (4K)

Google Chromecast pinch Google TV (4K)

NBC Select video shaper Josh Rios has been utilizing Google Chromecast since it debuted successful 2013.  Nowadays, he uses it to watercourse shows from apps for illustration Max, YouTube and Paramount+. Still, his favourite characteristic is casting, which allows him to task contented from his telephone aliases laptop onto nan TV. While location are occasional casting hiccups for illustration video aliases audio delays, nan wide acquisition is easy and simple.

If you mostly want to formed contented onto an older, HD TV, see nan lower-priced Google Chromecast pinch Google TV (HD).

Resolution: Up to 4K | Supports: HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5 | Remote features: Voice controls | Smart location compatibility: Google Home

Do I request a streaming device?

Most modern TVs travel pinch a smart operating strategy that has apps for illustration Netflix, Peacock, Max, Apple TV+ and Paramount+ available. But streaming sticks are mostly faster than these built-in operating systems, says Carl Prouty, a merchandise master successful user electronics income astatine Abt, a nationalist retailer based successful Glenview, Illinois. (Since Abt sells streaming devices, we only said pinch Prouty astir method shopping guidance, and did not inquire for circumstantial merchandise recommendations.) When you property a fastener connected a streaming remote, location is small to nary lag successful nan consequence connected nan screen. Many TV operating systems, by comparison, struggle pinch this lag, says Prouty.

Streaming devices besides person features that galore TVs do not. Roku Ultra and Apple TV 4K, for example, tin usage an ethernet cablegram to get faster and much unchangeable speeds. Depending connected wherever your location Wi-Fi router is, this tin beryllium nan champion measurement to connect, says Mark Steinberg, nan elder technologist astatine B&H Photo & Video. (Since B&H sells streaming devices, we only said pinch Steinberg astir wide shopping guidance, and did not inquire for circumstantial merchandise recommendations.)

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we activity pinch experts who person specialized knowledge and authority based connected applicable training and/or experience. We besides return steps to guarantee each master proposal and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Carl Prouty is simply a merchandise master pinch complete 20 years of acquisition successful user electronics income astatine Abt
  • Mark Steinberg is nan elder technologist astatine B&H Photo & Video. He has decades of acquisition successful electronics sales.

Why spot NBC Select?

Harry Rabinowitz is simply a newsman astatine NBC Select who covers technology, pinch caller stories connected tablets, cameras, and keyboards. For this piece, he said pinch electronics experts to amended understand nan method differences betwixt nan astir celebrated streaming devices. He besides leveraged his acquisition and nan acquisition of nan NBC Select squad utilizing streaming devices complete nan years.

Harry Rabinowitz

Harry Rabinowitz is simply a newsman for Select connected NBC News.