The Best TV Streaming Sticks of 2016
For many years, TV was the same. If we wanted to watch a programme, we had to circle it in a TV guide and remember to watch it live. If we missed the programme, that was our only chance unless there happened to be a repeat late at night. However, we have seen unbelievable progress in just a short amount of time. Just a few short years ago, we were using video tapes to record but then this moved onto recording on the TV system itself. Then, we could suddenly pause and rewind live TV and this still wasn’t enough.
Most recently, it has been on-demand TV that has been the trend and as a result, we have seen an array of services like Netflix that provide users with a whole host of films and TV programmes. However, we have now reached the next phase of television viewing in the shape of TV streaming sticks like the Roku and Amazon’s Fire Stick being preferred over the traditional set top boxes.
What is a TV Streaming Stick?
Just like a USB drive that holds files to plug into your computer, a streaming stick is a small device that you can plug into the back of your TV. Once plugged in and set up, the user can stream any number of TV programmes, films, games, music, sport and more straight from the internet. One of the major advantages of this is that it doesn’t require a number of extra cables, it doesn’t always require a remote control, it is easy-to-use. Of course it’s on demand, and it saves a group of people all huddling around a small computer or laptop screen when streaming.
Whilst some hold of the best streaming sticks have services like Netflix so you can access their entire catalogue, others have partnerships with hundreds and thousands of channels that users can access. Most will connect via a WiFi connection and can begin to stream in at least 720p high-definition but the products at the top of the market tend to reach 1080p. Furthermore, they will normally boast the highest sound quality such as 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. As we have said, the best streaming stick products on the market are able to replace everything else you have (apart from the TV, of course) so let’s take a look at a couple of options.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon are now one of the biggest companies in the world not only down to their wide array of products on sale but also for their original products such as the Kindle. Just recently, they added another original product with the Amazon Fire TV Stick and it has gone down just as well as all the others. After plugging the streaming device/USB into your TV and setting it all up, you will have access to over 4,000 different channels, games, and apps. Included in this is over a quarter of a million TV episodes as well as movies from Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, HBO GO, and many more.
Furthermore, they also provide a reason to lose the cord with access to many live TV networks and live sports including NBC News, NBA, and Sling TV which has a whole host of live channels. With these included, there is no way you could ever want anything else.
The Fire TV streaming stick is also available with voice remote which allows all sorts of features to be accessed simply by talking into the remote. You can even check things like theatre times, the weather, sports scores, and more. Finally, the quality of all shows is extremely high and it also has twice the memory of Google’s ChromeCast streaming stick and four times the storage.
>>> View the latest price or buy the Amazon Fire TV Stick from Amazon here. <<<
Roku Streaming Stick (3600R)
Roku has also provided us with a good option for TV streaming with their version of the streaming stick and this one can be found for a little less than Amazon’s Fire TV. With a powerful quad-core processor, this latest model, the Roku 3600R Streaming Stick, has eight times more processing power than previous models. With this in mind, if you have already tried some of Roku’s streaming models, it’s best to just discount those experiences and treat this as though it is a completely different option.
The Roku stick also has access to Netflix as well as some others including Google Play, VUDU, Hulu, and Amazon. One of the biggest benefits of these devices is that you can unplug them from the TV and take them wherever you go; whether you are in a hotel or a dorm room, you can watch high-quality TV as long as you have the device with you. Furthermore, the Roku streaming stick also offers unbiased searching which means that you will genuinely find the best sources for a film or TV show as well as the best prices.
Finally, you can also download a free app that runs alongside the stick which offers private listening in addition to a voice search function when paired with the TV. With all this in mind, it provides good competition for the Amazon Fire Stick and the company itself has shown good progress in a short amount of time. In the last two years alone, they have managed to increase processing speed by eight times with the 3600R, which makes you wonder what they can achieve in the future.
>>> View the latest price or buy the Roku Streaming Stick (3600R) from Amazon here. <<<
Overall, streaming sticks are a fantastic addition to your TV and if you don’t watch too much live TV currently, they could even replace your cable. With access to thousands of shows and films, you will never get bored and what’s more, the catalogues are always being updated so there will always be something new to watch.
While we’ve highlighted the Roku Streaming and Fire TV Stick as the best streaming sticks, it is important to note that there are other options available. With Google Chromecast perhaps providing the closest competition to the two listed above. Chromecast includes movies, shows, games, music, sport and more and can be accessed via your iPhone, Android device, tablet, Mac, and even Windows laptops and Chromebooks.
Whichever you choose to go for, you won’t regret your decision given that they are all available at a pretty reasonable price. Why not take a look today?