Do you hear about media streaming devices? If not, this article is for you.
A media streaming device is a device that connects your smart TV or LED to the internet. And, it allows you to stream videos, music, movies, and sports through an App or TV service provider.
In today’s topic, I will tell you about the top 10 media streaming devices that you can use for smart TV/LED.
Why should you buy a media streaming device?
Apart from watching movies, shows, etc. on TV through traditional Cable or DTH, many new shows, movies, and web series are available on streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar and so on. Rather than a phone, you can enjoy those videos on a big screen by using a media streaming device.
Some all-new movies and shows such as Narcos, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and The Grand Tour, Bird Box and Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle were streaming on OTT platforms exclusively. The most popular web series Game of Thrones, Money Heists are available on streaming services. You will get a ton number of movies, shows and web series.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many films such as Gulabo Sitabo, Dil Bechara, Sanak, etc. were released on streaming platforms directly. Interesting thing is that you can pause the video while streaming through a media streaming device when you need a break. Also, you can watch an entire series in one go.
You need a good and fast internet connection at your home to use a Media streaming device. Also, you should keep in mind the features of your TV according to which you buy the media streaming device. Suppose, you have a 4K HDR TV, so the selected device should support 4K streaming. Apart from that, your most-used streaming platform should have a proper app to be accessed through the media streaming device.
How We Choose the Best Media Streaming Devices in India?
I take care of some features like availability on a particular device, presence of smart voice assistant, compatibility with smart home devices, and well software experience while choosing the top media streaming device for you. The requirements of the media streaming device are as follows.
✅ Video Streaming Resolution: The media streaming device should support 1080p or 4K 60fps video playback along with one of HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision.
✅ Audio Format: It must support Dolby Atmos with 5.1-Channel. Supporting Dolby Atmos with 7.1-channel audio may be a plus point.
✅ Software Platform: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV 9 Pie or latest, Apple TV OS 14 or latest, and Microsoft Xbox UI.
✅ Wireless Connectivity: Minimum Bluetooth 4.0 with Wi-Fi b/g/n is required. It would be better with Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac.
✅ Ports: It should have HDMI 2.0. Availability of Optical or 3.5mm audio out port may plus feature for the user.
✅ Screen Mirroring & Screen Casting: Google Chromecast Built-In, AirPlay 2, and Miracast.
✅ Remote Controller: It should have an IR blaster and dedicated buttons for power, volume (a mute button if given), Bluetooth, navigation keys, and voice assistant or voice command key. It should be powered by AA or AAA batteries with a charging port of USB Type-C or Lightning Port.
✅ Shape & Size: To fit on above or below the TV, the media streaming device should have a small size.
✅ Warranty: It should have a one-year manufacturer warranty in India.
List of Top Media Streaming Devices
Here is the list of top 10 media streaming devices, having all the necessary features. Among these, you can choose anyone and use it comfortably.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the best 4K media streaming devices in India. With a silky-smooth UI, it supports 4K video streaming and playback at 60fps.
It offers various HDR (High Dynamic Range) formats such as HDR10, HDR+, Dolby Vision, and HLG. A remote controller has been given to control the power and volume of the connected TV. Also, Alexa is available.
Amazon Fire TV Cube is at the top of the line in the competition. It has an in-built Alexa to do everything an Amazon Echo Dot, including streaming movies and TV.
The Fire TV Cube also supports 4K video streaming with the features like HDR, and Dolby Atmos. It also offers an infrared (IR) blaster to control Blu-ray players, soundbars, cable boxes, and other IR controlled devices. Even, it allows you to connect a wireless security camera and view the video on your TV.
3) Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Assistant
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is a budget-friendly media streaming device in India. Various things like fast and easy software, support of all the streaming app, and a remote controller make it a good reason to buy.
The Fire TV Stick Lite support 1080p streaming with HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG formats. It also offers an Alexa voice assistant in the Hindi language. So that, aged people can use it easily. You can also mirror the screen of your smartphone. At such a price, it delivered all the important and necessary features.
4) Android TV and Google TV
Android TV was an Android-based media streaming device from Google. It differs from Amazon Fire TV products that are heavily modified versions of Android. It was self-capable and still available on TiVo Stream 4K and 2020 Sony TVs. But, it is known as Google TV in recent years.
Google TV is an updated version of Android TV. It offers the same services with similar apps as before. The addition of Google Assistant and Google Cast for voice control and local streaming makes it more suitable. Last year, it was released for the first time on the Chromecast with Google TV and 2021 Sony TVs. It offers similar benefits to Android TV, including a more friendly interface, improved content suggestions, and less visually cluttered.
5) NVIDIA Shield TV Pro
Nvidia Shield TV Pro is the most expensive media streaming device on my list. It will cost near about USD 200$, but you will get it as per price. It provides a Tegra X1+ processor with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, leaving behind all other media streaming devices in terms of quality, speed and performance. It is designed by a gamer, so you can easily play PC and mobile games on your TV using this device.
The Shield TV Pro offers two USB ports and an Ethernet port. So, you can connect your router or modem directly Even you can connect a game controller and other peripherals via Bluetooth. So that, you don’t have to worry about poor Wi-Fi connections. The Shield TV lacks USB and Ethernet ports, but not the Pro variant.
6) MI TV Stick and MI Box
If you are looking for a TV, having Chromecast and Google Assistant, you should take a look at the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick. Running on Android TV 9 Pie, it supports 1080p playback. It provides all the popular video and audio streaming apps, along with a remote.
For screen mirroring and media casting, it offers Chromecast. Even it offers Google Assistant and a smart home controller. The absence of HDR content, though to use and sluggish UI are some of the drawbacks.
Xiaomi Mi Box 4K is the cheapest way to stream 4K videos on your TV. This media streaming device can stream 4K video at 60fps and supports HDR10. But, there is a lack of Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+.
It also runs on Android TV 9 Pie. Mi Box supports Google Assistant and Chromecast. Although the UI is neat, the software feels sluggish and contains a lot of bugs. However, the remote controller feels cheap.
7) Apple TV 4K
The Apple TV 4K is a media streaming device for those who use an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. It is extremely pricey, but it delivers an extremely powerful processor along with AirPlay 2, Siri, and HomeKit.
Either with the bundled remote or by pairing the PlayStation DualSense Controller or Xbox One, you can play games on your TV. Also, you can control your HomeKit compatible smart home products by using the Apple TV 4K.
The Airtel XStream Box is a media streaming device having all the modern-day things. It features 4K HDR video streaming, Chromecast, runs Android TV, and Google Assistant for voice commands.
Even the Airtel XStream media streaming device comes with an easy-to-use remote controller. You will get all the DTH channels. Slow and though UI is the only drawback of Airtel XStream Box.
The Microsoft Xbox One S is a gaming console and great for media streaming on your TV. It delivers all the popular online streaming video and audio apps, supporting with 4K HDR10 video streaming.
Even it offers a Blu-ray Disc player. The Xbox One S has 500GB of storage space so that you can store a lot of videos and games on it. You can do screen mirroring on this media streaming device. It also supports Dolby Atmos.
Roku is the brand that makes the concept of internet streaming on TVs popular. It is also reputed for its solid products. And now, Roku makes media streaming devices, media players, streaming sticks, and smart TVs.
You don’t need to subscribe to Roku for accessing the Roku streaming service. Although Roku doesn’t support Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, you will get a barebones streaming device and watch Netflix, HBO Max, and similar online streaming services. Some models support voice search.
Conclusion on media streaming devices
This is all about media streaming devices for LED/smart TV. I hope you will enjoy the article and share it to inform others about media streaming devices. Comment about your experience if you are using any one of these media streaming devices.
FAQs on media streaming device
1) What does a media streaming device do?
Media streaming devices connect your smart TV/LED to the internet. So that, you can stream videos, music, movies, web series, and sports on a big screen through an App or a streaming TV service provider.
2) Do you need a streaming device if You have a smart tv?
A Smart TV has almost similar features to a media streaming device. So, you do not need an extra media streaming device while having a smart TV.
3) Does Roku have a monthly fee?
Roku doesn’t charge a monthly subscription fee or equipment rental fee. You don’t have to spend extra money once you buy a Roku streaming device.
You will get a ton of free content through the Roku Channel app, a similar streaming app to the Roku ecosystem (such as VUDU).
4) Will streaming replace cable TV?
Maybe one-day streaming replace cable TV. Both offer a package under which you can watch videos, movies, sports and others. But, the streaming platform offers more things to watch like web series, the latest movies and so on. So, according to my opinion, stream