You've never had so many options to stream your favorite shows.
Streaming our favorite shows and movies has become popular. From reruns of The Office to watching the hot new series on Netflix, streaming devices and dongles have become an entertainment staple.
For this reason, the devices you use for streaming are one of the most important - but often overlooked - gadgets we all have in our living rooms.
Apple TV 4K (2021), a Siri compatible remote control
Apple has just updated the Apple TV 4K, sales of which have started in France since mid-May. This is the first major update to Apple's streaming device since 2017, and it was long overdue. A new, faster processor may make some Apple TV users happy, but the real star of the show is a completely redesigned Siri Remote.
The new remote has a dedicated power button to control your TV, and the touchpad has been replaced with an iPod-like wheel.
Enough about the remote, the Apple TV 4K will let you stream shows from all major streaming platforms, play games available on the App Store or Apple Arcade, and stream Fitness workouts.
The only downside to the Apple TV 4K is its price. Starting at $ 199 for 32 GB of storage, or $ 219 for 64 GB of storage, it's by far the most expensive streaming device on the market.
• Access to the Apple App Store
• A faster processor should secure the future of the new case.
• The new Siri remote
• Expensive compared to the competition
Google Chromecast (third generation), better than ever
Google updated its Chromecast streaming device at the end of 2020, and for the first time, it's set to compete directly with companies like Amazon and Roku. The biggest change to the device was the addition of a physical remote control, which previous Chromecasters all lacked. Instead of just "streaming" content from your phone or tablet, anyone in your house could stream their favorite shows with the click of a few buttons.
In order to adapt to the new remote control, the new Chromecast now uses the Google TV interface.
At $ 69.99, it's one of the more affordable 4K streaming devices you'll find. It plugs directly into your TV's HDMI port, with a small disc-shaped unit. You'll enjoy 4K content with HDR support and access to Google's growing library of apps that includes nearly all of the major streaming services available.
• Integration with Google Home and Assistant
• Finally has a remote control
• Does not offer support for more advanced video protocols Fire TV Stick (third generation), affordable streaming
Amazon's latest Fire TV Stick uses the same USB drive format and plugs directly into your TV's HDMI port. The remote now includes direct access to Alexa, which will allow you to control all of your smart home devices (like turning off the lights to watch a movie) or requesting information.
It supports Dolby Atmos for audio aficionados. When it comes to streaming, you'll have access to the Fire TV's catalog of apps and services, with support for all major platforms and even some games.
The only possible downside is that you're limited to 1080p streaming, instead of 4K. However, at 39.99 Euros what more can we expect?
• Affordable price
• Reliable experience
• Respectable streaming catalog
• No 4K support
We have selected the streaming devices using them ourselves. In the case of devices like the new Apple TV, we rely on years of testing and experience with various streaming products. We also read the opinions of users and our professional colleagues to find out if a device is truly appreciated by everyone.
How to choose
When it comes to choosing a streaming device, there are many factors to consider. Does your TV support 4K? 4K HDR? Dolby Vision? Do you care that your streaming device takes full advantage of what your TV supports? There are other factors to consider, including whether your home is better integrated with Amazon's Alexa platform, Google Assistant, or Apple's HomeKit offering.
Finally, consider your budget. The Apple TV 4K is by far the most expensive device we've included on this list, but for those deeply invested in Apple's ecosystem, it's worth the extra price. However, for others, the Amazon and Google Chromecast offers may be more appropriate.