Jump to content

[Gadgets] Best TV streaming sticks to buy in 2023 from Roku, Amazon and more


Recommended Posts



After the best TV streaming sticks, but don’t know where to turn? In this in-depth guide, we’ll run you through the very best streaming sticks out there, for whatever your budget and needs might be.

TV streaming sticks can be a brilliant addition to any TV setup – plugging into the back of your televisions screen and offering a whole new interface, suite of streaming apps, and additional features to ramp up your home viewing experience.

While many smart TVs offer this kind of capability built-in, a streaming stick is a simple – and largely cost-effective – way to upgrade the operating system into something sleeker, more user-friendly, and supporting a wider variety of apps and services (depending on your exact TV model, of course).
There are, however, a ton of streaming sticks on the market, from budget Roku models to high-end Apple and Nvidia streamers – all offering their own unique trade-offs when it comes to cost, compatibility, and specification.

To help you make your choice, we’ve listed the 6 best streaming sticks, noting which model is best suited to disparate needs, whether you’re after a budget buy, a dedicated gaming streamer, something that plays nice with iOS, or otherwise.

The latest Google Chromecast is a thing of beauty – a slick, redesigned streamer that comes with the upgraded Google TV platform, an assortment of 4K HDR support, and Googlesque simplicity at a very reasonable price.

This teeny streamer hangs delicately out the side of an HDMI port, funneling 4K resolution and Dolby Vision HDR into the screen. The compact Bluetooth/IR remote is easy to use, while casting capability and extensive app support (6,000+) continues to make the Chromecast the go-to choice for those that want a versatile gadget.

The Roku Express is a great starting point for a first streaming stick for your home. This inexpensive streamer offers all the basics you need, from Full HD resolution and a simple remote to the streamlined purple Roku platform that powers this HDMI-connected device.

The remote can be a matter of taste, but there’s no denying that the design is eye-catching, and easy to navigate during evening viewing sessions, with a small handful of functional buttons and shortcuts to key streaming services (varying depending on your region).

There are some trade-offs, of course: this cheap streaming stick doesn’t support 4K HDR streaming, meaning that you’re stuck with Full HD output. If you’re using an HD TV, it won’t make much difference, but you won’t be getting maximum viewing quality on a 4K TV if that matters to you.

If a low price is what matters most, look no further than the Fire TV Stick Lite. This entry-level Amazon streamer is brilliantly cheap, while throwing in a couple of features you won’t get the the Roku Express above.

For one, the Fire TV Stick Lite supports HDR, as well as 60fps playback for smooth motion, alongside support for the Alexa voice assistant. There’s still no 4K support, mind, and the basic Alexa remote doesn’t come with volume controls, meaning you’ll have to juggle your main TV remote at the same time – but the upsides generally outway the downsides here.

Fire TV generally pushes Amazon Prime Video content, and there are a lot of ads for Amazon-owned services such as Audible – but with broad app support, even for Amazon competitors such as Netflix, this isn’t too big a complaint.

Want a premium streaming stick? The Nvidia Shield TV blows everyday Roku and Amazon models out of the water, with 4K HDR support with Dolby Vision / HDR10+, AI upscaling, and a hefty processor to enhance all of your streaming needs.

You’ll be paying for the privilege, of course, but you’ll find an experience that’s a step above what you get with other streamers, with capable visuals and all the premium format support you could possibly want.

Not to mention GeForce Now, Nvidia’s game streaming service, which offers a vast library of games that can be played over the cloud – though you’ll need to source a controller separately.

The Apple TV 4K is a no-brainer for anyone enmeshed in the Apple ecosystem, with a host of Apple-friendly features that allow for color calibration through an iPhone or multi-pair for your AirPods.

But this is more than just an Apple box – with 4K HDR, 60fps playback and a polished Siri remote, using the Apple TV 4K feels truly slick and elite, especially but not exclusively for those you are already using a host of Apple services. High Frame Rate HDR is a boon for keeping sports matches looking crisp and smooth, too.

Just keep in mind that only iOS users will get the most out of this model, and that you’re largely paying more than the other streaming sticks on this list.

The Amazon Fire TV Cube is an interesting smart home device – part streaming player, part smart speaker, all bundled into one compact and rather fetching cube, acting as a hub for both your smart home and your home theater setup.

You’ll get much better performance here than with cheaper Fire TV Sticks, with the Cube packing in a hexa-core processor, Dolby Atmos audio support, and premium HDR formats such as Dolby Vision and HDR10+. That’s alongside a fleshed-out Alexa assistant, which allows for hands-free control of video playback, universal search, and more both through the Cube’s speakers and onscreen through the Fire TV interface.

While you can get a 4K Fire TV Stick for less, this is no doubt the best and most fleshed-out Amazon streamer to date.

It’s hard to go wrong with the best streaming sticks: even the cheapest models on this list pack in capable operating systems, good app support, and a basic suite of smart features. But there’s no denying that some do those things a little better than the rest.

But while the Nvidia Shield TV and Apple TV 4K are a little more premium, the Chromecast offers almost all the same perks for around half the price, without features that are exclusive to iOS users.

That’s why the Chromecast with Google TV is our all-round top pick, thanks to its great app support, a reasonable price point, a pleasingly simple design, and a sleek Google TV interface that should work for pretty much everyone on the hunt for a new streaming stick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.