Ask Answers: Is a Smart TV Better Than Streaming Devices?
By 2022, Statista predicts there will be 119 million smart TV users worldwide. However, smart TVs continue to have a strong competitor — streaming devices. They may be small, but these devices are powerful and convenient. With so many new high-tech devices coming out each year, you probably have so many questions! Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers.
Streaming devices offer new ways to watch your favorite movies and shows, similar to smart TVs. However, let’s go over the differences between smart TVs and streaming devices to answer one common question: Is a smart TV better than streaming devices? Plus, we’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of popular devices, like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.
What’s a Smart TV?
When we combine the capabilities of a traditional TV and a computer, we get a smart TV that connects to the internet and allows us to stream movies and shows from Netflix, Hulu and TV programs. Some smart TVs have even more advanced features, including social media apps, photo storage, voice recognition (to change channels and search for apps) and smart home controls. This means your TV could be compatible with smart home devices, including Alexa and Google Home.
What’s a Streaming Device?
A streaming device has similar functions as a smart TV. We’ll break down the differences and cover popular examples of streaming tools. A streaming device connects to the internet, but it also connects to a TV via an HDMI port. It gives people access to various channels, media apps and online services with the help of a remote. Please note: You can’t use a streaming device on its own. You need a TV, monitor or computer to view content from the device.
Pros: Roku offers streaming sticks and boxes, such as the Roku Streaming Stick+ and the new Roku Ultra. Many users love Roku for its simple interface and its abundant number of streaming apps. With your Roku remote, you can use voice control to find and watch content effortlessly. Also, the Plus and other models support 4K HDR for an improved viewing experience on your TV screen.
Pros: Another fan favorite is Apple TV, which comes with impressive features like voice control and the ability to rent videos from the iTunes store. Of course, video services are available on the platform too. All you have to do is download the apps from the App store. If you have a Mac or iPhone, it’s easy to integrate them to the TV. For instance, Apple TV supports Airplay, allowing you to connect your Mac or iPhone to the TV screen. Plus, you can listen to your music using Apple Music or podcasts using the Podcast app. It’s a solid platform to access all your Apple content.
Amazon Fire TV
Pros: If you’re a big fan of Alexa and Amazon Prime’s entertainment content, take a look at Amazon Fire TV. With Alexa, users can command the TV to find their favorite movie or turn on lights in the living room. Just like Roku and Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV allows you to watch movies and shows from major streaming services. Amazon Fire TV offers box or stick models to connect to your TV. Some models provide 4K capability to enjoy content in HD-quality. The system is also easy to set up and use.
Pros: Google offers the budget-friendly Chromecast and the more expensive Chromecast Ultra. Chromecast is unique because you don’t need a remote to control it. Instead, you use your phone and laptop to stream. That means you can play or pause right from your own devices (Android or iOS). It also works with Google Home.
Which Is Better?
Streaming devices and smart TVs sound like they have the same functions, right? For the most part, yes. If you already have a smart TV, you don’t need a streaming device. However, if you have extra needs or an older smart TV, a streaming device could be a better choice for you.