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9 Best Media Streaming Devices Reviewed in 2020 (UK & USA)

By Tom,
26th July 2018 | Updated: 30th April 2020

If you're wondering which is the best device for streaming Netflix, browse our reviews of the best media streaming devices below...

Electronics, TV & Radio

9 Best Media Streaming Devices Reviewed in 2020 (UK & USA)

If you're wondering which is the best device for streaming Netflix, browse our reviews of the best media streaming devices below...

Last updated on 26th July 2018 by Tom

Quick Comparison

Product reviews of the best media streaming devices

After spending more than 40 hours testing over 30 different models of media streaming devices, we managed to find 9 of the best media streaming devices available on the market.

The Amazon Fire TV Pendant Design Streaming Media Player is our top pick.

While it lacks the YouTube app, it does feature more than 10,000 channels. It is also stylish and simple to use.

For those looking for versatility the Nvidia TV Shield, offers both gaming experience and TV streaming.

Read on to learn more about the amazing products on our shortlist of the best media streaming devices.

  1. 1
    86%
    86%

    SHIELD TV 16 GB Media Streaming Device Review

    The Nvidia is a gaming console that also allows you to stream 4K as well as Full HD media content.

    It features more than 100 apps and is fairly simple to connect to both the TV and the internet. Its robust design makes it durable and also comes with a fast processor which enables fast and uninterrupted media streaming.

    The Nvidia has an intuitive simple to operate remote control.

    However the Android TV operating system is as simple to use as devices such as the Roku Express Streaming Player.

    The Good
    • Durable high-quality design.
    • Fast processor.
    The Bad
    • Not the simplest to use.
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  2. 2
    85%
    85%

    Android 9.0 TV BOX

    This streaming device from amazon features 4K Ultra as well as HDR support. It has a sleek and stylish design and easily connects to Wifi.

    However, for those who prefer the Ethernet cable the package also comes with an Amazon ethernet adaptor.

    The Android 9.0 TV BOX pendant design has even more channels to choose from than the Amazon Alexa Fire TV Stick at over 10,000.

    The main downside with this is the lack of a YouTube app.

    The Good
    • Simple to use.
    • Easily connects to both Wifi and Ethernet.
    • Has a stylish design.
    The Bad
    • Doesn’t come with the YouTube app.
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  3. 3
    85%
    85%

    Amazon Alexa Fire TV Stick Review

    This media streaming device from amazon is quite small and compact and can easily disappear into the background once connected to the TV.

    Despite its small size, it has incredibly powerful features. It easily connects to WiFi and offers you over 7000 entertainment apps.

    The Amazon Alexa fire stick is unique due to its Alexa voice control remote. It is simple to use and allows the user to easily switch from one channel to the next.

    It has an 8GB memory storage capacity enabling users to store apps and games as well.

    However, most of the channels require subscription and we noticed that it slows down when loading apps.

    The Good
    • Simple to use.
    • Easily connects to both Wifi and Ethernet.
    • Has a stylish design.
    The Bad
    • Many channels require subscription.
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  4. 4
    84%
    84%

    Roku 4205E Media Player Review

    Like the Now TV Box 2, the Roku 4205E has stylish and neat looking set up box design. It also comes with an intuitive interface and a simple to use remote control.

    We found that it easily connects to the available network either through an Ethernet cable or Wifi.

    Streaming was very fast with no interruptions. Users have more than 1,400 channels to choose from both free and paid.

    The remote enables the user to make shortcuts when navigating to their favourite channels.

    It can also be connected to most mobile devices allowing users to project the screens onto the TV.

    However even with the easy connection the Netflix app was not as clear as the rest and kept losing connection.

    The Good
    • Simple to use.
    • Comes with an intuitive interface.
    The Bad
    • The Netflix app kept losing connection.
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  5. 5
    84%
    84%

    MaxDigi T95X2 TV Box Android 8.1 OS 4GB DDR3 64GB Smart TV Box

    This android TV box uses the latest version of Android operating system. There’s no buffering and enables streaming from channels such as YouTube with ease.

    It supports all major media formats and users can stream both 4K and Full HD content.

    With a 1GB RAM and an 8GB ROM, users can download even more apps for even more entertainment. The box has a strong, sturdy exterior and is durable.

    The fast processor makes it possible to stream with no interruptions. The Viden W1 is also easy to connect to the internet.

    However, while it is simple to connect only requiring the HDMI cable and an internet connection, the package lacks a user manual and can be quite challenging to some.

    The Good
    • Simple to set up.
    • High quality construction.
    The Bad
    • Doesn’t come with a user manual.
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  6. 6
    82%
    82%

    Roku Express Streaming Player Review

    Like the Amazon Alexa Fire TV Stick, the Roku is also quite a small device. It allows users to stream media in 1080p.

    There are plenty of free and paid TV channels to choose from such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Hulu.

    The Roku has a neat and sleek design and easily connects to the available network. Using it is fast and easy. All the user needs to do is to plug it into the television, connect to the internet and immediately start streaming.

    However, we noticed that it loses signal sometimes and requires a strong WiFi signal for the best streaming experience.

    The Good
    • Simple to use.
    • Sleek and attractive design.
    • Compact.
    • Offers plenty of free and paid Tv channels.
    The Bad
    • Loses connection sometimes.
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  7. 7
    80%
    80%

    Sumvision Cyclone Micro 4 Media Player Review

    This media streaming device supports all major formats.

    It is simple to connect to WiFi and TV and we noted that streaming didn’t have any interruptions. It has a sturdy set up box design but is still small and compact.

    The Sumvision comes with a remote control for simple use and, like the COFEND Wireless Streaming TV Stick, has inbuilt mirror cast allowing users to project what is on their mobile devices onto the TV screen.

    The downside is that increasing TV size results in reduced image quality.

    The Good
    • Easily connects to the internet.
    • Simple to use.
    • Small and compact.
    The Bad
    • Quality of the picture depreciates with increase in screen size.
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  8. 8
    80%
    80%

    COFEND Wireless Streaming TV Stick

    The COFEND is just 6.8 cm long which means it is compact enough to blend into the background. Users will hardly notice that it’s there.

    It allows streaming media content in full HD and easily connects to the Wi-Fi.

    This device also allows users to display whatever is on their mobile devices on their TV screens. And the AV-HDMI adaptor is compatible with most mobile devices and tablets.

    However like the Roku Express Streaming Player, we found that it loses connection every now and then.

    The Good
    • Simple to connect to Wifi.
    • Is compatible with most mobile devices and tablets.
    The Bad
    • Loses connection now and then.
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  9. 9
    72%
    72%

    Now TV Box 2 Review

    The Now TV has a robust and durable set top box design. It comes with two options for connecting to the available network—WiFi and through Ethernet cable.

    There are no monthly charges for using the Now Tv and it enables access to channels such as BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Netflix, BBC News and Sky News.

    Unlike with the Roku Express Streaming Player, it doesn’t lose connection which allows the user to enjoy uninterrupted streaming.

    One downside to this product is that after watching an episode, some users found that the device wouldn’t automatically roll onto the next.

    To view the next episode they had to exit to the menu screen, go back into the TV series and scroll through the episodes available again.

    The Good
    • Simple to connect.
    • Streams easily without interruptions.
    The Bad
    • A little more complicated to operate than other devices.
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

Side-by-side

Android 9.0 TV BOX

  • Simple to use.
  • Easily connects to both Wifi and Ethernet.
  • Has a stylish design.
Check price  on amazon

Amazon Alexa Fire TV Stick Review

  • Simple to use.
  • Easily connects to both Wifi and Ethernet.
  • Has a stylish design.
Check price  on amazon

Roku 4205E Media Player Review

  • Simple to use.
  • Comes with an intuitive interface.
Check price  on amazon

Roku Express Streaming Player Review

  • Simple to use.
  • Sleek and attractive design.
  • Compact.
  • Offers plenty of free and paid Tv channels.
Check price  on amazon

Sumvision Cyclone Micro 4 Media Player Review

  • Easily connects to the internet.
  • Simple to use.
  • Small and compact.
Check price  on amazon

COFEND Wireless Streaming TV Stick

  • Simple to connect to Wifi.
  • Is compatible with most mobile devices and tablets.
Check price  on amazon

Now TV Box 2 Review

  • Simple to connect.
  • Streams easily without interruptions.
Check price  on amazon

Frequently asked questions

What are Media Streaming Devices?

Also known as a digital media player, a media streaming device is a home entertainment electronic device that allows the user to connect to a network and stream digital media which could be photos, music or videos.

Most will feature a dedicated remote control and have in-built WiFi connectivity for wireless connection.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Media Streaming Devices?

When streaming media online there isn’t much of a requirement to concern yourself with storage space as the content is played directly as it arrives.

There is no downloading which eliminates the need to use a drive. This also saves on the time it would take to initially download then play the media.

Media steaming devices give a user a greater variety of entertainment options than could ordinarily be enjoyed by purchasing DVD’s, games and CD’s individually.

Media that is stored and played on DVD can be affected by external factors such as damage and loss of quality such as getting scratched.

However, online streaming provides the user with high quality content that can be accessed at the convenience of the user without the burdens of damaged physical disks.

However, some media streaming devices do not feature both analogue and digital audio outputs.

This means that to effectively use them, your television needs to have a HDMI port.

Others will only connect via WiFi and any other internet connection simply will not do.

There is a huge difference in the design of the different models. Some have fewer apps than others while others are significantly faster that the rest.

What’s the Approximate Price Range for Media Streaming Devices?

There difference between the prices of media streaming devices varies a lot.

The TP-LINK N300 for example, costs a mere £13. On the other hand, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home media server costs nearly £600.

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Media Streaming Devices?

With live streaming gaining a lot of popularity, cable TV new feels outdated to many.

Streaming shows and movies provides consumer with a greater variety of entertainment options.

Modern Smart TVs operate in a similar way to media streaming devices and in fact if you do not mind the limited number of apps, you could argue that there’s really no need to get a separate device to stream your favourite shows.

However, if you are big on entertainment then a media streaming device might be a great option for you.

The gold standard among these devices is any streaming players capable of 4K HDR. They come in two main designs—set top boxes and dongles.

The set top box is generally more powerful. They provide the user with access to thousands of apps and thus plenty of entertainment options.

The second type, the dongles or streaming sticks are not as powerful as the set top boxes.

In some instances, however, they are still able to provide you with 4K HDR streaming. They are also far more affordable than their set top box counterparts.

They are both capable of connecting to apps that enable the user to access entertainment channels such as Amazon Video, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, YouTube and Spotify.

Another type of streaming media player is the full HD streaming players.

They are designed to function the best with 1080p TVs which normally have a limited number of apps. Most full HD TVs will not actually come with the smart feature.

Keep in mind that this is not to say that a 4K HDR streaming device will not work with HD TV.

However, if you are on a budget and have this type of TV, then a full HD stream.

If on the other hand you enjoy gaming, then you can get a console that provides you with the option of live media streaming such as the Playstation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.

However, note that the game consoles may not provide you with the high number of options that the 4K HDR and Full HD streaming devices would.

What are the Best Media Streaming Devices? Why are They the Best?

The Amazon fire TV stick with Alexa voice remote streaming media player is the best.

It has fast Wi-Fi connectivity and provides the user with over 7000 apps.

What Does a Media Streaming Device Do?

This device is easily connected to your Television using a HDMI port. It also connects to the available network either through WiFi or Ethernet cable.

Once connected, you can access thousands of apps such as Amazon Video, Netflix or YouTube.

To enjoy entertainment and videos from some some sources, like Netflix, you need to subscribe. Some however, like YouTube, are free.

What Is the Cheapest Device to Stream Netflix?

The Roku express streaming player is the cheapest device to stream Netflix. It also comes with a remote and a simple-to-use intuitive navigation feature.

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