Ranking the Most Popular Streaming Devices: The Ultimate Buying Guide
Streaming is so ubiquitous these days that the most popular provider of video content has even entered the lexicon as a codeword for, erm, relaxing with loved ones.
Of course, there is streaming that is glorious and streaming that is not. The quality and reliability of your broadband connection will play a key role in that, and if you are being met with stuttering audio or glitchy visuals then considering an upgrade from your provider should be your first port of call.
However, it is also true to suggest that the device upon which you are streaming your favorite content also makes a huge difference. Maybe your laptop or tablet has seen better days, or your TV is, well, a bit ‘old school’.
If you want to make the most of your streaming experience, the time may have come to upgrade your chosen device to something shiny, new and excellent. Here are the best bits of streaming tech currently available on the market.
The best TV for streaming
If you have over $1k to spend on a new TV – lucky you, straight off the bat – then the LG OLED range is, by all accounts, the very best for streaming in 2019.
You’ll get incredible picture crispness, HDMI 2.1 input, in-built software from the likes of Hulu, Amazon Prime and ESPN, and a smart Home Dashboard feature, from which you can control your connected devices such as heating thermostats, doorbells and appliances.
If you are on a tighter budget, the Samsung RU8000 is an equally smart bet. This has one of the lowest lag rates of any new generation TV – it’s almost imperceptible, in fact, with motion interpolation and auto low latency mode. This is particularly important if you are playing video games online. You can be taking out the trash in GTA, triumphing in a battle royale on Fortnite or scoring hat-tricks on FIFA, and you’ll do so without lag or glitching.
The Samsung RU8000’s fundamentals, such as color, contrast and the like, are top-notch straight out of the box too, so you will be streaming high-quality content as soon as you get your new set home.
The best tablet for streaming
When it comes to new tablets, most shoppers flock like tech-ravaged zombies towards their local Apple store. And it should be said that the new edition of the iPad, the Pro 12.9 inch, is an outstanding addition to the collection. Here’s the thing though: if you hold your screen at arm’s length when streaming on the sofa or in bed, you should note that the new iPad is a pretty hefty 631g.
The lightweight iPad Air is a worthy companion in Apple’s library, but if you are anti all things iOS then once again it is Samsung to the rescue.
If you are looking to stream live video that also has a gaming element to it – think live dealer casino games – then the new Galaxy Tab S4 is for you. You can stream the dealers and croupiers to your device without lag or delay, which is crucial for this type of gaming, while carrying out your actions using the super-responsive ultra HD display.
The Tab S4 is a much more efficient option at a lower price tag too, with a sublime 1600 x 2560 pixels of resolution and a meaty Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Tablets don’t get much better than this. The power of that processor facilitates a sublime online gaming experience too. Given its lightweight frame, you can enjoy gaming on Samsung’s latest flagship device on the go without any problems at all.
The best laptop for streaming
Often overlooked these days in favor of smaller devices, if you are looking for a laptop that ticks all of the boxes and lets you stream efficiently too then take a look at the Dell XPS 13.
Why? Because it boasts exceptional specs that are as strong as a Mac, and from a streaming perspective, it serves up spectacular 4K visuals.
The Dell XPS 13 is lightweight too, so you can set it on your lap when binge-watching the latest true-crime series and you won’t have to worry about getting numb legs and toes.
The best smartphone for streaming
More and more people are streaming content to their smartphones. It’s true that for a long while the dominant trend in phone manufacturing was that smaller is better but happily, for streamers, this pattern seems to have been reversed of late.
It certainly has with the Apple iPhone XS Max, anyway, with its stocky 6.5-inch display.
Not only that, this member of the iPhone family offers an OLED screen too, and anybody that has had the pleasure of watching content on an OLED TV will know the benefits this brings.
Brighter colors, deeper blacks, and incredible contrast, the XS Max might not come cheap but it is certainly worth the hefty price tag as far as streaming is concerned.
This is the golden generation for streaming, with a huge range of platforms providing literally thousands of hours’ worth of content to enjoy. Happily, this generation of the best streaming devices is helping to bring your favorite videos, games, and apps to life in glorious technicolor.