12 min. read

The Best Media Streaming Device for 2023

With this list, you can get a media streaming device to open up your world of entertainment to a variety of content.

media streaming device

Following the advent of the Television, the setup of the living room area took a different form, one that was informed by the positioning of the TV. The seats were arranged to face the device as it quickly became the center of entertainment for any household. This was noted by a Media Theorist in the 1980s.

Traditional TV or popularly known as cable TV would produce its content across various stations. With time, the stations began to purchase additional entertainment from independent companies, however, they needed to fit into the station’s image, therefore limiting the available content.

In the late 90s and early 20s, there was an increase in independent creatives making their content and finding an alternative to reach the masses, therefore, launching mail order services for them which were later replaced by streaming services, with ‘Netflix’ being a great example of such transition. These services offer a choice of media to consume and this distinguishes them from Cable TV.

Currently, many people spend a lot of time watching streaming services on their TVs or their handheld devices and cable TV is losing its initial market as it is being replaced by these services. For you to enjoy streaming services, you need a media streaming device or a smart gadget. We give you all the information you need to decide on the best available media streaming device of your choice.

How We Picked

  • Content Availability

    Depending on your content consumption, different streaming services offer a range of products that will guide your subscription and eventual purchase.

  • Easy to Use and Search

    A good device is easy to install, use and search for your content of choice. A further demonstration of the manual of ‘how to…’ always comes in handy.

  • Streaming Speed and Quality

    Where internet speeds and connection is great, the media streaming should equally be of high quality and fast streaming speeds for the purpose of making the experience seamless and enjoyable.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    The cost of purchase of the media device and the subscriptions to the streaming services should not be more than you can comfortably afford, given that this is not a basic need but a necessary want sometimes.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Pick

NVIDIA SHIELD PRO

NVIDIA SHIELD PRO

The best high-performing streaming device.

This high-end streaming device is perfect and compatible with many TVs. It has an ergonomic design specifically for gamers or persons who enjoy binge-watching programs. It has great speeds and picture quality and is compatible with any operating system so the user can easily cast their device. We think that it offers you great value for the money you will spend on it.

Buy Now for $189.33

If you are a gamer or you simply enjoy great service and you don't mind spending the extra money for a seamless experience well then this is for you!

Our Runner-Up

Chromecast with GoogleTv-4k

Chromecast with GoogleTv-4k

This offers a wide range of compatibility with many brands.

We love the sleek design on this device as it occupies very little space around your screen. It can also be easily packed in your luggage when traveling. It also has access to many streaming platforms and can be cast using any android device. Using voice command, you can set up this streaming device and use it together with other google enabled gadgets.

Buy Now for $47.98

This sleek and easily portable streaming device is great for multiple devices as it is highly compatible with different devices.

Most Cost-Effective

ROKU Express 4k

ROKU Express 4k

Get value for your money without compromising on quality.

This is easily the most affordable device for the products that it offers as compared to its peers. Unlike most streaming devices, it has free-to-air channels so even after purchasing it, if you are low on cash, you can use the free-to-air option. In our books, this is value for your money. It has amazing pictures and offers a fast streaming experience.

Buy Now for $38.27

We all love a good bargain and this device is not only that but also real value for your money. You get quality at a good price when you choose the Roku Express 4k.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

NVIDIA SHIELD PRO

NVIDIA SHIELD PRO

The best high-performing streaming device.

$189.33

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

Chromecast with GoogleTv-4k

Chromecast with GoogleTv-4k

This offers a wide range of compatibility with many brands.

$47.98

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

ROKU Express 4k

ROKU Express 4k

Get value for your money without compromising on quality.

$38.27

Buy Now

Who This Is For

If you feel like your cable TV has limited shows or you can’t catch the programs that everyone is going on about because you don’t have a smart TV or if you are away from home and still want to catch up on your favorite shows — then media streaming devices are an adoption that you should look into.

What is a media streaming device?

A media streaming device is an electronic device that you connect externally to your TV, monitor, or handheld gadget to access online content. Many options provide these services such as Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, Streaming Stick, and Roku streaming stick, with some offering better services than others.

Why You Should Trust Us

We took our time to research the available products in the market and then went on to the product reviews by specialists and consumers. Our carefully curated list was guided by various parameters with which we examined the devices. We think that when you work hard, you should play hard as well and one of the ways to do this is by investing in your on-screen entertainment.

How We Picked

The content available on the streaming device that you choose to purchase has to suit your needs. We examined the number and quality of media products at your disposal from one device to the other. The more the content, the harder it is to choose what you want to watch and this is where the search engine must be easy to use and able to form an algorithm that is curated to you and your taste. Your user experience should be enjoyable from the installation to actual media consumption. This is optimized by the ease of use of the device, particularly its remote control.

Fast speeds and great contact quality are two sides of the same coin. It is annoying when you are watching or listening to online media and there are lugs in the video which originate as a result of slow steaming speeds. The picture quality of the streams should equally match the high speeds to ensure that the consumer receives maximum ‘enjoyment’.

We strongly believe that your purchases should be for your general satisfaction and should fit within your budget. Most media streaming devices have two costs, the purchasing cost, and the subscription cost. You need to be able to comfortably afford these so you don’t live beyond your means.

Some devices work only with particular brands and might not be compatible with yours so before purchase, be sure that you confirm this with your retailer. Compatibility with your device is very important because otherwise, your purchase will not serve its purpose. If you are purchasing for gifting purposes, then this is an important aspect to confirm so that your gift is not redundant.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - NVIDIA SHIELD PRO

Our Top Pick

NVIDIA SHIELD PRO

NVIDIA SHIELD PRO

The best high-performing streaming device.

This high-end streaming device is perfect and compatible with many TVs. It has an ergonomic design specifically for gamers or persons who enjoy binge-watching programs. It has great speeds and picture quality and is compatible with any operating system so the user can easily cast their device. We think that it offers you great value for the money you will spend on it.

Buy Now for $189.33

Who It's For

This is perfect for any gamer or user who enjoys crisp sound and clear pictures and doesn't mind paying for them.

Why It's Great

The NVIDIA is easily the best streaming device, especially for android who get to enjoy the voice control feature of this machine in the updated android 11 TV version.

Potential Flaws

The retail price of this Media streaming device is rather steep. To add to this is the continuous subscription fee that further increases its prices. It also is great for android users who can access all its features but different operating system users will not fully appreciate it.

Other Features

This Media streaming device allows you access to great content at 4K HDR quality. It is further enhanced by Dolby Vision which allows for immersive sound and very crisp video and photo images. You can also stream from your phone using the google chrome cast which comes inbuilt into this device.

It comes with 16GB storage and 3GB ram which comes in handy as it can hold a lot of media and accommodate heavy gaming, which is our favorite quality on this gadget. It has the GeForce Now cloud gaming which supports the transition from a streaming media platform to a full-on gaming platform.

Using voice control, you can control the functions of your device remotely and even pair up your home system so that you can watch your favorite show by asking Alexa, Google Assist or Amazon echo to execute a function. The versatility of this device and its state-of-the-art functions are a huge selling point for it. If you misplace the remote, don't worry, you can always find it with its inbuilt remote finder.

Our Runner-Up - Chromecast with GoogleTv-4k

Our Runner-Up

Chromecast with GoogleTv-4k

Chromecast with GoogleTv-4k

This offers a wide range of compatibility with many brands.

We love the sleek design on this device as it occupies very little space around your screen. It can also be easily packed in your luggage when traveling. It also has access to many streaming platforms and can be cast using any android device. Using voice command, you can set up this streaming device and use it together with other google enabled gadgets.

Buy Now for $47.98

Who It's For

If you already have a google echo system setup then this is the perfect streaming device for you.

Why It's Great

We love that it incorporates Dolby vision which guarantees crisp clear pictures and amazing sound all around.

Potential Flaws

It doesn't offer a wide range of online products which limits your selection and more to it, some of the content is pushed by Google which is not always preferred. These flaws are, however, common to most streaming devices so it shouldn't deter you greatly.

Other Features

The design of the Chromecast is not cumbersome at all so you are sure that the installation and usage experience will be smooth. We love that you can quickly pack up your device and enjoy your shows from whichever area you are owing to its fast streaming, crisp and clear pictures that are 4K HDR quality.

This device has the Google assist button on the remote that allows for input via voice command. You can further set up your home appliances in a home Google ecosystem including your cameras, to show on your TV.

For the market price at which this device retails, you can be sure that the services you get are top-notch, including the sound which is offered by a leading player in the industry.

Most Cost-Effective - ROKU Express 4k

Most Cost-Effective

ROKU Express 4k

ROKU Express 4k

Get value for your money without compromising on quality.

This is easily the most affordable device for the products that it offers as compared to its peers. Unlike most streaming devices, it has free-to-air channels so even after purchasing it, if you are low on cash, you can use the free-to-air option. In our books, this is value for your money. It has amazing pictures and offers a fast streaming experience.

Buy Now for $38.27

Who It's For

If you are on a budget, don't worry because Roku is designed for you.

Why It's Great

Its biggest selling point is that it offers great connectivity for all its users as it includes both control options for both Google Assistant and Alexa. It also has great channels.

Potential Flaws

This gadget has been reported to lag especially when switching channels or when engaging different devices. It also comes in a single color which isn't great for all interiors, however, these are small glitches that can be overcome.

Other Features

This gadget allows connectivity cutting across all markets, from android consumers to Apple customers. You can use the voice control apps for these phones using one remote control. It is even cheaper than the market brand carried by Apple. It retails at a great price and offers many programs and even when you are low on cash, you can still access up to 250 free-to-air channels.

The picture quality is at HD 4k and the colors are also sharp. You don't need to worry about compatibility because this device works well with many tv brands and even those that cannot support a high picture resolution. It can cast from handheld devices and still maintain great picture quality.

The Roku streaming is very easy to set up as all you need is reliable wifi. You can share content via the Airplay update as well. Its display is easy to navigate and despite its many programs, you will not feel overwhelmed by them because of the algorithm which is designed to suggest programs based on your previous history.

Almost Made The Cut - Apple TV 4K

Almost Made The Cut

Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K

If you are an Apple product fan then this is the right product for you since you can sync it with Alexa and your other Apple products.

Apple devices are reputed for their exclusivity and this is not the exemption. It is great for Apple TV and has amazing picture quality and doesn't hang or lug. In contrast to most of this brand's products, it is not an expensive purchase however it does come with its power adapter. We love the sleek design that allows it to increase the aesthetics of any room.

Buy Now for $115.19

Who It's For

If you are an Apple device enthusiast then this is a must-have for you.

Why It's Great

It comes with a new improved remote design and additional features that will complement your already existing Apple home ecosystem.

Potential Flaws

The price of this gadget cannot be justified when compared to its peers in its product range. It has amazing specs but there are no additional games or apps offered on it to take up the space available and probably excuse the high price rate.

Other Features

The best part about this device is its compatibility and fit with other Apple devices. You can enjoy the full experience of using Apple Music, Apple arcade, and Apple fitness on your T.V. You can also wear your AirPods and enjoy a more private experience.

A huge improvement that is noticeable is that this remote has a better design and is touch sensitive as compared to its predecessors. It supports Siri very efficiently and also allows for proper voice detection and control.

You get to enjoy access to all major streaming platforms while utilizing both the Dolby experience and the A12 chip which offers you amazing sound, great picture quality, and a premium gaming experience.

Care and Maintenance

After purchasing your preferred media streaming device set, check the back of your computer for the HDMI slots, to which you connect the HDMI stick. You need to power your streaming device and this is where you insert the available wall plug that connects with the set into a socket and power that on. Go to your TV set, turn it on then choose your preferred media input-which in your case is HDMI.

Using the remote that comes with the set, turn on your device then proceed to set up the rest of the functions to your liking. You need to be sure that the set you purchase is compatible with your TV provider and if not, just look into buying one that is right for you instead of switching out a whole TV for a streaming device.

You need to ensure that you have set your privacy and security settings to suit your needs. For instance, you might choose to limit the adult content on your streaming device or you can place a security lock such that your device is primarily accessible to you. All this can be curated to your liking.

Some media streaming devices are purchased on a one-time basis so you don’t need to pay subscription fees while others require frequent payment for you to enjoy the products. You need to be sure about your purchase because that helps you plan your budget effectively.