Slave to Cable TV? Cut the Cord with Streaming Devices!

THE BEST ONLINE STREAMING TV DEVICES TO GET RID OF CABLE

More and more people are realizing that you don’t need to have cable to watch television. With the internet speeds increasing and streaming devices providing more online options, it is a viable solution. I know there are a lot to choose from, so let’s take a look at the best options to supplement your over the air TV with these great streaming TV devices.

The Best Online Streaming TV Devices

Roku Streaming Stick

Roku 3500R Streaming Stick (HDMI)

A very compact device the Roku 3500R Streaming Stick uses your TV’s HDMI port to stream online content to your television. It does require a wireless internet connection to work. With 2,000 channels and over 250,000 movies and television shows it has by far the most content out there. There is quite a bit of free content with many channels to choose. The Roku Streaming Stick allows for streaming of Netflix, Hulu+ and Amazon. They are premium channels that do require extra payments. Roku has taken all the best things about their devices and compacted it into a stick that takes up minimal space, has varying options for power sources, and works better than anything at this price point. The Roku Streaming Stick has the same basic user interface as the Roku 1. It’s in a small package that can be hidden behind the TV and powered by the USB port. The remote that comes with the Roku Streaming Stick could be designed better. You should download the remote app for your smart phone, works much better. But, you can not beat the price of about $50.00. This streaming device is a great low cost way to enter the online streaming revolution.

Specifications

  • More than 2,000+ entertainment channels
  • HD video quality
  • No cables, MHL port powers Roku Streaming Stick
  • Control with device remote and mobile app.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Fast
  • Nice menu
  • Sleek
  • Small
  • Plug and Play
  • Many channels are available

Cons

  • Poor remote
  • Does not work in all countries

Here is a great video review by Audioholics

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Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player (4230R) With Voice Search (2015 model)

The Roku 3 has all of the online content that the Roku Streaming Stick has but with more advanced options and a more powerful streaming processor. This device allows for an Ethernet or wireless connection. You can also plug in remote devices like a usb hard drive to stream your personal videos. If you are looking for private audio, it has a nice feature that allows you to plug in your head phones into the remote. There Roku app lets you beam photos, songs, and videos from your phone or tablet to your TV. This is one of the better online streaming TV devices. It’s a little more pricey at around $100.00 but, well worth it for the extra features. If you are new to Roku and are considering cutting the cable this device is worthwhile.

Specifications

  • 802.11 dual-band (a/b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support
  • 10/100 Base-T Ethernet
  • 720p and 1080p HD video
  • Digital over HDMI (Dolby® 7.1 and 5.1 surround pass through)
  • microSD card slot for additional game and channel storage
  • Roku 3 point anywhere enhanced remote with voice search, headphone jack, and motion-control
  • Roku 3 layer includes IR receiver (compatible with various universal remotes)
  • Video: MP4 (H.264), MKV (H.264)
  • Audio: AAC, MP3

Pros

  • Fast
  • Responsive
  • Easy to use
  • Many channels are available
  • Head phone jack in remote
  • Voice search feature

Cons

  • Cost
  • Does not work in all countries

Check out the review by Tested

 

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Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazons Fire TV Stick also connects to your HDMI port of your TV and requires a wireless internet connection. You can enjoy over 200,000 TV episodes and movies on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO, and Hulu Plus, with games, music, and more. You can stream movies and TV shows in up to 1080p HD. Enjoy rich surround sound with Dolby Digital Plus (up to 7.1). The Fire TV Stick’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to find what you want. Browse popular movies, shows, and recommendations personalized for you right on your home screen, and instantly add new discoveries to your watch list with a single click. At around $40.00 dollars, it’s a no brainier.

Specifications

  • Processor: Broadcom Capri 28155, dual-core 2 x ARM A9 up to 1 Ghz
  • Graphics: GPU VideoCore4
  • Storage:  8 GB internal
  • Memory: 1 GB
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO); supports 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 3.0
  • Cloud Storage All Amazon Cloud Drive customers start with 5 GB of free storage
  • Ports 1 Type A HDMI 1.4b output, w/HDCP 1.4
  • 1 Micro USB for power only
  • Dolby Audio Support for Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
  • Content Formats Supported Video: H.264
  • Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis
  • Supports 720p and 1080p HD

Pros

  • Quick
  • Easy to use
  • Polished interface
  • Cost

Cons

  • Included remote doesn’t support voice search
  • Not as fast as Fire TV

Here is a great in depth video review by Digital Trends

 

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Amazon Fire TV Stick

by Amazon [Amazon]
Price on Amazon: $34.00 £30.00 CDN$ 120.00

Apple TV

Apple TV Streaming Media Player Bundle including DeOrz High-Speed 3-Foot HDMI Cable

Apple TV has been around for quite some time and is still a great online streaming TV device. You can use this device with a wireless or wire internet connection. It offers over 15,000 movies and 90,000 TV show episodes in the iTunes Store. You can also access the entire Netflix streaming catalog. Watch live sports; browse and enjoy videos, radio, podcasts, and photos from the Internet or your computer. The Apple TV is an elegant and easy to use little box. The interface is pretty and fairly intuitive to use. Setup is dead simple. The Apple TV sells for around $90.00.

Specifications

  • Processor: Apple single-core A5 chip
  • HDMI2
  • Optical audio
  • 10/100BASE-T Ethernet
  • Built-in IR receiver
  • Micro-USB (for service and support)
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth support for Apple Wireless Keyboard
  • Capable of 1080p or 720p
  • Video Formats: H.264 .m4v, .mp4, and .mov

Pros

  • Minimum effort to setup
  • Easy to use interface
  • Can re-stream old purchased episodes

Cons

  • Limited channels

Another great review from DetroitBORG

 

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Conclusion

There are many options to choose for online streaming devices. I hope that this article will help make your decision easier. Having the proper over the air antennaand online streaming TV devices can really help you cut the cable bill.

Feature Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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