The 10 Best 4K Streaming Devices

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This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in December of 2018. If you want to join the legions of cord cutters abandoning their expensive cable services in favor of more flexible entertainment options, you're going to want one of the 4K streaming devices from our list. They can run your favorite media apps, like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, and some can even interface with your home automation systems, making them easier to set up and use than ever. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Nvidia Shield Pro

2. Roku Streaming Stick+

3. Ematic Jetstream

Editor's Notes

August 21, 2020:

When it comes to 4K streaming, it's often best to avoid generic TV boxes or anything running open-source Android TV because they tend to not perform well or have certification for use with some important streaming services. The Ematic Jetstream is one that appears to be yet another copy of one of these, but in fact it does feature Widevine DRM certification and is a great choice for using with Kodi.

All the rest of these cord-cutting devices come from well-known and respected brands. The TiVo RA2400, for example, comes from one of the first companies to bring digital, non-physical home media to the mainstream many years ago. Today, the Roku Ultra, Roku Premiere , and Roku Streaming Stick+ all have the kind of brand recognition that TiVo did so long ago, and for good reason - their operating system is repeatedly lauded for its ease of use. The Streaming Stick+ is the best choice for most users, but sticklers for menu performance and advanced features might want to invest int he Ultra. Anyone willing to make an even more significant investment should consider the Apple TV, which is often regarded as the most streamlined, but is about the most expensive.

The Google Chromecast Ultra is an interesting choice because of its simplicity, although it's not quite as streamlined as the rest. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is easy to use and quite inexpensive; while it doesn't have quite the same app library as many others, it's a perfectly good choice for most users. Again, those who demand higher general use performance should consider the upgraded Amazon Fire TV Cube.

However, it's hard to top the Nvidia Shield Pro. Yes, it is costly, but if you want one high-powered device that can do an impressive amount of things well, this is the one to choose. It has far and away the most powerful hardware inside of any on our list, and it's a great choice for gamers who want to stream titles from their high-end PC to their living room TV.

January 09, 2019:

The heavy hitters in this category come from brands we expected to see, with Roku, Amazon, and Apple among the top ranks. NVIDIA's Shield system remains rather viable as well, while a few of the more suspicious KODI boxes stand out from within a sea of comparable brand-X options. Despite having better specs in some cases, these tend to have issues with their open source software bugging out on people.

Special Honors

Microsoft Xbox Series X The Xbox was the original platform of the Xbox Media Center, now Kodi, and remains a great choice for streaming all sorts of media. Releasing in November of 2020, the latest generation of Xbox is also one of the most powerful gaming-focused devices ever released, and promises hours of interactive fun, though at a considerable price.

OSMC Vero 4K+ If you're comfortable configuring your own hardware, this TV box was built to run Linux, and works particularly well with the Kodi suite and a Linux fork called LibreELEC. As you might imagine, though, it's not meant for beginners, and it lacks support for popular apps such as Netflix in Ultra HD.

4. Amazon Fire TV Stick

5. TiVo RA2400

6. Roku Premiere

7. Roku Ultra

8. Apple TV

9. Amazon Fire TV Cube

This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available.

10. Google Chromecast Ultra

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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