Streaming devices are not only for those who like to Netflix and Chill. Even if you are happy with the regular TV, you have to tune in at the right time or you miss your favorite shows.
Streaming devices are portable. It is like carrying your entertainment unit in your pocket wherever you go. You just need to plug it into your TV and you will get all the online content from free and premium streaming services if you have a membership of those services. Gone are the days when siblings were used to fight over remote because their favorite shows were coming at the same time on different channels. With streaming devices, you can watch anything anytime whenever you want.
With streaming devices, you can watch regular TV shows at your convenience. You can pause and rewind and re-watch anything you want that you cannot do on your regular TV. Streaming services also provide you content from various online streaming websites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Sony Liv, Zee5 etc.
There are a lot of streaming devices available in the market these days. Let’s understand which one is right for you.
Fire TV Stick:
Our number one choice in the list of streaming devices is Fire TV Stick. Fire TV Stick is the portable entertainment which you can carry with you. You just need to plug it into any compatible TV. You have two options in this device:
- Fire TV Stick ( for HD and Full HD TV)
- Fire TV Stick 4K (for UHD TV)
The Fire TV stick is available at Rs. 2799 and is compatible with 720p HD TVs and 1080p Full HD TVs with the refresh rate of 60fps. Fire TV Stick 4K is available at Rs. 3999 and is compatible with 2160p 4K/Ultra HD TVs with the refresh rate of 60 fps. You can also use the 4K stick with lower 720p and 1080p resolutions but if you own Ultra High Definition TV then you must go for 4K stick.
Amazon Prime Membership is not the mandatory requirement for this device but If you have Amazon Prime Membership, then your Fire TV stick comes pre-registered to your account. When you plug in this device to the HDMI port of your TV, you will be able to access all the prime content. Not only Prime Video, but it also has other popular applications as well like Youtube, Hotstar, Netflix, Zee5, Sony LIV and others. But to watch content on those apps you have to buy their subscription wherever applicable.
Both Fire Stick and Fire Stick 4k come with 8 GB of internal memory out of which you get 4.5 GB of space to store your content. It also comes with wifi connectivity. You will receive the all-new Alexa voice remote, HDMI extender for better wi-fi reception, power adapter, 2 AAA Batteries for your remote along with your Fire TV stick. With the included Alexa voice remote you can control your Fire TV Stick and certain TV functions like power and volume. It comes pre-loaded with silk browser but you can install any other browser like Chrome or Firefox if you want. With Alexa voice support, you can find content, rewind movie, play music and do a lot more. Fire stick is not meant for gaming so it you are looking for high graphics gaming support you will not get that with the Fire Stick.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Wifi support.
- Alexa voice support
- Not meant for gaming.
- Internal storage memory is very less
Airtel XStream Stick:
The device is launched at Rs. 3,999 in India. It can be plugged into any TV that has an HDMI port. The stick runs on Android 8. The device comes with the preloaded Airtel Xstream app providing access to ZEE5, Hooq, Hoi Choi, Eros Now, HungamaPlay, ShemarooMe, Ultra and Curiosity Stream, along with songs from the Wynk Music library.
It does not have access to DTH channels. If you want to want DTH channels then you have to buy a separate set top box and recharge it. It also comes with Google Play Store support which allows the user to download apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, youtube etc. It comes with built-in chromecast to cast your favourite content from smartphone to TV, 1.6GHz processor, and a voice search-enabled remote with Bluetooth v4.2 functionality. As stated earlier the device is priced at Rs 3,999, but Airtel Thanks Platinum and Gold customers will get complimentary access to the content subscription plan on Airtel Xstream Stick. Other users get the first month free and can subscribe to the plan for Rs.999 annually.
The Airtel Xstream Stick can be bought online from airtel.in or Flipkart. It will also be available on Airtel retail stores and from retail chains like Croma and Vijay Sales.
- Google Assistance Voice search
- Wynk Music Library support
- Buit-in chromecast
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Cannot access DTH channels
Airtel Xstream 4K Hybrid Box:
The Airtel Xstream Box is a 4K Hybrid Box that brings both satellite TV and OTT content. The set-top box runs on Android 9.0 which means it offers Google Play Store and Google Assistance. The Airtel Xstream Box price in India is priced at Rs. 3,999. It comes with a one-year free subscription to all Airtel Xstream app content, along with one month of subscription to an HD DTH pack.
Existing Airtel Digital TV customers can upgrade to Airtel Xstream Box at the discounted price of Rs. 2,249. The set-top box includes 500 TV channels and access to ZEE5, Hooq, Hoi Choi, Eros Now, HungamaPlay, ShemarooMe, Ultra, and Curiosity Stream.
Users will also have access to over 6 million songs from Wynk Music’s library. the Airtel Xstream Box comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and a built-in Chromecast. There is a universal remote with Google Assistant-based voice search functionality and dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube hotkeys.
There is no dedicated gaming support but you can download gaming apps from Google Play Store.
The Xstream 4K Hybrid Box comes with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage which can be extended up to 128GB. There are two USB 2.0 ports on the device.
- Can access DTH and OTT both
- Google Assistance Voice search
- Wynk Music Library support
- Expandable Internal storage
- No dedicated gaming support
Apple TV 4K
The Apple TV 4K is not a tv. It is a digital media receiver device that can play movies from sources like online streaming services.
In India 32 GB model is available at Rs.17,430 and 64 GB model is available at Rs. 19,480. In case you buy and download a lot of movies from iTunes then you need a 64 GB model. If you are going to use it just for online streaming, you can go for 32 GB. It is compatible with HD and 4K UHD as well. It supports HDR vision and Dolby vision that means if you have OLED TV then Apple TV 4K is a good choice to upgrade your entertainment unit.
You can stream content from popular apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video etc. and more apps from the App Store can be downloaded. You can also manage content on Apple TV 4K from your iPhone.
- Good storage capacity
- 4K quality support
- No USB port
- Apple does not provide processor upgrades for this
Jio 4K Set-top box
Reliance Jio has not announced the price for its 4k set-top box yet. For now, the company is giving the device free to users under its ‘Welcome offer’ for JioFiber. It is unclear will it support android platform or not, but it will definitely support Jio apps such as Jio Cinema, Jio Savan, Jio games and more. It comes with a new feature of video calls using the Jio call app via the set-top box on the television set itself. This feature is not available on other set-top boxes. Reliance is yet to announce more information on its set-top box. To get updates stay tuned.