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Gadget |  18 Feb 2020 11:48 |  By RnMTeam

Must-have gadgets for an ultimate streaming experience at home

Almost all of us like plopping down in front of the TV for a while at some point in the day. Thanks to the quality of content and the categories are a lot more diversified than it was a couple of years ago, we are mostly glued to the TV on weekends. But most of us simply do not have the schedule that can afford the luxury of sitting down in front of the screen at a fixed time to watch our favorite shows. To help with our modern woes, the solution has to be just as modern and streaming devices play the part perfectly.

All you need is a solid WiFi connection and your big-screen, preferably 4K enabled TV.  These gadgets will get you a premium visual experience by streaming content online, at your own leisure, all by issuing voice commands! But if you’re already contemplating the cost involved in getting these gadgets, don’t strain your brain! Online aggregators like Amazon and Flipkart often offer online deals on gadgets to save you from burning your money on super expensive gadgets. Be a smart buyer and #SaveOnEverything.

Below is a list of gadgets you can bring home to revolutionize your streaming experience-

1. Amazon Fire TV Cube (2019)
For those who swear by Amazon products, the Cube is one of the best streaming devices currently in the market. Even though it was originally launched basically like the first Fire TV box to have standalone Alexa support, that is, you wouldn’t need an external Echo with the Cube- it has proved to be not only an excellent streamer but quite possibly also the best controller for your home entertainment system without you ever having to reach out for the remote (it’s never where it’s supposed to be, anyway).

The Cube comes with ports supporting HDMI CEC and HDMI-ARC besides IR blasters, so you can now go ahead and use voice commands to turn the TV on, switch between apps or even between devices. Talking to a computer has never been more efficient! The AI assistant in Cube will learn to recognize your input style so that even simple or vague speech commands are recognized, not to mention that it supports 4k and HDR playback, besides sporting an Ethernet adapter-an unique feature to provide the steadiest data connection. The 2019 version comes with Hdr10+ and Dolby Vision.

2. Apple TV 4k
Offering seamless streaming and top-notch visual experience, the Apple TV 4k is a great choice for those who prefer things the Apple way. A solid competitor to Amazon and the other giants, the Apple TV comes with a lightning-fast   A10X Fusion processor- all you need is a solid internet connection! It also lets you copy and paste login credentials directly from your other Apple devices-iPhone, iPad or Macs so now you can grumble about how ridiculous it is to keep having to enter passwords everywhere.

The Apple TV 4k comes with a Siri-enabled remote control, dual-band Wifi, Bluetooth 5.0 and a Gigabit Ethernet port. With support for both HDR 10 and Dolby Vision, your visual experience is never compromised-not to mention that the A10X, being one of the fastest chipsets, makes sure that even lower resolution content looks better. Unlike its competitors, Apple lets you rent 4K HDR content in iTunes at no extra charge (you can now breathe easy!) as well as gives you an automatic free upgrade to your existing collection. But not sure which ones are in 4k HDR? Ask Siri! The all-famous voice AI, using its universal search feature, helps you search a specific movie or a TV show or even an entire genre. With support for Dolby Atmos, 4K and HDR in both Dolby Vision and HDR10, you have all the upgrades you need for a stunning visual experience- as long as you are using the right kind of HDMI cables.

3. Google Chromecast (2018)
If you are not sure whether to join the Amazon camp or Apple, Google Chromecast is a nifty option. A simple and affordable HD streaming device that gets the job done without too much fuss, the Chromecast is your savior if you don’t have a 4K HDR supported Tv already. This device comfortably syncs with your phone or tablet and saves you from spending all that extra dough on 4K-enabled devices. The 2018 update on the device gave it a faster frame rate for 1080p content and a makeover, but the device remains, overall, as simple as it was meant to be.

However, if you do own a 4K HDR-enabled TV, the Chromecast Ultra with support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR has got you covered there as well. The tiny but powerful device can be connected to one of your TV’s HDMI ports to stream content from Netflix, Youtube or any other streaming apps. Not only Chromecast lets you access Google’s vast content library but the Ultra version can even mirror the screen of your smartphone or display content from your phone browser. Integrated with Google, this device supports Google Assistant as well as any of the other Google smart devices (Yay for the Android & Google users). However, the gadget does not come with a remote control so you have to pick your content the old school way.

4. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k
Another excellent gadget from Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is an affordable streamer that supports 4K with HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The best features of this device are not just the Alexa support but its quick WiFi streaming and ease of menu navigation. One of the most affordable streaming gadgets in the Indian market, the updated version of it comes with an Alexa-enabled remote to help you fetch your content with just voice commands. If you do not have a 4K enable TV, you can go for the regular Fire TV stick which, like Chromecast, also lets you mirror your screen via Miracast.

The Fire TV Stick and its updated versions support Amazon Prime for obvious reasons but you can also access other leading services like Netflix, Hotstar., Ganna or SonyLiv. However, one of its weak spots is the lack of a proper YouTube App which can be let down as it only skates by, loading up the web version of YouTube via its web browser. However, with a user-friendly interface, wide content access and 4K support within an affordable price range, the Fire TV stick is a solid option.

5. Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019)
This device, although slightly more expensive, is perfect for gamers. Pretty much features all the standard perks, including Google voice assistant support, a voice command enable remote control, 4K Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos. However, it also comes with a joystick and access to over 200 games that are available for you to play via Android TV, quite a few of them exclusive to Shield TV itself. If you are a regular gamer, you are going to love the option of streaming your PC games to the TV while you relax on the couch.

The updated Pro version comes with a new Tegra x1+ processor for better gaming performance, and you can use your existing Bluetooth controller like Sony’s DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers with the Shield TV Pro. 4K streaming is available for all the major services like Netflix, Amazon and Youtube while select services support HDR streaming.

6. Roku Ultra (2019)
Relatively new to the Indian market but one of the leading brands as far as global reputation is concerned, the last item on this list is the Roku Ultra 2019- a powerful and well-balanced streamer that comes with Roku’s smooth interface and excellent app support. Supports 4k streaming, Dolby Atmos and HDR10 and houses an Ethernet port to stabilize internet speed. It also has a MicroSD card slot as well as a USB port to support your external storage devices. Roku Ultra comes with a remote control that is not only compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant but also comes with a headphone jack for private commands.

Before you go ahead and splurge on these premium devices that will definitely get you to swear off regular cable forever, please make sure not only you have a compatible device but also a high-speed WiFi connection. Without high-speed internet, you will not be getting the actual benefits that 4K enabled devices have to offer. Check the compatibility of your existing accessories like controller and HDMI cables so that you don’t end up buying the same things.