The Ultimate Guide to TV Streaming Devices

  • March 25, 2022

What is a TV Streaming Device?

In essence, it is a mini-computer that connects your TV to streaming services, giving you access to content and audio directly on your TV.

Reasons to invest in a streaming device even if you own a smart TV

It’s virtually guaranteed that your TV will lose smart features outright. Before purchasing a TV, you might be drawn to extensive smart features and UI but think twice. You’re better off getting an add-on streaming device instead. If you’re purchasing a TV because it “doesn’t look as sleek” or because of the software, we want to break the news to you that TVs can’t keep up with the rapid software evolution.  Although basic streaming devices aren’t guaranteed app compatibility long-term, buying a new Roku or Fire TV stick isn’t going to hurt your wallet as much as another four-figure TV. It is true that almost all TVs, even the more affordable ones, are smart. They come in with built-in applications like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Disney+. Nevertheless, they still fall short in comparison with streaming devices. Here are a few reasons why you still need a streaming device no matter how ostentatious your smart TV is:  

1.    More entertainment

The primary reason to have a streaming device is that there are more entertainment options available. Many smart TVs contain pre-installed apps like Netflix and Disney Plus, but what about access to other channels such as Hulu, HBO, Vudu, Amazon videos, and so on? With a streaming device, not only do you get all of the above, you can still download more apps.  

2.    More user-friendly

A streaming device’s navigation and remote are much simpler than a smart TV’s. In general, TV manufacturers are known for designing beautiful displays, not for their software. In other words, you might not be able to get the same level of user experience with smart TVs as you can with a streamer.  

3.    Updates faster

Applications on streaming devices can be updated concurrently in the background while you’re enjoying movies. Some streaming devices, such as the Roku streaming device, always ensure that they are running on the latest software version. It randomly checks to see if a new update is available and schedules automatic upgrades for you. If you own a smart TV, you might need to update your device manually, which can take hours.  

4.    Stay up-to-date with your TV

Streaming TV makes your TV feel brand new even after five years. Streaming services are changing very fast every day, and in a short period, your smart TV might be outdated and incapable of supporting new streaming applications. You can keep your TV relevant to current trends with streaming devices that allow you to access a wide range of updated apps. This way, you can save up a fortune by not buying a new smart TV.  

What you’ll need to set up:

1.    A fast internet connection

Streaming is more enjoyable with high-speed internet. Unlike traditional TV channels, streaming requires the internet to watch. You wouldn’t want to keep refreshing in the middle of the show because your movie isn’t loading as smoothly as it should. For the most seamless streaming experience, Ethernet is a better option compared to WiFi.

How much bandwidth will I need for streaming?

  • To stream a standard definition (SD) video, a minimum of 3 Mbps is recommended.
  • To stream a high-definition (HD) video, a minimum of 5 Mbps is recommended.
  • To stream a 4K video, a minimum of 25 Mbps is required.
Today, most TVs and streaming services are HD. A 4K TV would be on the other end of the spectrum. While they produce higher-quality video, they put a greater strain on the internet as well. SD TVs are sort of fossils presently, you would not be able to stream the best pictures at 3 Mbps.

 2. Streaming device + smart TV

There are three ways to access premium content on streaming services.

●       A Smart TV

Many smart TVs come with built-in entertainment applications such as Netflix and Disney+. As long as your internet connection is fast and stable, you can start watching movies with minimal interruptions. A pro tip is to mount it on a full-motion TV bracket so you can watch it from anywhere in the living room.

●      Streaming Devices

Streaming services such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and many more are also available that give you access to numerous streaming apps not available on smart TVs. This is a great value add to your TV. You may need HDMI cables to connect and hide the wires, but all wire management issues can easily be solved by using the right TV bracket.  Now that you know the unlimited possibilities your TV can bring, it’s time to package the entire experience. For that, it begins with the right setting for your TV in your physical space. TigerMount offers a wide variety of TV brackets and mounts to accommodate any TV in your desired location. If you’d like to know how to set up, contact our sales consultants.