• Top 10 Best Streaming Devices in the UK 2020 (Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Streaming Devices in the UK 2020 (Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Streaming Devices in the UK 2020 (Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Streaming Devices in the UK 2020 (Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Streaming Devices in the UK 2020 (Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and More) 5

Top 10 Best Streaming Devices in the UK 2020 (Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and More)

Catching up on your favourite show has never been easier, thanks to the wonders of the internet and the invention of the smart TV. But if you bought your telly a few years ago, it might not have the capability to connect to your Wi-Fi. Enter the streaming device - a nifty little gadget that plugs straight into your TV and allows you to sync up with all the giant UK streaming providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and Disney+. 


Finding the right gadget for your home might be confusing with so many options on the market though. So, to give you a hand, we’ve put together a quick buying guide that'll cover all of your burning questions about streaming devices. Then we’ll share our reviews of the best ones to buy at Amazon, eBay, Argos, and John Lewis, including Google's Chromecast, Amazon's 4K Fire Stick, and a voice-controlled device by Roku. Ready to plug in and play?

  • Last updated: 17-11-2020
  • 357 views
Table of Contents

What Is a Streaming Device?

What Is a Streaming Device?

Before we get started, let’s just clear up what a streaming device is - in case there’s any confusion! All devices that can stream content from the internet, such as our phones, tablets and laptops, are technically considered streaming devices. However, in this article, we’re going to be focusing on products that specifically enable you to stream media on your TV screen.


As we mentioned, you simply need to plug one into your current telly - so it basically works like a DVD player or Sky box, except that you can watch or listen to what you want when you want! However, something that's essential to know is that whilst these devices allow you to stream content, they do not provide this content. You'll need to install the right apps, sign up for an account, and possibly pay for the services you want to use. 

How to Choose a Streaming Device in the UK – Buying Guide

Let’s run through the main factors you should consider when picking up a streaming device. Here, we’ll look at the different styles, connection options, the type of image quality you're after, and which apps you might like to use.

Box or Stick - Which Style of Streaming Device Is Best?

There are two main styles of TV streaming device: a box and a stick. In this section, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each style in order to help you decide which one will be suitable for your needs.

Streaming Boxes Are Large, But Provide Better Image Quality

If you’re looking for top-notch image quality like 4K resolution, then a streaming box might be the most reliable option. Since these tend to come with an ethernet port, they can be plugged straight into your router - so you won't have to worry about buffering or a shaky Wi-Fi connection!


However, as boxes tend to be quite large, one of these will take up space on your TV stand. Some also require an additional cable, which is sold separately, to connect them to your TV. These factors make boxes less portable - meaning you won't be able to use them at a friend's house or when travelling with your laptop. In addition, they're generally more expensive than stick devices.

Affordable TV Sticks Work Anywhere and Connect Easily

Affordable TV Sticks Work Anywhere and Connect Easily

The great thing about streaming sticks is their portability - they’re about the size and weight of a lighter! This means you can pop one in your pocket and take it with you wherever you go, whether you want to sneakily watch Netflix at the office or chill out with a movie in your hotel room. They’re also very easy to connect and tend to cheaper than a box.


The downside is that sticks rely on Wi-Fi and don't directly connect to your router, so streaming won't always be smooth. They can be a little slow when loading apps too, which you might find frustrating.

Check Your TV Connection Options and Compatibility

Check Your TV Connection Options and Compatibility

Another key factor that you should consider is the type of connection that's available on your TV, as this will determine which kind of device you can use. Both boxes and sticks can usually be connected via a HDMI or USB port at the back of the TV. 


If your TV doesn't have a USB port though, you may need to buy an external USB plug for your stick device - but this isn't something that'll work with a box! So, definitely check which kind of slots your TV has before you start browsing.

Should You Opt for a Device That Supports 4K?

Should You Opt for a Device That Supports 4K?

We're sure you'll agree that image quality is one of the most crucial elements when it comes to watching media on your TV. Luckily, all streaming devices deliver at least HD picture quality, which is the standard option for most TVs.


However, if you’ve forked out for a 4K TV then you’re naturally going to want to be able to access content with a 4K resolution. Even if you don't have a 4K TV just yet, you might invest in one later on, so we'd say it's worth picking up a device with this capability anyway if it's within your budget.

Determining Which Apps Your Device Can Access

Determining Which Apps Your Device Can Access

Lastly, think about which apps you'll want to use on your device. While major streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ should be accessible on most devices, those like the BFI (British Film Institute) Player or certain sports channel apps might not be available. 


To avoid disappointment, make sure you choose a device with the right marketplace that will allow you to use your favourite apps. We'll put this info in the spec table below each product review, so you can easily check which apps each gadget will provide access to.

Top 10 Best Streaming Devices in the UK

Now that you’re up to speed with what you should be looking out for, it's time to share our favourite streaming devices to buy online. We've considered value for money, functionality, and ease of use to ensure that you pick the perfect plug-in product.

10
StyleStick
Connection TypeHDMI
Ethernet PortNo
Image QualityHD
MarketplaceNow TV
9

AppleApple TV 32GB 4K

£179.00

StyleBox
Connection TypeHDMI
Ethernet PortNo
Image Quality4K
MarketplaceApp Store
8
StyleStick
Connection TypeHDMI
Ethernet PortNo
Image QualityHD
MarketplaceAndroid TV
7
StyleStick
Connection TypeHDMI
Ethernet PortNo
Image QualityHD
MarketplaceFire TV OS
6
StyleStick
Connection TypeHDMI
Ethernet PortYes
Image Quality4K
MarketplaceAndroid TV
5
StyleBox
Connection TypeHDMI (cable required)
Ethernet PortYes
Image Quality4K
MarketplaceRoku Channel Store
4
StyleBox
Connection TypeHDMI (cable required)
Ethernet PortYes
Image Quality4K
MarketplaceFire TV OS
3
StyleBox
Connection TypeHDMI or USB
Ethernet PortYes
Image Quality4K
MarketplaceAndroid TV
2
StyleStick
Connection TypeHDMI
Ethernet PortNo
Image Quality4K
MarketplaceFire TV OS
1
StyleStick
Connection TypeHDMI
Ethernet PortNo
Image Quality4K
MarketplaceRoku Channel Store

Compare the Best Streaming Devices

Image
1
Roku Streaming Stick+ 1

Roku

2
Amazon Fire Stick 4K Ultra 1

Amazon

3
NVIDIA Shield TV 1

NVIDIA

4
Amazon Fire TV Cube 1

Amazon

5
Roku Ultra 1

Roku

6
Google Chromecast 4K Ultra HD 1

Google

7
Amazon Fire TV Stick 1

Amazon

8
Google Chromecast 1

Google

9
Apple Apple TV 32GB 4K 1

Apple

10
NOW TV Smart Stick HD with Voice Search 1

NOW TV

Name

Streaming Stick+

Fire Stick 4K Ultra

Shield TV

Fire TV Cube

Ultra

Chromecast 4K Ultra HD

Fire TV Stick

Chromecast

Apple TV 32GB 4K

Smart Stick HD with Voice Search

Features

An Affordable Gadget With a Highly Intuitive Interface

Smaller, Faster, and Better Than the Original

Plenty of Apps and a Remote That You Just Can't Lose

A Cube With Complete Hands-Free Control

Speedy TV Access From the Pioneers of Streaming

The Chromecast Takes a Leap Into 4K

Budget-Friendly and Easy to Navigate

This Golden Oldie Is Still One of the Best Around

A Stylish Device for Apple Fans

Sky Entertainment Access With Standard HD Resolution

Price£49.00£49.99£148.86£109.99£123.00£69.00£39.99£30.00£179.00£26.99
StyleStickStickBoxBoxBoxStickStickStickBoxStick
Connection TypeHDMIHDMIHDMI or USB HDMI (cable required)HDMI (cable required)HDMIHDMI HDMIHDMIHDMI
Ethernet PortNoNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
Image Quality4K4K4K4K 4K 4K HDHD4KHD
MarketplaceRoku Channel StoreFire TV OSAndroid TVFire TV OSRoku Channel StoreAndroid TVFire TV OSAndroid TVApp StoreNow TV
Link

In Need of More TV Accessories?

In Need of More TV Accessories?

Fancy adding even more tech devices to your TV set-up? Check out our other audiovisual product recommendations at the links below - you'll have your very own home cinema in no time!

Summary

Whether you're looking for a portable stick that can be taken with you on your travels or something more sturdy for your household set-up, we hope you've found our buying guide and list of recommended streaming devices useful. Now all you need to do is decide on something to watch tonight!

Author: Lewis Clark

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