Congratulations on your new 4K HDR TV- Looking for the best set-top box to enjoy every bit of those 3840 x 2160 pixels? If so then you have just come to the right place as we have listed down the best media streaming devices which will offer great bang for your buck. But before we start up with our list you must know that it is nearly impossible to get all the features in one set-top box, you must know what feature you want in order to pick up the best fit for your home entertainment center. Luck for you, we have brought the best options available in the market for every price range to help you make the best decision in your budget.
Apple TV 4K 2017
We are going to start our list with the latest generation of the Apple TV, it is the most expensive set-top box on our list but if you want the full experience this is the right choice. It features all the high-definition video format along with HDR 10 and Dolby Vision support. The Dolby Atmos is currently not supported but Apple has scheduled an update for it.
The device is powered by Apple’s A10X processor which provides a fast and smooth experience. You also get 32 or 64 Gigs of onboard storage. Except for Amazon Prime Video, you will find all the streaming apps you can think of plus you also get iTunes movie app which will allow you to follow and discover all your favorite TV shows and other videos in hi-res quality. The only down point of this device is that it does not support 4K HDR videos on YouTube.
The Apple 4K TV is also integrated with Siri which you can use to control your smart home gadgets if you have HomeKit-enabled devices. You can also mirror your iOS devices to the set-top box via the Airplay. Overall the Apple TV 4K offers an almost complete package and provides the best experience that you can get from a set-top box. You can get your hands on this device for around $200.
The Roku Ultra is an impressive mid-range set-top box that offers some incredible features like n improved 802.11ac WiFi antenna that increases the range by four times. It also features HDR 10 and Dolby Atmos and an expansive app store with the most number of apps available than any other device on the list. The only down point of this device is that it does not support Dolby Vision.
The User Interface is fairly simple and basic and anyone would easily be able to setup and use the device. The Roku Ultra’s remote offers dedicated buttons for services like Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Now, the best thing about this remote is that it has a headphone jack which will allow you to listen to the audio using your favorite wired headphones.
The device even has a microSD card slot and a USB port which you can use to stream your downloaded content. There is a night listening mode available that balances the sound so the audio doesn’t get too loud or too quiet. Overall this is a really great device with some quite unique features like a lost remote finder, voice controls etc. You can buy this device for around $100 on Amazon.
Google Chrome Cast Ultra
The Google Chrome Cast Ultra is the latest flagship and the first one by Google to support 4K Ultra HD streaming. It is a budget-friendly option which offers all the latest feature like Dolby Vision and HDR. It also comes with an Ethernet port to make sure your video streaming stays stable and smooth. It is basically a hockey puck shaped dongle that you control using your smartphone or computer. It supports all the main streaming apps like YouTube, Netflix etc.
It is not exactly a media streaming device like the other ones on the list; instead, it just Chromecast your smartphone or PC’s video content on a larger display by pulling the content from the internet itself. You can also play your own or any downloaded content from your computer. Gaming is also available on this device but the experience is not good and the list of games supported is also very short. This is a great device if you are just looking for a way to enjoy videos in hi-res at a very low price. This device is available for sale for about $70.
So this was our list of the best set-top boxes that offer a great experience for the price. I hope you enjoyed our roundup, If you know any other device that you think should be featured on our list then make sure to tell us about it in the comments section below.