Streaming your favourite TV shows, sports, songs, games and movies on a big TV screen (or an awesome set of speakers) is now possible for dirt-cheap prices. Do note that you’ll need an extremely fast internet connection, to make sure that quality isn’t compromised.
This one’s available for just Rs 3,399 and gives you a massive bang for your buck. It’s a device that can be plugged into the HDMI port of your TV, and voila, you’re ready to roll. It’s fairly easy to use (you just need to install its app, and your phone is your remote), though there are connectivity problems if your Wi-Fi isn’t top-notch. As for the available apps, you have Netflix and Hotstar, but you’ll miss out on Amazon Prime Video.
Apple TV is another casting device that gets our vote for being awesome. It also comes with a remote, which has a touch surface that is extremely responsive. You’ll have Netflix and Hotstar, but will miss out on Amazon Prime Video. You need an iTunes account to operate it, and some people may find that a bit cumbersome, because iTunes isn’t that intuitive to use. The 32 GB version will set you back by Rs 13,500, while the 62 GB variant costs Rs 17,900.
ROKU STREAMING STICK 3600R
This is a great device, but there are several catches. It doesn’t officially operate in India, and is imported from the USA when you buy it on Amazon.in – which means that its price doubles (Rs 6,548). Secondly, unless you use a VPN, a lot of the available services won’t work, although Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will (there’s no Hotstar). Finally, its design sometimes prevents it from being able to fit in HDMI ports that are recessed, so you’ll need an extension cable (available for free in the US). It comes with a very nifty remote control, but all in, you’re better off buying something that’s officially certified for use in India.
AMAZON FIRE TV STICK
What makes the Amazon Fire TV Stick (Rs 3,999) different from other casting devices is that it has a voice remote (Alexa), so you can just say something like, “Alexa, show me action movies” or “Fast forward five minutes” and your command will be accepted. It also comes with 8 GB of storage, which can be expanded upto 200 GB. The device is great for those who swear by Amazon Prime Video, as you get unlimited access to the shows and movies available on it. You also have Netflix and Hotstar — that’s where it steals a march on its competition.
NVIDIA SHIELD TV
If money is not a constraint, then you should buy the NVidia Shield TV Streaming Media Player, which costs a whopping Rs 29,858 (there are more expensive versions as well). Performance wise, it’s way ahead of its competitors, so you can be sure that you get the best audio and video quality, coupled with almost all the features (including voice search) offered by other devices. It also comes with a joystick, and has gaming features like NVidia GeForce NOW™ and NVIDIA GameStream™, so you can stream some top games with great quality. The only thing drawback is that you need a 50 Mbps internet connection to play games at 1080p. You can work with a 10 mbps connection too, but that’s not much fun. It has Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but there’s no Hotstar, so that’s probably the only con.