Gone are the days of bad cable shows and low-res entertainment. Today, the whole world is in your hand. With just a few push of a remote button or a tap on a smartphone’s responsive screen, the arrival of hi-res revolution has finally been set right in the heart of every home, in front of a reclining couch and a fresh bowl of popcorn. Now, you can stream videos, television shows, games, movies, photos, social media, email and all from-the-web sources straight to your TV. But while these may seem like a surreal scene straight from IronMan (hello, voice recognition) and an exciting prospect of having one installed right in your own abode, choosing the right thingamajig for your telly can be a bit tough.
Without further ado, here are important points to remember when it comes to streaming sticks vs. box—to finally find the best one fit for your lifestyle and needs.
First on the list is, of course, the price. Even if streaming sticks and streaming boxes are literally “siblings”, they are not identical twins. Streaming sticks are obviously less pricey than streaming boxes. If you are walking on a budget tightrope, the stick will definitely sound a better deal. However, if money is no object, there are various streaming boxes with Wi-Fi capabilities these days that will definitely make the whole expenditure reasonable.
Size and Portability
For someone keen on keeping a minimalist living room, the streaming stick is a runaway winner. At about the size of a USB drive, they can be easily plugged into an HDMI port at the back of television set. Streaming sticks is portable, too. You can carry it with you wherever you go. If you have various televisions in your home, you can easily tag it along without much trouble wherever you wish to watch a show. Streaming boxes, however, can be a little bit bulkier. Though there are new models nowadays that look like a make-up case, you will still need an area to carefully place the box.
When it comes to connections, streaming sticks vs. box will yield both as winners. Both require internet connection and most, if not all, are now Wi-Fi ready. The idea here is that your home’s internet connection must be flawlessly strong to be able to get a clear connection. Even if you have the best stick or the most awesome box, if internet connection is snail-slow, the result remains the same. High definition games and movies, experts suggest, are also better via wired Etherhet connection to a router—something that only streaming boxes can do.
The need for speed is a common demand from many streaming enthusiasts. Speed has always been a huge factor particularly for viewers who don’t have the patience to wait for lags in loading. Streaming sticks are, without a doubt, the loser in this category. Not only are these sticks losing out on processing power, their memories are also incomparably low to that of streaming media boxes. There are even games that streaming sticks cannot play which the box can.
You obviously turn off your television after each use. Basically, when the telly is off, the streaming stick is also turned off. Unlike the streaming media box which is always plugged on into a wall, powering up requires quite some time for the stick to boot up when turning the television back on.
When it comes to content, streaming sticks vs box is almost identical. Save for video games, of course. Memory, however, plays a huge role when it comes to content. Streaming sticks can only carry so much while streaming boxes can easily double their capacity with upgrades.
When it comes to remotes, streaming boxes are also the definitive winners. These boxes can be controlled either via the usual remote control or via a smartphone app. Upgrades can also be done via these apps. Voice search is also part and parcel of various, if not all, streaming boxes—something that does not come handy in some sticks.
Indeed, choosing the right streaming device for your television can be a taxing experience. But for casual users who simply want an easy inexpensive fix, a streaming stick is a good choice. For power users, the ones who watch videos, TV shows, sports telecasts, play games, and the whole nine yards, will definitely find streaming boxes a powerful ally in terms of hardware and upgrade/expansion potential. So, which win in the streaming sticks vs. box debacle—you! With such awesome choices at your fingertips, the enjoyment of a lifetime awaits.