Chromecast best buy: Google Chromecast | Best Buy Canada

Best Streaming Device for 2023: We Tested Roku, Amazon, Apple and More

Streaming is all over and even though most smart TVs come with a range of built-in apps, dedicated streaming devices can make it easier to choose a streaming setup that works for you. Individual devices provide all sorts of hardware improvements like 4K HDR streaming, swifter navigation speeds and Dolby compatibility. At the same time, each streaming platform has its own distinct interface. 

We’ve spent hours reviewing and testing every streaming device and major smart TV system available today so that we can help you figure out the best streaming device that will work for you. We’ve gone through every device in Roku’s extensive lineup, checked out Google’s latest offerings, tested all of Amazon’s Fire TV Sticks and pored over Apple’s 2022 update to the Apple TV 4K so that we can give you informed and unbiased advice. 

Read on as we break down the best streaming devices available now.

Read more: Best Streaming Service of 2023

What is the best streaming device overall? 

We prefer Roku’s content-agnostic approach, ease of use, large app library and excellent search functionality over those from other companies. We’ve found that the Roku Express 4K Plus is usually the cheapest Roku that offers 4K HDR streaming, and is therefore the best streaming device to buy. The Express 4K Plus lacks Dolby Vision support, but we’ve found that this usually isn’t a deal-breaker, as Dolby Vision only works on TVs that also support it. Additionally, we don’t think that Dolby Vision looks any better than regular HDR and isn’t generally worth extra money. 

That said, there are times during the year when the Roku Express 4K Plus is not our top pick. This occurs when the Streaming Stick 4K is on sale and is cheaper than the Express 4K Plus. The Streaming Stick 4K offers all the same functionality of the Express 4K Plus, but includes Dolby Vision support — which is why it’s typically more expensive. We don’t think this addition is worth the premium price, but it certainly shouldn’t prevent you from grabbing the Streaming Stick 4K if it’s the cheaper of the two. 0

Best streaming devices of 2023

How we test streaming devices

Every streaming device we review receives hours of hands-on testing. Typically, this involves installing the device on multiple TVs, evaluating the setup process, adding popular streaming channels and using the product as if it were our own. We use all of the major features available on the platform and note how they stack up against the competition. To do this, we hook rival streaming devices to the same TV so we can switch back and forth easily to compare the experiences.

Our metrics that we look at to rate a device include: hardware design and features, remote capabilities and design, overall platform ease-of-use, effective layouts and design, search capabilities, privacy settings, the number of apps and their performance, and the overall speed and reliability of the system.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Streaming device FAQs

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Chromecast with Google TV (HD) review: The stick for app haters

Home / Streaming / Reviews


A great value complicated by rival streamers’ frequent sale prices.

By Jared Newman

TechHive Oct 18, 2022 3:00 am PDT

Image: Jared Newman / Foundry

At a glance

Expert’s Rating


  • Home screen helps you figure out what to watch
  • Cheapest streamer with TV volume and power controls.
  • Plays nicely with Google Photos, Nest speakers, and Google Home devices.


  • Some apps don’t fully integrate with the home screen
  • Too many apps can lead to storage headaches
  • 4K streamers are often on sale at a similar price

Our Verdict

Google’s $30 dongle beats the Roku Express and Fire TV Stick Lite on value, but sale prices complicate the matter.

If you only judge by the sticker price, the Chromecast with Google TV HD is the best streaming device you can buy for the least amount of money.

For $30, you get a streaming dongle with a feature-rich remote, powerful voice controls, and a useful system for figuring out what to watch. On features alone, it’s a better value than both the Roku Express and Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite, which each cost $30 as well.

This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best media streaming devices.

But when you factor in sale prices, the calculation gets trickier. Google often cuts the price of its superior 4K Chromecast to $40, and both Amazon and Roku frequently sell their own 4K streaming dongles for even less. And while Google has come up with an innovative menu system for streaming, its rivals have been catching up on ways to make sense of your TV options.

That means the Chromecast with Google TV is only worth buying if you don’t care about future-proofing for a 4K TV and are all-in on the Google TV interface. Otherwise, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Features and performance

This Chromecast has an actual on-screen menu system.

Jared Newman / Foundry

Unlike Chromecasts from 2018 and earlier, the new model has a proper remote and on-screen menu system, with apps for all the major streaming services. From the outside, it’s almost identical to the 4K version that launched in 2020, with the only distinction being an “HD” logo on the back.

But inside, the new Chromecast sports a different chip that’s limited to 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, and while it can play high dynamic range content in HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG formats, it doesn’t support Dolby Vision. Dolby Atmos audio is also limited to apps that support it via passthrough. (Netflix, notably, does not.)

The Chromecast HD’s remote is identical to the 4K model, sporting a directional pad; home and back buttons; a Google Assistant voice control button; shortcuts for YouTube and Netflix; and controls for TV volume, power, input, and muting. The only things missing are dedicated fast forward and rewind buttons, which is mainly a problem in apps that don’t map those functions to the D-pad. (Looking at you, Peacock.)

Jared Newman / Foundry

It all adds up to a capable hardware package for the money. This is the only $30 streamer that puts TV volume and power controls on its remote, and performance is usually snappy, with an almost bouncy way of sliding between menu tiles. You will notice the occasional skip or stutter when the device is loading large menu sections, but it seldom becomes an annoyance.

The only real nit to pick here is the 8GB of onboard storage, which feels skimpy amid a proliferation of streaming apps. While Google’s menu system can help identify apps to remove when space runs low, it still can’t match the automatic storage management you get on Roku players.

Google TV software

On the Google TV home screen, content takes precedence over apps.

Jared Newman / Foundry

Much like the 4K model, the Chromecast with Google TV HD treats individual apps as something of an afterthought. While the device does offer a strip of app icons, you’re really supposed to browse for movies and shows directly on the home screen.

Google TV will suggest what to watch from popular streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Max, and selecting a program will take you straight to it in the corresponding app. When you watch something in a supported app, it automatically feeds into a “Continue Watching” row on the home screen, and you can also manually add programs to a universal watchlist.

The Chromecast’s “Continue Watching” row helps you pick up where you left off.

Jared Newman / Foundry

While you might dismiss these recommendations as glorified ads, Google for the most part lets you choose which services populate the home screen. That’s a big improvement over the Fire TV home screen and Roku “What to Watch” menu, which give you almost no say over what shows up.

Google TV also features a “Live” menu that aggregates channels from sources such as YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Pluto TV, similar to that of Amazon’s Fire TV devices. Voice control is excellent as well, able to handle complex genre requests and you can launch shows directly in supported apps.

The Chromecast’s live guide lets you see what’s on certain streaming services before you open the app.

Jared Newman / Foundry

That said, Google TV’s forward-thinking menu is occasionally marred by the realpolitik of the streaming wars.

Netflix, for instance, famously stopped recommending original shows on Google’s home screen in late 2020, and Amazon Prime doesn’t work with the aforementioned “Continue Watching” row. Google itself is even guilty of larding up its own home screen with recommendations from YouTube, which you’re not allowed to hide.

Google TV lets you choose which services appear on the home screen (for the most part).

Jared Newman / Foundry

These kinds of issues aren’t unique to Google TV, but they are more apparent because of how Google puts its universal guide front and center. The result overall is a menu system that’s helpful for navigating an increasingly confusing TV landscape, but one that still feels incomplete.

A couple other stray quibbles worth noting:

  • Google’s watchlist is buried at the bottom of the home screen, a shame given that you can add items to the list from Google search results.
  • A prominent “All Apps” button on the home screen would really help address the concerns of people who like to launch apps directly. The current app row is too inefficient.

Casting and more

If all this leaves you on the fence about the new Chromecast, the last thing to consider is how it would fit into your overall gadget roster.

The new Chromecast still supports casting from phones and tablets. For Android phone users in particular, it may be a better fit than a Roku player, which supports casting via Apple’s AirPlay system or the Roku mobile app. The Chromecast can also display your Google Photos albums in screensaver mode, and you can tie it into a multi-room audio setup with other Nest speakers.

The Chromecast with Google TV HD supports casting from your phone and playing music in sync with other Chromecast devices.

Jared Newman / Foundry

Chromecasts also play nicely with Google Assistant, so you can use the remote to check in on video cameras or control smart home devices you’ve set up through the Google Home app. You can also use “Hey Google” voice commands to launch videos on the TV from a nearby Nest speaker.

A narrow audience

The Chromecast with Google TV HD is a strong contender for older 1080p TVs that you don’t plan to upgrade any time soon. It has a smart menu system, a capable remote, and some helpful connections to the rest of the Google ecosystem. Still, most folks who are keen on Google’s content-first approach should opt for the 4K model, keeping in mind that it often drops to $40 instead of the usual $50.

Meanwhile, Google’s competitors have their own compelling alternatives. Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K dropped to $20 and $25 respectively during Prime Day, and they’re fine options for folks who are invested in Amazon’s smart home ecosystem. As for Roku, it will soon roll out “Continue Watching” and “What to Watch” features to help make sense of streaming, boosting budget streamers like the $40 Roku Express 4K+. (That one often dips to as low as $25.) It’s worth noting that Roku is moving into the smart home space as well, with an array of home security products that it intends to integrate into the Roku TV experience..

Google TV’s universal guide is more refined than either system, though, and it now has budget hardware to match. If it could only stay in lockstep with its competitors when it comes to sale prices, it might just be unbeatable.

Author: Jared Newman

Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.

The best purchase I’ve made in a while for 40 euros, highly recommended

Google and your TV can be a wonderful tandem, I tell you from experience.

If you have 40 euros left and want to invest in a gadget that will give you pleasure unforgettable moments of relaxation and multimedia don’t miss Chromecast with Google TV in its HD version. You don’t need the 4K to enjoy the beauty of the best on-demand content and Google TV on your TV. In my humble opinion, this is the best TV box.

This Chromecast with Google TV (HD) costs only 39. 99 euros , you can buy it from various stores such as Amazon, Google Store or MediaMarkt. The differences with the 4K version are minimal enough to justify spending 70 euros on this top edition, so I highly recommend the HD version of .

Chromecast with Google TV (HD)

Change your entertainment for less than 40 euros

It’s not just Chromecast, you integrate Android TV into your TV.

To understand what it means to have Android TV on your TV, you have to experience it yourself. But I would like to give you the keys so you can see that this is a great investment for your home. Not only will you be able to watch series and movies on ‘s trendiest platforms, but you can also play games, read news, watch videos, straight from your favorite streamers, and even surf the Internet. I want to show you the reasons why I bought it :

  • resolution spare : We all know that most TVs are already 4K, but unfortunately not a single open TV channel broadcasts its content in 4K , not even all of them now do it in Full HD. For this reason, the maximum resolution of this Google gadget allows us to enjoy everything in Full HD without any problems, and if your TV upscales the image to 4K , better. It is compatible with HDR content as 4K model.
  • Android TV 11 : Google’s best TV system without a doubt. In this device we have Google TV on Android TV 11, a level of customization that focuses on content, streaming and our tastes. This is a system for turn on and start enjoying . Easy, simple and for the whole family. The us system will leave 4.4 GB free for the user, which is more than enough for what we are going to use it for.
  • smart monitoring : You can control all connected devices such as light bulbs, robotic vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, smart plugs and more. everything you have is integrated into Google Home you can control it from your TV. The Google Assistant will know about you in control with its built-in microphone.

Chromecast with Google TV (HD)

Unlike the 4K model, this Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is available only in white . The command accompanying the gadget is the same in both models, from labels YouTube and Netflix as the most used platforms today. To connect it, we need free HDMI port on your TV and USB port on your TV (it is important that it be 5 V and 1.5 A) or a USB power supply to power the Chromecast. And if you’re a gamer, you can use Stadia through this Chromecast.

This article offers objective and independent products and services that may be of interest to readers. When a user makes a purchase through certain links that appear in this news item, Andro4all earns a commission. Join the Andro4all Deal Channel to be the first to hear about the best deals.

For you © 2022 Difoosion, SL. All rights reserved.

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The Google Chromecast is a small set-top box that connects via HDMI to a TV. It allows you to connect to your home internet network and run various streaming apps on your TV to watch both free and premium content from Amazon Prime Video, Google Home, HBO Now, YouTube, Plex, and BBC iPlayer.

Chromecast content and apps are location dependent. Get the most out of your experience by signing up for a US Chromecast account. This can be done even if you are outside of this country – just connect to one of our US server locations. You may need to enter a US postal code. Read more on our Chromecast setup page.

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