If you have a standard TV, or a smart TV that doesn't work the way you like, you can add a stick or a box very easily, and use that as your streaming device. And that's the way many many people stream.Most people that purchase and Amazon Fire TV will pick up a Firestick. It's a stick, as the name says, and is a very popular choice for many. It fits behind the TV, plugged into an HDMI port, and you don't usually see a cord protruding from behind your TV. Roku Stick devices and Google Chromecast devices are also like this. I know the current Chromecast isn't really a stick, but for this discussion, it acts like a stick. Or sticks act like it. Either way.
Another option is to get a set top box. The Roku devices such as the Express or Ultra models are this type of device. Apple TV devices are too. And, Amazon makes set top boxes, though most think of the Firestick when thinking Amazon.
My first streaming device was a Roku XDS, and I've always had a Roku set top box operating since then, even though I've also purchased and used -- still use, in fact -- a Roku stick device.
The upside of a set top box is that they are usually more powerful than sticks, often much more powerful. However, many modern sticks are powerful devices, so there's often not an advantage along that line in using a set top box over a stick.
The final way we're talking about today is a new TV. It's hard to find a TV that has no apps at all. Most have a small selection, unless they are a Fire TV set or a Roku TV device. You can find Android TV or Google TV devices too.
If that's the kind of TV you already have, you probably don't need to get a new TV. Maybe you do, but probably not. If you decide to forego the smart TV interface and add a streaming device, replacing the entire TV may be the way to go.
So, which is the best way to go when it comes to getting your first streaming device. The answer is simple: it doesn't matter, Get whatever you want. It'll work.
If you need a new TV anyway, a Roku TV or a Fire TV device will get you a good quality device and have all the smarts of the platform, Roku, Amazon, or Android/Google.
No matter which way you go, you'll be set to enjoy your Streaming Life.