Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Buying a streaming device: TV, box, or stick

Generally, I don't suggest buying a TV based on its built in streaming platform. What I mean is that while I'm a fan of Roku, I don't generally suggest buying a Roku TV.

I also think the Fire TV interface is good, but I don't generally suggest buying a TV with built in Fire TV interface.

Same for Google TV. There are TVs with built in Google TV, which is a good interface, but I don't generally suggest buying a TV because it has Google TV interface.

You see, over the years, the updates and new requirements for certain apps and services have crippled the built in streaming platform. For example, I used a family member's Roku TV for a period of time, and found it eventually became a frustrating experience because the device became outdated. I resolved it by adding a Roku Stick to the Roku TV. I simply ignored the Roku interface that was built in, and used the one in the Stick.

That showed me that platforms built in to TVs may not be up to speed over time. And that's a problem. The TV may be good -- the image and sound -- but the interface may be bad.

Also, my main TV is a Google TV device, but I prefer Roku, and run Roku on my TV.

Now, having said that, I did buy a Roku TV recently. Three reason for that: 1) I was curious about the new Roku built TVs;  2) I wanted a second TV in a second bedroom; and 3) it was on sale.

Those three factors all worked together and I bought a TV based on the interface, which is something I don't generally do. Had any one of those factors not come into play, I would not have purchased that TV. But all three led me to think that the Roku TV was the way to go.

However, unless there are multiple reasons for purchasing a TV based on the platform -- I had three -- then I don't generally consider the platform. I'm not yet convinced my Roku TV will work as it should for as long as it should, and I may end up adding a streaming device to update it in a few years.

Just to be clear, don't avoid buying a TV because of its platform, and generally don't based the decision solely on its platform.

If you want or need a new streaming device, and your current TV works just fine, don't replace the TV. Buy a Roku, Fire TV, Google TV, or Apple TV device to add to your TV and use the device instead.

My Streaming Life hasn't depended on the platform of a TV. I've always had the freedom to use whatever platform I want, regardless of the one built in to the TV.

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