Best alternatives to Apple TV iMore 2022
Whether you don't love the Apple TV's design, its user interface, its content options, or you simply don't want to spend $150 and up on an Apple TV, there are plenty of alternative devices you could look at. Regardless of your reasons for striving for streaming superiority, we put together a few of the most popular alternatives to the Apple TV so you can really explore all of the best options out there. Check 'em out!
- Top choice: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
- Apple integrations: Roku Ultra
- Best for Googlers: Chromecast with Google TV
- Streaming and gaming: NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Pro
- Budget pick: Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite
- Whole hog upgrade: LG 80 Series 43UP8000 4K UHD Smart TV
Top choice: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K MaxStaff Pick
Amazon's latest Fire TV Stick offers a bunch of bells and whistles on par with an Apple TV 4K at a much lower cost. It includes support for UHD content, Dolby Vision, HDR, and Dolby Atmos, as well as speedy Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. Plus, it's 40% more powerful than the regular Fire TV Stick 4K so it's faster and more fluid.
Apple integrations: Roku Ultra
Roku makes for a top Apple TV alternative thanks to its Apple integrations. Devices like the Roku Ultra offer HomeKit support so you can control it via Siri or the Home app, as well as AirPlay 2, for casting content from your iPhone or iPad. The Ultra model has 4K UHD, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support, plus a bunch of free content via The Roku Channel.
Best for Googlers: Chromecast with Google TV
With a Chromecast connected to your TV's HDMI port you can easily cast content from your iPhone to the big screen in your home. Google's upgraded Chromecast also has Google TV built-in which supports the downloading of apps like Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime video, Disney+, and more.
Streaming and gaming: NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Pro
NVIDIA's SHIELD TV Pro is a double-duty device that offers streaming from popular apps like Netflix and Apple TV, while also functioning as an Android gaming console. Voice control is also on-board with Google's Assistant available for your audio commands.
Budget pick: Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite
If you don't have a 4K TV or just want a no-frills streaming device, the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite checks a lot of boxes at its affordable price. It offers HD streaming, Alexa voice search, and easy access to entertainment from all the streaming apps you know and love, including Apple TV+, Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and more.
Whole hog upgrade: LG 80 Series 43UP8000 4K UHD Smart TV
If it's time for a TV upgrade, you can spend it on a TV that has all of the features you need built-in, meaning you don't need a separate Apple TV device. This LG set comes in 43-75-inch sizes and offers a 4K panel, webOS interface with access to popular streaming apps like Apple TV and Netflix, and integration with HomeKit and AirPlay 2 for users that are otherwise invested in Apple's ecosystem.
Plenty of choice
Though the Apple TV 4K is likely the best streaming device for most Apple users, there are many reasons to consider the various Apple TV alternatives out there. For starters, the Apple TV is not the cheapest option and some of its top-end features may be overkill for some users. Plus, it runs tvOS, which might not be to everyone's tastes.
If you don't need everything Apple TV offers or don't want to pay a premium price, the streaming device for you might not be an Apple TV at all since many alternatives available offer a lot of the best Apple TV features. Our top pick, the Amazon Fire TV 4K Max, offers 4K UHD streams, speedy Wi-Fi 6 connectivity (like the $200 Apple TV 4K), and easy access to all the popular streaming apps for around 25% of the price.
If none of the streaming hardware on this list takes your fancy, it may be worth considering a TV upgrade since many modern smart TV sets include their own app stores, including the Apple TV app. The LG 80 Series is one such option that supports the Apple TV app, HomeKit, and AirPlay 2 so you get many of the benefits of an Apple TV without buying and hooking up a separate streaming box at all.
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