Cutting the cord is when you decide to get rid of your satellite or cable service opting instead for video streaming services. In fact, there are so many video streaming services nowadays that it is difficult to justify the $200+ premium fees charged per month for cable. Video streaming services are way cheaper and now even include live news, entertainment and sports channels for a fraction of the price of cable.
Most people believe that to successfully cut the cord, you have to upgrade your TV by getting a smart TV. However, smart TVs have limited apps so you’re probably going to miss out on a variety of cool features and apps. Here are a couple of reasons why even smart TV users need a streaming box or streaming stick.
- Access a wider variety of video content on-demand.
The most important reason to own a media streaming box is to get all the extra content provided by video streaming services. Smart TV manufacturers often make partnership deals with big-name content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube TV.
This means that some content available on an LG Smart TV might not be available on a Samsung Smart TV or Sony Smart TV. We don’t want you to be limited by your TV vendor and be shut out from amazing content from other sources.
Streaming devices typically don’t have very strict partnerships like Smart TVs. In platforms such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, and Google’s Android TV, you have numerous app options from their respective app stores which all allow for a greater viewing experience.
- Better Performance, Customer Support, and Updates.
One of the biggest sources of frustration for smart TV users is slow updates and incompatibility with some media formats. Depending on Wi-Fi connection, updating TV apps and firmware can be a slow nerve-racking nightmare.
However, streaming boxes are designed with high performing processors, network cards and support a variety of video codecs that make your viewing experience faster, smoother, and more reliable. These boxes are frequently by manufacturers and this even happens in the background without interfering with your user experience.
- Simplicity and Integration of Unique Features.
The one good thing Smart TV manufacturers are great at is designing sleek TVs with great picture quality but when it comes to delivering the latest in smart TV extras, they fail miserably.
For instance, the remote control unit in most TVs is just a basic remote without extensive navigation and control features. However, streaming devices have advanced remote controls designed to provide the ultimate smart TV navigation experience.
Some streaming box remote controls have inbuilt voice recognition while the boxes themselves have voice assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa. This means that users can avoid the hassle of clicking the remote button buttons and issue commands instead.
Some streaming box remotes also have a trackpad that allows for mouse pointer navigation and dedicated buttons for popular apps such as Netflix, Amazon Video, and YouTube. Some remotes are so cool that they have an inbuilt headphone jack or Bluetooth so that you can listen to audio without bothering others.
- Extending the life of your TV.
If you’re relying on your smart TV for long-term streaming, then you’re bound to have future problems. Most manufacturers are not bothered to add new features to older generation smart TVs. They only extend new streaming abilities, apps and operating system firmware their latest generations of TVs while older TV users are left to their own devices – literally :-).
If your smart TV is a couple of years old and does not receive updates, it unlikely that it functions to its fullest potential. In fact, some apps that used to work well might start having issues or completely stop. The most obvious thought at this point is to upgrade to a new smart TV with the latest features but we all know the costs involved.
There is no reason to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars in buying a new smart TV while a streaming box or streaming stick worth anything between $30 to $250 could literally save you tons of money in the long run.
- Less clutter and Ease of Use.
Have you ever noticed how many junk apps and settings are found on a typical smart TV? More likely than not, you’re never going to use these extra features and settings. The good news is that streaming boxes have a much cleaner interface with less clutter making it easy to navigate.
If we have convinced you that streaming boxes are the way to go, you can check out our buying guide on What to consider when buying a media streaming device and our curated list of The Best Media Streaming Devices of 2018.