Why you should get a streaming device even if you have a Smart TV

Jitendra Soni
Why should you use a streaming device even with a smart TV?

Using a streaming device like a Fire TV Stick or a Roku streamer on a smart TV might be better than using the TV’s native operating systems.

Have you ever wondered, if you have a smart TV, do you still need a streamer? Streaming devices from Amazon like Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, or the ones from Roku and Google come in extremely handy if you want to convert your dumb TV into a smart connected TV.

But these streaming devices and TV boxes, including the most commonly available Android TV boxes and the Apple TV device, have much to offer users with a smart TV at home. Let’s dive deep.

What is a Smart TV?

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A TV that can be connected to the internet, stream online content, and let you install applications is a Smart TV. Most modern smart TVs also have a built-in AI assistant, depending on the operating system.

A few TVs can double up as a computer as well. However, any connected TV that lets you stream content and install applications is considered smart.

What is a streaming device or streaming box?

Roku vs Fire TV Stick

It’s a small external device that can be directly plugged into the TV HDMI port or connected via an HDMI cable. It’s basically a tiny computer with an operating system, processor, memory, storage, and wireless connection capabilities.

With the help of streaming devices, you can convert a regular TV into a smart-connected TV.

Smart TV vs Streaming device?

The biggest difference between the two devices is that the TV could be self-reliant, while a streamer needs an external display to work.

The second significant difference between the two is the cost. A streaming device may start from $15-20 and go up to $100/$150, except Apple TV. A decent Smart TV might start around $250 and can go as high as a few thousand dollars, depending on the size, brand, and other features.

Both have similar basic features like internet connectivity and an operating system that lets you download applications.

Why should you use a streaming device even with a smart TV?

Fluid interface

Fire TV Stick Interface

Not all TVs are made similarly. While some are priced premium and have high-end features, budget TVs often have the lion’s share. Makers of these TVs use various measures to cut down costs. This means that you might not have adequate memory and storage in most of these TVs, resulting in a sluggish performance.

While a streaming device is designed to offer a great streaming experience, it comes with ample memory and storage, offering a fluid user interface. You’d hardly have a streaming device lagging or struggling to perform regular tasks.

They have their brains and muscle power

Smart TVs are designed to handle various tasks, from streaming to browsing and gaming. However, this multitasking capability can sometimes result in compromised streaming performance.

On the other hand, streaming devices are purpose-built for streaming content, offering dedicated processing power and optimized software to deliver smooth playback, faster load times, and seamless navigation through menus.

With a streaming device, you can enjoy uninterrupted streaming without worrying about lags or buffering issues occasionally plaguing smart TVs.

Streamers come with dedicated storage and memory.  You can even download and save movies and shows on the streaming device without additional storage.

Designed to offer a uniform experience

If you switch TVs often, for example, going to your parents for holidays or planning a night out at your friend’s place, you can unplug your streaming device from the TV and plug it into the new TV.

All you need to do is provide internet connectivity, and you can continue to watch your favorite shows or movies without needing to log in all over again.

Also, you’ll have a familiar interface, meaning no struggle with a new remote or unfamiliar interface.

Last but not least, you’ll not be required to share the passwords of the platforms you have subscribed to. Do not forget to unplug and bring the streaming device back with you.

Additional features 

Someone mirroring their phone's screen onto their TV

If your TV is old, it might not have features like screen casting or mirroring content from handheld devices.

So, rather than changing the TV and spending a lot of money on buying a brand-new TV, plugging in a streaming device can get the job done.

Some streaming devices are powerful enough to let you enjoy light gaming sessions. You can pair a controller, download the games, and start playing without buying a gaming console.    

Access to a broader range of content

Even if you have one of the new TVs, you may not have a lot of applications to download. Most LG TVs come with their proprietary webOS, Samsung’s TVs have a Tizen operating system, and Toshiba uses the Vidaa operating system.

Some brands prefer using their custom operating system for their TVs rather than a universal system like Android TV OS. This could seriously limit your ability to download applications or games on these TVs.

Similarly, streaming devices like ROKU, Apple TV, Firestick, and others offer channels that are unavailable on your smart TV.

Enhanced User Interface and Remote Control

A Roku remote and the Max app on the Roku channel dashboard after the HBO Max update

One of the standout advantages of a streaming device is its intuitive user interface and remote control experience. Smart TV interfaces vary significantly across different brands, creating a fragmented and sometimes confusing user experience.

On the other hand, streaming devices often feature user-friendly interfaces designed for streaming content, offering streamlined navigation, personalized recommendations, and enhanced search capabilities.

The remote controls with streaming devices are purpose-built, featuring dedicated buttons for quick access to popular streaming apps and other essential functions. This simplicity and convenience make streaming devices a preferred choice for many users.