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Digital Subscriptions > Stuff > September 2018 > HOW TO BUY

HOW TO BUY

HOW TO BUY A STREAMING BOX

Is your telly too old to host all your favourite video apps? Rather than buying a pricey new set, how about using one of these clever devices?

ANY STREAM WILL DO?

1 Make the smart move

First of all, you’d best check whether you actually need a streaming device: most modern smart TVs already have all the major apps pre-installed. But if you haven’t invested in a new living-room showpiece for a few years, then a cheap dongle is a great way of getting access (subscription not included) to apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Get this:

Google Chromecast £30 / google.com

2 Mind the app

If you’re shopping for a streaming gadget, you’ll need to make sure you buy one that has the apps you’re after. You won’t find Amazon Prime Video on the Now TV Smart Stick, for example, while the Amazon Fire TV Stick lacks Now TV. Those two just can’t get along. The Roku Express is one of the few cheap sticks that has all the major apps as well as catch-up services.

Get this: Roku Express £30 / roku.com

3 Stick or twist?

The latest trend for streaming sticks is to offer 4K resolution. However, there’s one issue: if your TV does 4K, it probably already has the Netflix, Now TV and Amazon Prime Video apps, leaving such devices pretty much redundant. Some say you get better performance with the likes of Apple 4K TV; but as telly operating systems keep improving, that might change.

Get this: Apple 4K TV £179 / apple.com

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