When it comes to streaming video these days, there are tons of options. All it takes is a high-speed internet connection and a device capable of streaming. Smart TVs come with some streaming services built in already, most gaming consoles are streaming-capable, and there are even dedicated devices for the very purpose. But how do you choose which one is right for you?
Box or Stick?
There are pros and cons to each, but there are a few key differences to keep in mind when selecting what is right for your needs.
- Sticks are smaller and sleeker. They’re often easy to conceal, where boxes will need their own space to rest.
- Sticks are oftentimes easy to install start streaming—just plug them in, and you’re ready to go. Boxes tend to take some setup time.
- Boxes are typically faster and more powerful than sticks.
- Sticks typically require a stable Wi-Fi connection, where boxes often have ethernet ports available for a hardline connection. While Wi-Fi will generally be fine for most things, if the stream is 4K or HDR (High Dynamic Range), the more stable, faster connection provided by ethernet is going to be preferable.
- You have more output options on a box than a stick. Generally, sticks only have HDMI outputs, and they typically need a USB port for power. If your TV is missing one or both of those, a stick won’t work.
- Sticks are generally much cheaper than boxes.
- Boxes generally have more storage space for apps and games than sticks do.
Let’s talk about each one of them in turn.