There are more options for on-demand, catch-up, subscription and free-to-air TV than ever before. Nic Healey reviews the best video-streaming devices.
Apple TV 4K
The newest version of Apple’s well-regarded media streamer adds support for 4K resolution video and high dynamic range (HDR), meaning TV shows and movies will look better than ever
on compatible Ultra HD TVs. The touch-sensitive remote is one of the best on the market and the ability to use Siri to search for content makes this a very smart addition to the living room.
From $249, apple.com
Google Chromecast Ultra
Google’s tiny Chromecast has been a great streaming solution for the more tech-savvy user
since it launched in 2013, allowing
you to watch video apps from
your phone or tablet on your TV screen. The Ultra now offers 4K video streaming and, to avoid
any concerns with wi-fi network speeds, there’s a wired internet port cleverly located in the power supply unit.
Foxtel Now Box
The Foxtel Now subscription service has never had a dedicated streaming device before; instead,
it has always relied on smart TVs, gaming devices and tablets. The Box rectifies this, bringing Foxtel Now together with free-to-air TV, Stan and more. Sadly, you currently can’t get the Netflix or Amazon apps, though word from Foxtel is it’s working on it. But for under $100, it’s a solid first offering for Foxtel Now subscribers.
Fetch TV Mini
The Fetch TV Mini might not have the recording capabilities of its bigger sibling, the Mighty, but it still combines on-demand, free-to-air and the Fetch subscription TV service in one tiny, easy-to-use device. You can use the Mini to pause live TV but, unlike the other streaming devices here, there’s no 4K support. This could be the perfect second streamer for the bedroom or rumpus room.
The second-generation Telstra TV not only gives you access to on-demand and catch-up TV and video but, thanks to a free-
to-air tuner, you can also use
it to watch live broadcast TV. But the killer feature on this streamer is the universal search. Type in the title of a show and you’ll see results from free-to-air, streaming video services and even digital rental options.
Microsoft Xbox One X
Media streaming and playback have been a big part of gaming consoles for a while now but the Xbox One X is a veritable one-
stop shop for entertainment.
It has Netflix, Amazon and
a host of other catch-up and on-demand video apps, all in 4K when offered by the streaming service. It will even play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and, of course, video games.
Image credit: Craig Wall