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7 Best Fire Stick Alternatives to Stream Content

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Many Fire Stick alternatives let you stream content. We review the 7 best alternatives to Fire TV Stick to find the best one for your needs.

Are you still receiving Netflix discs in the mail? If so, it may be time to upgrade how you watch your favorite shows and movies.

The Amazon Fire Stick has changed the way people stream content. The small device unlocks a universe of TV shows, movies, apps, and games by using an HDMI port on a smart TV.

However, the Fire Stick isn’t the only way to stream content. There are other popular alternatives with similar features and functionality.

If you are looking for alternatives to Fire Stick, this review will help you find the best option for you.

Amazon Fire Stick Features

 

Before diving into Amazon Fire Stick alternatives, it’s helpful to review its features.

First is the Amazon Fire Stick channels list. In addition to Amazon Prime movies, TV shows, and original content (which are free for Amazon Prime members), the media stick lets you access all the major streaming channels, content, and gaming apps.

Most providers with apps are on the Fire Stick. These include Netflix, Philo, Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube, HBO, STARZ, and SHOWTIME.

Fire Stick offers the following features:

  • Wi-Fi antenna optimized for 4K Ultra HD streaming
  • Start shows and change channels by voice
  • Compatible with free services like Tubi, PlutoTV, and IMDb TV
  • Gateway to thousands of channels, apps, websites, and Alexa skills
  • Unlimited free access to thousands of titles for Prime members
  • Totally portable so you can take it with you when you travel and plug into any smart TV with an HDMI port

If you’re interested in Amazon Fire Stick games, the Stick has more storage for apps and games than any other streaming media player.

Best Fire Stick Alternatives

 

Our family has an Amazon Echo as well as a Fire TV Recast and we like using Alexa to turn on our TV. It’s pretty slick. Still, the Amazon Fire Stick isn’t the only player in the streaming media game.

Here are the top alternatives worth considering.

1. Roku

 

Roku is one of the most well-known Fire Stick alternatives. When you compare the Amazon Fire Stick vs. Roku, there are many similarities.

Roku features include:

  • Wi-Fi antenna that accommodates 4K video, HDR, and Dolby Atmos
  • Slim, sleek design
  • Colorful, easy to use remote
  • Affordable price point

Unlike the Fire TV, there is no Ethernet port. Roku is also limited to Wi-Fi 802.11n. This may result in slightly slower speeds.

The device comes in three options. These include Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+ (which comes with a voice remote), and the Roku Ultra.

The main difference between the first two models is a voice remote. The Premiere+ home screen also includes a shortcut to Walmart’s streaming service, Vudu.

The Roku Ultra is similar to the Fire TV Recast. It comes with a powerful quad-core processor and lighting fast wireless connection capability. Other features of Roku Ultra include:

  • USB, MicroSD, and Ethernet ports
  • Premium JBL headphones for private listening
  • Lost remote finder
  • Enhanced voice remote with personal shortcut buttons and TV controls

Like the Fire Stick, Roku is easy to set up and use.

2. Apple TV

 

Amazon and Apple compete on many fronts. Their streaming media players are no exception.

The battle between Amazon Fire Stick vs. Apple TV reveals two powerful devices. Like the Fire TV, Apple TV is a small set-top box.

The main features include:

  • Apple tvOS (similar to iOS for iPhone and iPad users)
  • App/icon dominated home screen
  • Voice remote
  • Stream content to and from other Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac computers) via AirPlay
  • Access to all iTunes content
  • Wi-Fi antenna supports 4K streaming and 802.11ac
  • A sleek, small box with HDR 10 and Dolby Vision technology

Apple TV comes in two versions. These include Apple TV 4K and Apple TV.

The main differences between the two are the storage capacity. Apple TV 4K offers up to 64GB while Apple TV offers 32GB. Also, the processor and Bluetooth power on the 4K version are a bit faster.

If you are an Apple family, the Apple TV models will deliver a seamless fit with all the other tech in your home. The audio and video resolution are stunning.

You’ll have a hard time finding a streaming service not compatible with Apple TV.

3. Amazon Fire TV Cube

 

When you compare the Amazon Fire Stick vs. Fire TV Cube, it’s obvious that the Fire TV Cube is bigger and faster. The Fire Stick measures three inches and plugs into the side or back of your TV.

The Fire TV Cube is Amazon’s fastest, most powerful streaming device. It is a 2.99″ x 3.38″ x 3.38″ box that sits next to your TV. It also has double the storage (16 GB) and processing power (hexa-core) of the Stick (8 GB, dual-core).

Both support dual-band Wi-Fi, but the Fire TV Cube supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks. These differences mean the Fire TV Cube delivers faster download and upload speeds. It also means fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi.

Read our Amazon Fire TV Cube review to learn more.

4. Google Chromecast

 

Chromecast is Google’s contribution to the streaming media space. When comparing Amazon Fire Stick vs. Chromecast, the features are similar. However, they are a bit less robust.

For example, there’s no remote. You have to use your phone to change channels.

Chromecast comes with these features :

  • Cross-platform compatible (unlike Apple AirPlay)
  • Play content from your smartphone on your TV with the push of a button
  • Small, dongle-like design that plugs into an HDMI port on your TV
  • Chromecast Ultra version accommodates 4K video streaming for 60 frames per second at 1080p
  • Supports multi-room audio playing
  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Compatible with Google Home devices

Additionally, Chromecast may not work with Amazon Prime content. Users have experienced difficulty when trying to watch free Amazon Prime content.

Sometimes, you’ll hear the audio but won’t be able to see the video. Other times, the video will display with no sound. The bottom line is that the two don’t play well together.

Still, Chromecast shines with its plug and play ability. Just plug it into your TV and start streaming.

Like Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa, you can play shows and change channels with your voice if you have Google Home.

5. Nexus Player

 

Nexus is Google’s set-top sphere. It comes with a voice-activated remote and limited storage capacity.

Nexus offers these features:

  • Simple, intuitive voice-search
  • Sleek, easy to use remote
  • Intuitive user and menu interface
  • 1.8GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor
  • Imagination PowerVR Series 6 Graphics 2D/3D Engine
  • 1GB RAM and 8GB storage
  • Optional Gamepad controller can be used to play video games

There are a few differences that cause Nexus to slip a bit in comparison to other Fire Stick alternatives. It has less storage and the remote feels a little flimsy.

*Related: Are you a Disney fan? Read our Disney+ app review to learn how to get all Disney content in one location.*

Search results are limited to Google content sources. Additionally, there’s no Ethernet port. This limits connectivity options.

Despite its shortcomings, the Nexus is a solid streaming media player that connects to your TV with just an HDMI cable.

6. Raspberry Pi

 

The Raspberry Pi delivers all the functionality you need to stream your favorite content. It’s more like a tiny desktop computer than a streaming media player.

Raspberry Pi comes with the following features:

  • 4GB RAM and Broadcom quad-core processor
  • 5GHz, four USB Type-A ports and 2 micro HDMI video outputs
  • Gigabit Ethernet jack, radios for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0

If you are looking for something that will work as a media player right out of the box, don’t get the Raspberry Pi. You need some technical skills to turn it into a usable device.

The Raspberry Pi also tends to overheat. You’ll want to plan for an active cooling station to help it run well.

7. Nvidia Shield TV

 

If you’re looking for an Android TV set box, the Nvidia Shield TV is one of the top Fire Stick alternatives. With an Android TV operating system and Nvidia hardware (manufacturer specializing in graphics cards for computers), the Nvidia Shield has many compelling features:

  • Small, sleek design
  • Nvidia Tegra X1 processor and Android 7.0 OS
  • 3GB RAM and 16GB internal storage
  • Wi-Fi antenna delivers up to 4K resolution and HDR10
  • Remote control included
  • Shield game controller included in the gaming edition
  • Gigabit Ethernet port and 2 USB 3.0 ports

There are four Shield TV models. These range from a basic model to a Gaming Edition to a Smart Home Edition that includes a SmartThings hub.

The Shield TV Pro has a 500GB hard drive. However, you’ll pay more for that power.

The highlight of the Shield TV is its power. If you’re an Android household, this could be one of the best Fire Stick alternatives for you.

Top Cable Alternatives

 

Having a streaming media player is half the equation. The devices we’ve discussed only cover the equipment you need. You also need the content.

Thankfully, there are many streaming services. If you don’t have a streaming service yet, here are a few of the top options.

Philo

 

If you love lifestyle and entertainment TV, this option may be the best for you. Philo TV channels include:

  • AMC, DIY, Hallmark
  • HGTV, MTV, Own, Travel Network

The one downside to Philo TV is that it does not offer Fox, ESPN, or any other sports channels. One way to remedy this is to buy a digital antenna like the Mohu Leaf.

With Philo, you can watch ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and other over-the-air stations in your area.

Learn more about how to get HGTV without a cable provider in our Philo review.

Philo TV at a Glance

InfoData
Pricing & Packages$20
Channels50+
Supported DevicesiOS, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV + more
Simultaneous Streams3
DVRUnlimited
On-demand libraryYes
Try Philo

 

Hulu with Live TV

 

The Hulu Live channels list is diverse. It includes popular networks like ESPN, Disney, HGTV, and CNN as well as a massive on-demand library of content.

That repository includes Hulu original programming like The Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock. It also includes back episodes and seasons of many network shows.

If you want a top cable alternative without the hefty price, Hulu with Live TV may be the solution for you.

Read more in our Hulu with Live TV review.

Hulu Live at a Glance

InfoData
Pricing & Packages$54.99
Channels50 - 70 + locals
Supported DevicesiOS, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV + more
Simultaneous Streams2 - Free / unlimited - $9.99
DVR50 hrs. - Free / 200 hrs. - $9.99
On-demand libraryYes
Try Hulu

 

Sling TV

 

Sling TV channels vary depending on whether you choose Sling Orange or Sling Blue. The big difference between the packages is ESPN.

Sling Blue has Fox Sports while Sling Orange offers ESPN channels.

Sling TV is less expensive than Hulu Live. It’s also way more affordable than cable.

The channel guide is easy to use. Similar to Hulu Live, Sling TV works with all the Fire Stick alternatives mentioned here.

We cover all the particulars in our Sling TV Review.

Sling TV at a Glance

InfoData
Pricing & PackagesOrange - $30 / Blue - $30 / Orange + Blue - $45
ChannelsOrange - 30 (ESPN) / Blue - 30 / Orange + Blue - 45
Supported DevicesiOS, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV + more
Simultaneous StreamsOrange - 1 / Blue - 3 / Orange + Blue - 3
DVR10 hrs. - Free / 50 hrs. - $5/mo.
On-demand libraryYes
Try Sling

 

Summary

 

If you’re looking for Fire TV Stick alternatives, you may simply be looking for a lower-priced option. Or, you may have already tried Amazon Fire products and disliked them.

Whatever your reason, the good news is that you have choices.

Roku Premiere, Chromecast, and Apple TV are great options if you are looking for alternatives that are similar to the streaming device. If you enjoy tinkering with computers, try the Raspberry Pi.

Do you want something faster and heftier than a dongle device? Try the Fire TV Cube, especially if you already have other Amazon devices in your home.

Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll be able to stream many of your favorite channels.

 

Have you tried the Fire TV Cube or Fire Stick? Do you have other Amazon products? What media players have you tried?

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Nicole Schmoll is an experienced professional copywriter who writes regularly for clients in the finance, IT, healthcare, trades and retail industries. Check out samples of her work and services at Ink Harmony.

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