The Nvidia Shield's 4K video and solid gaming chops will appeal to geeks, and software updates have made it more stable, but app shortfalls and a relatively high price limit its appeal.
We've limited the list to standalone streamers, but be aware that lots of other home theater devices are competent streamers these days, from Blu-ray players to game consoles.
Sling TV's bargain price and freedom from contracts make it well worth a test-drive for prospective cord-cutters or "cord-nevers" who can live with its stripped-down selection of live TV channels.
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After a false start, Razer's Android TV device is adding new games and a long-awaited couch-friendly keyboard and mouse.
The new Apple TV's awesome remote and voice control make it one of the best entertainment devices, especially for anyone who already owns plenty of Apple gadgets.
The Fire TV is a formidable streamer with 4K capability and oodles of features, but it tries too hard to serve up Amazon's own TV shows and movies.
Google is taking yet another shot at a living room software platform with Android TV, which runs on the upcoming Android L platform.
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The Fire TV streaming-media box is an impressive living room debut for Amazon, with standout features like voice search, gaming, and superfast video streaming, but it falls short of being an elite streamer -- at least for now.
While it doesn't match the app selection or search capabilities of Roku, Amazon's Fire TV Stick's solid performance and mastery of Amazon content make it easily worth the $40 price.
The PlayStation TV sounds great on paper, but out of the gate, it underwhelms as both a gaming and an entertainment box.
The best smart-TV suite combined with extremely aggressive pricing makes the TCL Roku TV a phenomenal value despite its so-so picture quality.