While the Nvidia Shield's 4K video and solid gaming chops make it the most potent Android TV device yet, app shortfalls and a relatively high price limit its appeal.
Roku 2 ( 2015)
A nearly perfect mix of speed, features, price and ecosystem make the Roku 2 our favorite streaming device yet.
Roku 3 ( 2015)
Voice search makes the Roku 3 the best video streamer in its price class, but if you don't need it or the remote's headphone jack, save some money and get the Roku 2.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
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.
Western Digital WD TV Media Player ( 2014)
While not for everyone, the WD TV's adroit playback of video and music files makes it the perfect living room box for people with large digital media collections.
Google Nexus Player
Until it receives a major infusion of native apps and developer support, and better integrates non-Google services, the Nexus Player with Android TV offers no compelling upgrade over other streaming devices.
Philips Blu-ray Surround Base HTB3525B
The Philips HTB3525B packs Blu-ray, Smart TV, and Bluetooth into an affordable sound bar, making it a great choice if you're looking for an all-in-one system.
Amazon Fire TV
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.
Roku Streaming Stick ( 2014)
Roku's Streaming Stick offers tons of apps, a real remote, and a compact design for just $50, making it the best streaming stick and an outstanding value.
Roku LT ( 2013)
The Roku LT is the best budget streaming-media device, easily topping the $35 Chromecast.