Best Non-Roku or Fire TV Devices + Best Alternatives to Roku and Fire TV

A review of the best non-Roku or Fire TV devices and some recommendations on the best alternatives to Roku and Fire TV.

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Craig Hanks
YouTube Channel Manager & Streaming Expert
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January 11, 2021
4 min read

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Streaming Devices for New Cord Cutters

For brand new cord cutters, when I'm asked what device would be the best to start out with, I almost always tell them Roku or Fire TV. They're cheap devices, they're easy to use, easy to navigate, and you get access to Amazon's library if you're on Fire TV, for instance.

But it's getting harder to recommend those two devices unequivocally these days. There are a few reasons why, but number one on my list is they're still not playing nice with HBO Max and Peacock.

This kind of sucks, because HBO Max and Peacock are pretty good streaming services, honestly. I do get into those in some other videos, so if you want to check them out, go hit the description below. Anyway, today we're going to talk about alternatives to Roku and Fire TV. Which devices are the best? Let's dive in.

Now when I talk about alternatives to Roku or Fire TV, there are two categories here. The first one is the best streaming devices out there that aren't Roku or Fire TV, the second category would be the best alternative devices to Roku and Fire TV. Yes, those are different. They're slightly different, but here's what I mean.

Best Non-Roku & Fire TV Devices

Let's start with the best devices out there that aren't Roku and Fire TV. Now in this category, I looked at the Apple TV 4K and the NVIDIA Shield. Both of these are going to be powerful devices with premium features.

Apple TV

The Apple TV is super fast. It has the Apple TV App, which rolls a bunch of content into one centralized location. It's really convenient that way, except for Netflix, but that's a story for a different day. Also, the Apple TV integrates really well with the Apple ecosystem. So if you have an iPhone, an iPad, a MacBook, etc., it's going to integrate really, really well and talk across those devices.


The NVIDIA Shield is extremely quick and very responsive, and it has a lot of options to get a ton of expandable storage. So if you're using it for gaming, for instance, or if you're putting a ton of your library on it, then it has a lot of great options for that.

Plus, it has gaming features and PC screen mirroring features if you have NVIDIA graphics cards. It's powerful, it's amazing, and if you can take advantage of everything it has to offer, it is hands down one best devices out there.

The only problem here is that these premium devices come with premium price tags. Replacing that $40 Fire TV stick with a $200 NVIDIA Shield, is a tall order. Don't get me wrong, if you've got the money, like I've said, those are amazing devices, I'm not saying they're not.

But if you're still concerned about your budget and you want to turn away from Roku and Fire TV, then in that case we turn our eyes toward the second category, the best alternatives to Roku and Fire TV.

Best Low-Budget Alternatives to Roku and Fire TV

In this category, it's all about Google, specifically Chromecast. Chromecast is one of the simplest devices out there, it plugs right into your HDMI port in the back of your TV with a dongle, then you plug it in.

Then you put it on your mobile device, usually your phone or a tablet, and then there's a little Chromecast logo that appears above that. You can send that to your TV and watch it on your TV. Again, I've done reviews of all of these devices, so you can check those out. You can get links to those in the description below.

So the Chromecast is pretty good, but honestly, it's not my favorite, because it doesn't come with a remote, other than what you get on your phone. Or, if we're sticking with Google, you can go the Android TV route.

If you're trying to replace a $40 or $50 Roku stick or a Fire TV stick, then you could go for either the Mi Box 4K or the TiVo Stream 4K. They’re among my new favorites out there as far as streaming devices go. So if I am directing somebody toward a great alternative as a first device, I might actually send them toward that TiVo Stream 4K.

I've talked about it before here on this channel, but essentially it gives you a nice clean Android TV interface, and it also gives you a TiVo app that organizes your content in a unique way, and it gives you access to a few live TV channels that TiVo has there in that menu.

Upgrading a TV and Want to Avoid Roku and Fire TV? Try This

Now this all raises another question, and that is what if it's not about just replacing a little device, what if it's a smart TV? You're on a Roku smart TV or a Fire TV smart TV, whatever they call them. Well, you have a couple of options. You could just plug one of those devices that I've talked about into your smart TV, and bam, you've got access to two operating systems.

That's how I watch Peacock on this Roku TV. But if you're in the market for a new TV and you want to avoid Roku and Fire TV, you want to get access to HBO Max and Peacock without having to plug in another device, then you could have a look at some other Smart TVs. The number one brand that I would point you toward would probably be Samsung. They run on Tizen OS or LG runs on webOS, but there's also Panasonic and Vizio, those are good options too.

Summary & Wrap Up

When it comes to looking for alternatives these days, the loves of my life, Roku and Fire TV are still the favorite. Yes, there are other options out there, and I'd be curious to hear what you think the best options are. Do you just use your Xbox or your PlayStation to stream these days?

Let me know in the comments below, I'd be really curious to hear what everybody has to say these days. Roku and Fire TV may be possibly looking at a downward trend, because they're not playing nice with some of these streaming services out there. I don't know, I guess we'll see.

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Craig Hanks
Written by
Craig Hanks
Craig is a long-time writer, presenter, and podcaster, and he now runs the YouTube channel, where he strives to be far more charming and presentable than he is in real life. Within the umbrella, he has accidentally become a streaming expert after covering the streaming wars for almost three years. Craig is also the founder and host of The Legendarium Podcast, his outlet for his love of fantasy and sci-fi literature.

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