Streaming Devices Vs. Smart TVs | Which One Should You Get?


Are you considering upgrading your streaming experience? If so, you must be wondering if you should buy a streaming device and connect it with your old TV or get a new smart TV.

To decide, you must consider the pros and cons of both. However, there is a long list of benefits and drawbacks of each device, so we will compare them on different levels to help you find a suitable option.

In 2007, Netflix introduced a streaming device that gave people the freedom to enjoy Netflix on their television. With this, Netflix just went out smashing all the walls and was ravingly spreading from home to home.

As time flew out, TV manufacturers decided to jump into the competition and started manufacturing TVs with an avant-garde UI for applications. After that, TVs sets started running like an enhanced mini-computer. Still, they didn’t allow free streaming as people had to program or install applications according to the smart TV platform. 

Moreover, not every smart TV has the same kind of platform. Some were using android to allow millions of applications to run smoothly on a smart TV. On the other hand, some were awful to hell that you still needed a streaming device to watch Netflix even though the TV is a so-called smart TV. 

Streaming Devices Vs. Smart TVs: One-On-One Comparison

Streaming devices are mini dongle-like devices that you just need to plug into the HDMI port of your ordinary television. In contrast, a smart TV is simply a television with internet connectivity and can run apps. This means that you can access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime directly on your TV.

Let’s compare the specific features to determine which one is more suitable for you.


Speaking through my personal experience, a smart TV runs agonizingly slow. We have to wait for more than 30 seconds to get any smart TV functions started. 

If we talk about Amazon Prime or Netflix, it takes more than a minute to get started on LG smart TVs. In comparison, a streaming device operates within a few seconds and saves you from the hassle of waiting for minutes to start watching your favorite series.

The reason for such a huge difference in speeds is vital to realize. A smart TV needs a computer chip for processing and premiering multiple scenes. That’s why it can also lag or stop working, similar to a computer in many instances. 

On the other hand, a streaming device TV like Roku and Fire TV worked fine on an ultra-fast processor and dedicated RAM. It’s way easier to switch between applications on a streaming device than on a smart TV. So, the streaming device scores a point here.

HDR Setup

Smart TVs offer you a simple HDR setup and allow you to have a space free in your HDMI port. Later on, you can use that space for gaming consoles if you are a gamer. According to HelloTech, setting up Roku TV is a little trickier but easy once you know how to (read more). Also, some streaming devices include some in-built games as well.

Availability And Versatility

When it comes to versatility, smart TVs are at the top of the game. It has everything in one place. You don’t need to have a different device for each streaming service that you want to use. You can also access other features like live TV and local channels without using a separate device.

However, some Smart TVs don’t come with a wide range of applications unless you get a pretty expensive one. Plus, it might be tough to browse or stream shows not available or restricted in your country. 

For example, if you want to watch restricted shows, you will have to get a good VPN for Netflix and set it up manually. On the other hand, streaming devices offer you a wide range of applications. Plus, it allows you to use any prohibited application by only changing your country in the DNS server (read more). 


Another thing to consider is price. A basic Roku can be bought for around $30, while a smart TV costs anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more. So basically, streaming devices are nearly half the price of a Samsung and LG smart TV. 

Pros Of Smart TV

  • Better picture quality than traditional TVs
  • Allows attaching gaming consoles 
  • Many come with built-in voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant.


  • The selection of apps and streaming services is limited compared to streaming devices.

Pros Of Streaming Devices 

  • Portable and can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection
  • Offer a wide variety of content to choose from
  • Easy to use and provide a great user experience


  • Drains data if you’re not careful

Streaming Device or Smart TV? Time to Decide

There are a few different options on the market for streaming devices. You can buy a smart TV, a television with built-in streaming capabilities, or you can buy a device like the Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire Stick that plugs into your regular TV.

So, which is the better option? Well, it depends on your needs. If you just want to watch Netflix or Hulu, a smart TV will do the trick. But if you’re going to use streaming services like Sling TV or DirecTV, you’ll need a separate device. 


Overall, the best option for most people is a combination of a smart TV and a streaming device. A smart TV will give you basic streaming capabilities, and then you can add on a more advanced device like the Roku for additional options. It will provide you with the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.

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Sandy Roberts is technology admirer and a computer specialist who is always curious for new technological advancements in the IT industry. With her extensive experience and apprehension of IT industry and technology, she writes after concrete research and analysis with the intention to aid the reader the content full of factual information. Being so ambitious to facilitate the readers, she intermittently tries her hand on the tech-gadgets and services popping frequently in the industry to reduce any ambiguity in her mind related to the project on she works, that a huge sign of dedication to her work.


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