Entertainment plays a huge part when you are renting an Airbnb home. Hence having a good streaming system with you will allow you to watch your favourite shows and movies. To help you with your search we did our research and testing and found that Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote are two best streaming device for Airbnb. Apple TV is a unique service which brings hundreds of video streaming services at one place. Because of this one big reason, it is a clear number one on our list.
1. Apple TV 4K- Best For 4k TV
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Apple is a major player in the market of smartphone and computers. Nowadays, most of the user has a lot of content on iTunes. With Apple TV your guest will be able to access their content on iTunes. Also, since it supports several streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. Apple TV brings every service under one roof.
We liked the sleek remote of the Apple TV. It is Siri compatible. Hence, you can perform a voice search. If the internet connection is good, it is time accurate. You can set a password for the system, but it would be wise to leave it open so that your guest can access it.
If you want to have the best movie or show experience, Apple TV offers the best options. However, make sure that you have high-speed internet connectivity at Airbnb property.
2. Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa Voice Remote- Best For Alexa Devices
Amazon’s Fire TV stick makes any normal TV into a smart TV with a simple stick. Unlike another, it doesn’t require any elaborate installation. First, insert the stick into one of the HDMI slots of your television, and you are ready to stream your favourite show or movie. It works well with Alexa. If your Airbnb home uses a smart device that uses Alexa, a Fire TV stick would be a great addition to home automation.
There are three versions of it—standard, 4K, and TV Cube. If you own a 4K TV, it is better to go for the 4K option. With proper compatible television, you get 4K Ultra HD support. The standard version supports up to 1080p which is more than enough for standard TV. The device does have a storage space of 8 GB with standard and 4K and 16 GB with TV cube. So your guest can easily save their favourite videos.
If you have Apple TV and Fire TV stick, Apple TV has a much higher number of apps. But the highest number of users belong to Netflix and Amazon. So it would be wise to buy a less expensive device like Fire TV.
3. Roku Premiere – Best For Budget Conscious Users
After big brands like Apple TV and Fire Stick, Roku is the highest selling streaming device. There are several version of them, but we like Roku Premiere as it supports 4K. The company has come a long way since its first release. Now much like Amazon Prime, it has its own channel Roku which has a collection of movies and shows. With the device, you get free access to the channel. Beyond that, it supports all major streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zulu, CBS etc.
As far as the audio and video are concerned, it is much dependent on the TV. But it does support the 4K resolution as well as 60 fps videos. And also it supports Dolby ATMOS sound. However, we observed that with a poor connection, often video quality is compromised if you are watching something in high definition.
No other streaming device has so many variations. You pick any of the variations depending on the TV and internet connection your Airbnb property has. However, out of all Roku Express has all bases covered when it comes to entertainment and within budget.
4. Google Chromecast 3rd Generation – Best For Google Assistant Devices
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Among smart TV, Android TV is gaining popularity. Among all the streaming devices we tested the Google Chromecast is the best for Airbnb that uses Android TV. The biggest advantage of having Google Chromecast is that unlike other it does not require any electrical outlet. Just plug into any one of the HDMI port and connect it to your Wi-Fi and you are good to go.
As far as the streaming services are concerned, it supports all the major services like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora etc. We tested it on 4K television; the quality of the video is good. However, it does not have inbuilt support for the 4K, UHD and Dolby ATMOS. It uses the hardware of the TV itself. For voice search, it uses Google Assistant. So if you own a Google Home, Chromecast could be a good addition to your Airbnb home.
Google chrome is very good when you are travelling because Chromecast does not require any network because it works as an access point. One service they do not support is Amazon Prime. So if you are a big user of Amazon prime, avoid Chromecast.
5. NVIDIA Shield TV – Best For Gaming Console
NVIDIA is a big manufacturer of graphics hardware. You can see their experience in the result of the NVIDIA Shield TV. Among all the streaming device, the NVIDIA Shield TV uses the most advanced hardware to offer high-quality streaming. It is not just used as the streamer; it can be used as a gaming console, media server, and home automation hub. Hence, it would be a great device to have for your Airbnb property. However, if you are a frequent renter of Airbnb homes, it will be useful, but it is not as portable as the other.
We also like the sleep remote design. For voice control, it uses Google Assistant which is one of the most developed AI for voice search. In addition to Google Assistant, it is equally good with Alexa. If you own an Echo dot or any other Alexa device, you can have the hands-free control over the device.
We would advise getting this device only if you are Airbnb homeowner because the device multi-functional and you can save money by not buying separate devices for functions like home automation, gaming console etc.
6. Original Xiaomi Mi Box – Best For Android Based Devices
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One of our experts suggested we must try Original Xiaomi Mi Box. The device is almost similar to Apple TV, Google Chromecast or Roku. Xiaomi Mi has recently introduced this device. Hence there is a lot of improvement is expected in future. But this current version supports almost all the streaming services. Also, it supports 4K videos. The good thing is it works great even with internet speed lower than 50 Mbps. However, we advise using the internet that has a speed of at least 20 Mbps for reasonable results.
The package includes HDMI cable and power cord. It will require you to connect both. The rest of it will be taken care of by the Wifi. There is no Ethernet port; you will have to rely on the WiFi. Hence make sure the device is closer to the router for best connectivity.
The Original Xiaomi Mi Box could be a great alternative to Apple TV or Chromecast. And if you use an Android phone, it will make your life much easier while you are renting Airbnb homes. It is the best for vacation rental property with Android OS.
Buyer’s Guide – What To Consider?
When you are buying devices like Apple TV, Chromecast etc., you have to consider factor like portability because as a user you will be travelling with the streaming device. However, if you are Airbnb owner, portability won’t be the biggest factor, but all-around support to all streaming services and HD video playback will be your concern. So depending on the type of user you have to choose the right device. To help you with your purchase, we a created list of the most important factors related to a streaming device.
For streaming devices, installation is not a big issue, but there are little things involved in the process that might hinder your viewing experience. For installation, some streaming devices need a power source in addition to the HDMI connection with the television. And if your Airbnb property doesn’t have that extra power outlet for the streaming device, you won’t be able to install it.
And also there is some device that uses only Wi-Fi connection and doesn’t have the Ethernet support. In such cases, Airbnb property requires Wi-Fi with good speed and also it should be near the entertainment set up for best connection. If you travel too much, but do not want any complicated installation, you can go with No products found.. It is a simple plug and plays streaming device.
2. Video Streaming Services
The main function of streaming services is to allow you to stream your favourite shows from favourite streaming services. The most popular of them is Netflix. Most of the streaming devices support them. But few of the streaming devices do not support services like Amazon Prime and even YouTube. If you are regular users of these services, you must find the device that does. If you want to make sure that your device supports every service, make sure you stick to our list.
Without internet streaming devices are useless. So you have to make sure that any Airbnb property you own or rent, has good internet connectivity. And you have to understand streaming devices connect to the internet in two ways Wi-Fi and Ethernet. All of them support Wi-Fi but not all supported Ethernet. After testing all devices, we have realized that the most stable connection is only possible with Ethernet.
In addition to the connection of the main unit to the internet, the connection between remote and the unit is also crucial. Some of the devices, use Bluetooth connection which is much better than optical connection which requires the user to point the remote towards the unit. Also, most of the remotes are used for voice search. So you have to make sure that the remote has good connectivity with the unit. During our research, we found that Apple TV, Roku and Fire Stick had the best remote.
4. Voice Search
Voice search has become a key aspect of the streaming device. Due to the highly developed AI like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa, voice searches are more effective. You have to choose the AI that you are comfortable with. Not all devices support all AI. Like Apple TV is best for Siri users, Amazon Firestick is best for Alexa users, and Chromecast is best for Google Assistant users. So choose the one that supports your favourable AI.
As Airbnb renter, you will be carrying your device so that you can watch your favourite shows where you like. Hence, the size of the streaming devices becomes crucial. Most of the streaming devices are the size of a palm. But in addition to the device, you are required to carry the remote, and power adapters. If you had to ask, which is the most portable device on our list, our answer is Google Chromecast. The big reason being, it does not require any power outlet. Hence no power adapter is needed. Also, it does not require any remote; your phone can be used as a remote.
How We Conducted Tests For Streaming Device?
The first step of our research is to identify the units that we want to test. We identify products for testing based on the sales number and reputation among the users. After considering the sales number and reputation, we were able to identify 14 devices. We also hired eight experts who have a year of experience in either sales or manufacturing of streaming devices.
Once we had the product began our testing process. With the help of experts, we found that there factors like picture quality, installation, streaming service support, remote, voice search etc. are the parameter based which we want to test the streaming devices. During the test, we kept the same TV and internet connection so that we can compare the results. In addition to tests, we interview many existing users of each streaming device to learn more about the performance of the device.
After considering all the tests results, expert views and user feedback, we asked our team members to score each unit based on three key factors—quality, installation, and portability. Next, we calculated the overall score and sorted the six streaming device for Airbnb. Here is the scorecard:
Streaming device for airbnb tests
|Apple TV 4K||98.8||96.2||96.5||97.1||No products found.|
|Amazon Fire Stick||97.5||96.8||97.1||97.1||Check Price|
|Roku Premiere||96.2||96.9||97.5||96.8||Check Price|
|Google Chromecast||96.1||96.9||97.5||96.8||No products found.|
|NVIDIA Shield TV||96.8||96.5||96.1||96.4||Check Price|
|Original Xiaomi Mi Box||96.1||96.3||96.8||96.4||Check Price|
1. How do streaming devices work?
Streaming devices connect to any TV via HDMI and stream music or video from online streaming services.
2. Do you need a streaming device if you have a smart TV?
Streaming devices have their own advantages, and they can stream from those services which might not be available with your smart TV.
3. Is Roku better than FireStick?
Both are more or the same in terms of online services. The only difference is the FireStick does not support YouTube. However, FireStick has Alexa.
4. Do I need a streaming device for each TV?
Yes, you require two separate devices to stream a video or music on two different TV.
5. Do you need to pay a fee for streaming devices?
There is no fee for using the streaming device. You just need a subscription to online streaming services. However, there are some free online streaming services that you can watch without any subscription or fee.
6. Are local channels available on streaming devices?
Yes, some streaming devices like Roku show local channels and live newscasts.
7. Can I watch Netflix on my regular TV?
Yes, all the streaming devices support Netflix app. Log in with your Netflix subscription and enjoy.
8. Can I use the same Roku account on two separate TV?
Yes, you can use same account on two separate TVs. But make sure that the online service that you use allows streaming on two separate screens.
With electronic products like streaming devices, it is wise to stick with big brands like Apple, Google, And Amazon, as you have the best customer support as well updates to the software, is consistent. And since you will be using the device with either Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant, these top brands have much better support via AI. Our buyer’s guide offers you the basic information that you require before buying the streaming device, but you have to know what do you want and choose according to it.