Media streaming devices have revolutionized the way people watch TV. These devices stream content via the Internet, unlike set-top boxes that require a cable or satellite connection. They plug into HDMI ports of projectors or TVs and connect to a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network for streaming content. Users can watch what their favorite movies, news and shows whenever they like.
Media streaming devices are a great alternative to DVD players as well because users don’t have to purchase physical media and can access content digitally. Some of them also allow users to game using a remote or gaming controller. They essentially convert a standard projector into a smart device. Here are the five best streaming devices to turn your projector into a smart projector.
1.Roku Streaming Stick+
Roku Express Streaming Stick+ is easily one of the best streaming devices available in the market today. The device has a compact form-factor and is smaller than the remote included in the package. It can play 4K UHD and HDR content, allowing users to make the best of their 4K projectors and TVs. The Roku Streaming Stick+ plugs directly into the HDMI port of display devices. Users can connect it to their home’s Wi-Fi network for streaming content from the Internet.
The package includes a voice remote that enables users to control the device using voice commands. Roku Streaming Stick+ supports screen mirroring for Android and Window devices as well as private listening via their mobile application. It allows users to play games like Tetris and Minesweeper using the bundled remote.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is a great value-for-money media streaming device priced slightly higher ($59 vs. $49) than the Fire TV Stick 4K. A cheaper Roku Express capable of playing 1080p HD content is also available but comes with a simple remote.
- Features Roku’s proprietary intuitive yet easy to operate user interface.
- Supports HDR content including the HDR10 standard and Dolby Atmos.
- Wide range of applications available as compared to other media streaming devices.
- Facilitates screen mirroring for Android and Window devices.
- Remote can also be used for controlling TVs.
- Doesn’t support smart assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
- Lacks support for Dolby Vision.
- No HDMI extension cable included in the package.
- The remote control no longer comes with a headphone jack as the older versions did.
2. Fire TV Stick 4K
The Fire TV Stick 4K is a popular choice when it comes to the best streaming devices. It is a small device that plugs into an HDMI port on a TV. The device is capable of playing 4K UHD content and supports a wide range of standards including HDR, HDR 10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and the recent HLG and HDR10+.
The Alexa voice remote allows users to control the Fire TV Stick as well as other compatible smart devices. It also features buttons that may be configured to control TV and soundbar via Infrared. The stick supports dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and can be connected to a wired network with an optional Ethernet adapter. Gamers can pair a Bluetooth controller with the Fire TV Stick 4K for playing games.
It is one of the cheapest 4K streaming device available today and costs only $10 (USD) more than the 1080p Fire TV Stick.
- One of the cheapest 4K HDR streaming devices available today.
- Supports a wide range of HDR standards including HLG for broadcasting, HDR10, and HDR10+.
- Decent hardware with a powerful processor and easy to use interface.
- The right choice for buyers who have Amazon Prime Video and Prime Music memberships.
- A little fewer apps and services as compared to Roku’s Streaming Stick+.
- YouTube TV not available for US owners of Amazon Fire TV devices.
- Amazon’s Fire TV Game Controller won’t be supported with latest versions of Fire TV Stick 4K.
- Amazon-centric home screen and advertisements.
3. Chromecast Ultra
The Google Chromecast Ultra is the best media streaming dongle for people who want to stream content on their projectors at home as well as on the fly. Chromecast Ultra plugs into an HDMI port on a projector or TV and streams content in 4K UHD and HDR. It enables users to play content from their smartphones, laptops, tablets or other similar devices on a large screen of a TV or projector. Users can control the Chromecast from the device they are using it with.
Chromecast Ultra is designed to be simple and easy to use. Users open the app installed on their smartphone or tablet and select the content to play. The Chromecast Ultra streams the selected movie, video or show on the projector or TV it is plugged in. There is no user interface to browse through which may appeal to some users but be off-putting to others.
There is a wide range of games available that support Chromecast functionality. Users can play games installed on their smartphone, tablet or laptop on a large screen. A cheaper variant of Chromecast is also available that streams content in 1080p resolution.
- Works with apps installed on smartphones or other devices without requiring separate downloads.
- Allows users to use their devices while casting content on the projector or TV.
- Decent hardware with a powerful processor and easy to use interface.
- Can be paired with Google Home smart devices for controlling and operating them.
- Requires a smartphone, tablet or other smart devices to operate as no remote is included.
- Can’t mirror screen for iOS-based devices but only for Android devices.
- Will work as long as the device it is being used with is powered on which can be an issue when the device’s battery runs out.
- No standard user interface like the TV launcher found in devices with the Android TV OS.
- Some applications may not support Chromecast functionality.
4. Nvidia Shield TV
Nvidia Shield TV is one of the best media streaming devices for individuals who prioritize gaming. It is a comprehensive 4K HDR entertainment solution that enables viewers to watch content and play games in 4K resolution.
It comes with built-in support for Google Assistant and can function as a smart home hub, allowing homeowners to control all their compatible smart devices. The Nvidia Shield also supports Alexa Skills for controlling the streaming device using voice commands. It can act as a DVR and a media server as well.
Nvidia Shield TV features the Oreo build of the Android TV OS which provides a TV launcher for easily accessing content such as movies and shows from various streaming platforms. The Gaming Edition of Nvidia Shield TV is the ideal choice for serious gamers as it comes with a gaming controller.
The Nvidia Shield TV is the best streaming device for buyers who own a 4K projector and want a 4K streaming device with gaming capabilities.
- Comes with a comprehensive set of features making it one of the best streaming devices.
- Has powerful hardware and supports Google Assistant and Chromecast.
- Provides access to GeForce Now cloud gaming platform with various free games.
- Supports Dolby Atmos and DTS-X surround sound for an immersive experience.
- Controlling smart devices requires a SmartThings USB adapter (sold with smart home edition only).
- Gaming requires an active Internet connection, unlike consoles that install and store games locally.
- Limited built-in storage though it can be expanded via USB port.
- Maybe too expensive for people who want a streaming device for only watching TV.
5. Apple TV 4K
The latest variant of the Apple TV 4K is an alternate option for users who need a premium streaming device that also provides access to apps and games. It is capable of playing 4K HDR content with support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, the latter with the release of tvOS12, enabling an immersive experience.
Apple TV 4K features the tvOS12, Apple’s proprietary OS, with universal search. Users can choose from a wide range of applications for streaming content. It can mirror different iOS devices including phones and tablets for sharing their content on a large display. The Apple TV 4K allows homeowners to control their supported Homekit devices ranging from LED bulbs to speakers.
It has been designed primarily for the iOS ecosystem and will benefit users who already own other Apple devices. Gamers may also consider Apple TV 4K as it supports Bluetooth gaming controllers such as the Steel Series Nimbus wireless controller.
- Supports 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos.
- A well-polished user interface that is easy to user and control.
- Can be paired with AirPods for a private listening experience.
- Supports voice search and control with remote and via Siri.
- Fewer applications and content in comparison to some other streaming devices.
- Some functionalities like live game scores are limited to specific regions.
- Doesn’t supports YouTube 4K or HDR videos.
- Gamers will have to buy a controller separately.
The ideal media streaming device will vary from one user to another based on their requirements. People who own a projector or TV with 1080p or lower resolution can consider a cheap device like the Google Chromecast, Amazon Firestick or Roku Express.
Owners of 4K projectors or TVs or those who want to future proof can consider spending slightly more money on a 4K media streaming device. Nvidia Shield TV will appeal to serious gamers while Apple TV is best suited for people who have multiple iOS products. Buyers should check out the applications and content available on different streaming devices before they commit to a purchase.
Turn ANY projector into a smart tv in 30 sec (wireless) - YouTube
At any rate, we agree that the Roku Streaming Stick+ is the best streaming device for projector use, followed by Amazon's similarly impressive Fire TV Stick 4K.
Any projector with an HDMI port or even VGA/AV port (use a converter for those) can enjoy Netflix offerings as long as they can work with a streaming device such as Roku or FireStick. These devices can also play other streaming services like Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, CrunchyRoll, Hulu, and so forth.
Streaming device: If you have a streaming device like a Roku or Fire Stick, you can connect it to your projector via HDMI and then watch TV using an app like YouTube TV or fuboTV that lets you stream live television. Native apps: Some projectors are built on platforms like Android TV and run apps natively.
There are a range of wireless adapters available that can convert your current cabled projector into a wireless one. With Airtame, making your projector wireless is easy. Plug Airtame into the projector's HDMI port, download the app on your computer, and connect the Airtame to your WiFi network.
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The Roku Express is an HD streaming media player that comes with a simple remote and high-speed HDMI cable that should work excellently with your projector.
As long as you have a projector with an HDMI input, you're good to go. Plug your Roku stick directly into the HDMI input of the projector. Alternatively, use a premium HDMI cable to connect the two devices together.
Ultimately, when it comes to Chromecast vs Roku, both devices offer fantastic features and quality. The major difference between the two is the interface. If you prefer a traditional, remote-controlled user experience, then the Roku is a better fit.
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As long as the projector has an HDMI port, you can plug any media streaming device into the projector. Since Android can connect wirelessly to those devices, playing Netflix on the projector becomes just as easy as streaming it to your TV.
Check the Source Device and Projector are Connected Correctly. If the issue persists, check that the cables and adapters are firmly plugged in. Also, check that you are using the proper cable or adapter to connect your source device to the projector.
Projectors generally do not feature TV Tuners inbuilt so in order to view your local TV broadcast you can connect a device called a Set Top Box. The most common way to view TV broadcast on the big screen is to grab an inexpensive Set Top Box (available at most electrical retailers).
The better projectors also had far better contrast ratios, and therefore better image quality, than most TVs of the time. Short-throw projectors can help fit a projector into just about any room but they can still look washed out in brighter lighting. Life moves pretty fast. Technology even more so.
Smart projectors come with their own interfaces, operating system, apps and even Wi-Fi connectivity. Users don't need to connect these projectors to a smartphone, tablet or laptop as it relies on its built-in computer, which can be used to stream content or download apps.
The easiest way to connect a smart TV to a projector is by connecting the smart TV's video output port to a compatible video input port on the projector. Now, if your projector has a video output, you can connect that to a video input of your smart TV, which lets you duplicate screens.
- Connect your device or computer to the same wireless network as the projector.
- Open the Chromecast-enabled app and press the Cast button.
- Select your projector from the list of devices. ...
- To stop casting, press the Cast button in the app and choose the disconnect option.
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You can purchase a TV tuner box such as the ATSC Tuner Box and make sure it has the correct input, like HDMI, for your projector of choice. From there, attach the antenna to the coaxial input of your tuner box.