streaming tv device

Smart TV vs STBs and Streaming TV Device: What’s the Difference?

It’s not a secret that the way TV is consumed has changed over the years. Cable was quite popular for some time until new technologies, like smart TV or a streaming TV device, have came along and completely changed the game.

 

 

Today, you no longer have to rely on your laptop or tablet device to see YouTube videos or the latest Netflix release. This time, you can choose from different streaming TV device options such as a smart TV or a set-top box. But before you can decide, you need to know what makes each one different.

 

 

 

Apps & Content

 

Just like smartphones, smart TVs come with a series of apps for your entertainment. It’s no secret that the most popular ones, like Netflix, are part of the package. However, a set-top box (STB) offers many more apps.

 

 

Netflix is supported on most devices, and it carries a lot of good films, documentaries, and TV series. In other words, you have a pretty huge library to go through and choose from whatever you feel like watching.

 

 

However, smart devices aren’t just about what you see; they are also about what you want to hear and what you want to read. Both smart TVs and STBs have support for Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, or Pandora so it’s just a matter of choosing.

 

 

Smart TV manufacturers have obviously noted the wide range of apps available on STBs or on a streaming tv device. As such, it’s not that hard to find models that are developed in partnership with Roku, Android TV, and the rest. In other words, you no longer need a box.

 

 

 

Features

 

What if you like watching live sports coverage or want to get the latest news? That’s in the realm of live TV but if you want to cut cable, which streaming TV device allows you to consume such content? Set-top boxes do. However, you might need to pay extra for a service but the price isn’t that steep compared to getting cable.

 

 

Set top boxes also have additional features such as storage and games.

 

 

 

Cost

 

It costs less to get a STB than it is to own a smart TV. Keep in mind that a smart TV is an all-in-one package while you still need to pair a STB with a display. In terms of convenience, you’re definitely tempted to go for the former, however you might start thinking twice when you think of the cost.

 

 

A smart TV is much more expensive than a STB. Plus, when you factor in the limited number of supported apps, getting a STB seems like the more cost-effective option. After all, you can pair an STB with a TV that has smart features (which a lot of models have these days).

 

 

Longevity

 

Updates are important to smart devices or a streaming TV device. How else will you get new features and protection from security threats? With STBs, updates come easy. The same cannot be said of smart TVs, which have hardware built into the display. Plus, it’s so much cheaper to get a STB than it is to buy a new television set.

 

 

 

Smart TVs are great all-in-one solutions, but if you like variety and low cost, a set-top box is a great solution as a streaming TV device option.