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You told us: Streaming device or smart TV app? There's no correct answer.

It seems like many readers use both options too.

Published onNovember 17, 2021

Google Chromecast with Google TV movies tab
David Imel / Android Authority

There are several options available if you’d like to stream content in the living room, with smart TVs and standalone streaming gadgets being among the most popular options.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using these two options, but which one do readers actually use? We asked this question a few days ago, and here’s how you answered.

Do you use a streaming device or smart TV apps?


We posted the poll in our recent smart TV versus streaming device feature, with over 1,600 votes counted until now. And it must be said that this was a relatively close affair. However, the winner was the streaming device camp, garnering almost 41% of the vote.

We can understand why this choice proved to be so popular, as streaming devices are far more likely to see meaningful software support in terms of updates and specific apps. These gadgets are also very affordably priced compared to buying a smart TV.

Meanwhile, those who prefer using a smart TV alone accounted for almost 35% of the vote. This makes sense on paper too, especially if you’re due for a TV upgrade anyway and have some cash to spare. One reader comment also points to the convenience of integrated apps on a smart TV, adding that they can always add a streaming device to their smart TV if their needs change.

Speaking of a smart TV and streaming device combo, 24% of respondents say they use both devices. As our own Roger Fingas noted in the feature, this is handy if you want to enjoy more than one app and content ecosystem. For example, you could have a Google-powered smart TV along with an Apple TV streaming device.


  • Tiuri Elvander: “These days it’s almost difficult to find one with a barebones interface”. You can skip the almost from that sentence because it is definitely difficult and in fact practically impossible to find a ‘dumb’ TV. I looked for one for some 80+ relatives and could not find any. They don’t want or need apps like Netflix or Prime, nor do they want recommendations for video rentals/streams. They just want to watch their familiar TV channels and that’s become more difficult on a smart TV that has a start screen with all those things they do not want and only confuses them.
  • andres_1: in my case, I just use the Smart TV’s available apps, fits my current needs just right. then when the time comes that the Smart TV isn’t so smart anymore because of the passage of time, I can just buy a new streaming device
  • JC: I have to agree. I just went “early adopter” on a new 75 inch Fire TV Omni, which I am getting ready to return. The reason I opted for the Fire TV Omni was because of my Alexa ecosystem and because this new version has a pop up PIP of my Ring doorbells when activated. Instead, I am now opting for a trusty 6 series TCL with the addition of a new Fire TV Stick MAX which is now available with this same feature. This stick fortuitously also just went on sale for the first time yesterday at $20 off its initial $55 price. 
  • deltatux: For me it really depends. I got a Sony Android TV that works fine without a stream box. However I have other TVs with either a stream dongle or have a PC attached to it. What I find is that there’s no absolute must, if it suits the need you can go without getting a stream box, you can always get one later should the need arise.
  • blindexecutioner: My one exception is I would not buy a tv with a Google OS. Other than that I agree and don’t buy a TV based on software.

Thanks for voting in our poll! Will your next TV be a smart one or are you happy to get a non-smart TV and hook it up to a streaming device? Let us know in the comments.

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