Streaming device or Smart TV app? There is no right answer.


David Imel / Android Authority

There are several options available if you want to stream content in the living room, with smart TVs and standalone streaming gadgets being some of the most popular options.

There are pros and cons to using both options, but which do readers actually use? We asked this question a few days ago, and here’s how you answered it.

Are you using a streaming device or Smart TV apps?


We published the poll in our recent Smart TV versus streaming device feature, with over 1,600 votes counted so far. And it must be said that it was a relatively tight affair. However, the winner was the streaming device camp, garnering nearly 41% of the vote.

We can understand why this choice has proven so popular, as streaming devices are much more likely to have significant software support in terms of updates and specific apps. These gadgets are also very affordable compared to buying a smart TV.

Meanwhile, those who prefer to use a smart TV alone accounted for almost 35% of the votes. It also makes sense on paper, especially if you need to upgrade your TV anyway and have the cash to spend. A reader comment also highlights the convenience of built-in 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 combination of smart TVs and streaming devices, 24% of respondents say they use both devices. As our own Roger Fingas noted in the feature, it’s handy if you want to take advantage of more of an ecosystem of apps and content. For example, you might have a Google-powered smart TV with an Apple TV streaming device.


  • Tiuri Elvander: “Nowadays it’s almost hard to find one with a barebones interface”. You can ignore the almost of this sentence, because it is definitely difficult and in fact practically impossible to find a “dumb” TV. I looked for one for over 80 parents and couldn’t find one. They don’t want or need apps like Netflix or Prime, or recommendations for video rentals/streams. They just want to watch their familiar TV channels and it gets harder on a smart TV that has a splash screen with all those things they don’t want and just confuses them.
  • andres_1: in my case, I simply use the available applications of the Smart TV, perfectly matches my current needs. then when the time comes when the Smart TV isn’t so smart anymore due to the passage of time, I can just buy a new streaming device
  • JC: I am okay. I’ve just been an “early adopter” on a new 75 inch Fire TV Omni, which I’m about to return. The reason I went with Fire TV Omni was because of my Alexa ecosystem and because this new version has a popup PIP from my Ring doorbells when activated. Instead, I’m now opting for a trusty TCL 6-series with the addition of a new Fire TV Stick MAX which is now available with this same feature. Coincidentally, this stick also just went on sale for the first time yesterday at $20 off its original price of $55.
  • deltatux: For me, it really depends. I have a Sony Android TV that works fine without a streaming box. However, I have other TVs with a stream dongle or a PC connected to it. What I find is that there is no absolute obligation, if it suits the need you can do without a broadcast box, you can always get one later if the need s in fact feel.
  • blind executioner: My only exception is that I would not buy a TV with a Google operating system. Other than that, I agree and don’t buy a software-based TV.

Thank you for voting in our poll! Will your next TV be smart 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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