Wondering how to stream Netflix if your TV doesn’t support a Netflix app? The answer is a streaming box, a valuable addition to your entertainment shelf designed to support the most popular streaming options and channels. So if you are looking for a Netflix box for TV, check out the best on the market – and everything else they have to offer.
Note: These boxes assume that you have HDMI ports in your TV or receiver. If your devices are particularly old, you may want to upgrade them before searching for boxes.
- 1 Best Netflix Boxes
- 2 1. Google Chromecast
- 3 2. Roku 3
- 4 3. Apple TV
- 5 4. Google Nexus Player
- 6 5. Amazon Fire TV
- 7 6. Xbox One
Best Netflix Boxes
1. Google Chromecast
Google Chromecast isn’t exactly a box – which is why it’s one of the best streaming device options around. This little HDMI stick can fit nearly anywhere as long as your TV has an extra HDMI port for you to stick it in. It’s powered via USB tech or AC adapter, and once in and running it can do most of what the big set-top boxes can do, including give you popular streamers like Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, and other important members of the family. The other unique feature of Chromecast is how well it plays with Android and developers in general, giving it access to a very broad selection of apps to tweak your entertainment in all kinds of ways.
2. Roku 3
Roku was one of the early entrants in the set-top box market, and has had plenty of time to perfect its craft. The Roku 3 is simply one of the best streaming box choices currently available. It offers around 2,000 possible channels, excellent search options that allow you to search content through multiple platforms and devices, and of course access to streamers like Netflix. It comes with its own remote complete with motion controls for games, has a headphone jack for private listening, and has Ethernet, USB, and MicroSD slots. All in all, it makes for a great family box.
3. Apple TV
Apple has a simpler box than the Roku, but offers many of the same services and more compatibility with other Apple products. This Netflix TV box can handle all the popular streaming apps, as well as high definition iTunes content. However, it’s the interactions with iPhones and iPads that make this streaming box unique. You can flick video or photos up onto your TV at a moment’s notice if you want, thanks to AirPlay features, or used your iPad as a controller for many of the games in the Apple app store. In other words, this is made for Apple fans from the ground up.
4. Google Nexus Player
The Nexus Player uses the Android TV OS, and while it will give easy access to Netflix streaming and much more, it will go down easier for those who have experience with Android platforms. Much like Apple TV and Apple software, the Nexus is meant for Android games, Google Play content, and similar features. With an extra gamepad accessory and a voice search function, the Player may be more suited for video game apps than many other boxes…as long as you get your apps from Android. You can also use Google Cast on the Player in conjunction with any other device that also has the Cast app to send content over to your TV.
5. Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV has several features to recommend it. First, much like Apple TV and the Nexus Player, Fire TV is designed to work well with one specific brand – if you love Amazon and already subscribe to plenty of Amazon content, this device will fit in perfectly with your habits. Second, this Netflix streaming box includes an extra focus on unique features. It lets parents create personal profiles for kids and their favorite cartoons, it has smart buffering to prepare shows ahead of time, and it offers more gaming options than most boxes, with titles that Apple TV and Nexus Player don’t have access to.
You can get the Amazon Fire TV for $84
6. Xbox One
The Xbox One is a console, not a small set-top box, and so is significantly more expensive. However, it’s the best Netflix streamer if you’re a fan of Microsoft and Windows, and includes, of course, options for all Xbox One games and downloads. The voice search, gesture control, and automatic control of your TV and receiver than come with the Kinect accessory also make this box one of the most advanced: streaming content and finding your shows has never been more fun. The Blu-ray player and 500GB hard drive let you watch the latest hard copy or store video content on the Xbox One for later viewing.