The NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) is hands down the best Android TV set-top box you can buy, offering a great mix of features for cord cutters and gamers alike. However, all that greatness comes at a fairly high price. If you’re looking to save some money on your next streaming box, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best alternatives to the Shield TV.
A streamlined experience
Xiaomi Mi Box S
The Xiaomi Mi Box S is the best option for those wanting the full Android TV experience at a lower price point. Featuring decent specs and compatibility with 4K TVs, this is an affordable option for anyone looking to stream content from the most popular services — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and so on.
$65 at Amazon
Streaming channels aplenty
The latest streaming box from Roku offers 1080p and 4K UHD content with a remote that includes a headphone jack, voice search, and a built-in speaker for the times when it gets lost in a couch cushion. There’s support for all the expected streaming services, local news programming, and hundreds of private channels streaming content of all varieties.
$88 at Amazon
Alexa, play my favorite shows
Amazon Fire TV Cube
The Fire TV Cube is a great choice for anyone who’s heavily invested in the Alexa ecosystem. The latest streaming solution from Amazon supports 4K Ultra HD streaming and includes everything you love about Alexa baked right in. It also has cable and satellite voice controls.
$120 at Amazon
No remote? No problem!
Google Chromecast Ultra
The Google Chromecast Ultra is certainly not a fully-fledged streaming box like the other options on this list, but it works really well and is something you can control with just your phone. No remote here, just an HDMI dongle that connects at the back of your TV and lets you cast apps from your phone to your TV. The Ultra edition also supports 4K streaming where available.
$70 at Best Buy
There are a few decent options for Android TV
We’d still recommend the NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) as the absolute best option for Android TV streaming (with all the gaming goodness thrown in as a cool bonus), but if you’re looking to save some coin while still getting a similar user interface and access to the Google Play Store, we’d suggest the Xiaomi Mi Box S as an affordable option.
The Mi Box S costs less than half of the Shield TV (2019) and it manages to offer decent hardware and compatibility with all the streaming services you’re interested in. The remote has Google Assistant baked in, gibing you the ability to play you favorite TV shows and movies just by issuing voice commands.