Great gifts: 5 best TV streaming devices of 2018

I’ve been a cord cutter for almost a decade. I hated my large cable and satellite bills. And many of my favorite shows are only available on streaming services. But I’m not the only cord cutter.

According to Hub Entertainment Research‘s Conquering Content report, 52 percent of people now watch streaming video over 48 percent of those using set-top boxes. Of these folks, two-thirds of them subscribe to at least one of the big three streaming services: Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Of these, over a third subscribe to two or more services.

In another Hub study, Decoding the Default, while 78 percent of people are still subscribing to cable or satellite, 70 percent of those subscribers are subscribing to a streaming service. It appears people aren’t so much cutting the cord as they are adding streaming networks.

It’s easy to understand why. To watch such popular shows as Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, or The Man in the High Castle, you must subscribe to their streaming services. Traditional over-the-air (OTA) networks, such as CBS, ZDNet’s parent company, are also moving to streaming. Star Trek: Discovery, for instance, is only available on CBS’s streaming service: CBS All Access.

To watch any of these you need a streaming device. True, most TVs now come with embedded streaming services, but I’ve yet to find a “smart” TV that’s that smart. Even the best of them, such as the LG OLEDB8P or LG OLEDC7P, don’t keep up with the ever-changing streaming TV networks.

Of course, if all you ever watch are shows from the big three streaming services, you may not need a separate set-top streaming gadget. But, if you’re like me and you have a collection of videos you stream from a Plex server or you like more obscure streaming channels such as Pluto TV and Freeform, then you need a streaming device.

Here’s my pick of litter for your TV-watching pleasure.

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Great gifts: 5 best TV streaming devices of 2018
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great guy, love the news

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