The 2020 cord-cutter awards: Best streaming services, devices, and more

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Whereas the circumstances had been hardly supreme, 2020 was a giant yr for twine chopping.

Streaming providers like Netflix and Disney+ noticed their subscriber numbers soar as individuals appeared for tactics to cross the time at dwelling, and the short-term suspension of stay sports activities accelerated the decline of conventional pay TV bundles. Whereas not coronavirus-related, this yr launched two main new streaming providers in HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock, and we noticed some daring makes an attempt to rethink the streaming system with Google’s new Chromecast and the TiVo Stream 4K.

I’ve been penning this weekly column (and e-newsletter) on cord-cutting by all of it, so in accordance with annual custom, I’d wish to cap off 2020 by recounting my favourite developments of the yr. Listed here are TechHive’s fifth-annual cord-cutter awards:

Finest new streaming {hardware}: Chromecast with Google TV

googletvhomedec Jared Newman / IDG

Initially of the yr, I wrote that unified streaming TV guides could be one among cord-cutting’s largest traits, and no streaming system delivers on that concept fairly just like the Chromecast with Google TV.

As a substitute of constructing us look by every streaming service’s catalog one-by-one, the brand new Chromecast presents a unified information with content material from Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and extra. And as an alternative of shunting this information off to some separate menu, Google made it the point of interest of its whole interface. You’ll be able to nonetheless launch particular person apps on the brand new Chromecast, however to take action would miss the purpose.

Having a birds-eye view of all of your streaming providers is a revelation, resulting in motion pictures and reveals you in any other case would possibly’ve missed and serving to you get extra worth out of your subscriptions in consequence. It must be mannequin for different streaming units to comply with, even when the just lately diminished stage of Netflix integration is a bummer.

Runner Up: TiVo Stream 4K, whose strategy to aggregation is comparable even when its execution is rather less polished.

Most overdue system improve: Amazon Fireplace TV Stick

ftvstickhero Jared Newman / IDG

Amazon likes to level out that the Fireplace TV Stick is its best-selling streaming system, which could clarify why the corporate waited 4 years to offer it extra processing energy. With the brand new $40 Fireplace TV Stick, customers now not should undergo by excessively lengthy load instances and herky-jerky menus. The Fireplace TV Stick 4K continues to be the higher purchase at $10 extra, however the usual Stick is a effective different for people who aren’t shopping for a 4K TV anytime quickly. (Simply be sure to keep away from the cheaper “Lite” model and its less-functional distant.)

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