The 2020 cord-cutter awards: Greatest streaming companies, units, and extra

Whereas the circumstances had been hardly ideally suited, 2020 was a giant yr for twine reducing.

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

I’ve been penning this weekly column (and e-newsletter) on cord-cutting by means of 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 below are TechHive’s fifth-annual cord-cutter awards:

Greatest new streaming {hardware}: Chromecast with Google TV

googletvhomedec Jared Newman / IDG

At first of the yr, I wrote that unified streaming TV guides could be certainly one of cord-cutting’s greatest developments, and no streaming gadget delivers on that concept fairly just like the Chromecast with Google TV.

As an alternative of creating us look by means of 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 focus of its whole interface. You may 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 companies is a revelation, resulting in motion pictures and reveals you in any other case may’ve missed and serving to you get extra worth out of your subscriptions because of this. It ought to be mannequin for different streaming units to comply with, even when the just lately decreased 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 gadget improve: Amazon Fireplace TV Stick

ftvstickhero Jared Newman / IDG

Amazon likes to level out that the Fireplace TV Stick is its best-selling streaming gadget, which could clarify why the corporate waited 4 years to provide it extra processing energy. With the brand new $40 Fireplace TV Stick, customers not should endure by means of 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 advantageous different for folk 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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