The 2020 cord-cutter awards: One of the best streaming companies, units, and extra


Whereas the circumstances had been hardly ideally suited, 2020 was a giant 12 months for twine slicing.

Streaming companies like Netflix and Disney+ noticed their subscriber numbers soar as folks seemed for methods to go the time at dwelling, and the non permanent suspension of dwell sports activities accelerated the decline of conventional pay TV bundles. Whereas not coronavirus-related, this 12 months 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 system with Google’s new Chromecast and the TiVo Stream 4K.

I’ve been scripting this weekly column (and e-newsletter) on cord-cutting by way of all of it, so in accordance with annual custom, I’d prefer to cap off 2020 by recounting my favourite developments of the 12 months. Listed here are TechHive’s fifth-annual cord-cutter awards:

Finest new streaming {hardware}: Chromecast with Google TV

googletvhomedec Jared Newman / IDG

In the beginning of the 12 months, I wrote that unified streaming TV guides can be one among cord-cutting’s largest developments, and no streaming system delivers on that concept fairly just like the Chromecast with Google TV.

As a substitute of creating us look by way 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 a substitute of shunting this information off to some separate menu, Google made it the focus of its complete 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 companies is a revelation, resulting in films and exhibits you in any other case would possibly’ve missed and serving to you get extra worth out of your subscriptions because of this. It must be mannequin for different streaming units to comply with, even when the just lately decreased degree 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 provide it extra processing energy. With the brand new $40 Fireplace TV Stick, customers now not must endure by way of excessively lengthy load occasions and herky-jerky menus. The Fireplace TV Stick 4K continues to be the higher purchase at $10 extra, however the usual Stick is a superb various for folk who aren’t shopping for a 4K TV anytime quickly. (Simply be sure that to keep away from the cheaper “Lite” model and its less-functional distant.)

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