Updated January 11, 2022
The longer you’ve been a cord cutter, the more money you’ve likely saved, so congrats!
But if you haven’t upgraded your cord cutting gear and gadgets since you first cut the cord, the devices you rely on for your daily dose of TV may be better suited for an episode of Antiques Roadshow than streaming your favorite primetime programs.
With major holiday sales around the corner, we’re here to help you to find out if your cord cutting gear needs an update…
Out-of-Date Roku Models
Most US households were still paying for cable TV when Roku launched its first streaming device in 2008. As you can imagine that ‘vintage’ square Roku XD/S belongs in the electronics recycling bin!
But even more recent models are either no longer receiving updates from Roku or lack the processing power or Wi-Fi speeds you need for a great cord cutting experience today.
So, if you’re still using these Roku devices, you’re overdue for an upgrade:
- ‘Legacy’ Roku models including Roku HD, XD, LT, and the original ‘purple body’ Streaming Stick
- ‘Numbered’ Roku models like the Roku 1, 2, 3, or 4
Not sure which model of Roku you have? Go to your Roku’s Home screen and select SETTINGS > SYSTEM > ABOUT > OK. The model number will be listed at the top. If need be, you can cross-reference the model number with this list.
Latest Roku Streaming Devices
Replace your outdated model with: Roku Ultra (2020), Roku Ultra LT (2021), or Roku Streaming Stick 4K+. These have updated remotes, larger memory, better processors, and MUCH faster Wi-Fi than those made as recently as 2019 which can help prevent buffering.
Out-of-Date Amazon Fire TV Models
The first Amazon Fire TV device hit (virtual) shelves in 2014. When compared to today’s models, many early versions are quite underpowered and may no longer support some popular streaming apps. Even first-generation versions of more recent models, like the Fire TV Cube, underperform compared to even the lower-end versions of the current lineup.
If you’re using these Amazon Fire TV devices, it’s time for an upgrade:
- 1st generation Amazon Fire TV box (2014-2015) or 1st generation Fire TV Cube (2018-2019)
- 1st or 2nd generation Amazon Fire TV sticks
- Amazon Fire TV 3 (pendant)
Not sure which model of Amazon Fire TV you have? Downloading the 'Informer' app from the team at AFTVnews.com on your Fire TV device will get you the information you need.
Latest Amazon Fire TV Streaming Devices
Replace your outdated model with: Amazon Fire TV Cube 2 (2019), Amazon Fire TV 4K Stick MAX (2021), 3rd generation Amazon Fire TV Stick (2020). Performance on these models is well above the previous iterations and they also come with upgraded voice-enabled remote controls.
Out-of-Date Android TV Models
Streaming TV devices running Android TV have been manufactured and sold by several different companies. Many of the oldest models are no longer supported or sold but some, like the original NVIDIA Shield from 2015, are holding up quite well.
But if you’re using one of these Android TV-based devices, it’s time to upgrade:
- Google Nexus Player (2014)
- Xiaomi Mi Box (2016)
Latest Android TV Streaming Devices
Replace your outdated model with: Chromecast with Google TV* (2020), NVIDIA Shield TV stick (2019), NVIDIA Shield TV Pro box (2019). Of all current Android TV-based devices, these are popular, well-rated, and most likely to receive ongoing manufacturer support.
NOTE - Those still using the original Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra to ‘cast’ video from a mobile device or PC should also upgrade to the Chromecast with Google TV for an improved experience.
Out-of-Date Apple TV Models
While Apple TV devices are not what you’d call ‘budget friendly’ they do have quality hardware that maintains a high level of performance over time. Still, some very early models don’t support the Apple App Store which means there’s no way to add new apps or update older ones.
If you’re using one of these Apple TV devices, it’s time to upgrade:
- 1st generation ‘white’ Apple TV with white remote
- 2nd generation Apple TV with 3-button silver remote
Latest Apple TV Streaming Devices
Replace your outdated model with: 2nd generation Apple TV 4K. The newest version has faster hardware and an upgraded remote which is worth every penny. If you do need a deal, you could save about $40 by purchasing the discontinued 1st generation Apple TV 4K and getting the 2nd generation’s replacement remote to go with it.
Out-Of-Date Smart TVs
Got a Smart TV that’s more than five years old? Or even a newer one that doesn’t support your favorite app? Connecting an updated streaming TV device to the TV’s HDMI port is a fast and easy upgrade. You can even mix-and-match streaming platforms or operating systems… Like adding a Chromecast with Google TV to an Amazon Fire TV-enabled Smart TV.
As you hunt for bargains on new streaming TV gear, keep in mind that purchasing a higher-end device now maximizes your cord cutting budget over the long run as quality devices should stay fast and current for a longer period.
And don’t forget to subscribe to our free weekly newsletter for the latest deals and reviews on cord cutting gadgets!
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