The device you use to stream to your TV affects not only the quality of the video but the way you interact with it. Google TV is among the best user interfaces with a simple layout and great app recommendations. While the latest updates to Android TV have brought it close in terms of look and feel, Google TV proper is still only available on a few devices by default. If you're looking for a Google TV device, your best bet is still Chromecast with Google TV, though you have a couple of other options now as well.
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The best Google TV device right now
Chromecast with Google TV is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to start streaming on your TV. It's also the only Android TV device on the market right now that comes with the all-new Google TV UI built in. Perks include access to most of your favorite streaming services, 4K HDR support, Dolby Vision and Atmos, and a sleek remote.
Save money if you don't need 4K
Chromecast with Google TV (HD) brings all of the best features of the 4K model with a smaller price tag. This Chromecast has a max resolution of 1080p with HDR support and Dolby Audio passthrough. Perhaps most importantly, you get the same, excellent remote with a dedicated Google Assistant button.
4K HDR streaming with Google TV
This T-Mobile-branded streaming puck supports 4K HDR content with Dolby and DTS audio using Android TV with the Google TV interface. It comes with a simple remote featuring shortcut buttons and a dedicated Google Assistant button. If you can find this device at a discount, it's a solid alternative to Chromecast with Google TV.
Get Google TV whether you need 4K or not
Google TV brings some nice improvements to the Android TV interface but its availability is still limited. Chromecast with Google TV is a great pick for most people with 4K HDR support and a great remote. If you want to save some money though the HD version works just as well and our Chromecast with Google TV (HD) review found it to be an excellent streaming device. The TVision HUB is another option though many of the user reviews complain about slow performance which makes it difficult to recommend over the Chromecast option.
If you're mostly interested in the apps and are fine with the Android TV interface, you can also check out one of the best Android TV devices instead. Some, like Nvidia Shield TV, offer incredible upscaling features.
If you want a TV with Google TV already built in, you have several options, and luckily, that includes many of the best Android TVs. If you buy a TV from Hisense, Sony, TCL, or Philips, you can get a model with Google TV included out of the box.
Make sure you're paying attention when you pick your TV because Hisense, TCL, and Philips come with multiple OS options. If you pick the wrong model number, you can end up with a Roku or FireTV version. Just make sure the TV you pick lists Google TV and you should be good to go.
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Keegan Prosser is a freelance contributor based in the PNW. When she's not writing about her favorite streaming apps and devices for Android Central, she's listening to a true-crime podcast, creating the perfect playlist for her next road trip, and trying to figure out which fitness tracker she should try next. You can follow her on Twitter @keeganprosser.