The Best Budget Streaming Box Might Be From WalmartReading Time: 3 minutes
Walmart’s Onn offers a lot of features for your $20.
The great lit of cord-cutting: Streaming TV is still expensive. One or two subscriptions seems manageable, but by the time you’re paying for all the services necessary to watch every show currently in the zeitgeist, you’re basically spending what you did on cable. And subscribing isn’t enough: You also need something to watch those services on. If your smart TV isn’t cutting it, your options range from the affordable Chromecast to the pricey Apple TV.
If you’re looking for the best deal possible on a streaming device that can handle 4K, things get tricky. The cheapest options usually top out at 1080p, and the 4K barrier to entry typically starts at $50. But the best deal on a high-quality streaming device that will let you watch Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ in crispy 4K comes to us from an unexpected source: Walmart.
The Verge’s Chris Welch recently wrote about Walmart’s Onn streaming device, the company’s second attempt at creating an affordable way to watch TV. The key takeaway: the Onn costs $20. In the streaming world, that’s a steal. That’s the same price as a month of Netflix Premium (minus any extra accounts, of course). And you’ll be able to take advantage of Netflix Premium’s 4K HDR content, because this $20 device supports both.
Onn is small. In fact, it seems designed to be hidden away: Walmart includes an adhesive strip so you can attach it to the backside of your TV, and since the remote functions via Bluetooth, you don’t have to worry about being able to see your Onn in order to use the remote to turn it on.
The device only includes 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, but that shouldn’t pose a huge issue for performance: This is a streaming box after all, not a computer. It’s essentially an Android device, so it also offers the potential for tinkering to adjust things to your liking. However, it does mean the Onn probably can’t keep as many of your apps in its memory as a Roku or Chromecast, and you won’t be able to store much on the device. Plus, any performance hits will only get worse overtime. I don’t expect it will last you as long as, say, an Apple TV, at least not without getting slow. But at the same time, it’s $20.
The largest compromise with the Onn is HDR: The device doesn’t support Dolby Vision, which is the current common HDR standard for streaming devices and TVs. If you bought your TV in the last five years or so, there’s a decent chance it supports Dolby Vision. The Onn won’t be able to deliver on that front, but it does support HDR10. That means you do get basic HDR support, which is important for viewing content made with a larger dynamic range (brighter lights and darker blacks).
However, HDR10 (not HDR10+) only supports static metadata, versus the dynamic metadata Dolby Vision and HDR10+. Dynamic metadata allows your streaming device to instruct your TV on how to display the HDR data scene-by-scene or even frame-by-frame, delivering an experience much closer to the creators’ intended vision. Still, some HDR support is better than no HDR support, and for $20, it might be enough. Or the point might be moot: Samsung TVs don’t even support Dolby Vision, so you won’t be missing out. (Although they do ship with HDR10+, so there are options for better quality HDR on Samsung TVs.)
The bottom line: If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to watch 4K HDR content on your TV, you might need to pay Walmart a visit. Spending an extra $30 on a Chromecast does get you Dolby Vision support, but you could also spend that money on a few months of Max.
Our favorite streaming devices:
- Best budget streaming device: Onn
- Best midrange streaming devices: Chromecast with Google TV (4K), Roku Streaming Stick
- Best premium streaming device: Apple TV 4K (3rd Gen)
- Best Android device for true streaming enthusiasts: Nvidia Shield TV
MediaDownloader.net -> Free Online Video Downloader, Download Any Video From YouTube, VK, Vimeo, Twitter, Twitch, Tumblr, Tiktok, Telegram, TED, Streamable, Soundcloud, Snapchat, Share, Rumble, Reddit, PuhuTV, Pinterest, Periscope, Ok.ru, MxTakatak, Mixcloud, Mashable, LinkedIn, Likee, Kwai, Izlesene, Instagram, Imgur, IMDB, Ifunny, Gaana, Flickr, Febspot, Facebook, ESPN, Douyin, Dailymotion, Buzzfeed, BluTV, Blogger, Bitchute, Bilibili, Bandcamp, Akıllı, 9GAG