Paralysis by choice is a real thing. And it's very much a problem when it comes to cutting the cord and getting rid of cable. Between Roku and Apple TV and Android TV and Amazon Fire TV and all sorts of other cheap "cord-cutting" things being sold on the internet, there's a plethora of hardware out there. (That's why one of the most popular questions we get is "What should I buy?")

The options listed above are all good ones. Sure, some are better than others in different ways, but they'll all serve you well.

But that doesn't mean we don't have favorites. Here's what you'll find a lot of us using, and why.

Apple TV 4K ($179 at Amazon.)

Phil Nickinson —

I have the unfortunate pleasure of having to use every box I can get my hands on. Fire TV. Apple TV. Amazon TV. Roku.

If you were going to take three of those away and leave me with just a single platform? Man, it's tough. Amazon Fire TV does pretty much everything I want — and it has the added bonus of easy hands-free integration with Alexa, which lets me keep an eye on my front door Nest doorbell while I'm in the pool in the backyard. (First-world Florida problems, I know.) Android TV is great and has built-in Chromecast support, but you just can't help but wonder if it's going to lose Google's attention at some point. Roku? It's great. It's absolutely usable. It's just a little underpowered and slow for my taste.

That leaves Apple TV. It's basically been the most stable of all the systems I've used. It's got all the apps. It's got basic voice controls, if that's your thing. It's got great integration with the iPhone, of which we have a few around here. But mostly it just does its job, does it fast, and does it well, without causing my any problems in the process.

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Amazon Fire TV 4K Amazon Fire TV 4K ($89 at Amazon.)

Adam Zeis — Mobile Nations savant

While I normally get my hands on as much tech as I can find, I was smart when I first cut the cord and went with an Amazon Fire TV — I've never touched a Roku, Apple TV or anything else. I have four TVs, all Amazon'd up, and it works out perfectly.

I did, however, try every streaming service under the sun before finally landing on DirecTV Now. I started out with PlayStation Vue, jumped to Sling and even tested the waters of Hulu. Full disclosure: I did get in on DTVN Day 1, which means I only pay $35 for a whack-ton of channels — most of which I don't use. I digress …

Amazon has engulfed my family, so it's only natural to stick with what works. I love the Fire TV — it has all I need from Amazon as well as Hulu, Netflix and all my other streaming apps. My kids can talk to me Echo to play what they want, the box will work on any TV in the house or any TV I come across while traveling — which is great for familiarity on summer vacations. I haven't yet given the Fire TV Cube a shot, but I don't know that I really need to at this point. What I do know is that I don't seem myself jumping ship to another piece of hardware anytime soon.

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The TCL Series 6 Roku TV The 55-inch TCL Series 6 Roku TV ($649 at Amazon.)

Jared DiPane — Thrifter genius

The idea of cutting the cord was never one that I executed in my old house in New Jersey. We were grandfathered into a great plan that kept our monthly costs around $80 with DVR and everything. Unfortunately, when I moved it was a different story, so I had to look around. I started off my streaming days by just using our Xbox One, and at first we were content with it, but the annoyance list grew rather quickly.

When my wife got pregnant, she wanted a TV for the bedroom. I found a good deal on a 40-inch TCL Roku TV, and it was our first time using any interface aside from the Xbox to stream. The differences were night and day, and it led me to buying another Roku stick for downstairs.

I've never used Amazon Fire TV or an Apple TV, but my experiences with Roku haven't led me to want to try any of them. I don't feel like there are any features that I'm missing out on with it. I can easily access Netflix, Hulu, Philo, and nearly any of the other popular streaming apps. We have never been big TV watchers in my house, so our demands may differ from those who are watching it all the time, but I can't foresee the need to spend my hard-earned money on any other streaming hardware at this time.

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Xbox One S Xbox One S ($290 at Amazon.)

Tom Westrick — Projector guru

None. Or at least, I wouldn't bother with a TV's actual operating system. A TV is supposed to display stuff from my HDMI inputs, and said inputs are supposed to be the ones to produce content. A streaming box is going to have much more oomph than a TV's internal chipset, meaning it'll have an easier time of decoding a 4K stream.

Stepping down off or my soapbox, the one streaming TV box I'd use for the rest of my life would be the Xbox One S. It's a bit more expensive than other rivals, but it's also much more versatile. You have almost all popular streaming apps, the ability to use an over-the-air antenna, play UHD Blu Ray discs and of course play Xbox games. Yes it's much more than a $35 Chromecast, but the Xbox One S would be my go-to.

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NVIDIA Shield TV NVIDIA Shield TV ($179 at Amazon.)

Marc Lagace — Jack of all trades

My go-to streaming box is the NVIDIA Shield TV. As others have said, Android TV is one of those platforms that Google seems to ignore for stretches of time, but NVIDIA has done a fine job creating the best Android TV streaming box you can buy with its Shield TV console.

The Shield TV is a powerful and sleek box — basically the Lamborghini of streaming boxes when it comes to design — and it handles all my YouTube, Netflix, and Plex binging needs wonderfully. There's support for OTA TV Tuners using Tablo if you want to pull in some local TV channels and it also features Chromecast functionality for casting content from your phone.

The Shield TV is also designed for gamers with a bundle that includes a pretty decent gaming controller along with the media remote. There's a ton of great ways to access games whether through the Google Play Store or thorough NVIDIA's library of games for download or it's GeForece NOW subscription service or GameStreaming a PC game to your Shield.

Ara Wagoner — Android goddess

I was a Chromecast girl for the first few years after college, but then I got a NVIDIA Shield TV for Christmas, and I am never going back.

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The CordCutters' Guide


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