Best Apps for Smart TVs & Streaming Devices

streaming TV apps

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Smart TVs and streaming devices have become the norm, with streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max dominating the market. These services offer exceptional content, with critically-acclaimed dramas, top-tier anime, and a slew of blockbuster movies hosted on all platforms. 

While all these streaming services deliver captivating content, you may be wondering if there are other ways to can enhance your Samsung smart TV or Firestick streaming device experience. The answer to that question is yes! Most of these devices host a healthy ecosystem of apps, ranging from simple add-ons to entirely new streaming platforms. Read through our walkthrough to find the best apps for smart TVs and streaming devices.

Best Apps for Smart TVs and Streaming Devices

Crackle 

Price: $4.99/mo.

Compatible Devices: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

Crackle is a free-to-use video entertainment network featuring full-length movies, TV shows, and original programming. Because it is free and ad-supported, expect a handful of ads during your streaming experience. Crackle offers a wide variety of content including blockbuster action and drama films, classic movies, reality TV shows, and Saturday morning cartoons. 

Blokada 

Price: Free 

Compatible Devices: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

No doubt about it – ads are annoying. In the realm of Smart TVs, Blokada has become quite popular as an ad blocker developed specifically for smart TVs and streaming, blocking just about every ad that you may encounter. YouTube, Chrome, Facebook, in-game ads, and more are immediately blocked by Blokada. This is done by filtering ad trackers using a reliable VPN. Even better, Blokada is an open source app with a healthy developer community surrounding it, meaning it is improving all the time.

The Criterion Channel

Price: $10.99/mo. 

Compatible Devices: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more 

The Criterion Channel is a great smart TV app for movie buffs. For $10.99 a month, cinephiles can enjoy Criterion’s streaming library of more than 2,000 classic and contemporary films, plus a refreshed selection of Hollywood, international, art-house, and independent films from major studios and independent distributors. Not sure if Criterion is right for you? They offer a 14-day free trial to get a taste of their niche streaming library. 

Price: Free 

Compatible Devices: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

Steam Link is a great solution for hassle-free gaming on a Smart TV or streaming device. Access your entire Steam library, grab new games, and enjoy support for hundreds of titles all from the comfort of your couch. All you need to do is connect a Bluetooth controller (or Steam Controller) and connect to a computer running Steam to start playing.

Hoopla

Price: Free 

Compatible Devices: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

Hoopla partners with libraries across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to provide online and mobile access to eBooks, audiobooks, comics, music, movies, and TV. With hoopla and a valid library card, you can instantly stream fan-favorite movies, modern indies, films based on books, and shows from MTV, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, and more. Check with your local library to see if they offer Hoopla. 

Plex

Price: Free

Compatible Devices: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

Plex takes all of the shows and movies you already own (on your computer or in the cloud) and organizes them on your personal server in one app. They also offer free on-demand movies and shows, live TV, podcasts, and web shows. You can opt for the premium version for $5 a month to watch and record over-the-air broadcasts available at your location.

Twitch

Price: Free 

Compatible Devices: Android, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

Never miss your favorite streamers, Esports, or IRL broadcasts with the Twitch TV app. Get live streaming, chat, and top-tier gameplay all in your living room with Twitch. You can find the Twitch app natively built into most smart TVs, on Android devices, and a host of streaming devices. 

Pluto TV 

Price: Free

Compatible Devices: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

Pluto TV is a free tv app for smart TVs, streaming devices, and web browsers that allow you to drop in and watch live TV and on-demand content anytime. Pluto TV has over 150,000 hours of content, hundreds of channels of hit movies, binge-worthy TV shows, breaking news, live sports, and more. 

AccuWeather

Price: Free 

Compatible Devices: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

Stay on top of your local forecast and area conditions directly from your TV with the AccuWeather app. Get updates on 5-day forecasts, traffic updates, serious weather events, Doppler radar information, satellite imagery, and more. The app is free for most large cities, but if you live in a more rural area there may be a small fee.

Tubi TV

Price: Free

Compatible Devices: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

Tubi is an ad-supported video-on-demand service from FOX Entertainment. Tubi has more than 35,000 movies and TV shows, 100+ local and live news channels, and 250+ entertainment partners. Tubi gives streamers an easy way to discover new content, 100% free.  

VRV

Price: $9.99/mo.

Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Android phone & tablet, iPhone & iPad, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

VRV is one of the best smart TV apps for anime fans. VRV offers content from other anime and indie cartoon services including Crunchyroll, HiDive, Rooster Teeth, Cartoon Hangover, and Mondo. You can create a free account to watch on the app, or try VRV Premium for access to all content (in-app or offline) ad-free for $9.99 a month after a 30-day free trial. 

News360

Price: Free 

Compatible Devices: Android, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, most Smart TVs, and more

If you’re trying to get away from local or cable news but still want the latest updates, News360 may be the answer. This news aggregator compiles recent video clips from a variety of reputable sources like Reuters, The Guardian, The Washington Post, BBC, CNN, and more. The app can be tailored to focus on specific topics, filtering out stories you don’t want and recommending related issues.

Is Your Internet Ready for Streaming?

Once you’ve found the streaming services and apps that fit your needs best, ensure you have an internet connection optimized for streaming. Above all, your internet download speed should be at least 100 Mbps to maintain a reliable HD stream. This allows ample speed and accounts for peak usage slowdowns or possible ISP throttling. If you’re unsure if your current plan is fast enough, run an internet speed test to determine the performance of your internet connection. 

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Streaming Solutions & More

We hope you can bring the best out of your smart tv or streaming device with our app review. If you want to look further into mainstream services like Netflix and Hulu, check out our review of the best streaming services to find a variety of options for your budget and entertainment needs.

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Dan Ruzich
Written By
Dan Ruzich
Written By
Dan Ruzich
Dan is a Contributing Writer for HighSpeedOptions, covering internet, TV, and streaming content. With over five years of experience, he has developed a creative and data-driven approach to content, aiming to blend consumer insights with industry knowledge. Throughout his career, Dan has provided copywriting and content strategy services to technology consulting, advertising, and IT/cybersecurity organizations.