How we test catch-up TV streaming options

Watch your favourite shows on the biggest screen in the house, rather than on your laptop or tablet.

Streaming shows on your TV

Our rigorous testing of catch-up and subscription TV streaming devices in the CHOICE labs means you can be confident you're making the right decision when its time to get set up at home. Here's how we do it.

See our reviews of TV streaming options to compare a range of devices including Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and more.

Our expert testers

Our testers have years of expertise in testing audio and video equipment. Their focus is not on tech-heads who are willing to tinker with code or carry out complicated setup sequences, instead it's all about finding easy-to-use solutions for ordinary people. In the case of this test, it's about finding the best way for you to enjoy streaming and catch-up TV on your full screen TV with minimum fuss and without spending a fortune.

How we choose what we test

In this test we're looking at devices that help bring your TV into the brave new world of streaming video by looking at devices that hook up to your TV whilst connected to the Internet.

How we test

Ease of use

We check how easy it is to set up the device and how intuitive the on-screen display and menu system is to carry out various tasks.


The remote control should have buttons big enough to press without touching the adjacent ones, and clear labels, ideally with different shapes to quickly associate with different tasks.

Standby energy

A measurement is made with the unit in standby mode. Models that measure greater than 2W score 0%, 1–1.9W score 40%, 0.5–0.9W score 80%, and less than 0.5W score 100%.


We give every device a CHOICE test score so you can see at a glance which are the best and worst performers to get catch-up TV and online subscription content onto your TV. 

The overall score is based on the following criteria:

  • Ease of use (50%)
  • Remote (40%)
  • Standby energy (10%)

Ready to buy?

  • If you want to know which options we rate the best, read our review and comparison of TV streaming options.
  • If you want a bit more info on what to look for when it comes to streaming and catch-up TV, check out our buying guide.