Which TV streaming device lasts the longest?

Earlier this week, Amazon went where no other streaming device or smart TV maker has gone before.

As AFTVNews first reported, the company now guarantees at least four years of security updates for your Fire TV devices, as of their last available sale date on the Amazon website. That adds up to at least eight years total updates for the second-gen Fire TV Stick, seven years total updates for the Fire TV Stick 4K, and five years for the current Fire TV Stick, which launched in 2020. The warranty even includes It extends to Fire TV Edition televisions from other brands such as Insignia and Toshiba.

This is a good dose of transparency for an industry that otherwise avoids putting support commitments in writing, and got me thinking about how long other streaming devices last by comparison. Instead of the warranties of other device manufacturers, the best we can do is dig into their respective backgrounds.

If you value longevity on your streaming player or smart TV, this is my best attempt to rank them based on past behavior:

# 1 year

rokuhome Jared Newman / IDG

As of this writing, all Roku players from 2013 onwards and smart TVs from 2014 onwards can run the company’s latest Roku operating system software. Even the first of those devices continue to get new features and have no noticeable gaps in app support (despite recent threats from Google to remove YouTube from the platform). This effectively adds up to at least eight years of support from the original release date of each device.

Roku did cut support for streaming players prior to 2013 a couple of years ago, and those devices are no longer able to run some popular apps, like Netflix, Disney +, and HBO Max. Still, no other company can boast of having Roku’s software support record, especially on the smart TV side, where long-term updates are notoriously rare.

# 2: fire TV

newfiretvui Jared Newman / IDG

Amazon’s four-year commitment only applies to security updates, not new features or bug fixes. Still, there is evidence that those updates are somewhat intertwined.

Consider, for example, the major Fire TV interface update that Amazon rolled out to existing devices earlier this year. What AFTVNews notes, Amazon’s 1st-gen Fire TV box and 2014 Fire TV Stick aren’t eligible, and they’re not getting any more security updates, either. The 2015 second-gen Fire TV box isn’t getting the new interface either, and it’s only guaranteed to get security updates until the end of this year. Using security updates as a rough proxy, Fire TV devices will likely get six to eight years of Amazon support from their original release date.


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