The Best Streaming Service and Device for Your Airbnb or Vacation Rental in 2024

Provide your guests with great indoor entertainment by getting a streaming service and device for your vacation rental! We’ll help you pick the best one with this simple guide.

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Streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and Hulu have completely taken over the television market; they’ve practically sent cable TV into retirement. When your guests want to have a quiet night in and watch a movie or TV show, a streaming service is a perfect choice for providing them with a variety of entertaining content.

The best streaming service and device for Airbnb should provide high-quality visual and sound effects with the best media content. Among all the high-end streaming devices, we found that the Roku Express 4K+ offers the best combination of price and value.

How We Make Our Recommendations

Here’s how we decide which products make our top picks list:

  • Feedback from 200+ Hosts: our Vacation Rental Inventory Spreadsheet has been downloaded and used by hundreds of hosts like you. We update it regularly based on the feedback we get.
  • Online Reviews: we scour the internet for product reviews from real Airbnb hosts.
  • Forums and Communities: we spend a lot of time in online forums and communities for vacation rentals, to see which products get recommended the most.
  • Suitability: products you buy for your Airbnb need to be durable, affordable, and easy to clean. We keep all these factors in mind when making our recommendations.

What is a Streaming Service? 

A streaming service is an online entertainment source for on-demand TV shows, movies, documentaries, and other streaming media. According to recent research, 85% of U.S. households have at least one video streaming subscription. 

The most popular streaming services are:

The Difference Between a Streaming Service and a Streaming Device

A streaming service curates on-demand media content. The high-profile players in the streaming service world are the ones we mentioned above: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Hulu, and Apple TV. They come with a monthly subscription fee that allows you to access online entertainment.

On the other hand, a streaming media device or player acts as a satellite set-top box; however, instead of delivering satellite content, it connects the TV to the internet so you get easy-to-navigate access to streaming services—and on top of that, a selection of free or premium TV. 

Why Do You Need a Streaming Service for Your Airbnb?

A streaming service will provide your guests with enjoyable entertainment when they decide to spend time indoors. It is a cost-effective investment that can make a big difference for your guests who book a longer stay.

Families with children who will stay in every night would be more than happy to watch movies and TV after the kids go to bed, or to play cartoons for their children.

Since the majority of people (especially those in their 20s and 30s) are used to watching their favorite shows on Netflix or HBO, you’ll be able to transfer that experience to your Airbnb and create a homier feel. Even elderly guests who may not be used to streaming will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of media options such as documentaries, popular classics, and more.  

Factors to Consider When Buying a Streaming Service and Device for Your Airbnb

There are lots of different streaming players that come with different features, as well as many varieties of packages of streaming services. To choose the best one for your guests’ needs, consider the following:

Ease of Use – The on-screen interface and remote control should be intuitive. Your guests should be able to navigate through channels and streaming services with ease. 

Internet Connectivity Requirements – You need a stable internet connection and decent internet speed for streaming services. Anywhere from 3–25 Mbps of internet download speed is enough to watch streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and others. Devices that support dual-band wireless are the best. If you have an unreliable WiFi router, you should consider changing that first before you invest in a streaming device. 

Features – Pick the features based on your guests. If your guests are young and tech-savvy or if you have a modern, smart home, you can get a streaming device that integrates with voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. HD and HDR resolution as well as enhanced sound are great features for movie nights. 

Access to Accounts – You can set up the Netflix Guest Mode on your own Netflix account so guests can have their profile where they can watch what they like without disrupting your watch list. Roku TV has a nifty feature called Roku Guest Mode which allows guests to log in to their streaming accounts without the login credentials being stored afterward. 

Package of Streaming Services – The most popular streaming services are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and Hulu, so you should aim at getting a package that has some or all of those streaming services. Netflix is the most popular among 13- to 39-year-olds, so you should make sure to have it in your package. 

The Best TV Service for Airbnb and Vacation Rentals

When it comes to excellent service, ease of use, an affordable price, and a wide variety of streaming services,  the Roku Express 4K+ offers all of that—and that’s why we named it as our winner.

These are the features that make the Roku Express 4K+ streaming player the top pick for Airbnb and vacation rentals:

Superior Picture Quality – For an ultimate cinematic experience, guests can stream in HD, 4K, and HDR. 

Smooth Streaming – The Roku Express 4K+ features dual-band wireless, so even when your guests connect other devices to your WiFi, it won’t affect the speed of streaming. 

Tons of Streaming Services and Channels – With Roku streaming, your guests can watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Disney Plus. On top of that, they’ll have a wide selection of free and paid TV channels. Plus, it streams YouTube without disruptions. 

Voice Control Option – One press on the voice control button on the remote and the guests can use their voice to search through channels, turn on captions, and more. 

Works with Voice Assistants – You can connect the device with Siri, Alexa, or Hey Google.

Easy Set Up – All you need to do is plug in the Premium HDMI Cable that comes with the device and connect to the internet, and your Roku Express player will be ready to use. 

In addition to this version, there is a more basic (and cheaper) one—the Roku Express. It supports Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, The Roku Channel, HBO, Showtime, Google Play, and Hulu with Live TV.  

If you want an upgrade to have more channels, there’s the Roku Streaming Stick 4K. It supports Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Netflix, Hulu, Freevee, SlingTV, AirPlay, The Roku Channel, Peacock, Telemundo, Redbox, Discovery Plus, Paramount Plus, iHeart Radio, and more. 

If you plan to get a new TV, you can feed two birds with one seed by buying the Roku TV. The Roku streaming service is built-in, so the interface will already be set up, and you’ll get the remote as well. 

Other Airbnb Streaming Service and Device Alternatives

In addition to Roku, other top-selling streaming devices that are great for Airbnb are the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Google Chromecast.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick will turn your TV into a smart TV with easy access to streaming services. The device is compact and you just need to plug it in to your TV’s HDMI slot. Your guests can watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and more in HD. Even if you don’t give guests access to your subscription and they don’t have their own, there are more than 200,000 free movies and TV episodes from popular ad-supported streaming apps like Freevee, Tubi, and Pluto TV. 

You can integrate the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa voice control, and for parties and events, your guests can play music with theater audio sound on Amazon Music, Spotify, and Pandora (just to name a few). The upgraded version of the Fire TV Stick offers a stunning 4K Ultra HD image.. 

If you have Android TV and you use Google Assistant, Google Chromecast can be a great choice. It also connects directly to the HDMI receiver, and after connecting it to your WiFi, your guests can watch over 700,000 movies and TV shows in 4K HDR resolution. 

The remote has buttons for YouTube, Netflix, and Google Voice Assistant. With one press on the Assistant button, your guests can search through shows and movies, control the volume, play music, and more without using their hands.

Final Thoughts

If you want to stay up-to-date with popular entertainment options, streaming services are the way to go. They are highly ubiquitous all around the world so your guests will be able to continue watching their favorite shows and movies even when they leave home and come to your rental.Since affordability is always a key factor for Airbnb owners, the Roku Express 4K+ is the best solution for a cost-effective yet varied streaming service. It is the most intuitive device, and you can upgrade it easily if you decide to step up the entertainment game.

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