Amazon Fire TV Stick
While it doesn't match the app selection or search capabilities of Roku, Amazon's Fire TV Stick's solid performance and mastery of Amazon content make it easily worth the $40 price.
Western Digital WD TV Media Player ( 2014)
While not for everyone, the WD TV's adroit playback of video and music files makes it the perfect living room box for people with large digital media collections.
Google Nexus Player
Until it receives a major infusion of native apps and developer support, and better integrates non-Google services, the Nexus Player with Android TV offers no compelling upgrade over other streaming devices.
As a streaming-based DVR the Simple.TV offers a lot of functionality including a novel sharing feature, but if you just want to watch on your TV, instead of a tablet or phone, there are better alternatives.
The $150 Slingbox M1 brings TV streaming to nearly any mobile device, PC, or Mac, now with the convenience of built-in Wi-Fi.
Amazon Fire TV
The Fire TV streaming-media box is an impressive living room debut for Amazon, with standout features like voice search, gaming, and superfast video streaming, but it falls short of being an elite streamer -- at least for now.
Roku Streaming Stick ( 2014)
Roku's Streaming Stick offers tons of apps, a real remote, and a compact design for just $50, making it the best streaming stick and an outstanding value.
Bose SoundTouch 20
The Bose SoundTouch 20 is a likeable streaming speaker with capable performance and great sound, but it needs to support more music services.
Roku LT ( 2013)
The Roku LT is the best budget streaming-media device, easily topping the $35 Chromecast.
Phorus PR1 Receiver
While the Play-Fi standard offers plenty of potential, the Phorus PR1 is currently too limited in its scope and performance to warrant buying over a Sonos.
Plair 2 is an interesting Chromecast alternative that offers access to the full suite of Android apps, but it's just not reliable enough to recommend.
The Roku 1 offers the same excellent experience that's found on other Roku boxes at a new low price, but there aren't many reasons to choose it over the new Streaming Stick or step-up Roku boxes.
The Roku 2 offers tons of content sources and an innovative remote with built-in headphone jack for less, but the Roku 3 is still our favorite pick.
Sonos Play:1 ( black)
The Sonos Play:1 finally brings the company's wireless audio magic to the masses, in a fantastically designed compact speaker that's just $199/AU$299.
Google's $35 Chromecast stick is a cheap and easy way to add streaming video and music to your TV, but it still isn't as fully featured as similarly priced Roku boxes.
PLAiR ( passion)
PLAiR is a neat-looking streaming device, but it's buggy, unreliable, and short on content.
The TiVo Mini is an easy way to give another TV in your home access to your TiVo DVR, live TV, and streaming services. But if you're not in a hurry, you may want to wait till more features and services arrive.
The Roku 3 is the best streaming-video box yet, with tons of content sources, lightning-fast performance, and an innovative remote with built-in headphone jack.
Western Digital TV Play
The WD TV Play is the best alternative to Roku and Apple TV for viewers looking to access their personal media collection.
Netgear NeoTV ( NTV300)
The Netgear Neo TV NTV300 is one of the cheapest streaming boxes on the market, but it doesn't offer any compelling distinguishing features compared with the Roku.
Roku Streaming Stick
While the number of devices that support it will probably grow, the Roku Streaming Stick is still a niche item when compared with every other Roku device.
Roku LT ( 2012)
The Roku LT is a killer streaming-media box, offering tons of streaming content -- including favorites like Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, and Pandora -- for just $50.
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The Sonos Connect brings effortless wireless media streaming to existing hi-fi owners, but it's not the first Sonos system we'd recommend.
The Sonos Connect:Amp is an excellent streaming-audio solution for sound-quality sticklers who prefer to supply their own speakers.
The Vizio Co-Star is an affordable way of getting the Google TV experience, but the software remains underwhelming and hampered by restrictions.
For TiVo Premiere owners with iOS devices, the TiVo Stream is a cool addition to your AV setup and mobile life.
Google Nexus Q
The Nexus Q's striking, orblike hardware can't outweigh the extreme limitations of this Android-only, Google-only media streamer.
The Sony NSZ-GS7 has sleek hardware and an innovative remote, but it's hampered by the still too-limited and frustrating Google TV software.
Logitech Squeezebox Touch
The Logitech Squeezebox is an excellent digital-music device that offers good sound quality and a great variety of source options, but it's not for casual users.
Roku HD ( 2012)
With its ability to stream hundreds of audio and video channels (including Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and Hulu Plus), the $60 Roku HD would be our top pick for those seeking an ultra-affordable Internet media box -- if not for the fact that it's nearly identical to the slightly cheaper Roku LT.
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