Roku 2 ( 2015)
A nearly perfect mix of speed, features, price and ecosystem make the Roku 2 our favorite streaming device yet.
Roku 3 ( 2015)
Voice search makes the Roku 3 the best video streamer in its price class, but if you don't need it or the remote's headphone jack, save some money and get the Roku 2.
While the AVR-S500BT is one of Denon's least expensive receivers, its features lineup is surprisingly generous, and movie and music sound quality is up to snuff for the price.
The Sony STR-DN850 has it all: bountiful Wi-Fi networking features, the brawn to provide maximum home theater fun, and the refinement to bring a string quartet recording to life.
The Marantz SR5009 looks and feels more upscale than the competition's receivers, and follows through with stellar sound quality.
Onkyo's TX-NR535 receiver offers decent home-theater performance and a useful number of streaming features, but it's not the last word on value.
The Sony STR-DN1050 is a great deal that offers almost everything you could want in a midrange receiver.
The Onkyo TX-NR636 offers a compelling mix of features and performance with "future-proofing" that is unparalleled for the money.
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.
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.
Roku 2 ( newer model available)
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.
The Sony STR-DN840 is by far the best AV receiver value of the year, offering tons of wireless connectivity and six HDMI inputs for well under $500.
Harman Kardon AVR 1610
The Harman Kardon AVR 1610 appears to have a great combination of features and looks, but doesn't quite live up to its promise.
The Marantz NR1403 is a slim, handsome AV receiver with excellent sound and plenty of HDMI connectivity, although it lacks built-in networking.
The Pioneer VSX-823-K is a good deal for AirPlay fans looking for lots of HDMI connectivity, but it falls short on wireless features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Onkyo's TX-NR525 is a solid AV receiver value, especially considering its affordable accessories, but competitors offer integrated wireless features for not much more.
The Sony STR-DN1040 is a truly first-class AV receiver, boasting tons of wireless technology and a pretty user interface, at a premium price.
Onkyo's TX-NR626 is a value-packed AV receiver with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even a turntable input, but it's just short of being our top pick.
PLAiR ( passion)
PLAiR is a neat-looking streaming device, but it's buggy, unreliable, and short on content.
Yamaha's RX-V475 is a great-sounding 5.1 receiver and a good value, although competitors offer better features and design.
Denon's AVR-E400 embodies some progress in simplifying the arduous AV receiver setup process, but it lacks convenient wireless features you'd expect at this price.
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.
Roku 3 ( newer model available)
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.
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.
The Yamaha RX-V473 is a serviceable 5.1 AV receiver, but given that it has only four HDMI inputs, competing models offer a better value.