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Google Chromecast

First up is the basic go-to for anyone looking to stream content. The Google Chromecast (AU$59) lets you streaming videos from the likes of Netflix, Stan and YouTube from small mobile screen to big screen TV. It also lets you cast content in any Chrome browser (so it's good for presentations and meetings).

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Google Chromecast Ultra

For an upgrade on the Google Chromecast, the Chromecast Ultra (AU$99) has all those Chromey benefits you get from the entry-level device, and it lets you stream in 4K and HDR. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Google Home

Want a voice-activated way to push content to your Chromecast? The Google Home (AU$199) lets you order your connected devices around. Just call out "Hey Google" and tell it to cast your favourite Netflix or Stan show to your Chromecast. As a plus, it also lets you stream Aussie radio and songs on Spotify. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Google Home Mini

The Google Home Mini (AU$79) won't give you the better sound quality or touch controls you get with the larger Google Home, but it still offers the voice-controlled Google Assistant to play music, radio and to cast shows to your TV.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon has finally launched Down Under, bringing the Amazon Fire TV Stick (Basic Edition) to Aussie streaming fans. At AU$69, it won't break the bank, and it will let you stream over Wi-Fi at 1080p quality -- perfect for streaming Amazon originals like "The Grand Tour."

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Apple TV

If your student has a bunch of stuff on iTunes, or she just wants something that looks and feels a lot like her iPhone, the new Apple TV (4th Generation) is just the ticket at AU$209. In addition to numerous TV apps, it also works with many of the games and other apps she might already play on her phone. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Apple TV 4K

Not satisfied with that regular ol' HD resolution? Apple's new Apple TV 4K is capable of streaming 4K content and is significantly more powerful than its predecessor. Plus, Siri voice search means no more tapping endlessly through menus. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Telstra TV2

The second-generation Telstra TV2 launched in 2017, bringing better functionality, including the big perk of universal search (similar to what's offered on Apple TV). That means you can search across the Netflix and Stan apps, plus BigPond Movies and live free-to-air TV. After all, most students don't necessarily care where they watch their favourite shows, they just want instant gratification. It retails for AU$192 through Telstra, or AU$99 with a Telstra bundle. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Foxtel Now Box

With a 10cm footprint, the Foxtel Now Box is decidedly smaller than Foxtel's regular iQ set-top boxes. Unlike regular Foxtel, you don't watch via cable, but instead stream everything over the internet (including catch-up and live TV) through the Foxtel Now interface. At AU$99 it's a little more expensive than devices like the Chromecast options, but it's also an all-in-one set-top box rather than a streaming stick. The big downside? The puck launched without Amazon and Netflix apps, and you'll still need to fork out for monthly channel packs. But it's still a good light version of Foxtel if that's your bag. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET
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