It's not too late to grab a new streamer at some of the lowest prices we've seen this year.
There are only a few days left to finish your holiday shopping, but it's not too late to find great bargains on streaming players. Amazon is still offering its lowest prices of the year on Fire TV devices, starting with the $18 Fire TV Stick Lite, our favorite budget streamer. Fans of other streamers can still find deals too, including the excellent Chromecast with Google TV, which is still being offered with six months of Netflix's Standard plan for a $44 total savings.
We'd reach for a Roku or the new Chromecast before a Fire Stick, but Amazon's streamers are excellent too, especially for Alexa fans -- or anyone who wants HBO Max, which is still absent from Roku. The takeaway here is that all of these devices are still at or near all-time low prices and they're all a great way to upgrade older TVs to get the latest streaming services. We've rounded up all our favorites below.
Note that prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication, but they may fluctuate.
Normally $30, the new-for-2020 Fire Stick Lite went back on sale at Amazon for Black Friday and is still at the sale price. This stick delivers 1080p streaming and an Alexa-powered voice remote, just added the HBO Max app (Peacock is still MIA) and is CNET's top pick for a budget streamer, period.
There's a lot to like about Google's new Chromecast with Google TV, including a revamped interface, 4K HDR with Dolby Vision support, a real remote and excellent integration with Google Assistant. In a Google Store-exclusive deal, the search giant is bundling its normally $50 streamer with six months of Netflix's Standard plan for $90. The deal is available to both new and existing Netflix subscribers.
It's not a 2020 model like the two above but this is still the best deal. It's the only Fire stick that can play back 4K HDR video, and at just a little more than the standard, non-4K stick, it's worth the investment even if you don't have a 4K TV already.
Roku's exclusive version of the Ultra for Walmart was previously available for $48, but $59 is still a very good value. While it's the 2019 version, it normally retails for $79 and is a capable Roku box that packs in 4K HDR support, an Ethernet jack and a remote with a headphone jack for private listening. While largely similar to the main Ultra, the Ultra LT unfortunately drops the remote finder feature and programmable keys on the remote. Read our comparison of the Ultra LT and other Roku devices.
The Fire TV Cube combines an Alexa voice-controlled speaker, a Fire TV 4K video streamer and a universal remote control in one device. If you like using your voice to control the TV -- not to mention other devices in your Alexa-friendly household -- it may well be worth taking the plunge on this interesting all-in-one product, marked down from $120 to $100. Note that this is the newest (2019) version, which has added some nice improvements since we first evaluated it in 2018.
The Fire TV Recast is one of the easiest ways to record and stream over-the-air TV. It integrates seamlessly with a Fire TV Stick and at $80 off it's an incredible bargain.
The big thing missing from the Fire TV Stick Lite is a remote that controls your TV's power and volume. The 2020 Fire TV Stick has that remote, and for Amazon's Black Friday sale it was marked down from $40 to $30. Even with the discount, you should spend the $10 and get the Fire TV Stick 4K (above) instead, which adds support for 4K TV resolution to the mix.
The Roku Premiere isn't as good as the Streaming Stick Plus -- it lacks the voice control remote and TV control -- but if those features don't matter to you, or if the Plus is delayed or out of stock by the time you read this, it's still a solid 4K HDR streamer value.
Last month we saw a lot of deals on the end-of-life Roku Ultra, but the 2020 model has barely been out and it's getting discounted already. From what we've seen it's a significant upgrade -- with Dolby Vision and better wireless performance -- and at $79 it's a pretty great deal.
Like the Roku Ultra, the Streambar came out about 10 seconds ago and it's also getting a healthy discount. For the same price as the Ultra on a normal day, the Streambar blends a capable 4K streamer with a dialogue-enhancing soundbar. It even tosses in Bluetooth for good measure.
The Roku Streaming Stick Plus 4K is our favorite streamer, and at only 39 bucks it will be pretty untouchable in terms of value for money. The Stick offers hundreds of apps, the excellent Roku interface and a robust, voice-controlling remote, as well as 4K HDR and Apple AirPlay.
At time of publication this price was still available at Amazon with a late December ship date (technically before Dec. 25, but just barely). Walmart and Best Buy are back to charging the normal $50 price.
Cheap and dead simple, the Roku Express delivers all the joy of Roku's platform, but in a crazy small package. It comes with a remote, a Micro USB port and HDMI port, an HDMI cable, plus a tiny sticker to keep it in place.
The deals below are mostly gone, but since they could come back at any time, we're keeping them here for now. Some models might not be available for delivery but could still be eligible for pickup at your local store.
This is a bare-bones Roku that can handle all your streaming needs. It isn't as fast as the Streaming Stick Plus and doesn't include Roku's more useful enhanced remote (which has a microphone for voice control and doesn't require you to point it directly at the TV). It also lacks 4K support and new features like AirPlay. It is, however, just $17 and should be fine for basic streaming. The SE is pretty much identical to the $25 Roku Express, aside from the white color.
Want a Chromecast but don't care for the new Google TV software or remote? Google's prior Chromecast is still $19 at Walmart. This is the OG Chromecast -- not the 4K capable Chromecast Ultra -- but if you don't mind running apps from your phone, tablet or computer this is a good, cheap pick. Oh, and $5 in Vudu credit is included, too.