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Media Streamers

Get a refurbished Roku 4 for $55.45

Roku's former flagship streamer is now priced only a bit higher than lower-end models. Plus: Finally, an outdoor speaker with some muscle!

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Roku

Roku makes my favorite media streamers. For reasons I won't bore you with, I greatly prefer any Roku box or stick to Apple TV (which has no Amazon), Google Chromecast (no remote) or Amazon Fire TV (awful, awful UI).

When the Roku 4 hit the scene back in 2015, it was among the then-rare products to offer 4K streaming -- something most users still don't bother with today. And it was crazy-pricey at $129.99, at least compared with its lower-end brethren.

But if you've always wanted a Roku 4, whether for its speed or 4K support, now you can get one for cheap: Dealfisher (via Amazon) has the certified refurbished Roku 4 for $55.45 shipped.

Let me note first that the price has been jumping around a bit since I first spotted this yesterday, when it was originally $59.99, then $59 and now a few bucks below that. Woo! However, it could jump up (or down) again -- I think Dealfisher is competing with some other vendors who are also selling the product for around the same price.

In any case, the Roku 4 is a discontinued model, having been supplanted by the Roku Ultra. Differences between the two? I honestly couldn't find a rundown anywhere, but there's no question the Roku 4 remains a top streamer in its class.

I've got one and I like its speedy, efficient UI. But I don't have a 4K-compatible TV, and honestly I rarely bother with the voice-powered search feature -- mostly because I forget it's there. However, Roku's absolute best trick continues to be the headphone jack in the remote. Plug in and you can watch TV at whatever volume you want, without disturbing those around you.

I will say that the Roku 4 seems to run hotter than other models I've owned, and I do find that it locks up or needs to be rebooted every so often. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Read CNET's review if you want to learn more about this model. Given that it previously sold for $129.99, and discounts were rare, it's pretty compelling at $55.

Your thoughts?

It's hard to tell from the photo, but this thing is big. Like, needs-a-carrying-strap big.

Street Hopper

Bonus deal: Sure, you've got a Bluetooth speaker for your house, but do you have one for your house PAR-TAYYYY? For parties, outdoor events and other occasions where a little speaker won't cut it, the Microsoft Store has the Street Hopper 6 Bluetooth speaker for $69.99 shipped. Regular price: $119.99.

About the size and shape of a duffel bag, this is a big speaker. It's also a pretty cool-looking one, with built-in multi-color LEDs (for the app-controlled light-show, of course) and a battery that's good for up to 10 hours.

Good news/bad news: It has a built-in FM tuner, but many of the reviews note that it's terrible. So forget radio and jack in your guitar or microphone -- it has inputs for both -- for sing-alongs or karaoke.

Oh, and as all speakers should, this one has a big ol' volume dial right on the front. When did the world decide buttons were a better way to set volume?!