Mother's Day is coming up, so why not get Mom the gift she really wants? A new video streamer or smart TV says "I Love You" almost as much as flowers, and will definitely last longer.
Streaming video can be complex and everybody, moms included, could use a device that makes it simple to get TV shows and movies. And if she needs a new TV, one with solid streaming apps built-in is a lot simpler than an external device. And best of all, a solid streamer means she won't be calling you as often to help figure it out.
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Here are our favorites at every price level.
Best cheap video streamer: Roku Express ($30)Sarah Tew/CNET
Less than the cost of a decent bouquet, the Express covers the basics beautifully, has quick response times and Roku's dead-simple interface. And if she has an older TV without HDMI inputs, the Express+ is a great choice.
Best step-up streamer: Roku Streaming Stick Plus ($60)Sarah Tew/CNET
Want a little something nicer for mom? The Plus has all the Roku goodness of the Express with the addition of 4K HDR video, as well as a point-anywhere remote with the ability to control TV volume and power. That means mom can kick her TV remote to the curb.
Best streaming bundle: Spotify + Hulu for $10/monthScreenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET
If you're buying a Roku or a streaming TV, you need something to watch. And this limited-time bundle is a perfect starter: Get Spotify and Hulu together for $10 total per month -- that's all the music mom can listen to, plus a great selection of TV shows and movies, including Hulu originals like A Handmaid's Tale.
Best cheap bedroom TV for streaming: TCL S325 series ($140 and up)Sarah Tew/CNET
Speaking of TV remotes, combining the TV and the streaming apps on one screen, with only one remote required, makes it even easier. TCL's entry-level S325 includes built-in Roku streaming for a really foordable price; even the biggest size costs just $250.
Cheapest home-theater-worthy big screen: Vizio E series ($300 and up)Sarah Tew/CNET
Although it comes as small as 43 inches for $300, Vizio's E series really hits its stride at the 55-inch and bigger sizes, including the 65-inch model seen above for a mere $650. This 4K HDR TV has all the fixin's, in a size suitable for mom's living room, with a picture worthy of her movie nights.
Best big 4K HDR TV for the money: TCL 6 series ($530 and up)Sarah Tew/CNET
Is mom's main TV on its last legs? Are you feeling generous? Does she appreciate a good picture? Do you appreciate a good bargain? Answering Yes to three out of four puts you in consideration for CNET's favorite TV for the money in 2018. Equipped with a better image than the Vizio E and Roku's smart TV system, it starts at 55 inches for a bit over $500 while the awesome 65-inch size seen here is just $800. And yes, you could even get mom the massive 75-inch model for $1,500.
Because she deserves the best TV: LG B8 OLED ($1500 and up)Sarah Tew/CNET
You only need to answer one question here: Are you feeling really, really generous? When your one and only mom deserves the best TV money can buy, LG's spectacular OLED models fit the bill. And before you balk at the price, remember that the B8 is the least-expensive of the bunch... It just goes up in price from here.
CNET's Mother's Day gift guide
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