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Best media streamers and TVs for dad in 2018

Whether you're looking for an inexpensive streamer or a big TV to really spoil your dad, these are the best home video gifts for Father's Day this year.

David Katzmaier
David Katzmaier
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TCL 6 series ($600 and up)

Dad wants a big new TV with a great picture, but you want to save some money. Have it both ways with the TCL 6 series, which delivers the best image quality for the money we've ever tested, and comes in both 55- and 65-inch sizes

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Roku Express ($30)

Maybe $600 is a bit much for your budget. Here's a cheap, easy way to drag his streaming game into the present day. The Express just needs a spare HDMI port to turn his TV into a streaming powerhouse. 

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Roku Express Plus ($35)

And if dad is still hanging onto his old TV, consider Roku's Express Plus. It offers legacy AV connections suitable for a CRT and will enable your pop to watch Netflix, Hulu and YouTube for the price of a Father's Day lunch.

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Roku Streaming Stick ($50)

If you're looking for a slightly nicer streaming gift for dad, Roku's stick offers the invaluable convenience of controlling TV power and volume with the included remote.

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Roku Streaming Stick Plus ($70)

As a step-up to the Roku Stick, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus is best-suited to your dad's new 4K TV. The Plus is designed to deliver the highest-quality video from Netflix, Amazon and others.

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Google Chromecast ($35)

If your dad is the kinda guy who prefers to use smartphone for everything, the Chromecast lets him to cast YouTube videos and Hulu programs straight to her TV -- no need to use a fiddly remote.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote ($40)

If your dad has an Amazon Echo, the Fire TV Stick would make an excellent complement. He can use the Echo or the included microphone remote to queue up the latest episodes of his favorite show.

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Apple TV ($150)

If your dad has a bunch of stuff on iTunes, or he just wants something that looks and feels a lot like his iPhone, the new Apple TV is just the ticket. In addition to numerous TV apps, it also works with many of the games and other apps he might already own.

At this price, however, it might make more sense to spend a bit more for the 4K version.

Apple TV 4K
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Apple TV 4K ($180)

Take everything we said before about the Apple TV and add compatibility with the latest 4K resolution and high dynamic range TV shows and movies. 

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Vizio SB3621 ($130)

Maybe dad is all set for streaming, and likes his TV, but wants to make it sound better. This Vizio is our top budget choice, delivering exceptional performance for the money. He'll love that it even includes a wireless subwoofer.

Sonos One
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Sonos One ($199)

Part music streamer, part voice assistant, the Sonos One is perfect for sitting on a bench and playing your dad's favorite music playlists or podcasts.

TCL S305 series Roku TV
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TCL S305 Roku TV ($160 and up)

Is your dad still nursing the CRT he used to watch the Berlin Wall come down? It's time to upgrade, and TCL's least-expensive Roku TVs range from 32 to 49 inches and offer a super-simple built-in streaming interface.

TCL S405 series
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TCL S405 series 4K Roku TV ($300 and up)

What's that? Your dad doesn't own a 4K TV? Well, consider buying him one of these. The S405 is one of the least expensive 4K TVs available and comes in sizes from 43 to 65(!) inches. It also includes the regularly updated Roku TV system, so his apps won't become outdated any time soon.

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LG OLEDC7P series ($1700 and up)

Wait, you say: "My dad wants a really expensive TV and I want to get him one!" OK, fine. The C7 is actually relatively cheap for an OLED TV, and with one exception it delivers the best picture quality we've ever tested. Satisfied?

LG OLEDC8P series
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LG OLEDC8P series ($2500 and up)

Not satisfied? Remember that "one exception"? This is it: the best-performing TV we've ever tested. Dad should really like it.

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Optoma UHD60 ($1800)

So what if dad really likes movie night? Go one better than the OLED with a massive 4K image provided by this excellent projector. Throw in a home theater basement remodel and you'll make his day.

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