The Roku 3 is the best streaming-video box you can buy. It supports more services than anything else, with a superfast interface and a remote that has a nifty built-in headphone jack. Best of all, it's only $100, making it perfectly giftable.
If you love the Roku 3's remote with a headphone jack, but don't need all of its step-ups, go for the Roku 2. It has the same remote with all the features you need for $20 less. It may not be as lightning-fast as the Roku 3, but it's perfectly fine for most people.
If you only want one extra box under your TV, the PS3 Super Slim is the way to go. It has all your entertainment needs covered, from Blu-ray to gaming to a healthy selection of streaming video. The PS4 may be the "hot" buy this holiday season, but the PS3 remains an excellent value, especially if you haven't played the huge back catalog of games yet.
The Roku 3 is our favorite streaming box, but the Apple TV isn't far behind. If you've bought into the Apple ecosystem, it's especially potent, thanks to killer features like AirPlay and tight integration with iTunes content. And while the Apple TV used to trail in app selection, it's closer than ever before with the apps that matter.
You might think that the Chromecast is the ultimate stocking stuff, but don't count out the Roku LT. It offers access to many more streaming video services, including HBO Go, Amazon Instant and Pandora, plus its dedicated TV interface means you don't need a smartphone/tablet to use it. It's just $15 more than the Chromecast and we think it's a better value.
But if you have an Android fan on your gift list, the Chromecast is worth considering. It's dirt cheap at just $35, plus it's the best way to watch your Google Play content on your big TV. We're still waiting on it to support more apps, but in the meantime, it's a fun little device that doesn't cost much.