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Best streaming video gadgets and TVs for back to school

The first thing you think of when someone says "back to school" probably isn't "time to buy a new streaming stick!" But we went ahead and made a list anyway, just in case.

David Katzmaier
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
David Katzmaier
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1 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Google Chromecast ($35)

Your back-to-schooler is always on his phone. He loves watching YouTube videos. You love a bargain. Sounds like Chromecast, which allows him to blow up those phone videos to TV size, is the perfect gift.

Check out the full Back-to-School Guide.

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2 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku Streaming Stick ($50)

She is taking your old TV to the dorm, but she's annoyed that she can't watch all her favorite apps on there because her PlayStation 4 doesn't get WWE. The Roku Stick does, along with thousands of other apps.

Check out the full Back-to-School Guide.

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3 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku 3 ($100)

For the student who deserves the best in streaming, the Roku 3 offers voice search from its remote control, as well as a headphone jack for private listening.

Check out the full Back-to-School Guide.

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4 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple TV ($150)

If your back-to-schooler 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.

Check out the full Back-to-School Guide.

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5 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon Fire TV Stick ($40)

Then again, maybe your student is an Amazon Prime junkie, glomming off your Prime account to binge on TV free shows and movies after recovering from a long school year. Nothing wrong with that, but maybe she needs a streamer of her own?

Check out the full Back-to-School Guide.

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6 of 8 Sarah Tew

Nvidia Shield ($200)

So your back-to-schooler is an avid gamer, has numerous "files" he'd like to play on the big TV, and also happens to watch his share of Netflix and YouTube. The Shield is his Rolls Royce.

Check out the full Back-to-School Guide.

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7 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Vizio P series ($999)

Speaking of stoked, how would he like to receive a 50-inch 4K TV as a back-to-school gift? You can kind of justify it because it includes a free tablet, right?

Check out the full Back-to-School Guide.

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8 of 8 Sarah Tew / CNET

TCL Roku TV ($170 and up)

As stoked as your back-to-school giftee would be to get a new TV with thousands of built-in streaming apps, you'll be even more stoked at the value.

Check out the full Back-to-School Guide.

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