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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Media Streamers Reviews

Price

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Roku Premiere+

For 4K HDR TV owners fed up of using built-in smart TV apps, the Roku Premiere+ is my top pick.

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

The fast, affordable new Fire TV stick is great for fans of Amazon who'll use its voice capabilities, and an excellent value, but it's still not as good as Roku.

Yamaha RX-V381

Yamaha has announced its first 2016 receiver, the RX-V381, which offers four HDMI inputs with 4K support and Bluetooth streaming.

TiVo Bolt

The TiVo Bolt makes a strong claim to the throne as king of DVRs and streaming media, but those pesky TiVo service fees keep it short of perfection.

Google Chromecast 2015 Lemonade

The innovative Chromecast might be the ultimate living-room accessory for your phone or tablet, but more traditional streaming devices deliver a better streaming experience.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

The inexpensive Fire TV Stick remains a great value for heavy users of Amazon TV shows and movies, but most other new devices work better for Netflix and the rest.

Google Nexus Player

Until it receives a major infusion of native apps and developer support, and better integrates non-Google services, the Nexus Player with Android TV offers no compelling upgrade over other streaming devices.

Philips Blu-ray Surround Base HTB3525B

The Philips HTB3525B packs Blu-ray, Smart TV, and Bluetooth into an affordable sound bar, making it a great choice if you're looking for an all-in-one system.

Razer Android TV

At Google I/O, the first hardware to run Google's new Android TV software was announced, including a gaming-centric "micro console" from Razer.

Sony FMP-X10 4K Ultra HD Media Player

The FMP-X10 is Sony's second-generation 4K media player, equipped with a 1TB hard drive, access to hundreds of 4K movies and Netflix's 4K streaming service. Previously proprietary, a software update makes it usable by multiple brands of compatible 4K TV.

Amazon Fire TV

The Fire TV streaming-media box is an impressive living room debut for Amazon, with standout features like voice search, gaming, and superfast video streaming, but it falls short of being an elite streamer -- at least for now.

PLAiR 2

Plair 2 is an interesting Chromecast alternative that offers access to the full suite of Android apps, but it's just not reliable enough to recommend.

Roku 1

The Roku 1 offers the same excellent experience that's found on other Roku boxes at a new low price, but there aren't many reasons to choose it over the new Streaming Stick or step-up Roku boxes.

Google Chromecast

Google's $35 Chromecast stick is a cheap and easy way to add streaming video and music to your TV, but it still isn't as fully featured as similarly priced Roku boxes.

Fan TV

Fan TV is the latest box promises to unify cable TV, streaming video and movies, but it faces an uphill battle to get cable companies on board.

Cobra AirWave

Cobra's AirWave music receiver lets you effortlessly connect your smartphone with your car's audio system via a Bluetooth connection.

Samsung HomeSync

Combining your Android handset with your home theater, the HomeSync media hub lets your stream and play games on your TV.

Western Digital TV Play

The WD TV Play is the best alternative to Roku and Apple TV for viewers looking to access their personal media collection.

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