HolidayBuyer's Guide
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Best Media Streamers of 2017

  • $67.55 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 9 Design
    • 10 Ecosystem
    • 9 Features
    • 9 Performance
    Roku Streaming Stick Plus

    Best streamer overall

    Lightning-fast responses, oodles of apps and a dead-simple interface help propel Roku's streamers to the top of our lists. This 4K HDR streamer is so good and affordable you might want one even if you don't (yet) own a 4K HDR TV.

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  • $179.00 at Apple See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 10 Design
    • 10 Ecosystem
    • 10 Features
    • 9 Performance
    Apple TV 4K

    Best high-end 4K HDR streamer

    With more features and capabilities than you'll ever use, as well as Amazon video (finally!), Dolby Vision capability and overall superb performance and design, the Apple TV 4K is the best streamer on the market for those who want to afford it.

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  • $54.99 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 8 Design
    • 8 Ecosystem
    • 9 Features
    • 9 Performance
    Amazon Fire TV (2017)

    Best streamer for Alexa fans

    The Fire TV is very good for everyone, but the best reason to choose it over Roku is if you have an Alexa speaker and want to use its superior voice control in your system.

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  • $29.99 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 6 Design
    • 9 Ecosystem
    • 5 Features
    • 7 Performance
    Roku Express (2017)

    Best basic streamer

    You expect a streamer this cheap to suck somehow, but the Express does not. It's plenty-fast, packed with apps and unlike Chromecast, actually includes a remote control. All you need to stream, nothing you don't.

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  • $34.99 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 7 Design
    • 7 Ecosystem
    • 8 Features
    • 9 Performance
    Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote

    Best budget streamer with voice

    Want to talk to your TV, and have your TV talk back? If yon have a 4K TV, choose the higher-rated Fire TV above. But if you're on a tight budget and don't care about 4K, the basic stick is a great choice.

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  • $198.86 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 8 Design
    • 9 Ecosystem
    • 10 Features
    • 10 Performance
    Nvidia Shield (2017)

    Best streamer for geeks, gamers

    Sure it's relatively expensive, but the do-it-all Shield belongs in the same conversation with other top-tier streamers. And if you can use its myriad other gaming, file-sharing and similarly geeky functions, it could be worth the extra money.

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  • $48.88 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 6 Design
    • 9 Ecosystem
    • 6 Features
    • 7 Performance
    Roku Express Plus (2017)

    Best streamer for old TVs

    If your TV lacks HDMI inputs, you don't have very many choices in streaming device. The Express+ is the best, delivering Roku's superb app ecosystem, ease of use and even free cables.

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  • $35.00 at Dell Home See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 8 Design
    • 7 Ecosystem
    • 6 Features
    • 8 Performance
    Google Chromecast (2015)

    Best value for phone-centric users

    If you can watch it on your phone or tablet or computer, the dirt-cheap Chromecast can probably put it on your TV. The downside? There's no separate remote, so you'll need your phone or tablet or computer to use it. Or your Google Home speaker.

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