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Best Media Streamers of 2017

  • $49.71 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 9 Design
    • 10 Ecosystem
    • 8 Features
    • 9 Performance
    Roku Streaming Stick 2016

    Best streaming device for the money

    Roku's 2016 stick proves the best devices come in small, cheap packages. With speedy access to Roku's unrivaled collection of apps and the simplest interface around, it's all the streamer most people need.

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  • Roku Premiere+

    Best for streaming in 4K and HDR

    There isn't much streaming content in 4K yet, and even less in HDR, but the Premiere+ can get to almost all of it. If you have a 4K HDR TV and want to pair it with the beat in high-quality streaming, this is your box.

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    $99.00 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 9 Design
    • 10 Ecosystem
    • 9 Features
    • 8 Performance
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  • $169.00 at B&H Photo-Video See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 10 Design
    • 9 Ecosystem
    • 9 Features
    • 10 Performance
    Apple TV (2015)

    Best streaming device for Apple users

    If you've already invested in iTunes TV shows, movies and music, not to mention games on your iPhone or iPad, the updated Apple TV is worth the extra money. Siri voice commands and a best-in-class remote seal the deal.

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  • Roku Ultra

    Best 4K streamer for legacy audio

    The Premiere+ costs less and offers most of the Ultra's features, so we recommend it higher overall. But if your system includes an AV receiver or soundbar that doesn't pass the latest 4K HDR signals, the Ultra's optical output might be worth it.

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    $122.73 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 9 Design
    • 10 Ecosystem
    • 9 Features
    • 8 Performance
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  • $39.99 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? Amazon's latest (and least-expensive) conduit for Alexa has lots of app access, plenty of vocal tricks and more speed than its predecessor.

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  • 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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    $199.99 at Amazon Marketplace See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 8 Design
    • 9 Ecosystem
    • 10 Features
    • 10 Performance
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  • $33.56 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 7 Design
    • 10 Ecosystem
    • 7 Features
    • 6 Performance
    Roku Express+

    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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  • Roku Premiere

    Best 4K streamer for non-HDR TVs

    For people whose 4K TVs don't do HDR and don't care about the additional features of the Premiere+, the more basic Premiere is worth a look. It offers more 4K apps than competitors for an affordable price.

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    $76.99 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 9 Design
    • 10 Ecosystem
    • 7 Features
    • 9 Performance
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  • $35.00 at Abt Electronics 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.

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  • Amazon Fire TV (2015)

    Best Amazon streamer with Ethernet

    Fire TV devices push Amazon stuff pretty hard, but maybe that's OK with you, or you like the games, or you want a cheap 4K streamer, or your Wi-Fi isn't great. Here's your box.

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    $89.99 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 7 Design
    • 7 Ecosystem
    • 9 Features
    • 9 Performance
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  • $29.00 at Amazon.com See all prices

    CNET's Rating

    • 7 Design
    • 10 Ecosystem
    • 6 Features
    • 6 Performance
    Roku Express

    Best content selection for cheap

    The $30 Express delivers Roku's best-in-class app selection, search and interface for the lowest price yet, but unless you're really strapped for cash, it's worth paying another $20 to get the faster Roku Streaming Stick.

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