Best Black Friday Deals on Streaming Devices
We're seeing great offers on many popular models, including the Amazon Fire TV Stick and the Roku Ultra
Binge-watching TV shows is an all-American pastime, and there are now more streaming services than ever. Even though many people own a smart TV that can stream shows and movies on its own, a lot of us choose to add a separate streaming device.
A dedicated streaming player may outperform a particular smart TV’s built-in system or offer features or services you can’t get from that TV. And if your smart TV is a few years old, the apps for streaming services you use may be outdated or missing altogether.
The great news is that we’re seeing some very good deals on streaming players, especially Amazon Fire TV and Roku models. The best deals on streaming devices are listed below, and we’ll be updating this list as new ones appear.
If you’ll be looking for sales on items through the holiday shopping season, make sure you go to our Shopping Deals hub, which has links to the best deals across multiple product categories.
This is Amazon’s best stick-style 4K player, with a faster processor than the regular Stick 4K, plus support for the new WiFi 6 wireless standard. It also supports the HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision HDR formats, as well as immersive Dolby Atmos 3D audio. It comes with an Alexa voice remote, so you can use voice commands to search for content, check the weather, and control compatible smart home devices.
CR’s test results: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
Amazon Fire TV Streaming Devices
This is a highly rated high-definition model, a stick-style streamer that pops into your TV’s HDMI port. The newest version has been updated with a faster processor for quicker app starts. It comes with an Alexa remote, which has TV power and volume controls.
CR’s test results: Amazon Fire TV Stick (third-generation)
This 4K stick-style player provides a nice array of content and features for the price, including voice control and Dolby Vision HDR. You can control it from Alexa-enabled devices such as the Echo and Dot, and use the included remote to control power and volume on many TVs and sound bar speakers. Note that this is an updated version of an existing player, which has an Alexa remote control with dedicated buttons for Amazon, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix. Target is selling an earlier version of the same streaming player, which is the one we tested in our labs.
CR’s test results: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
The 4K-ready Fire TV Cube is essentially a mashup of two of Amazon’s popular Alexa-powered devices, the Fire TV streaming player and the Echo Dot smart speaker. It also adds an interesting element into the mix: universal remote-control capability, so you can control a host of other compatible A/V gear, including TVs, sound bars, receivers, and even some cable and satellite boxes.
CR’s test results: Amazon Fire TV Cube
Roku Streaming Devices
The Roku LE streaming player, a Walmart exclusive, is now available online at Walmart.com and in-store on Nov. 26 as long as supplies last. It’s a small, basic set-top box that offers access to all of Roku’s streaming services, but not more advanced features such as a voice remote. It does come with an HDMI cable, though.
This 4K player from Roku is selling at the same low price at numerous retailers, probably because it’s being replaced by the new Roku Express 4K+ model, which has a faster processor, better WiFi, and more storage. The Premiere is an entry-level 4K model that comes with a basic remote control.
CR’s test results: Roku Premiere
Roku Streaming Stick 4K
This new 4K stick-style player from Roku comes with a decent set of features, including a faster processor and better WiFi than its predecessor had, plus support for the HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR formats. The included voice remote lets you power up your TV, adjust the volume, control your Roku device, and search across thousands of channels using your voice.
Roku Ultra LT
This is a slightly stripped-down and cheaper version of the flagship Roku Ultra player that’s only sold at Walmart. It has many of the same features as the regular Ultra but lacks that player’s fast channel launch and programmable remote buttons, and comes with Roku earphones rather than JBL’s.
This is an exclusive model made only for Best Buy. It has all the features of the Stick+ but with additional ones. It comes with an enhanced voice remote that includes a headphone jack and Roku headphones for private listening. And it costs just a bit more money.
CR’s test results: Roku Streaming Stick+ Headphone Edition
More Streaming Devices
This is the older version of the Apple TV, so it lacks the new (and in our opinion, much improved) remote control that comes with the later model, which sells for more. It’s been discontinued, so it’s getting harder to find. The Apple TV comes in two flavors: a 32GB model and a 64GB version. Siri lets you look for movies by genre, cast, director, date, or age ratings. And simply by asking what a character said, Siri will rewind the video by a few seconds and turn on captions.
CR’s test results: Apple TV 4K 32GB (older version)
This updated version of Google’s disc-shaped Chromecast, an HD (1080p) model, no longer comes in a choice of colors; you’re now limited to black or white. And unlike the new 4K Chromecast With Google TV, there’s no remote. Instead, you use your smartphone or tablet to select the programs you want to watch, and then send—or “cast,” in Google’s parlance—content to the TV. The price is about $5 lower than last week.
CR’s test results: Google Chromecast (third-generation)
The newest Google Chromecast is now called “Chromecast with Google TV.” The player is a 4K model that supports the HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision HDR formats. And unlike the regular Chromecast, which lacks a remote control—you have to use a mobile device to control the player—this model comes with a voice remote that has a dedicated button for Google Assistant, the company’s voice-powered digital assistant. Target had it at this price, but it’s now back to its regular price.
CR’s test results: Google Chromecast With Google TV