Best streaming player deals still available on Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Cyber Monday may have passed, but don’t tell that to Amazon. The online retailer is still offering its lowest prices of the year on Fire TV devices, starting with the $18 Fire TV Stick Lite, our favorite budget streamer. Fans of other streamers can still find bargains too, including the excellent Chromecast with Google TV, which is still available with six months of Netflix’s Standard plan for a $44 total savings. It’s true that some Cyber Monday deals have expired, but most are active, at least for now.
We’d reach for a Roku or the new Chromecast before a Fire Stick but Amazon’s streamers are excellent too, especially for Alexa fans — and anybody who wants HBO Max, which is still absent from Roku. The great takeaway here is that all of these devices are still at or near all-time low prices and they’re all a great way to upgrade older TVs to get the latest streaming services.
Note that prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication, but they may fluctuate.
Cyber Monday streamer deals still available now
There’s a lot to like about Google’s new Chromecast with Google TV, including a revamped interface, 4K HDR with Dolby Vision support, a real remote and excellent integration with Google Assistant. In a Google Store-exclusive deal, the search giant is bundling its normally $50 streamer with six months of Netflix’s Standard plan for $90. The deal is available to both new and existing Netflix subscribers.
It’s not a 2020 model like the two above but this is still the best deal. It’s the only Fire stick that can play back 4K HDR video, and at just $2 more than the standard, non-4K stick, it’s worth the investment even if you don’t have a 4K TV already.
Roku’s exclusive version of the Ultra for Walmart was previously available for $48, but $59 is still a very good value. While it’s the 2019 version, it normally retails for $79 and is a capable Roku box that packs in 4K HDR support, an Ethernet jack and a remote with a headphone jack for private listening. While largely similar to the main Ultra, the Ultra LT unfortunaetly drops the remote finder feature and programmable keys on the remote. Read our comparison of the Ultra LT and other Roku devices.
The Fire TV Cube combines an Alexa voice-controlled speaker, a Fire TV 4K video streamer and a universal remote control into one device. If you like using your voice to control the TV — not to mention other devices in your Alexa-friendly household — it may well be worth taking the plunge on this interesting all-in-one product, marked down from $120 to $80. Note that this is the newest (2019) version, which has added some nice improvements since we first evaluated it in 2018.
The Fire TV Recast is one of the easiest ways to record and stream over-the-air TV. It integrates seamlessly with a Fire TV Stick and at $100 off it’s an incredible bargain.
The big thing missing from the Fire TV Stick Lite is a remote that controls your TV’s power and volume. The 2020 Fire TV Stick has that remote, and for Amazon’s Black Friday sale it will be marked down from $40 to $28. But unless you really want to save $2, you should get the Fire TV Stick 4K (below) instead, which adds support for 4K TV resolution to the mix.
Expired or in-store-only deals
The deals below are mostly gone, but since they could come back at any time, we’re keeping them here for now. Some models might not be available for delivery but could still be eligible for pickup at your local store.
This is a bare-bones Roku that can handle all your streaming needs. It isn’t as fast as the Streaming Stick Plus and doesn’t include Roku’s more useful enhanced remote (which has a microphone for voice control and doesn’t require you to point it directly at the TV). It also lacks 4K support and new features like AirPlay. It is, however, just $17 and should be fine for basic streaming. The SE is pretty much identical to the $25 Roku Express, aside from the white color.
Note that the $17 price is only available for local in-store pickup; if the SE isn’t available at your local Walmart you may see a different price.
Last month we saw a lot of deals on the end-of-life Roku Ultra, but the 2020 model has barely been out and it’s getting discounted already. From what we’ve seen it’s a significant upgrade — with Dolby Vision and better wireless performance — and at $69 it’s a pretty great deal.
Like the Roku Ultra, the Streambar came out about 10 seconds ago and it’s also getting a healthy discount. For the same price as the Ultra on a normal day, the Streambar blends a capable 4K streamer with a dialogue-enhancing soundbar. It even tosses in Bluetooth for good measure.
The Roku Streaming Stick Plus 4K is our favorite streamer, and at only 30 bucks it will be pretty untouchable in terms of value for money. The Stick offers hundreds of apps, the excellent Roku interface and a robust, voice-controlling remote, as well as 4K HDR and Apple AirPlay.
At time of publication this price was still available at Amazon with a late December ship date (technically before Dec. 25, but just barely). Walmart and Best Buy are back to charging the normal $50 price.
Want a Chromecast but don’t care for the new Google TV software or remote? Google’s prior Chromecast is still $19 at Walmart. This is the OG Chromecast — not the 4K capable Chromecast Ultra — but if you don’t mind running apps from your phone, tablet or computer this is a good, cheap pick. Oh, and $5 in Vudu credit is included, too.