Black Friday deals on Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and more
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.
Stuck at home? Feel like you’ve reached the end of your TV shows? Don’t panic — get a new streaming device! Worried about the cost? Fear not, because the Black Friday sales are here and some of the best deals are on streaming devices. Save big on nearly all of our favorite Roku, Fire TV and Chromecast devices — we’ve pulled them all together here. This page assembles the top deals at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and elsewhere. The highlights:
Truth be told, we’d reach for a Roku, or the Chromecast with Google TV, before the Fire Stick, but Amazon’s streamer deals have been really good as well recently and HBO Max is now finally coming to the platform. The great takeaway here is that all of these devices are at or near all-time low prices and they’re all a great way to upgrade older TVs to the latest streaming platforms.
Note that prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication, but they may fluctuate.
Deals available now
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.
Google’s new Chromecast with Google TV has a lot to like, 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.
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 2019 Roku SE is a barebones 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 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.
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.
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 Roku Premiere is basically the Streaming Stick Plus (same channels, streams at 4K HDR quality) in a tabletop case, but without the better remote that also controls your TV’s volume and power. We’d recommend spending the extra $5 for the Stick Plus, but this is otherwise a solid streamer.
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.
Want a Chromecast but don’t care for the new Google TV software or remote? Google’s prior Chromecast will drop to $19 at Walmart for Black Friday. This appears to be the regular 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.
It’s not a 2020 model like the two above but this is still the best deal. It’s the only Fire stick with the ability to 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 has dropped to $48. 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 includes a remote with a headphone jack for private listening. While largely similar to the main Ultra, unfortunately, the Ultra LT drops the remote finder feature and programmable keys on the remote. Read our comparison of the Ultra LT and other Rokus.