Streaming video on TV has quickly become the go-to gift with the prices being marked down so well. With many offering streaming “sticks” instead of actual console-style devices that would sit on a desk, or entertainment center – they’re a great stocking stuffer, gift for someone who frequents their online subscriptions to Netflix, and the various other online subscription services that allow users to stream content like video, music, and much more.
The choice though, between which streaming stick is the best choice – and how one goes about streaming content through their TV once you’ve made the purchase is something entirely different. Here are the three top options this holiday shopping season.
Roku Streaming Stick
Roku’s streaming stick is a great choice for holiday shopping because it’s really price efficient, but also has amongst the best options for content. Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Crackle, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, and Vudu are all some of the featured channels that Roku boasts. The total lineup of channels and apps that are available exceed 1,800 and features more than 200,000 movies and television episodes according to the company.
For $39.99 the Roku Streaming Stick comes with the stick that will connect to the TV, as well as a remote that works well and is relatively straightforward to use. Roku also has an iOS and Android app for your smartphone or tablet. Reviews do suggest though that from the speed perspective this might be the most-sluggish of all of the available devices on the market when it comes down to streaming speed.
Google Chromecast doesn’t offer a physical remote to go with the deal, but between the price right now, channel lineup, and the fact that Chromecast has a highly-functional app for iOS devices, as well as Android devices – this is an obvious choice for a lot of customers.
Some of the major channels that are included are Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Disney, Watch ESPN, and YouTube. Just $23.99 will get you the Google Chromecast stick, but given the fact that no remote is included – that could be the cost differential for many.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
The Amazon Fire TV Stick offers a lot of selection – which includes Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, PBS, Watch ESPN, and YouTube most notably – which means they aren’t missing out on any of the major streamers even though they’re the newest to the streaming service party. While an app is only available on Android devices, they do offer a remote which helps a great deal with the functionality.
As far as speed is concerned, the Fire TV Stick is said to be faster moving from item-to-item within the interface of the Fire TV system. Priced at $39.99 the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a still affordable and quality option, especially if your preference is Amazon Instant Video content.