Best Media Streamers for 2019

Our editors hand-picked these products based on our tests and reviews.
If you use our links to buy, we may get a commission.

  • $59 at Amazon
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    CNET's Rating

  • 9 Design
  • 10 Ecosystem
  • 9 Features
  • 9 Performance
  • Roku Streaming Stick Plus
    Best streamer overall

    Lightning-fast responses, oodles of apps and a dead-simple interface help propel Roku's streamers to the top of our lists. This 4K HDR streamer is so good and affordable you might want one even if you don't (yet) own a 4K HDR TV.

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  • $44 at Walmart
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    CNET's Rating

  • 9 Design
  • 10 Ecosystem
  • 8 Features
  • 8 Performance
  • Roku Premiere Plus (2018)
    Best streaming value

    If your 2.4 GHz connection is solid and you want to save $10, the Premiere Plus makes more sense than the Streaming Stick Plus. It even includes Roku's great point-anywhere TV control remote.

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  • $40 at Amazon
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    CNET's Rating

  • 9 Design
  • 8 Ecosystem
  • 10 Features
  • 9 Performance
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
    Best voice controls

    The Fire TV Stick 4K is very good for everyone, but the best reason to choose it over Roku is if you have an Alexa speaker and want to use its superior voice control in your system.

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  • $169 at Walmart
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    CNET's Rating

  • 10 Design
  • 10 Ecosystem
  • 10 Features
  • 9 Performance
  • Apple TV 4K
    Best high-end 4K HDR streamer

    With more features and capabilities than you'll ever use, as well as Amazon video (finally!), Dolby Vision capability and overall superb performance and design, the Apple TV 4K is the best streamer on the market for those who want to afford it.

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  • $46 at Walmart
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    CNET's Rating

  • 8 Design
  • 10 Ecosystem
  • 8 Features
  • 8 Performance
  • Roku Streaming Stick 2017

    The Roku Streaming Stick is an excellent choice if you couldn't care less about 4K and want to declutter your coffee table of remotes.

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  • $25 at Amazon
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    CNET's Rating

  • 6 Design
  • 9 Ecosystem
  • 5 Features
  • 7 Performance
  • Roku Express (2017)
    Best basic streamer

    You expect a streamer this cheap to suck somehow, but the Express does not. It's plenty-fast, packed with apps and unlike Chromecast, actually includes a remote control. All you need to stream, nothing you don't.

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  • $30 at Amazon
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    CNET's Rating

  • 8 Design
  • 8 Ecosystem
  • 8 Features
  • 8 Performance
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick (2019)

    Amazon's cheapest TV streamer can now control your TV with the remote. Is that enough to beat Roku?

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  • $120 at B&H Photo-Video
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    CNET's Rating

  • 8 Design
  • 8 Ecosystem
  • 9 Features
  • 8 Performance
  • Amazon Fire TV Cube
    Best for whole-system voice control

    While it's not quite a Harmony remote replacement yet, the unique Amazon Fire TV Cube is worth the investment for people who want an full-featured streamer that can also use Alexa voice commands to control their TV, sound bar and AV receiver.

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  • $149 at Amazon
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    CNET's Rating

  • 8 Design
  • 9 Ecosystem
  • 10 Features
  • 10 Performance
  • 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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  • $35 at Walmart
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    CNET's Rating

  • 6 Design
  • 9 Ecosystem
  • 6 Features
  • 7 Performance
  • Roku Express Plus (2017)
    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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  • $35 at Walmart
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    CNET's Rating

  • 6 Design
  • 8 Ecosystem
  • 6 Features
  • 6 Performance
  • Google Chromecast (2018)
    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. Or your Google Home speaker.

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  • DirecTV Now
    Live TV streamer is stronger on channels, weaker on DVR
    DirecTV Now
  • AirTV
    AirTV puts old-fashioned antenna TV air, there and everywhere
    AirTV
  • Amazon Echo Plus (second generation)
    Amazon's fanciest speaker is still a tough sell
    Amazon Echo Plus (second generation)
  • Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen)
    Bigger sound and better looks
    Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen)
  • Caavo
    Visionary universal remote falls short of HDR reality
    Caavo
  • Amazon Fire TV (2017)
    Voice-centric 4K HDR streaming comes with Amazon's hard sell
    Amazon Fire TV (2017)
  • Chromecast Audio
    The ultimate audio streaming dongle is better than ever
    Chromecast Audio
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote
    Smart talk is cheap with Alexa streaming TV stick
    Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote
  • Roku Premiere
    More 4K streaming apps for less money
    Roku Premiere
  • Roku Ultra
    This 4K HDR streamer lets you keep your old AV receiver
    Roku Ultra
  • Sony PlayStation Vue
    Cut the cable TV cord, keep the channels and DVR
    Sony PlayStation Vue
  • Roku Premiere+
    The sweet spot for streaming in 4K and HDR
    Roku Premiere+
  • Roku Express+
    Resurrect an old TV with streaming video for cheap
    Roku Express+
  • Roku Express
    Is Roku's $30 streamer its best value yet? Not so fast
    Roku Express