These 2 Streaming Devices Make Perfect Holiday Gifts

From Roku to Apple TV, we break down our favorite streaming devices for the holiday season.

Temperatures are cooling, which means it’s time to power up the TV. Nothing tends to be as cozy as cuddling up in front of the TV to watch your favorite shows. Many people use a media streamer, like a Roku or Fire TV Stick, to watch their TV. So if you’re looking for a gift this holiday season, it might be time to check out some of the most versatile gifts in the tech world: the streaming device. These players are small enough to fit in a stocking but powerful enough to offer entertainment for the whole family. So if you’re looking to give the gift of streaming but are unsure of which device will work best, you’ve come to the right place. 

We’ve reviewed nearly every streaming device and major smart TV system on the market today, including Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. These add-on streaming devices often have simpler remotes, more apps, better search and more frequent updates than the smarts built into your TV set, especially older models.

We’ve rounded up a list of the best streaming devices for the 2022 holiday season, and the Roku Streaming Stick 4K and the Roku Express 4K Plus are neck-and-neck in the race for our top overall pick. The Roku Express 4K Plus is normally cheaper than the Streaming Stick 4K, so it’s usually our top Roku pick. But sales prices have fluctuated on both of these models, so we generally recommend the cheaper of the two. 

That said, Roku faces stiff competition from Amazon, Apple and Google, which also have plenty of streaming stick and streaming box devices to offer.

roku
credit:- google

Roku Express 4K Plus

Roku is our favorite streaming system, with the most streaming app options, the simplest streaming platform interface and the best search. It also has a content-agnostic platform that doesn’t push any one media streaming service provider, like Amazon Prime Video or Apple, over another. The Express 4K Plus is one of the cheapest streaming TV options with 4K HDR. (Even if your current TV doesn’t support those formats, your next one probably will.) Thanks to the AirPlay update, this 4K Roku device is one of the least expensive ways to connect your iPhone or other Apple device to your TV. It makes a great gift for those looking to get the most out of streaming without breaking the bank. Roku Express works with popular voice assistants – Amazon Alexa, Sri or Hey Google.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K
credit: Google

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Best Roku with Dolby Vision

The Streaming Stick 4K offers support for Dolby Vision HDR, while the Express 4K Plus does not. It also lacks the wired Ethernet connection found on the Express 4K Plus. The other main difference between the two is the Streaming Stick 4K’s narrow rectangular design, which plugs directly into an HDMI slot in the back of the TV. Both streamers offer a voice remote, 4K HDR streaming and Roku’s excellent interface, which we like better than Fire TV or Google TV. We’re typically not sold on the Dolby Vision upgrade, mostly because we don’t think it provides a major image quality upgrade over standard HDR. But we do think it’s worth picking up the Streaming Stick 4K when the price is the same or cheaper than the Express 4K Plus. 

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