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TV Streaming
TV & streaming

Streaming media player sticks

There are two types of steaming gadgets: set-top boxes and HDMI sticks. HDMI sticks are the size of USB drives and plug right into your TV’s HDMI port. That means less clutter in your entertainment center and they’re also cheaper.

(Bonus: Need more help choosing the best video streaming option? We have other helpful charts that will help you make an informed decision. Click here to see the chart comparing streaming media player boxes, and here for a comparison of streaming service channel lineups.)

Here’s a chart comparing popular streaming sticks:

Roku Streaming Stick+Google Chromecast (3rd Generation)Amazon Fire TV StickGoogle Chromecast Ultra
Price$48$30$40$69
Resolution (max)1080p, 4K, HDR1080p1080pHR
Video connectionsHDMIHDMIHDMIHDMI
Audio connectionsHDMIHDMIHDMIHDMI
Other connectionsMicro-USBMicro-USBNoMicro-USB
Wired networkingNoNoNoYes
Wireless NetworkingDual-band Wi-FiDual-band Wi-FiDual-band Wi-FiDual-band Wi-Fi
Remote ControlRemote + Roku app with voice searchSmartphone, tablet or computerRemote + app; Alexa voice activated remoteSmartphone, tablet or computer
Local storageNoneNone8GBNone
Paid movies & TVNetflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Sling TV and moreNetflix, Google Play, NFL Sunday Ticket, Sling TV, Showtime Anytime, other Android and Web appsNetflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Sling TV and moreNetflix, Google Play, NFL Sunday Ticket, Sling TV, Showtime Anytime, other Android and Web apps
Free movies & TVThe Roku Channel, YouTube, Sony Crackle, Fox News, CBS News, moreTubiTV, YouTube, other Android and Web appsYouTube, TubiTV, Fox News, moreTubiTV, YouTube, other Android and Web apps
MusicPandora, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music, moreSpotify, TuneIn, Pandora, other Android and web appsAmazon Music, Vevo, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneInSpotify, TuneIn, Pandora, other Android and web apps
Other services1000+ channels including gamesGoogle Home, Stream online video from smartphones, tablets and Chrome browser on Mac or PC500,000+ movies and TV episodes; IMDB integration; FreeTime parental controlsGoogle Home, Stream online video from smartphones, tablets and Chrome browser on Mac or PC
PurchaseStream, Rent, OwnStream, Rent, OwnStream, Rent, OwnStream, Rent, Own
Roku Streaming StickGoogle ChromecastAmazon FireTV StickGoogle Chromecast Ultra
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