Roku 3

by Roku

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SlingTV

by Sling Media

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Chromecast

by Google

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Plair

by Plair Media

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Price Best Price: $99.00
Best Price: $35.00
Pros
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Great video quality if you have a solid broadband connection
  • Low cost
  • Cross-platform: works with Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Mac, and Windows
  • Lets you put nearly any online video on your TV
  • Small form factor, very portable
  • Plays media directly from the Internet to your HDTV
  • Setup is simple when it works
Cons
  • Gallery doesn't feel fully formed
  • No iOS setup at launch, but Google says it's coming
  • Crashes and errors if your Wi-Fi network isn't fast enough
  • Native app support limited to Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Music, and Google Play Movies & TV at first, but an SDK will let developers add support to more apps
  • iOS app can be buggy
  • Crashing required unplugging device
  • Doesn't work with Netflix, Hulu, and other sites
  • Odd shape can make it hard to plug in
At A Glance

The Roku 3 is a worthy successor to the 2 XS, with faster Wi-Fi, a headphone jack on the remote, and other hardware tweaks. Plus, it ushers in a much-improved user interface.

The SlingTV offers the same great place-shifting experience as the half-priced M1, but the added features here don't warrant the extra cash.

It needs more Android and iOS app support, but at just $35 the Chromecast is already a great value for YouTube junkies, Netflix aficionados, and cross-platform households.