Battle of the Budget Streaming Players

It’s no secret that more people are cutting their cable TV services in exchange for online streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max and Hulu. But what streaming device should you grab to plug into your television and replace your cable box?

With shopping on a budget in mind, we look at the best Roku and Fire TV streaming sticks. We compare the differences so that you can find the best streaming media stick for your home or office.

What Is a Streaming Stick?

A streaming stick, or streaming media stick, is a thumb-sized device that you can plug into your television’s HDMI port. Once plugged in and powered on, a streaming device enables you to watch your favorite shows and movies from different services.

Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV platforms are two of the most popular hardware options available. All streaming devices require active internet connections and strong Wi-Fi signals within your home to operate reliably.

Many streaming media platforms, such as Netflix and Hulu, require an active subscription. For people on a tight budget, or those who enjoy free content, we offer a roundup of the best free TV apps you can download.

Roku vs. Amazon Fire TV Streaming Sticks

What Features Do Streaming Sticks Have?

Streaming Stick Video Features Audio Features Remote

Roku Streaming Stick 4K ($49.99)

4K UHD with Dolby Vision and HDR10+

Dolby Audio Pass Through

Standard Roku remote

Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ ($69.99)

4K UHD with Dolby Vision and HDR10+

Dolby Audio Pass Through

Upgraded remote w/ headphone jack, remote finder

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite ($29.99)

1080p HD

Dolby Audio Pass Through

Simplified Fire TV remote w/o volume controls

Amazon Fire TV Stick ($39.99)

1080p HD

Dolby Atmos

Standard Fire TV remote

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K ($49.99)

4K UHD with Dolby…

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