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  • Holiday Entertainment Device Guide: To Stream or Not?
Technology Articles > Entertainment > Home Theatres > Holiday Entertainment Device Guide: To Stream or Not?

Shopping for a home entertainment center this holiday season? There are a lot of good options out there - and some that aren't so great at all. To make things a bit easier, I've chosen some of the best home entertainment consoles and devices on the current market - I'd go with one of these!

Apple TV

Apple TV has been around for a few years now, and it's easily the simplest option available.

With Apple TV you can choose from:

Items in the Apple Store
Hulu Plus

You can also store all content in your current iTunes store in the cloud, and Apple TV is really simple to use. Movie rentals are also reasonably priced.

Price: $89.99

Roku LT Box

Where there's an Apple TV review, there's a Roku review too. The closest box to the Apple TV box that you'll find is the Roku streaming device. Roku's option is almost identical to what Apple offers, in fact. The difference here is that the Roku box has more streaming options and selections.

With Roku You Will Get:

Amazon Cloud Player
Amazon Instant

Obviously, the biggest pull here is Amazon. If it's a toss-up between Roku and Apple TV and you don't have any other Apple devices, Roku wins the battle.

Price: $50

Google Chromecast

There's no way you haven't been seeing a ton of commercials for Google's Chromecast over the past few weeks, right? What is it? It's basically a USB key that lets you watch your Google Play content directly on your TV. So, if you have an Android device and your'e devoted to what's available via Play, Chromecast is the answer.

Plus - Chromecast is super cheap at just $35.

The Sonos Play 1

The Sonos Play 1 is not a streaming device. It is, instead, a speaker. Sonos makes some great speakers, though, so you can expect decent sound to come from this home audio option.

Sonos supports:


This speaker doesn't support iTunes Radio, though, so keep that in mind if you want to hook it up to iTunes.

Price: $198

Best Choices

If you're looking for a streaming option, choose the Apple TV if you have an iOS setup or devices at home. If you are more of an Android fan, the Roku streaming device is the way to go. If you want sound that can stream from a number of sources, it's best to go with a solid audio option like the Sonos Play 1.

As you can tell, it depends on what you really want in an entertainment piece. For my money, I'd chose Chromecast over Apple TV or Roku if I were a Google Play fan. If not, I might be swayed by all that Roku offers with Amazon - and Apple TV comes in a close third. Shop according to your needs first, and then consider price when it comes to streaming entertainment devices - and don't count out new gaming consoles, too, if you happen to be a gamer!