Ah yes, it’s that time of year again where we give thanks for deeply discounted gear. Fortunately, Cyber Monday online sales provide relief from the Black Friday mall riots and we’ve spotted bargains on some of our favorite streaming boxes.
Roku, one of our perennial favorites in this category, sees a $10-$20 discount across its line. Despite a much-needed UI refresh and lack of YouTube, Roku retains the broadest selection of streaming content -including staples such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Pandora. I’d say the best bang for the buck is the Roku HD, which caps out at 720p but clocks in at a mere $40. For comparison, the competing Apple TV runs $99 and adding streaming services to an Xbox runs $60/year.
Refurbished Apple TV
Let’s say you’re deep into Apple’s ecosystem and would appreciate streaming your iTunes collection and beaming content from your iPhone to your television. And maybe you’d like one of the more polished appearing interfaces and YouTube to go along with Netflix and movie rentals. Well, the refurbished 1080p Apple TV is 15% off list at $85. Gifting a refurb might be a bit tacky, despite Apple’s full warranty and pristine hardware, so this would be best for close relatives… or yourself.
Sonos remains our favorite audio solution. It’s not inexpensive by any means, but Sonos is the most elegant and versatile whole-home audio solution, optimally controlled via smartphone and tablet, streaming your personal tunes in addition to channeling services like Pandora and Spotify. You can bring your own speakers, or use the networked models offered by Sonos. And, during Cyber Monday, Amazon is offering a $100 credit with the purchase of either a Play:5 or Play:3. If you’re new to the Sonos ecosystem, we recommend the Sonos Play:3 ($300) as a gateway drug to get started. Keep in mind you may also need the Sonos network bridge ($49) if you intend to use Sonos wirelessly.