Cyber Monday Streaming Deals

Dave Zatz —  November 26, 2012


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 HD
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 Play:3
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.

12 responses to Cyber Monday Streaming Deals

  1. holy crap Dave, you sure are hung up on this youtube roku thing. its not THAT important.

  2. For you and I, it may be unimportant. But for a huge segment of folks it is very important and they should know the situation pre-purchase. I’m more personally concerned that Comcast continues to block HBO GO on Roku.

  3. I know I am always surprised when I go to show something on my mom’s Roku and it doesn’t have Youtube.

    I keep debating on picking up a Roku for Streaming, but I just don’t think I would use it. I also don’t like the remote. I really hope the next TiVo is 100x better when it comes to streaming while also adding more apps.

    Even though I know it will never happen, I keep hoping someone will offer streaming that allows you to control the buffer size. I want something that lets you jump around as easily as if it was a local recording.

  4. I wish Microsoft would fix the youtube app on xbox. Mine is on a wired connection with FiOS and the videos stop to buffer pretty much every other minute. It’s unwatchable.

  5. Yeah, YouTube is either a must-have or a don’t care. I personally rarely use it, but my kids use it almost every day. And it would be great if they could watch YouTube via the Roku, freeing up a compuyer / iPad screen for other uses.

  6. How do you get the $100 Amazon credit?

  7. Basically, you place the order and about a month later you’ll have a $100 credit applied to your account. Details here:

  8. Cool, thanks Dave I just ordered another Play3

  9. Big fan of Roku, not very bothered by lack of YouTube – so many YT videos look really bad on a big screen TV.

    Though with the new “pro-am” channels, the absence will be more notable.

  10. Oh well, bought a Roku 2 XS a while back, hoping this time its MKV support will be adequate for full 1080i rips of Top Gear when it resumes in January. Last time the expected MKV support turned out NOT to be so good, and lots of rips didn’t work at all. So I could have waited for this since I haven’t even gotten around to installing the thing (I use the Apple TV and TiVo for most things honestly, barely use the Roku at all so far). Oh well.

  11. I have a TiVo, an Apple TV, and just recently picked up a Roku.

    They’re all good at their own things but a little lacking otherwise.

    TiVo is great for recording TV. TiVo sucks at any other kind of app like Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu. With all of them the loading/interface is just too slow. With Amazon you get weird glitches in the video.

    Apple TV is great for getting to my movies, TV shows, Cartoons, podcasts, etc. that I store in iTunes. I don’t know why but they way that they handle TV Shows makes little sense and, when you transfer to them to your iPhone/iPad it just becomes a weird jumble. I like it’s Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, etc. interfaces.

    I finally picked up a Roku out of curiosity but it does have it’s place. It’s great for HBOGO, Amazon, vudu, and streaming weird channels or something like TWiT. The Netflix interface is pretty good, too, just a little different from Apple. Some of the channels, even from well-known entities, are pretty crappy. I think the Flickr channel on Apple is a good bit better than Roku. There are some channels like Flixster that are just movie trailers. I look at it and think, “Why not just allow me to put in my local ZIP and then show me some local/favorited theaters?” It doesn’t. Neither do the MoviePhone or Fandango apps. All they are are movie trailers.

    Much like there are a ton of junk podcasts on Apple, there are also a ton of junk channels on Roku. It’s like these little boxes have really opened up the world of sucky public access TV.

  12. While my streaming needs seem to be covered by my Bluray player and Xbox, I’ve been thinking about picking up a Roku. My Xbox is of 2006 vintage it sounds like a jet engine, so it’d be nice to have something silent to watch ESPN or HBO Go with.