News Nov 29, 2015 11:19 PM EST

Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku or Chromecast: Which media streaming device is the best holiday gift?

By Staff Writer

The standalone media streaming devices would make great gifts for friends or family members who enjoys watching TV shows and movies. There are many choices of the streaming devices available now, including the new Apple TV, the updated Amazon Fire TV, the redesigned Chromecast, and the Roku 4.

An Apple TV is ideal for anyone who already owns plenty of Apple gadgets. A review on CNet  mentioned that Apple TVs are for people who live in Apple's ecosystem. The device is compatible for the movies bought in Apple iTunes. The users are also able to send almost anything from an iPhone or iPad to their TVs.

A new Apple TV offers a faster processor, Siri voice and gesture control, and Bluetooth touchscreen remote with an accelerometer and gyro for gesture-based controls and games. It starts at $150 on price for a 32GB version and $200 for the 64GB.

Like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick is for someone who lives with the company's ecosystem. It offers Amazon contents faster than any other devices that have an Amazon app. The Fire TV Stick is great for travelers as it can connect to Wi-Fi portals that need a web browser for access like in a hotel. Amazon Fire TV's price starts at $100. There is also gaming edition priced at $140.

Google's Chromecast is the best gift choice if budget is a concern. Priced at $35, the redesigned Chromecast offers dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and three-antenna array in a circular shape design with some eye-catching color choices. Unlike other devices, Chromecast requires smartphones or tablets to run. It works with iOS and Android devices.  

Chromecast is ideal for the person who wants to share anything from their phone or laptop, such as YouTube video, with TV audience.

According to The Globe and Mail, it takes about five minutes to set up Chromecast and start watching Netflix. It also runs with any other streaming apps like Twitch, Vevo, and Haystack TV.

A review from Consumer Reports mentioned that Roku 4 player is one of the best streaming devices. It offers a great interface, an agnostic take on service that doesn't favor one over others, and the widest assortment of content available. It has the most current version of HDMI for 4K model which is not supported by Amazon's Fire TV.

Roku series are ideal for almost anyone, especially those who use pretty much every service and UltraViolet video. It supports great video services including Netflix and Amazon, but doesn't support movies from iTunes. Roku's prices start at $65.

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