Video streaming isn't just a luxury anymore. Many players will be discounted sharply, offering access to the wide array of new series.
If you’re scheming to bring video streaming into your home, this Black Friday will have you beaming.
Not only have prices come down since the once-luxury devices hit the market a few years ago, but competition is fierce, says DealNews.com.
Major players, including Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire, offer models that will sell for as low as $20, says the bargain-scouring site and Money Talks News partner. Look for limited discounts on feature-packed, 4K versions from Roku and Apple TV that support ultra high definition and will still sell for under $200, it says.
If you’re not familiar with streaming, basically it’s using a small box or even smaller memory stick to bring TV shows, movies, games and other entertainment over the Internet to your HDTV, usually with your Wi-Fi connection. They’re popular with cable cord-cutters, but you do need an Internet service provider. The box needs to be plugged into electricity on one end and into your television’s HDMI input at the other end. (HDMI cables, if needed, usually are sold separately.)
Use the remote that comes with the player to sort through content from thousands of channels, apps and games — some free, others requiring subscriptions or per-episode payments. Popular services include Amazon Prime, NetFlix (“Orange is the New Black,” “House of Cards”), Hulu, HBO Go and Sling.
Among the newest streaming players to the market at the low end is the Roku SE (Special Edition), which will sell at a special price of $25 on Black Friday at many retailers, including Wal-Mart. Regularly priced at $50, the model offers 1080p playback over Wi-Fi. Its remote is identical to the Roku 1.
The new, high-end Roku 4 lists for $129.99 but is expected by DealNews to be offered around $115 on Black Friday. It supports 4K pictures and includes voice search, a headphone jack and more interactive programs that, for example, can bring you news of your favorite actor. If you’re not ready for 4K, a $99 Roku 3, which has most of the 4’s other features, is expected to sell for $75 or less on Black Friday.
DealNews expects the recently introduced fourth generation Apple TV to be discounted just $10 or $15 for its 32 GB model (list $149) or the 64 GB version ($199 list), and possibly paired with gift cards. The third generation Apple TV, it predicts, will be marked down to $50 on Black Friday, a $19 savings over its current list price.
The Amazon Fire TV, which DealNews says is a match for the new Apple TV but without access to the iTunes store for content, likely will see its price dropped to $75 from $99 on Black Friday. An updated Fire Stick, which will include voice control, will be marked down to $20 on Black Friday, or less than half its $49.99 regular price.
Google’s recently upgraded Chromecast 2, which lets you use your smartphone as a TV remote, lists for $35, but DealNews expects Black Friday markdowns to $25.
Besides Wal-Mart, most of the bargains will be found on Amazon, DealNews says, but it advises shoppers to keep an eye out for similar sales at Best Buy and Staples.
As Black Friday approaches, follow these tips to save top dollar:
- We’ll offer more information on specific stores for the best deals. So if you’re not already getting our updates, subscribe now.
- Remember when shopping online to always start with a rebate site. They can automatically earn you 3 to 15 percent. Our favorite is Ebates. Click the link, create a free account, get money back whenever you buy online.
- Meanwhile, Amazon is already rolling out its Black Friday deals on a daily basis. Click here to explore.
What’s your plan for shopping on and around Black Friday? Share with us in comments or on our Facebook page.