HDMI "stick" recommendation

Anyone has a recommendation on a stick to use? My TV has the Netflix app, I’d like something to stream Tablo, and if I can stream Amazon video as well, it’s a bonus.

Roku appears to be cheaper for me than the Fire.

Please state why you would recommend that one over any other.


I have the current generation FireTV stick and can tell you it works very well (the first gen is too slow to enjoy using, but the current gen is very good).
I have multiple Roku 3s and a Roku 4 and can also recommend them, but I don’t own a Roku stick. The reviews I’ve read indicate that the Roku stick is a very good device as well.

The advantage to Roku as an ecosystem over FireTV is that Roku has every app made for a streaming device, and the FireTV has most of the apps, but because of the way Amazon does business, it doesn’t have Google Play as an example. This only becomes an issue if it doesn’t have an app you want, as it has all the major ones I can think of.

Thanks Chris! The only thing missing for us is Tablo and Amazon Video. Netflix and YouTube is built in the Philips TV. I want a stick as the TV is hung on a wall and don’t want more cables. Otherwise I could add an unused Apple TV and we would be happy. So in short, I don’t care much about other apps other than the Tablo.

I’m leaning toward Amazon Fire stick from the comments I heard so far, plus I’d be able to stream the videos Amazon offers with Prime.


I have both of our TVs hooked with Amazon Firestick 2nd Gen… It works really well with Tablo… I was gonna’ get Roku but decided to get Firestick coz’ of Kodi and Amazon prime… One good thing about Roku though is it supports Tablo locally when you don’t have internet… It’s something to think about too… Goodluck!

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@j0nTblo Ah… that’s a good point. The Fire needs internet no matter what? Ok, so wifi access not sufficient, the app needs internet access. Thanks!

Only to “find” your Tablo…the streaming will still be across your LAN. Same as using a web browser for Tablo viewing. But the Roku only needs a LAN connection to view your Tablo, so that is something in favor of Roku.

Just in case you aren’t aware, you can stream Amazon Prime with Roku as well - works great in fact.

You might find that once you use either FireTV or Roku, you’ll never use the built in Phillips apps again. The dedicated streamer apps are almost always more up to date and from my experience are faster to use, plus you’ll have one stop shopping to all your apps.

And one last thought, just be aware you’ll need a power source for the streaming stick - and at least with the FireTV stick, it will complain about not having sufficient power if plugged directly into the USB port of a TV…it wants whatever the amps are from the included wall wart.

I have both a Roku3 and Amazon FireStick connected in my living. I never use my Roku anymore. Fast forwarding in the Amazon app is 100 times better than the Roku.

I received a Wifi only Roku Express for pre-paying 2 months of Sling TV. It works just as good as my ethernet Fire TV. Someone mentioned that the Roku has all apps ever conceived by mankind. Not true. There is no DirecTV Now app for the Roku at this time.

The key phrase is “at this time”. It is well known that an app is in the works.

So they’ve been saying. Hopefully it won’t be much longer for DTVNow subscribers.

Thanks or everyone’s answers. I see that the power rating of the adapter is 5W. Has anyone been able to use successfully the fire stick with 5v @ 500mA ? Perhaps with a shorter cable? Otherwise, is there any way to draw power from an HDMI port? I have 2 HDMIs and won’t use the second.

Roku sticks are happy with the HDMI’s port power, no need for external power?


The current gen uses USB for power…

From Roku’s website:
The Streaming Stick requires an HDTV with HDMI® input. For the best experience, we recommend you power your Streaming Stick with the included wall mount power adapter.

Also, from Roku’s quick start guide:
USB may not work with all TVs

This is true if it is just a regular USB port. Newer TVs often have a special high powered USB Port meant for charging/powering devices like the FireTV Stick. My ViewSonic projector has one and I have my FireTV Stick connected to the projector and powered via the high-powered USB with absolutely no issues. So much more convenient since my projector isn’t in a convenient location near a wall outlet - it is enough of a pain to run the projector’s cord across the room, nice to not need to plug in the streaming stick.

I prefer the Tablo interface on the FireTV to the Roku interface. If you are a Prime member, the FireTV makes accessing Prime and your account content really easy. If you are not an Amazon customer, then it would be annoying to have to look at all the Amazon stuff all the time. I do agree with others that it is annoying that the FireTV interface will not even load if there is no Internet connection, though. That is the one thing I would really like to see changed.

Good to know… Makes sense to add that functionality​ given the proliferation of streaming sticks.

Thanks @Vonda_Z. If the TV only provides what I expect to be 500mA, both sticks would give me issues. I will see if I can manage to get power from either Ethernet or HDMI port. I can try to make myself a cable to USB male, and use a Y cable to combine the power. Or face the obvious… run another darn cable down the wall. If I can find a cheap Fire stick, I’ll order one and try it.