This morning Lucasfilm announced that the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars would be a Netflix exclusive in the US. While there are a lot of people who have Netflix (even more subscribers than HBO at one count), there are still others who haven’t jumped on the $8 a month streaming service. Now that Star Wars is heading to Netflix those people may finally have the reason to sign up, and there are the five best devices to stream Netflix in your home.
A Roku is a very small (smaller than a hockey puck) device that connects to your home network and to your TV via a HDMI cable. They come in four different configurations ranging from about $49 all the way up to $99 and each one has slightly better features over the previous one. The Roku 3, the top of the line one and the one we’d recommend, can even play games such as Angry Birds and includes USB and SD card inputs to play your own media as well as dual-band wireless. The Roku takes the top spot as a Netflix player as in addition to having the most up-to-date version of the Netflix app, the service is very open with over 1,000 various streaming channels and apps to chose from.
#2 Apple TV
A close second to the Roku would be the Apple TV. It’s the same price as a Roku 3, and has many of the same core streaming apps, but it falls behind in the openness of the Roku. You’re limited to the apps that Apple wants the device to have. It’s still a tiny streaming box that doesn’t take up any room, and if you only care about Netflix it’s a good choice, but the Roku gives you a lot more variety and options for the same price.
#3 Game Consoles
All network-connected game consoles can also access Netflix. The only difference between them is the quality of the app. The Xbox 360 had a good Netflix app, while the PS3 and PS4 use the most recent version of it and is the same one the Roku uses. The Xbox One created their own Netflix app, and most people have complained that it’s not quite as polished as Netflix’s own that the Roku and other consoles use. If you already have a game console, you’re all set to stream Star Wars on Netflix.
#4 Standalone Blu-Ray Players (or Smart TVs)
If you don’t have a game console, it’s possible your existing Blu-Ray player or even smart television will have a Netflix app. These are good alternatives if you don’t want to spend a little extra for a dedicated streaming device. The only real drawback is that the quality of the Netflix app on most of these devices is well below that of the newest version.
Finally if you’re on a budget there’s the Chromecast option. This is a small HDMI plug-in made by Google that only sets you back $35 and supports Netflix, YouTube, and now HBO Go. The only catch with the Chromecast is that it requires an existing device, be it a PC or mobile device, to “cast” the footage to your television.