Streaming video players spotted less at early Black Friday sales

Streaming-video players are once again in the spotlight in electronics retailers’ advance Black Friday sales—with the notable exception of Apple's device.

At Amazon, media-player deals include the Fire TV Stick for $20 and the Fire TV Stick 4K for $25, each half the usual price, and the Fire TV Recast 500 GB model for $130, 43% off the usual $230 price for that digital video recorder and media player. The Fire TV Cube, however, is only going for $30 below its $120 list price.

Best Buy is matching Amazon’s Fire TV Stick discounts and selling the Roku Streaming Stick+ 4K for $30, $20 below usual—and $10 below its lesser discount for the Roku Streaming Stick. It’s also knocking $100 off prices for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One streaming-enabled game consoles. Apple TV fans, however, will only save $10 off the $180 price for the Apple TV 4K.

Target, too, has the same discounts for the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K, although its site lists those deals as ending Wednesday.

“Of those two, the 4K Stick for $25 is definitely a better deal in my opinion,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with the price-spotting site, in an email sent by a publicist.

At Walmart, the Roku SE player, an exclusive to that retailer, is down to $18, while a Google “Smart TV Kit” combining a Google Home Mini, Chromecast and $10 credit at Walmart’s Vudu streaming-video service goes for $35, down from $64. Another bundle combines the Roku Ultra, a pair of JBL earbuds and a $5 Vudu credit for $48, $51 less than usual.

Those retailers have yet to post any Black Friday deals for Chromecasts sold alone, but Ramhold advised that Best Buy and Target will list it for $25, $10 below normal, when its Black Friday sales officially start. But she warned that shoppers hoping for a break on higher-end streaming devices will probably be disappointed.

“It feels like we're seeing less of the high-end streaming devices,” she said. “For instance, I don't remember coming across a deal for a Google Chromecast Ultra, nor have we seen any Black Friday ad deals for an Apple TV model.”

9to5Mac advised looking to Apple’s Amazon storefront for possible deals, but so far only the new 16-in. MacBook Pro, 10.2-in. iPad and Apple Watch have gone on sale. Its sibling site 9to5Toys did, however, point to a different Apple video deal: a range of movie downloads discounted by as much as 50% at Apple’s iTunes Store.