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a friend of mine wants to have a cheap device added to his TV to get free TV stations.  I use prime but that cost and you get extras.  what is the cheapest and best device to add to a TV

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forgot to add, don't want to be like a browser would prefer something application based

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Roku

or

A old laptop or PC

or

chromecast if the person already have a android tablet or phone.

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roku express for $35
Comes with a Remote
Or
Google Chrome Cast for $30
Uses an android device for controls.

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ridn4free said:   a friend of mine wants to have a cheap device added to his TV to get free TV stations. 
 

  An Antenna...

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Roku Stick. It's cheap, easy and had tons of free content.

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his big interest is the history channel, it looks like you have to have a provider now.  is there a cheap provider that allows you to buy it standalone or is this another cable overreach?  I got youtube loaded and there is plenty there but it would be nice to get this to him easier

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History channel offers some limited content for free when using their smart phone app which pairs great with ruku or chromecast.

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I bought a Roku SE refurbished last year for $25 and it's been terrific - while some reviews complain it is slow (maybe compared to a Roku 3 or AppleTV at 3x-8x more expensive), I don't find it that way. It's a lot faster, easier to navigate, and better overall video experience than trying to access those online providers through either a Samsung or Sony Blu-Ray player. In the past two months, I've seen deals on the Roku SE for as little as $15 refurbished.

I've got an original Chromecast and I don't like it - I find the whole having to do videos through my phone then casting them onto the Chromecast to display onto my TV is a bit convoluted and slow, seems like I get better resolution with the Roku, plus Chromecasts aren't compatible with Amazon video without some sort of work-around that did not seem particularly easy at first glance.

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Sling includes the History channel in their basic package for $20 and you can watch it on any roku.

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Maybe you might know someone with too many smart tv devices that's ready to let one go... I'm pretty much at that point where I would hand one to a friend of family member.

I have way too many "Smart TV" devices in my house now. WDTV, Roku, Chromecast, AppleTV, FireStick, Playstation 3+4 (with smart tv aps), BluRay (with smart tv apps). Only 3 TV's for all of that and one of them is already a smart TV. I use the roku mostly for internet apps and the WDTV for playing files off a memory stick. Biggest issue with my roku is that the batteries drain fast on the remote.

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