Roku vs. Boxee vs. Apple TV

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Difference between Roku, Boxee and Apple TV

Streaming entertainment isn't exactly the de facto standard that a few of the more enthusiastic proponents claimed it was going to be, but there is no denying that business is on the rise. Names such as Roku, Boxee, and Apple TV have staked out claims across households across the country, bringing streaming to the masses. Which provider should you go for? Let's take a look!

Boxee
Apple TV

What Is It?

Roku is a digital video player that is also known in the company’s product line as the Netflix Player. Its main purpose is to stream movies from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand over Internet lines to your television.

Boxee is a combination of services that provide you with a single platform for accessing photos, music and video from your computer hard drive. In addition, Boxee also allows you to access streaming content from services such as Netflix, YouTube, CNN.com and many other sites so that you can view them from your television.

Apple TV is the most established of the lot, having been among the first to offer streaming services for television via a set-top box. This service offers 99-cent TV program rentals from companies such as ABC and Fox.

Advantages

According to the company, Roku can be installed so easily that even a child can do it. This is actually true in practice, and the easy to understand manual helps things along considerably. The unit is also equipped with Wi-For instance, which means that no adapter is necessary. The unit is also quite compact, and takes up very little space.

Boxee doesn't actually require, after all, a box, and content can be downloaded directly to your desktop. Boxee is a great choice for those who are keen to explore the social-networking side of entertainment, since it allows you to update your Twitter, Tumblr and FriendFeed accounts automatically. You also have a lot of opportunity to personalize your viewing experience.

Apple TV is actually the second incarnation of the company’s online video effort, and it has the advantage of a much lower price than its predecessor. In addition, the service offers 99-cent TV program rentals from companies such as ABC and Fox.

Disadvantages

The main drawback to Roku is that it has a fairly limited selection. In addition, the service is also prone to buffering delays when the fast-forward and rewind controls are used.

Boxee for its part is hindered by incompatibility with PCs, since they work only with Mac and Linux systems. Also, the free online video service Hulu has since blocked Boxee from its site, a move that many people fear will be followed by other providers.

The biggest drawback to Apple TV is, interestingly enough, one of its selling points: the $.99 television show rentals from ABC and Fox. While this offer may seem pretty good, Amazon Video on Demand actually sells the same videos for the same price.

Similarities and Differences

Roku

  • Also known in the company’s product line as the Netflix Player
  • Allows you to stream movies from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand

Boxee

  • Provides you with a single platform for accessing photos, music and video from your computer hard drive
  • Allows you to access streaming content from services such as Netflix, YouTube, CNN.com

Apple TV

  • Offers 99-cent TV program rentals from companies such as ABC and Fox

Which app is most fun to use?
  • Roku
  • Boxee
  • Apple TV
 
 

Discuss It: comments 2

  • Guest
  • Jim Baugh wrote on November 2010

I just connected me old computer, which is the same thing as these so called entertainment devices, and that way I save a bajillion dollars.

  • Guest
  • me wrote on December 2010

um, it is completely incorrect when you say "Boxee for its part is hindered by incompatibility with PCs, since they work only with Mac and Linux systems." Boxee is just a program. It comes in a Windows version as well. I think your research was incomplete.

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