Internet-To-TV Players Compared: Roku, Apple TV, Boxee & Google TV

Looking to stream movies or television content from the internet to your TV? There are a variety of streaming media players on the market. The chart below provides an at-a-glance look at how the leaders -- Roku, Apple TV, Boxee Box and Google TV -- measure up against each other. NOTE: See our updated story: COMPARED: What You Can Watch On Google Chromecast, Apple TV & Roku After the chart, you'll find further details about the features listed, why they may be important to you, followed by links to our reviews of each product. Please note that this chart only covers how these players [...]

Programming Your DVR Made Easy: Google TV, Dish & The Logitech Revue

Google TV has taken its share of lumps since it launched in October, but it shines bright in one particular aspect, making it simple for Dish Network subscribers to find shows and program their DVRs. Below, a look at Dish integration, as well as some hands-on with the Logitech Revue version of Google TV. Background On Google TV If you're not familiar with Google TV, it's a system that allows you to search for video content across the web and across broadcast television at the same time. Currently, it's integrated into some Sony televisions, into a standalone Sony Blu-ray player and in a stan [...]

Apple TV: My First Day Review & Impressions

I've been looking at various internet-to-TV devices as part of my Life With Google TV series. I've covered Google TV, Roku & Boxee Box so far. Time for Apple TV! If you buy a lot with iTunes or have an iPhone or iPad, this is a great device. Amazing, in some ways. But the lack of Hulu and Amazon support puts it behind Roku, in my view. Real Life Testing Approach As I said with my Boxee review, my approach with these devices has been to use them as if I know nothing little-to-nothing about them. How might a typical consumer start with them, if they selected one from the several choices o [...]

Roku + Hulu Plus = Pretty Awesome

Last week, the Roku player gained support for Hulu Plus. I've been trying out the combo for the past few days, and it's pretty awesome. It further fulfills the promise of streaming TV content from the internet and back to your TV in the way that Google TV hasn't. Roku: My First Day Review & Impressions is my look at the Roku box and how it works from last month. That piece also covers Hulu Plus, a version of Hulu that allows access to more episodes that the regular Hulu offers -- for a $8 per month fee. The Hulu Plus price just dropped last week from $10 per month. Coinciding with th [...]

Clicker CEO Jim Lanzone, Busting Internet TV Myths

Is the future of "internet TV" those little boxes that are appearing everywhere? No, says Clicker CEO Jim Lanzone, who also busted a number of other net-to-TV myths, from his perspective. Lanzone gave a short address at the Web 2.0 Summit today. He oversees Clicker, which is a guide to television, movie and select other video content that's available online. Fair to say, he's been watching the space closely. And from his perspective, many people who are wondering where things may be going are getting it wrong. Why? Enter his "You know you're old if" points, as they pertain to internet TV [...]

Boxee Box: My First Day Review & Impressions

As part of my Life With Google TV series, I’ve been looking at other internet-to-TV devices. Previously, I reviewed Roku. Next up? The Boxee Box. If you're already a fan of the Boxee software service, the device might be worth it. However, it left me underwhelmed. That may improve when Netflix & Hulu Plus support finally comes. My Real Life Testing Approach I know that Boxee has legions of fans who have been using the software version for ages. If you're one of those ready to scream at me about why the Boxee Box is awesome, hang on to those thoughts for a moment. My approach with th [...]

Roku: My First Day Review & Impressions

Until recently, I'd never heard of Roku, a little box that makes it easy to download TV shows and movies through the internet, for viewing on your TV. But as part of my Life With Google TV series, I'm looking at other internet-to-TV devices. Roku is pretty cool, and a no brainer for anyone who often uses Netflix or Amazon rentals, I'd say. It's forthcoming Hulu support makes it even more attractive. Roku and Google TV are similar in that they bring video content from the internet to your television. But that's where the similarities end. Google TV an ambitious attempt to let you search for [...]

Life With Google TV: Watching, But Not Finding, Free Caprica Episodes On The Web

My Life With Google TV series continues. Yesterday's test: how well could Google TV locate free (and legitimate) episodes of Caprica on the web? Answer: not very well. But once I found them the old fashioned way, Google TV did make it pretty easy to watch them on the "big" screen of my TV, versus my laptop. I always seems to be missing episodes of new TV shows when a season begins. The promise of Google TV is that wherever a TV show might exist legitimately -- be it pay-per-view, broadcast TV or on the web -- Google TV will locate it. Looking For Caprica Using Google TV Yesterday, I tried [...]

A Tour Of How Networks Have Blocked Google TV From Their Web Content

After less than a week since its release, three of America's largest television networks have started blocking Google TV users from watching video content on their web sites. Sort of. While ABC and CBS keep Google TV viewers out, as does Hulu, NBC actually still seems to let them in. Below, a visual look at the blocked world of Google TV. Google TV & Network Content Before doing the blocking tour, I think some basics are in order. For one, none of the networks are blocking Google TV users from accessing broadcast television. You can still go to ABC, CBS and NBC directly to watch over-the [...]

Life With Google TV: My First Day Review & Impressions

Google TV has finally arrived, not just for pre-order but as an actual device you can get in a retail store. And so I did, hitting Best Buy yesterday and walking out with a Sony Blu-ray player that is Google TV-capable. Here are my impressions, after my first day -- well, first evening -- with Google TV. What Google TV Devices Are Out There? If you're interested in Google TV right now, or in the very near future, you have one of three options: Sony Internet TV (24" through 46" and $600 to $1,400) Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Player (a set-top box, not an actual TV, $400) Logitech Rev [...]

Playing With YouTube Leanback On Google TV: Nice!

Today at YouTube, I had a chance to play briefly with YouTube Leanback, best described as a way to channel surf YouTube on your regular TV. It was pretty cool. Here's my quick impressions and a short video of it in action. I tested out Leanback on one of the new Sony televisions that are equipped with Google TV. The Google TV-capable Sonys go on sale tomorrow online through the Sony web site, and YouTube has spruced up Leanback in anticipation of this. Leanback is a core part of Google TV. It's meant to bring YouTube to your television seemlessly. Leanback allows you to easily flip throu [...]

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