The latest player in the Internet-to-your-TV world is the Boxee Box by D-Link. This Linux-based set-top device and media extender is likely to put up a fair fight in the face of some big name competition including Apple TV, Sony Internet TV (armed with Google TV) and Logitech Revue (also running Google TV).
The biggest difference between the Boxee Box and Apple TV, however, is the available content. While Apple TV offers streaming content from providers such as iTunes, Netfilx, ABC and FOX, it is a pay-per-view system, kind of video rental store in your lounge room. At 99c per TV episode or US$3.99 per feature film this detracts from the cheaper initial cost of the device (US$99), which is half that of the Boxee Box ($199).
While the D-Link Boxee Box also offers content from providers such as NetFlix and VUDU, it connects users to a wider range of Internet content, bringing it together in an easy to access package. As well as providing access to online video sites including MUBI, OpenFilm, IndieMoviesOnline, and EZTakes, it also provides access to a library of around 40,000 TV episodes and live content from providers such as BBC and Major League Baseball (MLB).
The Boxee Box will also support most file formats and with multiple USB ports it can easily be connected to an external storage device for uploading or storing files, while the remote with a QWERTY keyboard on the back provides more functionality than the Apple TV remote.
Google TV also lets you to access pay-per-view content at sites such as NetFlix and Amazon On Demand. The Google TV browser also offers the same level of access to free content as the Boxee Box but comes with some interesting extra features. One cool feature of the Google TV devices is the ability to use your Android phone or iPhone as the remote. You can also “Fling” Internet content from your phone to the TV. The advantage of the Boxee Box is the simplicity of the browser. Tell it what you want to watch and it does all the hard work for you. But then you don't get the freedom of being able to use it as a traditional web browser which is a big disadvantage.
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