In our house, we have three different media streaming setups:
1) Apple TV in our living room
2) Boxee box in the bedroom
3) Roku in my office
Each of these is good in their own way, and each has their short comings.
The Apple TV connects to netflix and iTunes plus lets you use AirPlay from your iOS devices which works nicely.
One of the biggest things we use the Apple TV for is the AirPlay actually, we connect via iPad or iPhone and watch movies, shows or play games. We also use it with netflix a lot, as well as watching hockey on the NHL app.
Your choice of available programming straight from the device is limited though, which is its biggest drawback.
Boxee Box also connects to netflix and also provides links to watch shows from the websites of many providers such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Global, etc. This works nicely. It also has NHL and AirPlay support, as well as a full app center with lots of apps to choose from.
But it only does 720 and it’s quite a bit slower than the Roku and Apple TV. Some of the apps also don’t come in as sharp. For example, the NHL app on Apple TV, Roku and Boxee Box, look best on Apple TV and Roku.
Roku is kind of a all-in-one kind of device. It features netflix, it also has support via its apps to stream TV shows, movies, podcasts, etc. It doesn’t have as broad a range as the Boxee does, but that isn’t its biggest drawback.
One big bonus over the other devices though is speed. Roku is Fast! You can get up and running in seconds compared to the other two boxes. It also features 1080p, which the Apple TV 3 also does but the Boxee Box does not.
Lack of AirPlay is the biggest drawback for the Roku. And one which many complain about.
So, what’s your pick of favourite media streamer?
I’d have to choose the Apple TV simply because of the AirPlay and the nice picture. Roku would be second due to speed and channel options and Boxee Box would be third.