The newest must-have items for tech-savvy multi-taskers are Internet-connected multimedia devices that stream content to users’ HDTVs — and beyond. We’re talking movies, music, videos, pictures, and even full-blown websites, all from the comfort of your living room.
Check out these four boxes that will hook you up with all the HD entertainment you need.
- Apple TV
If you’re way into iTunes and everything Apple, then Apple TV is perfect for you. Connect it to your HDTV, and you’re ready to stream content from your computer or stream movies and TV shows straight from the Web (via iTunes). Of course, you can also access Netflix and YouTube, so you’ve got tons of entertainment options. (And the $99 price is certainly nothing to scoff at).
- Logitech Revue with Google TV
While Apple TV restricts you mostly to the Apple universe, Google TV brings the entire Internet to your television set. In addition to standard fare like YouTube, Netflix, and Pandora streaming, Google TV also has a full web browser built in, giving you access to any web page — from the comfort of your couch. The Logitech Revue includes a super-handy full keyboard with a built-in trackpad and navigational buttons, giving you all the power and control you need. Oh, and did I mention Twitter integration? You can watch TV, find shows to record, and tweet about it, all at the same time.
It’s one thing to stream content between your computer and TV. It’s something else entirely when you can watch everything you want wherever you want. Slingbox integrates itself into your TV, set-top cable box, or satellite system, and lets you stream anything to your computer, your cell phone, even your iPad. The best part: You can instantly stream anything, whether it’s recorded content from your DVR, or live TV, all via the Internet.
Boxee is a catch-all of Internet multimedia. If your favorite TV shows are available for free online, Boxee will find them for you. If you’re feeling a little more cinematic, you can watch movies with Boxee via Netflix’s Watch Instantly or Vudu’s movie rentals. There are even apps available for your Boxee box, including Pandora, Flickr, Facebook, and Vimeo.