If you want to add streaming internet to your TV (or switching altogether from cable or satellite) there are at least two units to consider. One is the AppleTV which is quite familiar to most while the other is Roku, a newer device which may be more suitable for many users. So we thought we'd take a moment to consider both.
Let's start first with WHY you might want to consider streaming TV. More and more, people no longer hurry to their TVs to catch their favorite program in real time. Instead, they will record the programming to view later at their convenience. VCRs and, later, DVRs made that possible and popular. Now however, with so many downloading their programming via streaming internet, the DVR may become less and less relevant.
Roku's head, Anthony Wood, forecasts, "Within four years I would say that the majority of TVs will stream over the Internet versus cable and satellite.... It is inevitable that all TV is going to be delivered over the Internet."
If that is true, then let's consider two such streaming devices currently making waves.
We'll start with AppleTV, an Editor's Choice from CNet.com. The Apple TV is a tiny streaming box for $99 that lets you stream all of the movies and TV shows available in the iTunes Store to your HDTV on a rental or purchase basis, with purchases stored in the cloud. Netflix, MLB.TV, Hulu Plus, and a handful of other online media services are available, plus music, videos, and photos can be streamed from iOS devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) using AirPlay. Those who've already invested in iTunes content and Apple hardware will find the Apple TV to be an indispensable living-room companion, and it's an excellent streaming-video box for non-Apple folks as well.