Tag Archives: cable

Set-Top Debate: Boxee vs Roku vs Apple TV

Streaming content in your home is quickly becoming much more than just a fad. People are cutting the cord in favor of set-top boxes such as Roku, Apple TV and Boxee. Using a device such as this gives the consumer more control over the content they can watch as well as being more cost-effective than traditional cable or satellite television connections. The question is, though, which box is right for your home? The three major players – Roku, Boxee and Apple TV – have many things in common. However, you’ll be surprised at how the differences between them can sway your purchasing decision.

Both the Roku and the Apple TV boxes can be purchased for under one hundred dollars, while the new Boxee model will set you back two hundred smackers. However, the Boxee alternative has quite a bit more to offer. At this point in time, Apple and Roku have some catching up to do in the content delivery department. Boxee now offers both Netflix and Vudu for your viewing pleasure. With Vudu, you can purchase movies on-demand – the same day they are released on DVD even – at a cost of $2.00 for two nights. Stream your favorite Internet content and connect with your Twitter and Facebook account in order to get suggestions from your friends. Additionally, personal recommendations will be sent straight to your television, based on your previous viewing choices. The unit is Flash 10.1 compatible, another feature the others don’t offer. There are more than 400 apps at this time, offering you third-party content distribution choices you haven’t even begun to think of. The remote control is double-sided, offering both a browsing experience and a full QWERTY keyboard. There’s an SD card slot and two USB ports built in.

The Roku box offers Netflix and Hulu, movie rental and purchases and even popular sports packages. There are more than fifty channels at this time – including Amazon video service. Stream your iTunes collection without a computer connection or tune in to your favorite online radio stations such as Pandora. The unit is capable of viewing YouTube and Flickr content, much as the others are. There is also a USB port which allows you to view media on your favorite USB stick.

Apple TV has a partnership with both FOX and ABC, allowing you to access your favorite shows for .99 per episode. If you want to watch an entire season, though, it could end up costing you quite a lot. This unit also offers Netflix, YouTube and Flickr access. Movies will cost you $2.99 or $3.00 for HD versions. There is one Micro USB slot and the cool remote allows you to access your iPod touch, iPad or iPhone with the press of a button. That in itself is seriously cool. Have you tried playing Angry Birds on the big screen yet?

Even though the Boxee set-top box has more to offer at this point in time, don’t count the Roku and Apple TV out just yet. I’m sure we will be seeing revisions to both machines sometime this year. Competition in this market is fierce, and I have a feeling that we’ll see even better features coming in the new versions.

Are you using a set-top box in your home? Which model do you own, and what do you prefer about it?

Do You Love Broadband?


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Ars Technica reported that 23% of U.S. households don’t have Internet anywhere in the house? Why not? many people just don’t see the need for this “Internet” thing at all. Really? Lamarr thinks broadband should just be something in the house like electricity, water, and heat service so that it’s just normal to have.

The largest reason is listed as a lack of interest in the Internet, with cost being second. Stop spending so much money on dinners out and get yourself online instead. Broadband should be a required utility in the house like water or heat.

How can someone not want to be connected to the Internet? The world is out there. You can find everything online. Don’t you want to expand your mind and your opportunities?

Do you think these 23% are living in the dark ages, are ignorant, or are they on to something? Maybe the Internet causes more problems than it’s worth. I’m just playing Devil’s Advocate here; leave a comment below.

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Save on Holiday Shopping with Griffin

Yes, it’s nearly that time of year. Heck, I know people who are already finished with their holiday shopping! . I’ve long been a fan of (and supporter for) Griffin Technology. Not only do they have a wide array of products for most of your mobile devices, the products look great and work well. I use a Griffin case and screen protector much of the time on my devices. I have excellent news for those of you who tend to buy gifts late in December. Griffin has graciously extended an excellent coupon offer to everyone in our community!

Use coupon code PIRILLO1510 when ordering from Griffin, and you will save 15% off of your entire order – AND you will receive free standard shipping! This offer runs October 1st, 2010 through December 31st 2010.

Griffin offers a wide array of products, ranging from cases and stands to power solutions and cables. One of the coolest things I have ever seen may be of great interest to you this holiday season: the Woogie. A Woogie is an adorable (and durable) solution when letting your toddler or youngster handle your mobile device.

Woogie is 50% stuffed animal (for your kids) and 50% protective case (for your iPhone or iPod touch), and 100% fun! A protective pocket velcroes shut to hold your iPhone or iPod touch secure, while a touch-through screen protector lets you choose movies, apps, or music for your child. Woogie’s built-in speaker is powered by 2 (included) AAA batteries, or you can plug in headphones (we prefer MyPhones of course). And Woogie’s six arms (or are they legs?) tuck under to prop it up for viewing, or to sit comfortably in your child’s lap.

What an awesome way to let your kids enjoy the content they want to interact with while you have the peace of mind to know your device is safe!

Don’t forget to take advantage of the great Griffin offer before the end of the year.