9 Comments

Summary:

The holiday season is coming, whether you want it or not – and with it, we’ll see a ton of new gadgets and gizmos to bring web video to the TV screen. Here’s what we want to know: Who is going to sell more boxes this season?

battle of the boxes

The holiday season is coming, whether you like it or not — and with it, we’ll see a ton of new gadgets and gizmos to bring web video to the TV screen. Apple recently released its Apple TV, Sony is shipping its Google TV-powered Internet TVs this week. Boxee is getting ready to finally deliver its Boxee boxes, and Logitech wants us to pick up one of those Revue set-top boxes. And then there’s the new Roku box, plus a whole army of additional media streamers from companies like Seagate and WD.

Now, we all have our personal favorites. I recently explained here why I pre-ordered the Boxee box, and my colleague Ryan Lawler countered that he won’t buy one. We also opined on the price point of the Logitech Revue and Apple TV’s feature set.

However, all of this may matter little to the folks running down to their local Best Buy on December 24 to pick up a last-minute present. Which is why we want to know: Who is going to sell more boxes this holiday season, and who is going to win the public opinion vote? Will it be Apple, aided by a cheap price point and a few weeks headstart? Or maybe Roku, thanks to Hulu Plus and an even cheaper price? Or will Sony reign supreme, just because people really don’t want any more boxes in their living room?

Please vote on the poll below, and feel free to chime in in the comments!

For more on the battle of the boxes, make sure to check out the program of our NewTeeVee Live conference, coming up on November 10!

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  1. Jeremy Campbell Saturday, October 16, 2010

    I think that Apple TV looks the strongest right now with the low price, but if Google TV can get their prices down then it could be a close battle. Roku and Boxee are doing well also so it’s a pretty competitive space at the moment. Which is ultimately the best case scenario for consumers!

  2. Arnold Waldstein Saturday, October 16, 2010

    For the mass market my bet is on AppleTV this year. I just bought one and its super simple, works seemlessly, with a beautiful interface. With AirPlay, you can get around the content limitation by streaming anything from your network.

    But…personally, I’m waiting for my Boxee Box.

    I’m not a believer that Google can play well here. They don’t understand the mass market and have no sense of social. I don’t get where their market is.

  3. Once people understand the long term cost of owning an Apple , ie renting virtually all the content, versus what you have access to on either the Boxee box or Google system I can’t see Apple staying ahead.

    With that said, the Boxee box had better work a lot better with Hulu, Netfilx, and other outside sites than my current Bixee software software does or they will have many unhappy customers. Something they cannot afford at thus point.

    The freedom and flexibility that both the Boxee ecosystem and the Google ecosystem offer customers beats Apple’s closed system, Roku’s limited system along with the rest.

    When you can go buy a Atom chip wireless keyboard computer dedicated for a tv for $250-$350 and have the entire web at your disposal, what I think your buying from Google, Boxee, or any new entrants is interface, interface, interface!

    Who makes it easy to use and logical to use without needing to ve a geek will win the battle.

    I don’ t think this years Christmas sales even matter much. Now 2011… It’s winner take all.

  4. how bout HTPC winning this contest – No other box has everything under 1 roof !!

  5. Who wins? We win! More boxes mean more selection for each one of our individual usage patterns. You can see by the amount of discussion each Set Top Box post raises that there is not one solution to solve our need for TV.

  6. Roku should win. Though sadly, it will never be able to compete with the ad spend and marketing powers of Apple and Google.

    But, Roku by far and large beats Apple and Google and Boxee right now, and will do so for a while.

    It’s tiny (just like Apple’s box).
    It’s simple and intuitive.
    It’s open source.
    They provide a simple SDK.
    Thanks to content providers making video accessible for iPhone and iPads (and having compatible video feeds that Roku can use), Roku developers are launching new channels every day.
    Forget Apple’s airplay feature. Roku has this too. You can stream from your computer, you can stream from a USB port.
    It plays 1080i/p video right now!
    What channels doesn’t it have? It forbids you to run out of quality viewing options. (Netflix, soon coming Hulu Plus, Amazon On Demand, Vimeo, Chow, Pandora, MOG, MMA, MLB, HGTV, QVC, RedBull.tv, Funny or Die, YouTube, Google Voice, Justin.TV, and the PlayOn channel provides TBS, TNT, CBS, MTV, TV.com, and Hulu!)
    It’s tiny, portable, fits in your suitcase, and can be hooked up to any TV. (I’ve used mine in hotels, and when visiting family).
    Roku will continue to get better.
    Instant, push upgrades guarantees the best software at all times. (Buy the box once, and get free upgrades for life!)
    It’s in stores now! (cough, boxee! cough) It’s been on the market for years, and is tried and true.

    Cutting the cable has never been so easy. I can barely begin to tell you of the joy my Roku brings to me.

    1. @Andy

      If been testing Playon using my Wii, while I await my Roku’s arrival. I’ve been sorely disappointed in the video quality. Can I expect better quality on the Roku?

  7. My first vote is for a HTPC/laptop connected to television. As a cord cutter who uses my spare laptop to watch online video content on my television, I do not have a need for any of these new devices.

    If I have to choose from the other choices, I would lean towards the Boxee vs Google TV. AppleTV offers me nothing except a way to pay for content that is free in the browser based internet.

  8. Hopefully by next holiday season, we won’t need to buy ANY dedicated box to enjoy unlimited Web video on our TV screens, because ActiveVideo Networks’ CloudTV platform will be present on more connected TVs and cable set-top boxes.

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