2011 is the year that the TV gets connected to the internet. Well, for the mainstream that is.
Many consumers that are early adapters have had their computers connected to their TVs for a long time and have had the use of the internet on the big screen for quite some time. 2009-2010 saw the blue-ray player and new TVs get basic functionality internet functionality come to the living room. Now we are seeing the big players of Apple, Google, and smaller players like ROKU, and Boxee create a full internet experience by creating ways for consumers to access all the rich media the internet has to offer.
Though, what I have found is that the product that takes the cake isn’t any of the companies or devices I have listed above. Surprised? So was I.
After trying all of the devices above, I was not pleased with the amount of content that the different devices had to offer. Everyone seemed to be missing something.
Boxee had a lot of apps, but it seemed as if the apps worked poorly and wasn’t nearly as responsive as great interface it has.
ROKU has limited local content accessibility. The Apple TV is in a since, just like every other Apple device. You can only use it with other apple products. Google TV cannot negotiate content deals the likes of NBC, ABC, ect so as of right now, their content is blocked. Connecting your computer to the internet creates a bulky experience.
So who is the winner? The Xbox 360. Wasn’t expecting that? Neither was I.
There are a lot of secrets to the Xbox 360 that most people who are not owners would not know. Beyond the basics of using Windows media center, the games that you can play on it, and the Xbox Live service, the guys over at Microsoft have done a great job of adding other features and building a snappy UI with little lag. New features listed below:
1. Microsoft just made a deal with Disney to get live and on demand ESPN content on the Xbox 360 for Xbox Live Subscribers
2. Access to music services like Last.FM
3. Ability to use the Zune Marketplace to rent newly released DVDs
4. Access to companies like Netflix, Vevo, Pandora, and soon Hulu.
5. Ability to watch movies and videos with other people through xbox live.
These are a few of the newest features available. With the elimination of a remote with Kinect and the rumor of a tv subscription service coming soon. Your next buy for a media center might just need to be an Xbox 360. No service is perfect, but it seems that Microsoft is positioning itself to try and become the leader in the category.