November 2, 2008

iTV killed the cable box

After moving to Norway I finally broke down and bought an AppleTV. I’m loving it. While I rent a couple of movies a moth, I mainly use it for TV Shows: The West Wing, South Park, The Big Bang Theory, Psych, Mad Men, etc. And although I have converted some alternative method” downloads to play on it, I’m mostly buying them from iTunes store.

Still two Media Players and an App have caught my attention recently:

SlingCatcher:

Goes for $299. Being a Slingthingy, it streams from other slingboxes, which I really don’t care for. It also streams video from your Mac or PC, so you can be watching Lost on abc.com, SNL on hulu.com or even videos on netflix.com and you can see it on your tv. Quality appears to be great. You can play any content you put on a USB drive, which makes a very useful when you get most of your content from bittorrent and other alternative sources.

WD TV HD Media PLayer:

Goes for $129 (but you can find it at BestBuy for $99)

It only plays content from a USD Drive, but that makes it pretty straight forward. The UI doesn’t seem that elegant compared to the SlingCatcher though.

Boxee:

Free software, invite only now.

Boxee is an media center software for Win/Mac/Linux and AppleTV 1 . Boxee fixes most of these issues in a easy way, you can play content from Hulu, CBS, etc. It also allows you to stream Divx, and other formats from your pc, mac that live on the same network. Boxee also adds a SocialNetwork layer on top of all this, don’t know how useful or cool it is. But it has the buzzword compliant feature.

You can always just connect your computer to the TV. But that would be uncivilized, wouldn’t it?


  1. There is no technical reason why the AppleTV shouldn’t be able to play video downloaded from the Internet. Or even to read data from its USB port. Of course the problem is … Apple. No point in going into the why’s or how’s 


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