Despite Roku being the pioneer in modern streaming boxes, the Apple TV has become the device all others are measured by. But has that changed with the recent release of the Roku 3 just a few weeks ago? We aren’t sure about that, but we know Roku has certainly become even more compelling. At only $99, there’s really no downside to it (buy now).
We are on record of being huge fans of the Harmony remote control. Why not, before the Harmony our coffee tables had four remotes and practically required a user’s manual just to turn the home theater on. With a good universal remote, buttons labeled “Watch TV” or “Watch Blu-ray” make using the system as simple as pressing one button.
In an effort not to be outdone by their peers, many Consumer Electronics companies try to announce their new products at the same time everyone else does. This makes it very easy for us the consumer to know what we want to buy. We don’t have to wait for that last straggler to tell us what’s coming before we plunk down our hard-earned cash. Right now it’s AV receiver season. If you’re in the market for a new receiver for your home theater, have we got a show for you.
Media players have become the bridge to all our content. Whether that content is located in the cloud or on a server somewhere on your local network, these media players turn the digital bits into hours of multimedia enjoyment. We’ve looked a few devices over the years and they keep getting better and better. The WD TV Play is the latest one we look at and at $70 (Buy Now) its priced in about the middle of the pack.
When Netflix decided to get into the streaming business, the company needed a device in your home theater to stream movies to. Just weeks before the box, codenamed Griffin, was to hit store shelves, the project was canceled. But it didn’t die, it came to market under the Brand name Roku and started its own little revolution. Roku continues to innovate and recently announced the launch of the Roku 3.
We’ve watched streaming media go from incredibly choppy and blocky to smooth and nearly HD. As bandwidth increases so does the quality of streaming media. You can easily listen to CD quality audio but streaming Blu-ray quality video is a ways off... or is it? We have an interview with Mark Henninger, an AVS Forum “Newsbreaker”, and we discuss a series of articles he wrote where he compares movies on iTunes, Vudu, and Blu-ray.