Apple's announcements yesterday was a completely redesigned Apple TV. It's competing in a crowded and still confusing field of products that stream video from the Internet to your TV. Boxee and Roku are two smaller companies trying to crack it; and Google TV was unveiled in May. The ultimate goal of all of these products is to make Web-to-TV very easy for consumers, but the market is still searching for the right formula.One of
We'd like to poll the ReadWriteWeb community on this topic. Let us know how you currently get online video (and other media content) onto your TV. Also, which of the emerging products do you think has the best chance to be the consumer offering of choice?
The key points of the new Apple TV are: a much lower price (now $99, compared to $229 for the first generation product), streamlined form (80% smaller), streaming functionality, no more local storage, Netflix and YouTube access, and 99c TV show rentals.
Other ways to access Web content on your TV include: modern Internet-connected TVs; online gaming devices like Sony PlayStation 3 and X-Box 360; P2P software; Set-top boxes like TiVo (specifically, its Premiere offering released in March); streaming software for computers, such as playon; wireless USB display adapter sets; special cables to hook a computer up to a TV.
Of course, there's still the matter of accessing good content. All of the online TV players have been busy doing deals with TV and movie distributors, a process which is far from being worked through. Meanwhile, many consumers have used P2P services like BitTorrent to get such content for free.
The video below from the Google TV announcement shows the (potential) benefits of streaming Web content to your TV:
I myself use a combination of Sony Playstation 3 and the P2P client Vuze in order to stream the occasional TV show and movie to my TV. Although it converts online video to a PS3 compatible format, it's still not a completely satisfactory solution. Sometimes the sound doesn't work, or the video is choppy, and so on. So I'm looking forward to purchasing one of the upcoming devices from Apple, Boxee, Roku or Google.
Do you stream content from the Internet into your TV? If so, tell everyone how you do it in the comments below.