Sure most BlueRay disc players have the ability to stream YouTube and other content. But it’s 2011.
Walk away from anything that requires physical media and, gasp, has moving parts.
Here are 8 plus ways to stream videos from the Interweb to that big-ass monitor your mama calls an HDTV. CNet reviews the collection, and generally comes down with the Roku 2 as the winner above the AppleTV. I have both, and was an AppleTV raving fan who purchased horrific amounts of content I was too lazy to seek out for free. Then the AppleTV started giving me password and synching problems, and the new $99 TV-rental model felt unfair. So both have been paperweights for a few months, but the Roku is still an easy way to stream my all-you-can-eat Netflix movies.
- Roku 2 XS 1080 for $99 is a pretty sweet deal (Amazon affiliate links). Easy startup, and there’s plenty of default content in addition to YouTube and Netflix. Seriously that little fabric tag is almost as cute as a Chumby octopus.
- AppleTV’s $97 model is decent, but a step backward not forward. Had Jobs stuck around, this might have gotten interesting.
- Logitech Revue (GoogleTV) got a luke warm Cnet review, but the keyboard makes it a favorite of many “lean forward lean backers.”
- Sony SMPU10 USB Media Player- it’s ass. Skip it.
- WD-TV Live Plus Western Digital thing. Doesn’t come with wifi built in, which is like sending it out without a friggin’ power cord. CNet liked it, but the readers didn’t.
- VeeBeam: Some reviews say it’s easy to install, but it simply provides a wireless delayed stream from your laptop to a TV. Seems like a cheap connector would make more sense. Am I missing something?
- Netgear offers some Push2TV device that works with an Intel wireless laptop (widi), so if you can figure that out… go for it.
- A Friggin’ HDMI Cable (from laptop to TV): Finally, if you’re going to tie up your damned laptop, how about connecting a stinkin’ $5 HDMI cable directly from it? I’m not seeing the appeal of choices 6 and 7, when a simple cable does most of the work without lag. Depending on your laptop, you may need an adapter to have it HDMI ready, but remember that HDMI is an HD cord that carries audio and video.
So that’s my modification of the CNet article, but keep in mind that there are other options, ranging from TiVo and your stupid cable-TV box to various videogame players that will achieve much of this (and may be sitting idle in your home).