If you’re like us, you may have cancelled your cable service and switched over to Netflix. After our recent move, we found ourselves with a TV upstairs (for the kids), and a TV downstairs (for the bigger kids). We have been streaming Netflix through our Wii for some time – we’ve found that it works great. With our newfound second TV (our first flat screen – for $30 – SCORE!), we figured we would like to be able to watch Netflix downstairs without moving the Wii all the time.
- What streaming services do you want to use with your box? Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu Plus are the big three.
- Will the device work with your current TV? We have an old CRT TV with no HDMI port – the Apple TV wasn’t an option for us.
- Do you have wired or wireless internet? Some streaming boxes only have one option or the other.
There are a lot of options in the $100 range (that’s what I was hoping to spend) – Apple TV, Roku, Sony SMP, WD TV Live, and several more. If you don’t want another Wii (which limits you to Netflix), you have some great options. The Roku boxes are, at this time, the most well-rounded. They work with HD and standard TVs, work with Netflix, Amazon Instant and Hulu Plus (and a bunch of others) – there is no monthly fee for the box itself either. Also, it was wireless and wired network capabilities. My recommendation, if you want a streaming box, is to purchase a Roku. You can get a Roku 2, but we went with the older Roku XDS – many of the reviews of the Roku 2 mentioned a buggy interface, and I didn’t want to deal with that.
I found this great side-by-side comparison that really helped me decide which one to go with. If you’re looking for a player, I would highly recommend checking out all the charts they have.