Cutting Loose: Connected TV for Everybody Page 5

Summing Up

A few outstanding questions face all of these products. As we discussed in our digital media receiver roundup, these devices need to compete on ease of use with the Apple TV, and on bang for the buck with the current generation of Blu-ray players, which provide all kinds of streaming content along with support for physical media (which'll still be with us for a while).

These devices do bring a few new things to the party. Channel Master's DVR is an interesting addition, and the device's commitment to over-the-air HD aims squarely at those interested in ditching cable; WD's putting an Apple-slick interface on top of very complete support for all kinds of local files, and may capture the imaginations of geeks buying boxes for their relatives (you know who you are); Best Buy (especially with the 32" model) has thrown in a TV with their very much simplified streaming box, looking to appeal to those who'd rather set it and forget it than upset the order of things.