Price: $40 (wireless pocket keyboard additional $40) At a Glance: Android operating system • HDMI Stick connects directly to TV • Potentially unlimited content • Best keyboard/mouse remote available for any media player
Favi’s SmartStick is not, as many call it, a Google TV. Instead, it is a dongle (stick) that connects to an HDMI input on your TV and runs the Android operating system. Typically, smartphones and tablets have Android, but this is the first streaming Android dongle for your TV. And herein lies the problem. While most Android apps made for tablets can be downloaded to the SmartStick, they are not designed for a TV streaming device, and they don’t work when you try to use them.
M-Go promised to have the technology for better search and recommendations of movies. When it launched it didn't make good on its promises. Find out which streaming services and devices do a better job.
Social TV will soon be as commonplace as onscreen tickers but it won't happen like everyone expected. Joel Espelien of The Diffusion Group explains the findings of his report, "Social TV: Myths, Facts, and the Future."
Price: $100 At a Glance: Small stick connects directly to HDMI input on TV • Same menus and channels as full-sized Roku Box • No additional power connection; requires MHL-enabled TV
That Roku box is shrinking…again. The Roku Stick looks like a thumb drive and is only about 3 inches long. For the most part, it provides the same experience as the standard Roku boxes—same menus, same performance. But to use one, you’ll need an MHL-enabled TV or other device.
Price: $300 At a Glance: Stream 1080p live TV and recordings from your DVR • Complete control of your set-top box from any device • Displays photos and videos from smartphone on TV
While cable and satellite companies often tout their ability to let you start watching a recording in one room and finish it in another, you can forgo the cost of these multiroom systems with a Slingbox. The original TV place-shifter, Slingbox allows you to access your cable or satellite set-top box and all of its content from mobile devices, media players, and computers— from across the house or across the country—by using the SlingPlayer app. Hoping to save some money in box rentals, I was happy to test Sling Media’s first new consumer model in four years, the Slingbox 500 HD. There are a number of ways to watch TV on computers and mobile devices, but Slingbox is unique in providing remote access and control of your set-top box.