New Apple TV vs. Roku vs. Xbox 360 and Others

new apple tv vs roku xbox 360 and others competitorsSteve Job’s one-time “hobby” is finally starting to look ready for primetime. On Tuesday, Apple released the fourth revision of the Apple TV, making it smaller, adding Netflix support, and perhaps most importantly, dropping the price to just $99. But the landscape has changed since in the days since Apple TV first appeared in 2007, and the new box will face a horde of well-equipped challengers that have already staked their claim on set-top streaming.

Does the Apple TV compete? We compared it to a few of the most popular streaming alternatives on the market – and one about to hit the market – to see whether Steve is prepped for world domination… or too late to the battlefield.

[Note: Still priced at $300, Sony’s PlayStation 3 was omitted on the basis of price relative to the rest of the contenders.]

Player

List Price

Resolution

Streaming Services

Built-in Wi-Fi?

Outputs

Notes

Apple TV

new apple tv vs roku xbox 360 and others

$99.00

720p

Netflix, YouTube, MobileMe, Flickr, Internet radio, iTunes rentals

802.11n

Video: HDMI

Audio: HDMI, digital optical

Remote app allows control from iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad, tiny form factor, plays DRM-protected Apple files

Roku HD-XR

new apple tv vs roku xbox 360 and others hd xr

$99.99

1080p

Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Pandora, Roku Newscaster, MP3tunes, RadioTime, UFC, BigStar.tv, MLB.tv

802.11n

Video: HDMI, composite, S-video, component

Audio: HDMI, stereo RCA, digital optical


Front USB port “for future use,” does NOT play locally store media (MP3s, AVIs, etc.)

Xbox 360 Arcade

new apple tv vs roku xbox 360 and others arcade

$149.99

1080p

Netflix, Last.fm, Flickr, Revision 3, Blip.tv, Mediafly and more

No, available as $100 accessory

Video: Composite and HDMI standard, component, S-video, available with cables

Audio: Stereo RCA and HDMI standard, digital optical with cables

Fully functioning game console, multiple USB ports, Xbox LIVE membership required for streaming services, remote not included

Western Digital WD TV Live Plus

new apple tv vs roku xbox 360 and others western digital wd live

$149.99

1080p

Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Flickr, Live365,Mediafly

No, available with select Wi-Fi USB adapters

Video: HDMI, composite, component

Audio: HDMI, stereo RCA

Rear USB port, plays VOB files

Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD Media Player

new apple tv vs roku xbox 360 and others seagate fa theater

$199.99

1080p

Mediafly, YouTube, Netflix, Video Feeds (RSS, Text Feeds (RSS), Flickr, vTuner, Picasa, Weather Widget, Finance Widget

No, available with select Wi-Fi USB adapters

Video: HDMI, composite, component

Audio: HDMI, stereo RCA, digital optical

Dual USB ports, plays VOB files

Popbox

new apple tv vs roku xbox 360 and others popbox 1xvi 460

$129.99

1080p

BarelyPolitical, Blip.tv, Newnewnetworks, Funsport, HungryNation, IndyMogul, Twitter, Mediafly, Revision3, WeatherBug, Channels.com, Photobucket, Shoutcast, Facebook, Tinpot, Video Detective, VOD Cars

No, available with select Wi-Fi USB adapters

Video: HDMI, component

Audio: HDMI, stereo RCA, digital optical

Dual USB ports, SD card slot with 2GB card included, plays VOB files

D-Link Boxee Box (available November 2010)

new apple tv vs roku xbox 360 and others boxee box

“Under $200”

1080p

More than we can name. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, Last.fm, just to name a few, and more than 400 via plug-ins

802.11n

Video: HDMI

Audio: HDMI, stereo RCA, digital optical

Two USB ports, SD card slot, RF remote with QWERTY keyboard, plays VOB files and all non-DRM-protected forms of media