Best Media Streaming Boxes

Get the best media box on the market

With increased data transmission capabilities defining the new generation of Internet technologies, demand for streaming media is soaring. Media streaming boxes capitalize on this trend; they are a relatively new arrival in the world of personal entertainment, and they allow the end user to access content stored in the "cloud." With a media streaming box, you can watch your favorite movies and TV shows, access game content, and enjoy Web-based programming as though they were stored on your hard drive or on an optical disc. The best media streaming boxes have experts proclaiming an end to the era of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

The Top-Performing Media Streaming Boxes on the Market

Here's a closer look at the world's best-selling and best-reviewed media streaming boxes:

  • Roku. Roku offers numerous media streaming boxes, including the Roku 2 XS, the Roku LT, and the Roku 3. While all the company's media streaming products are solid performers, the consensus among industry experts is that the Roku 3 is the best media streaming box made to date. It offers a comprehensive library of content sources, extremely fast streaming speeds, and innovative features including a handy remote control.
  • Apple TV. If you're a Mac nut, this is likely to be your media streaming box of choice. Released in 2012, the Apple TV streaming device offers optimized compatibility with the iTunes platform and Mac computing devices, but insiders and consumers alike find that its performance lags slightly behind the Roku 3. Apple TV is still an excellent choice, though.
  • Boxee TV. The Boxee Cloud DVR, formerly known as Boxee TV, allows you to stream televised and stored content to any connected device of your choice. Perhaps the greatest advantage of choosing the Boxee Cloud DVR is its price; while it performs well, there's a noticeable lag when compared directly with the Roku 3, but its price tag is also lower. For the casual viewer who isn't too hung up on tech specs, the Boxee Cloud DVR is an economical choice.

There are lots of options on the market, but the consensus among experts is that these three media streaming boxes outperform the competition on the whole. Compatibility is a key consideration to make, so if a lot of your other computing and media playback equipment is made by Apple, you might be best off choosing Apple TV over another product.

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