Apple TV & Google TV
If you don’t want to purchase a show or movie, iTunes offers a rent option. Available for as little as 99-cents apiece, you are allowed to keep the rental for 30 days and play the content for up to 48 hours after you first press play. If you also own an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, you can view the same content from your Apple TV, and can start from the same place you stopped.
- Retails for $99 from Apple.com.
- Browses, rents, and streams your favorite movies and TV shows from Apple’s massive iTunes store.
- Views photos from Flickr or Apple’s MobileMe service.
- Streams rentals from Netflix and watch your favorite YouTube videos.
- Accesses your computer’s iTunes library and stream it from your television.
- Comes with an Apple remote.
In Sony’s case, they’ve developed an entire television, known as the Sony Internet TV, which incorporates Google TV’s functionality into a stand-alone flat screen TV. The Sony Internet TV ranges between 24” and 46” and comes with a keyboard remote control, but the Logitech Revue, a standalone box made by Logitech, is the cheaper alternative likely to be on many people’s shopping lists.
The Logitech Revue is a low-profile black box (it’s about the size of a netbook computer) that comes with its own keyboard remote and hooks you into everything Google TV can do. Like the Apple TV, Google’s device allows you to stream your personal media files, rent and view movies on Netflix, and use your Android phone as a remote control (it runs on the same Android software). Google TV goes one step further than Apple TV by featuring full web browsing, Twitter and Facebook, program recording (for DISH Network subscribers only), and the ability to use all your favorite Android apps right on your TV.
Sony Internet TV
- Retails from $599.99 (24” screen) to $1,399.99 (46” screen) at Sony Store.
- Full-sized Sony television with Google TV functionality inside.
- Comes with a QWERTY keyboard/remote control.
- Retails for $299.99 at Amazon.com.
- External box that hooks up to your TV to deliver Google TV’s services.
- Comes with a full-size QWERTY keyboard/remote control