Cord Cutters Survival Stories: A Box for Everyone

One of the most frequent questions we’re getting ever since we started our weekly web series Cord Cutters a few months back is: With Roku, Boxee, Apple TV, Google TV and so so many other products out there, which one is the right for me?

We’ve been highlighting some of the pros and cons of these boxes from a Cord Cutters perspective on our show — but there’s nothing like feedback from people who actually use these devices instead of their cable boxes every day. That’s why we want to highlight some of the best comments of some of these users today. Each one favors a different platform, and each of them has good reasons to do so…

Reader “SB” is a big fan of the Roku SD:

“I have an Xbox 360 that I used to use for Netflix streaming, but since I picked up a Roku XDS the Xbox has been collecting dust. Between the yearly cost ($50 for Xbox Live Gold required for Netflix), power consumption (175W on Xbox vs. 4W on Roku), and the much better interface and general ease of use on the Roku, there’s just no need for the Xbox for its streaming functions anymore.

I love the Roku, and from reading about the others I don’t see myself switching away from it anytime soon. I don’t think anything else out there can match Roku’s value/features/content balance at the moment. It’s not a 100% polished product yet, but I doubt that any product in this market will reach that level any time soon since this is such new territory that is still far from being settled.”

“Mniz” on the other hand prefers the Boxee Box:

“Got a Boxee Box and love it. Along with the PS3 with Netflix, Vudu and Hulu Plus and a LG Wifi Blu-ray player (with a bunch of connected content, Netflix and Vudu) I’m more then set. Anything missing can usually be found online at the broadcasters sites. Cut the cord this week, hopefully it’ll stay that way.

It’s a shame that the Boxee Box is getting some negative attention, cause it really is quite nice –- the UI isn’t as slick as the beta, but works well for the TV screen and distance. Aside from some content blocking, which I hope starts to get better when broadcasters figure out how to monetize in a way that works for them (and us), I have ZERO complaints about it.”

Joseph Flaherty likes the Apple TV, but would like to see some improvements:

“I have a new ($99) Apple TV, love the concept of it, and can’t wait to see what gets built on top of it. It works perfectly. The remote is an amazing piece of engineering, but I won’t cut the cable cord because of content.

iTunes shows/movies are really expensive, Netflix is great, but you burn through the best of their content quickly. My real hope lies with Podcasts/YouTube. I’ve watched a couple HD podcasts and they look great on a 55? HDTV. I think Apple needs to figure out a way to make iAds a service that allows small content creators/advertisers to do self-serve advertising.

I was watching a news podcast made by a fairly small website/magazine that looked as good as Meet the Press. I think if content creators had a way to generate revenue without having to build a direct sales org we would see replacements for a lot of Food Network and Discovery channel programming fairly quickly.

The other big missing link is discover/promotion. It is hard to find good podcasts/YouTube videos with the Apple TV interface. Solve both those problems and cord cutting will pick up pretty quickly IMO.”

And James Gardiner finally makes the case for Windows Media Center:

“But seriously, its quite amazing. Everyone I know who has tried Windows Media Center never goes back. (…) The biggest WIN with Media Center is that my wife, a “Only use a computer if I have to” person, likes Windows Media Center more then anything else I have put in front of her. And especially the fact we now only have 1 Remote control. For everything… The industry does not get how important that issue really is. Apple especially. 5 Button remote. What a joke. Simple is good but to simple is stupid.”

Would you like your Cord Cutters Survival Story published on NewTeeVee? Then send it to cordcutters (at), or ping us on Twitter @cordcutters, and check out our most recent episode of Cord Cutters below:


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