Apple TV (2012 model): Do the host of new features mean a better option in the market? – Part 1

Saturday, March 10th, 2012 5:59:55 by

Apple, Inc. announced the latest model of their signature set-top box Apple TV. The new device will hit the shelves on March 16 with the new iPad 2012 model.

With the release of the new Apple TV, the competitors will now face a new competition in the market and lying right next to Apple TV is Roku’s video and audio streaming device called Roku LT.

The new Apple TV might be able to create a buzz among the customers but will it force Roku and the likes to introduce new features in their products. I guess not.

Yesterday I wrote an article on the new Apple TV and the host of features it brings within the reach of its existing and potential customers. However, that article focused on goods and bads of the new device but comparing it to other devices in the market and the competition it offers is entirely a different context to address.

There have been a number of changes, or upgrade if you will, made in the new Apple TV but as far as the competition is concerned, the Apple product and Roku LT still compete neck-and-neck.

Apart from video quality that got bumped to 1080p resolution, including the OS interface, sharing of videos and iCloud integration, the new Apple TV has less to offer to the customers, who are in hanging land between David and Goliath.

In terms of quality, picture and interface, Apple TV undoubtedly takes the lead but in terms of content, Roku is winner. Roku has a truly impressive lineup of content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Pandora, HBO Go, MLB.TV, NHL GameCenter, Epix, Crackle, Picasa, Flicker, Mog, Rdio, TED Talks, Revision3, TWiT.TV, NASA, and CNET. You can see a full list on Roku’s website, and the company has been aggressive about continually adding more content sources.

All of the content sources are great, but the Roku LT also gets many of the little things right that competing products don’t. The user interface may be a little bland, but it’s simple and easy to navigate, plus you can customize the layout of the channels.

With only $50 for the base model, the Roku LT is easily the best value. The core streaming functionality is what makes Roku great, so most buyers don’t need to pay extra for a Bluetooth remote, microSD card slot, or USB port.

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