People are slowly waking up to the fact that watching television really does not involve a big entertainment provider, just a high-speed internet connection. Companies like Roku have had streaming media players for a few years and their product has been met with rave reviews.
Large companies are now seeing the potential in that market. Today Western Digital introduced their version, the WD TV Play Media Player. By all accounts, this is aimed straight at Roku’s XS2, their high-end box. Both will stream movies, TV shows, internet video and allows you to access your favorite apps. Both have wireless and Ethernet connectivity and connect to any television using composite or HDMI connections.
The differences are there. For one, the channel line up on the WD TV Play is limited and won’t even play content from the iTunes Store, Movielink, Amazon Unbox and Vongo while the Roku XS2 has a more extensive offering at more than 700 channels. Even so, the big providers are there, like NetFlix, Hulu Plus, VUDU and Pandora. Another difference is the remote; the WD TV Play has a few quick buttons directly to the larger providers where the Roku has Favorite buttons.
The price point might be the determining factor for some buyers. If you can live without a few providers, you’ll save 30 bucks by grabbing a WD TV Play released at 70 bucks.