Set Top Boxes

Lots of light, and a little smoke

Tested: Amazon Fire TV

Amazon's Fire TV provides the best experience of any streaming device for consumers who've spent more than a few paychecks on the company's media ecosystem. No question about it: if you live and die by Amazon Prime Instant Video, buy the Fire TV and rejoice. But what if you aren't a card-carrying member of the Bezos fan club? We found a comfy couch and tested it out.

Third Time's the Charm

Roku 3

The newly announced Roku 3 ($100) is as close to a set-top-box stud as we can currently hope for, armed on the hardware front with 1080p video output, an HDMI connection, dual-band wireless, Ethernet and USB ports, and a microSD slot for additional storage.

Don't switch channels on Google TV just yet

Vizio Co-Star

Google TV has failed to make inroads in the exploding “Smart TV” market, but the Vizio Co-star ($99) could change its fate. This affordable Internet-ready console connects to either a satellite or cable TV box and combines live television with your favorite streaming services (like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video), along with Google Chrome for...

Apple's Hobby Gets Serious

New Apple TV

Well what do we have here? Apple seems to be taking their AppleTV “hobby” a bit more seriously with the release of the all-new, um, AppleTV ($99). The new AppleTV comes in at a quarter the size of its predecessor and housed in a home theater-friendly black matte finish. The remarkable shrinkage (the good kind)...