Apple TV, Roku, WD, Sony, D-Link: Battle of the $99 Set-top Boxes

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While inexpensive set-top boxes are a hot topic on tech sites, that buzz hasn't led to huge sales. As StreamingMedia.com executive vice president Dan Rayburn pointed out at this year's Streaming Media East conference in New York City, sales are slow.

"There's a lot of talk in the media about devices. There's a lot of talk about over-the-top content. Everybody's talking about an Apple TV that doesn't even exist in the market today," noted Rayburn. "The bottom line is these products aren't yet disrupting the market, because they're not selling enough of them. That's the huge problem. I actually have a slide at the end of the presentation that lists how many devices have been sold for each manufacturer. It's very little."

To help buyers decide which low-price box to buy, Rayburn led a presentation entitled "Device Demos, Battle of the $99 Streaming Boxes," in which he looked at six qualifying boxes by Apple, Roku, WD, Sony, Netgear, and D-Link. The devices are attractive, but many suffer serious flaws.

"While these devices are fun, they're cool, they're neat to use, there are still a lot of problems with them," said Rayburn. "The interfaces in a lot of them don't work well. Some of them have very limited content. Some, like Roku, have lots of content channels, and the D-Link box only has three. So there's a lot of fragmentation in the market amongst connected devices, and not just streaming boxes, but also connected TVs and Blu-ray Players."

To view the full presentation, watch the video below. Also, download a PDF of Rayburn's presentation to get the anemic sales numbers.

Device Demos, Battle of the $99 Streaming Boxes

With so many broadband-enabled devices in the market, trying to determine what each one offers in the way of streaming quality and content inventory can be quite confusing. In this special session, Dan Rayburn presents hands-on demos showcasing the leading $99 streaming devices, including the Apple TV, Roku 2 XS, WD TV Live, Sony SNP-N200, and the newly announced Vizio Stream Player. Attendees can see these devices in action, learn which content platforms they run, and take part in a Q&A session.

Speaker: Dan Rayburn, Executive Vice President, StreamingMedia.com

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