Until Apple releases its secret-but-we-all-know-it's-coming, Siri-powered, high-definition television set that will change the face of the industry forever (okay, so we're hoping this is what's coming), we'll have to settle for Cupertino's "hobby" if we want to stream our movies and photos to a screen larger than 27-inches. But while Apple TV has made great strides since it launched alongside the iPhone, it still has a long way to go if it wants to become a major player in the booming set-top box market.
It's not often that Apple can learn from its competitors, but sometimes it seems that Apple is purposefully holding back Apple TV features for something bigger and better. If you're not totally tied down to the iTunes ecosystem, there are worthy third-party alternatives. Here's a few that we've reviewed that are highly worth it in our book.
After months of unconfirmed rumors about its maybe, possibly imminent
arrival, Western Digital finally released its next-generation WD TV media player--just
mere days after we finished our Dec/09 issue, in which we named the
previous-gen model as one of our “2009 Gear of the Year” favorites. We
had a few niggling criticisms of that earlier version, but in the
latest model, Western Digital has made some excellent improvements to
what became our favorite set-top box for media playback.