While Google TV launches over in the US, and we await its arrival early next year, those hungry for web telly in 2010 need look no further than Apple TV and the D-Link Boxee Box.
Smaller than a hockey puck, Apple's new-look streaming TV box is already available in the UK, while the Boxee Box starts shipping in November.
Both devices promise to bring huge swathes of content from the web to your TV, so you can enjoy all it has to offer without moving from your sofa to your computer chair.
See below for our look at what Apple TV and the Boxee Box has to offer on the Web TV front.
The beer coaster-sized Apple TV is 80 per cent smaller than the previous model and tailor-made for renting movies and TV to you, not least because there’s no storage, making streaming your only option. Movies start at £4.49 for 30 days rental – once you start watching you have 48 hours. TV show episodes cost 99 cents. There are 7,000 movies available on Apple iTunes, 3,400 of which are in HD.
Unlike the Boxee Box, you can’t use it to websurf from your sofa, although you can browse YouTube, Picasa and others via their apps and stream media from your PC or Mac. The remote is a minimal affair, but you can download a free app to turn your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad into a controller.
Apple TV: Key features
Maximum video quality isn’t as high as the Boxee, only topping out at 720p HD. That’s likely because 1080p would put too much strain on your broadband
You can also stream from Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and MobileMe. General web browsing is not allowed
3/ A4 Processor
Apple TV is powered by the same processor as the iPhone 4 and iPad
Apple TV Price: £99 I www.apple.com/uk I Out now
MORE: Apple TV review
D-Link Boxee Box
Arriving in the UK imminently, the Boxee Box is somewhere between a streamer and a Media Centre PC. It’s powered by Intel’s 1.2GHz Atom CE4100 processor, the first chip designed for use specifically with internet TV applications – it’ll also be in Sony’s Google TV-enabled sets.
The Boxee allows streaming from your PC or Mac and full web browsing via the double-sided QWERTY remote. You can check emails, view sites and watch videos streamed from nearly any website. You can easily share or recommend shows because it syncs direct to Facebook. There’s also bespoke content and apps from the BBC, Last.FM, Channel 4, Comedy Central, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Picasa.
D-Link Boxee Box: Key features
Thanks to an HDMI socket you can run footage at up to 1080p HD to your TV
“Dynamic upgrades” mean it automatically updates the software, so you won’t need to worry about that…
One side of the remote has a QWERTY keyboard, the other a laptop-like trackpad for navigation
D-Link Boxee Box Price: £199 I www.dlink.com I Out November