The Top 10 Most Popular and Best Streaming Boxes to Buy in 2018
These little black boxes make streaming the internet onto your TV a cinch. With internet on your TV you can browse, search and stay in touch just as you would from your own computer. Popular streaming services like Netflix and Slingbox enable you to enjoy the same movies and TV shows as before without the hastle and limitations of cable. Internet boxes for streaming on TV can be found at low cost today, from $50 and up, and provide literally 100’s of free channels and online apps for your entertainment. I cancelled my cable TV provider for internet TV and have never looked back since. If you’re looking to make the switch from cable here’s a list of the best and most popular set top boxes for live streaming internet on TV today.
Top 10 Best Internet TV boxes for Live Streaming on TV of 2017/2018
Streaming boxes come today in all shapes and sizes and a wide variety of packages. There are a few things you’ll need to consider to determine which package is right for you such as functionality, ease of use and performance.
#1 Apple TV
The Amazon #1 Best seller in media streaming devices, the Apple TV Media Streaming device comes loaded with features that may leave your mouth watering.
- User-friendly interface,
- Easy setup
- Unable to add content channels or customize interface.
- Needs HDMI TV
- No browser
- content limited to iTunes and select partners
- no QWERTY keyboard
- no USB port
- no Micro SD card slot
- no DVR support
- no internal hard drive
- less content than Roku
#2 Roku 2 XS HD Streaming Player
The #2 best selling internet streaming device, the Roku 2 XS is a BIG thing in a small package.
- Small size
- tops all other streaming boxes for easy setup
- Enhanced remote with motion control
- browse over 1,000 “private” channels
- customizable interface
- playback content from PC
- Angry Birds Game
- No YouTube Channel
- No browser
- Needs Roku account to use
- no internal hard drive
- no DVR support
#3 The Boxee Box HD Streaming Media Player by D-Link
First released on November 10th, 2010, at a price of $199 the Boxee Box was overpriced, over-complicated and had it’s quirks. But there was no doubting the power and potential of the little lop-sided cube.
Today, the Boxee is being discontinued by D-Link for a less powerful device which no one is buying. So is it Good-Bye to the Boxee Box? Not really. If it’s disheartening to know that the Boxee Box will be discontinued by D-Link for a newer device and it’s operating system no longer supported, take heart in the fact that the Boxee Box may still be the only streaming box that can truly replace cable.
With incredible features, versatility and functionality, it’s a more than viable choice among internet boxes on the market today, and if you shop around, you may even find one for less than $100 (refurbished). Get it while you still can.
*Built-in antenna for live channels over-the-air (OTA).
*High-definition streaming up to 1080p HD
*Supports most major apps like Netflix, YouTube, Slingbox, Flickr and more
*Audio optical out
*Full QWERTY keypad
*1 HDMI, 2 USB ports, SD Memory Card slot
*USB Content Playback
*Wireless 802.11n 2.4GHz
Cons: Official software discontinued
#4 WD TV Live Streaming Media Player – A great player but with no browser
*Plays practically everything
*User friendly Interface
*Most major apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Slingbox, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, TuneIn and more
*Streams 1080p with no issue
*HDMI, SPDIF Optical, 2 USB ports, Wi-Fi 1080p, internal hard drive, Audio out Optical
*Super easy setup
*No ‘search’ option for movies.
*No customization of menu.
#5 Sony NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV
Keeping in time with other popular internet devices today, the Sony NSZ delivers speed and performance. It’s only set back may be it’s price and the clumsy remote which is heavy and downright awkward to manage. Having a backlit keyboard may or may not entice you to buy it.
- Backlit keyboard
- Awkward remote
#6 Netgear NeoTV
- Low Price
- Supports most major internet apps
- Buggy software
- Constant reboot or freeze
- Unreliable remot
- Unstable Wi-Fi
#7 VIZIO Co-Star Stream Player With Google TV
The VIZIO Co-Star with it’s ease of use, accessability and performance is giving the other live TV streaming devices out there a run for the money. Unfortunately, like the Sony NSZ and Netgear, the remote is anything but user friendly and the setup not so easy. Aside from that the Vizio Co-Star delivers a good all around package..
- Built in Google TV
- HDMI in
- Internal hard drive
- Not the easiest setup
- not as many features as the Roku
#8 WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit 200Mbps – extend Internet to your HDTV
The WD Livewire Powerline AV creates a high speed internet connection anywhere in your house. It’s an internet adapter that you plug into your wall. With speeds of up to 200mbs, the Livewire can easily handle full 1080p HD video streaming to your TV. A good alternative for starters without all the bells and whistles the other streaming devices provide. Works anywhere in the world.
- Plug-and-Play Easy setup
- 4 Port hub
- No internet access for portable gadgets
- some lag with HD content
#9 Belkin Universal Wireless HDTV Adapter
Like the WD Livewire, The Belkin Universal Wireless HDTV Adapter is just what it says, a mini wireless adapter for your Smart TV. Just plug it in and you’ve got wireless internet on your TV. The instruction manual that comes with it is absolutely useless though. You’ll have to do some online research for the initial set up but once you’ve done that you’re good to go.
- Dual band Wi-Fi 2.4GHz & 5GHz
- Difficult setup
- instruction manual
- Support non existent
#10 Hisense Pulse with Google TV
The Hisense Pulse is considered the best Google TV internet top box to date. Interestingly, the remote launches with a built in microphone. Of all Google TV devices the Pulse is the fastest launcher and easily leaves the others in the dust. For just under $100 the Hisense is a no-nonsense purchase with great features. If you can’t wait for the newer technology coming out later in 2013 the Hisense Pulse is a viable option available right now at Amazon.com.
- Exceptional Launching Speed
- super quiet
- Microphone inactive
- does not support voice commands