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Roku XDS is the device I chose to ask for this Christmas and I did this even though I knew Google TV devices like the Logitech Revue are getting more attention lately with their open web surfing capabilities. The bottom line is that if you are looking for a device that can fully bring Internet web browsing which would include everything from using Facebook to browsing Craigslist on your home television, then Google TV is going to be the device for you.
Neither device at this time offers the Free Hulu web based service, and Roku is the only one of the two offering Hulu Plus subscription service at the moment but both are compatible with Netflix and only Google TV is compatible with YouTube (though there is a beta channel rumored to exist to bring YouTube to Roku).
Roku is the ideal platform for keeping your television grounded in Movies, Television and Music however and will prevent the potential of a family member hogging your big screen TV to chat on Facebook or read the New York Times preventing the rest of the family from watching TV.
Truth be told because Google TV is so much like bringing the entire web experience to your television why wouldn’t someone just plug their laptop into their television and get a wireless trackball or trackpad device with keyboard and use it the same way for 100% computer on big screen TV experience? One might say the Google TV device saves the convenience of having to move a computer back and forth, but I think the Google TV device is a slimmer version of just having a Media Center PC in the first place.
Still at $300 for a Logitech Revue it is cheaper than most media center PC’s but far more expensive than even the most expensive $99 Roku XDS (Roku SD is only $69.99).
I presonally don’t want the distraction of the “entire” web on my big screen TV, so Roku XDS which ties into my Netflix is exactly what I need. The fact is there are about 12+ free channels on Roku to get access to free movies as well like Coldcast, Crackle, AlloyTV and you also get MediaFly, Roku Newscaster and Blubrry and other channels for news and information.
I am still sticking with the Roku XDS and Netflix still has better options for streaming movies at a slightly lower price than Hulu Plus but Hulu Plus does have a better selection of Television shows and newer seasons.