Big Video Selection in a Small Box

It then costs $40, but can be used to stream video to other TV-connected devices such as the current crop of connected videogame consoles. On the EVA2000, performance was on par to that of other video sources, but navigation was very primitive and the search feature is not activated.

Early next year, the Roku and Netgear boxes will receive more competition from another palm-sized device, the Boxee box, which uses Boxee's slick, socially connected media center software, but is slated to cost twice what these products cost.

Of course, small as they are, they all take up more space next to your TV, something you may be particularly averse to if you are purchasing a Blu-ray player that can access Netflix and other online services.

But both the Roku and Netgear Digital Entertainer Live open doors to Internet video that is beyond what you'll find on most connected TVs and Blu-ray players. Just be prepared to deal with the lower responsiveness and resolution that characterizes much of their content.

Ross Rubin (@rossrubin on Twitter) is director of industry analysis at The NPD Group (@npdtech on Twitter). He blogs at The NPD Group Blog as well as his own blog, Out of the Box.

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