Note: there is a newer Best Media Players / Streamers list for 2012 that will be maintained from now on.
A new year, a new top 10 list that tries to offer a comprehensive view of the top 10 best media streamers for 2011.
If 2010 was a year in which the media streamer boxes sales experienced a big grow and many new web clients launched, in my opinion 2011 is a year of consolidation, partnerships and jump from technologically inclined users to wide adoption. Apple TV is one box that helped the transition due to its simplicity and customer friendlies. Although Apple TV was one of the boxes that took streaming to mainstream, I decided not to include ti in my list due to lack of support for local content and low number of web clients supported.
In terms of pure streaming, Roku deserves to be on the first place due to its excellent implementation of web clients and the support for all important premium clients such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video on Demand, etc.
Local files support continues to be critical and Boxee Box and Western Digital boxes are among the best in this category (even with their inherent bugs), without stepping into the pro-sumer category like the Dune BD Prime 3.0 media player for example which is in my opinion the best in terms of codec support.
As usual, I’ll update the list as new devices come on the market and I would also appreciate your input / votes as well. Considering that some will prefer a stronger codec support for local media and some will only care about web streaming, this top 10 will obviously not make everybody happy. However, I tried to add as many technical specs as I could so you can perform a side by side comparison.