On aging TV media players

While waiting for an upcomming TV from Apple, I think it’s time for a new generation of smart-TV boxes. The AppleTV box is built on the last generation A4 platform from early 2010. Boxee box came out late 2010 and has an old Intel Atom-derivate processor and first generation Google TVs are sluggish at best. 

Here’s my wish-list:

  • Under $199
  • Ability to play content from USB-drive or internal storage as well as from network sources.
  • Handle 1080p (720p would do actually) in every format thinkable.
  • Handle photos at the speed a modern computer, smartphone or tablet does. Most boxes out there are terrible when it comes to photos.
  • Handle DVD-image files with menus and subtitles. I really need to rip my DVDs. Kids and optical media is not a match made in heaven.
  • Handle subtitles.
  • Zippy HTML5-browser that preferably can handle flash.

Nice to have:

  • Apps. For streaming services, games etc.
  • At least dual core ARM-based chip performance (from speed, power consumtion and thermal aspects). Actually, this is not necessary if all other wishes are fulfilled. I don’t care what’s inside as long as it gets the job done. I’m just figuring that it would take something like this to pull it off.
  • A memory card reader

Today, most Smart-TV vendors are focusing on apps and services which is fine, but they haven’t sorted out the basics. It isn’t hard to find a box that fulfills most of my wishes, but I haven’t found one that ticks all the boxes. Today, I have a computer from 2002 under my TV, running an ancient installation of Mediaportal. It almost does it all but it can’t handle HD, not even 720p. And it’s getting sluggish overall. I would prefer not having to go the PC route again, but I’m not prepared to yada yada yada… Ah, just update the Boxee box already and I’m yours.