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Philips HMP 2000 Smart TV Box
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Smart TV is becoming increasingly popular by offering a mix of standard TV programming, access to internet based services, and a way to combine our mobile devices with our TV screens to enjoy social interactivity in a way never seen before.
But buying one of the best Smart TVs is an expensive proposition, certainly if you've only recently upgraded your set.
Smart TV boxes are a much lower cost option for getting Smart services on your home TV without the need to go for a fully fledged Smart TV model. These boxes work by connecting them to a TV to provide that Smart capability.
An example of a set top box is the Roku Player. Roku boxes are devices that can handle receiving content from hundreds of channels including HBO, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and Pandora. You can get one for around $50.
Other good examples of internet streaming devices include Boxee, Veebeam, and the future Youview Box. Veebeam is particularly interesting in that it connects to your home PC or laptop, and from there streams content over wireless to your TV.
On the back of announcements of plans from both Logitech and Cloud TV to get their versions into our homes, Philips have now announced plans to get their box - the HMP 2000 - into the fray in the early half of this year.
The HMP2000 is a very straightforward model with just three options for connecting - one for power, one for an HDMI connection to your TV, and a third for a USB drive if needed.
Early reports suggest the unit is very easy to set up, and you can be streaming local media files from other devices immediately via the USB. Standard internet services such as Youtube and Netflix can be streamed in minutes just by following a simple Wi-Fi set up process.
At an expected price of just under £50, the Philips HMP2000 gives the standard services you'd expect at a cheaper cost than comparable devices from Roku and others. It's worth a look if you're in the market for a box solution rather than a Smart TV model, though it'll be worth holding on to see how Philips plan to expand on the services it delivers.
If you don't want to wait - and have a bigger budget to play with - it's still a good idea to look at buying a smart TV instead. Check out the Smart TV reviews and buying guides here on SmartTV101.