Roku and Boxee prepare to deal with Apple TV & other rivals

Prior to Apple’s mid-week press conference, Roku and other rivals began slashing prices while consumers continued to wait to see how the home entertainment market unfolds.

Roku dropped the Roku SD price tag $20 down to $59.99, with the Roku HD and Roku HD-XR receiving $30 price cuts down to $69.99 and $99.99, respectively.  The Roku HD-XR should have a firmware update before the end of 2010 that will include 1080p HD video support.

Roku and Boxee prepare to deal with Apple TV & other rivals

Apple’s recent San Francisco “Music Event” took the wraps off a new model of the Apple TV that the trendy company has been unable to market to consumers.  Furthermore, the Apple TV is now priced at $99, which will give it a more competitive price point to help drive interest among consumers that previously didn’t care.

The Apple TV announcement was first announced in May, with the rumor mill speeding up more last month.

Boxee responded to the addition of Apple’s latest refresh and continued pressure by releasing the following statement:

“We walked away feeling strongly confident about the space it left for Boxee to compete,” the company said in an official blog post.  “We have a different view of what users want in their living rooms.  We are taking different paths to get there. The Boxee Box is going to be $100 more expensive than the Apple TV, but will give you the freedom to watch what you want.”

The streaming market is crowded with a blend of competitors ranging from the Apple TV and Roku set-top box to Xbox 360 game console and streaming Netflix.  Expect each company to head into the last quarter of the year ready to market their Web-connected devices and streaming services.

Collective reviews of various set-top and streaming devices are now appearing on the Internet.