I want a set-top box or connected television set for Christmas. Don’t you? Being able to access shows, movies, and other content instantly from the Internet at any time from the comfort of my couch isn’t just appealing to me; I believe it is the future of television.

A couple months ago, I began looking at the different set-top box options—Roku, Boxee Box, Apple TV, you name it—and weighed the pros and cons of each device. However, at the time, not one device met all my requirements so I decided to wait.

But when I saw the news at the end of July that Hulu Plus is now available on Apple TV, my interest was once again piqued, and my search for the right connected set is now back in full swing.

Part of the reason for my initial hesitation was also due to the fact that devices such as Logitech Revue have come and gone in the market. Like most consumers, I want to invest in a set-top box or connected television that I know is going to be around for the long haul.

Another big factor in my decision-making process is whether to consider a set-top box or connected television. The July/Aug issue of Connected World magazine highlights both, uncovering each devices’ connectivity functionality and Web-browsing features.

While set-top boxes could possibly someday fall by the wayside—especially as more and more televisions become connected—the initial upfront investment in the connected television can be quite large.

And then, with any connected device purchase, it is important to be looking to the future—what is the next big device on the horizon and is that something that I “gotta have.” Rumors have been swirling for quite some time that an Apple HDTV could arrive just in time for the holidays—although those rumors have yet to be confirmed. Even without speculating about what a connected television from Apple would look like and how it would function, my interest is heighted—as is much of America.

A May survey from Strategy Analytics shows nearly half of existing iPhone users would be somewhat likely to buy an Apple iTV soon after its launch. While some industry pundits predict this television could hit markets by Christmas, others anticipate the release will be in 2013.

As I continue my search for the right set-top box or connected television, I keep in mind products that have come and gone, connectivity functionality of each device, and what is coming in the future. While I am anxious to have a connected television in my living room, I might just have to wait and see what Apple has in store before making my investment.

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