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Roku hotter than Apple TV, report says

Roku's set-top box is the most popular streaming video device, according to a poll from research firm Parks Research.

The Roku.
The Roku. Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku has a leg up over Apple TV with users of set-top boxes, says a report out Wednesday.

In a survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households with streaming media devices, Parks Associates found that 37 percent primarly use a Roku, while 24 percent use an Apple TV. Further, Roku is the most used streaming set-top box in the U.S., the poll found.

Whichever device is the most popular, streaming-media boxes continue to expand their reach. The percentage of broadband households with such devices has doubled since 2011, reaching 14 percent this year.

The overall market for connected devices is expected to double by 2017 to 330 million per year. That number includes set-top boxes as well smart TVs, gaming consoles, and Blu-ray players. Prices of these devices will drop over the next few years, according to Parks. At the same time, annual sales are expected to jump 100 percent by 2017.

But set-top boxes and similar devices enjoy an advantage over other streaming-media gadgets.

"Innovations such as next-gen game consoles and 4K or ultra-HD TVs will boost unit sales for these devices, but overall, consumers are reluctant to replace these big-ticket items solely for smart upgrades," Parks Associates research director Barbara Kraus said in a statement. "As a result, streaming video media devices will have a thriving market because they can offer innovations such as streaming video at low prices. Devices such as Roku's streaming players and Google's Chromecast will benefit from these market conditions."