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Television Entertainment Hardware

Boxee Box Matures; Another Look At the Platform 56

MojoKid writes "Though D-Link actually started shipping the Boxee Box media player back in Q4 of last year, it was obvious that it needed a bit more polish to offer a reasonably satisfying experience. Since that time, Boxee has released a number of firmware and platform updates that enhance the device and bring new services, like full 1080p movie content from Vudu and what could be considered critical mass in mainstream movie rentals, Netflix. The Boxee Box has had time to mature and this full walk-through of the system shows it's actually an interesting alternative to competitive products in this class of device, like Apple TV, Google TV and Roku. There's still lots of work to be done in fleshing out services and content but the Boxee platform has a bit more polish behind it now."
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Boxee Box Matures; Another Look At the Platform

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  • by Weezul ( 52464 )

    I just want a good wireless router with a built in hardware RAID 5 array.

  • by allaunjsilverfox2 ( 882195 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @09:58AM (#35323178) Homepage Journal
    I'd recommend looking into the buffalo product line. They cater to that area a lot. I would buy a boxee, but I can't see a reason to. Most ITX platforms have a fairly good upgrade path, especially since some of them include quad core options with PCI-E. Throw in your media center software of choice and you don't have to deal with different online services blocking you because they don't like branded device X.
    • by arhar ( 773548 )
      I followed this path and found a very significant problem with it. As probably most other geeks out there, I put the computer together and put Linux on it. And then I discovered that Linux doesn't have Netflix and Vudu. And this is not likely to change in near future, due to Microsoft DRM technologies used in those. For a HTPC, it's a very significant downsize. So now I'm faced with a choice of putting Windows on it (ugh), or shelling out for a Mac Mini, which will be twice as expensive at half the firepowe
  • by Murrdox ( 601048 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @11:24AM (#35323604)
    I got a Boxee for Christmas and we've been loving it. I haven't used a Roku or Apple TV, but the Boxee is great. We use it primarily as a media station to watch media on my PC on the TV. It's fast, the quality is wonderful, and we don't have hardly any technical problems with it. I did need to browse a few forums after a firmware update made it unable to see the shared folders on my PC. Other than that, it's great for watching Daily Show and other things whenever we feel like it. The remote control keyboard is great too. The interface could use some work. I find it difficult to mark "Favorites" and then get to them easily again.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Let's not forget the Iomega TV with Boxee [iomega.com] coming up.

  • ATV2 w/XMBC (Score:4, Informative)

    by DesertBlade ( 741219 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @12:11PM (#35323858)
    I fee this is a good combo. Been running it for over a week, with plugins can stream network channels, HULU (Plus and regular) and the ATV netflix is better than the roku one. For $99 I think it is a steal. I regretted purchasing the Roku about 15 minutes after hooking it up, not the same with ATV2 w/XBMC.

    The Boxee streaming 1080p is a little deal, but most TVs when you are viewing over 8-9 feet it doesn't matter. I looked at the boxee, but the lack of content swayed me away.
    • by clifyt ( 11768 )

      I have been tryin to figure out how to get Hulu on this same combo...what plugin are you using?

      • Look up Bluecop plugin, it is amazing and works well. You have to send the zip to the ATV to add the repository.

        http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=79148 [xbmc.org]
        • by clifyt ( 11768 )

          And it works! Thanks for that...isn't as pretty or nice as the built in netflix, but it does the job!

          I just hope the plugin devs can keep up faster than Hulu. I had MacMini with Boxee a while ago, and they had to remove the support for Hulu...people figured out ways around it, but it kept getting changed.

          Honestly, I'd love to be able to watch the advertisements and support Hulu...actually, I might just sign up for Hulu+ to support them...

          Thanks! This is pretty cool!

    • Out of curiosity, how is the ATV Netflix different from the Roku version? I've often wondered about the different Netflixes on different devices. I mean, I know Netflix on my Wii isn't going to display the same as on other devices that might support HD. And I've seen the difference in the movie browsing interface on a friend's PS3 vs my cheap-o BluRay player that has Netflix on it. But is actual playback of Netflix videos different from device to device? Is there anywhere that runs down the differences
      • The roku interface felt clunky compared to the ATV, streaming quality was probably about the same, but I feel the ATV queues it up faster. I have Netflix on PS3, Wii (standard def), Xbox 360, and ATV. ATV interface is the best, PS3 and 360 are about the same, but I tend to use the PS3 more (hooked up to the same TV).
  • I can do all of this on my Tivo, and I don't even have the TivoHD.
  • ...despite being the sort of geek who really doesn't care what a computing device looks like, I will never buy one of these things until they put it in a proper boring rectangular case that I can stack somewhere neatly.

    Insecure people who need the approval of their peers or the constant desire to impress others can buy Apple, but personally I don't need a set-top box to be a conversation point at dinner parties - I need it to be able to fit in as small a place as possible with all my other gear.

    It's a shame

    • Uhm, out of all of these devices, the newest Apple TV unit is the most discrete, even moreso than the Roku, IMO. It's tiny and you can hide it out of the way (aside from line of sight for the remote).

      • Yep - except I won't touch Apple anything with a barge-pole...

        Sorry, Apple TV is far too locked down for my liking, Linux is my first choice for anything these days and anything it can't do then I'm okay with running Windows XP occasionally as cover.

        But Sony, Apple and anyone else who makes locked-down crap can go to hell.

    • Apparently Iomega will be releasing a nice rectangular version of the hardware with Boxee installed on it.

  • by TheRedDuke ( 1734262 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @01:56PM (#35324646)
    The HotHardware article touts the social media aspect and the ability to share, but honestly, out of the dozen or so friends/coworkers I know that use the service (no one I know has the Box), not a single one even bothers with those features. Is my circle just off-base, or is it really as pointless as I suspect?
    • The last thing I want is my friends, family or co-workers knowing what I'm watching. Quite frankly, I think Boxee jumped on that bandwagon during the social media craze to land themselves some VC funding from the stupid rich.

    • Does this feature also work with the software, ie. people who install just the Boxee software on their computer? Not that I'm interested in using it for that, but even if people don't have the box and that feature exists in the software, there should be no problem.

    • by rasjani ( 97395 )

      Nothing is automatically "shared" from boxee but the feature i really like is the "social feeds". Basicly, you get a list of what your friends have been sharing in twitter,facebook et al and then you get to watch those when you start boxee. For me this is actually pretty nice feature, for example: wikileaks sends a quite a lot of video links almost everyday and those are typically also rather long vids too so when i get home and fire up the telly, they are all there in my queue ..

  • The one thing I would like to see in any of these boxes (Boxee, XBMC, etc.) is a clean integrated DVR. With CableCard support. Why do I have to use the cableco's box, or pay for a Tivo, or build my own separate media center (myth or Win7 or whatever) to get a DVR? I don't want to have to manage some sort of convoluted ecosystem of boxes or extenders either. Boxee/XBC obviously has the media management, playback, and streaming down pat. Why isn't there a DVR option that I can plug into networked storage
    • by spxero ( 782496 )

      There is- it's a fork of XBMC called MediaPortal. It has DVR support and tv-over-ip support for running one major DVR and a bunch of clients.

      If you want boxee to be a DVR, you're missing the point of boxee altogether. Boxee's point is to display all the media content from the Internet on a 10-ft interface.

      • Cool, I'll check out MediaPortal. I get what Boxee is - but I include DVR'd content in my "media content". I want a single box to aggregate content from Internet media, local media, and cable. I was hoping GoogleTV might have done that - say I have "The Office" on my mind. I search for that on a device and it shows me locally saved recordings, downloaded videos, that it's available streaming on any number of sites, and that there are episodes currently playing on my cable channel X. It seems like Boxee
        • XBMC frontend and Myth (plus many others) DVR backend can be ran on the same box. It is just not an off the shelf solution. I think most vendors will stay away from offering this $800+ dollar option when most cable/sat/Tivo offer it for less than $20 a month. I am in the same boat, thinking about dumping cable and building out a Myth DVR backend up stairs (about $600) to stream content to XBMC (ATV) front ends. But I think I am going to drop that since most the shows I care about I can stream off the net, w
  • I'm very tempted to get an Iomega Boxee if it comes out in the next couple of months. Netflix is working on Boxee Box now, so that's a big barrier removed. Having built-in storage so I can use the Iomega Boxee as a NAS device is a big plus. I'd really like if there was some way to have it act a DVR (in my case, for over-the-air TV)... I still can't have everything I want in a single device, but getting closer.

    Of course, being in Canada, the next barrier is the Bell/Rogers/CRTC duopoly threat currently
  • What! A now product comes on the market now, and it still doesn't do IPv6?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mrnobo1024 ( 464702 )

      Of course not - the ignorant masses don't know what IPv6 is yet, so companies will sell IPv4-only devices as long as possible. In a couple years, they will be obsolete and useless, and the masses will have to throw them away and buy new ones. Why would you let someone buy your product only once when you can force them to buy it twice?

  • I used to record stuff from my hauppage card, remaster to MPEG-PS and then burn to R/W DVD. With my Boxee I just leave the recorded shows on a Samba share and stream them to the boxee over wifi.

    All of my mp3's play on the boxee as well and the boxee has this little dancing-gfx-bar thingy on the music player application to give you something to watch while the music is playing.

    The remote is cool with the keyboard on the back, but not something you'd want to surf around with all day. It does make

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