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3.3 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 21 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on 3 February 2011
Different people look for different things in a media player. I wasn't remotely interested in the wi-fi networking side of things - I have no interest in streaming files from my PC (I wanted a tool for watching film and listening to music whilst my PC is switched OFF) and couldn't care less about a very limited "internet on my TV" - I have full access to t'interweb on my PC, thank you very much. Having said that, it's nice to have the BBC i-player there. So then, on with the review.

The BB is easy to set up. It's a bit annoying the fact that you must be connected to a router to set it up the very first time, but on the other hand you're going to want the very latest firmware anyway so what the hey. After that you can just plug a hard drive into one of the two USB inputs, and you're away. If you like you can start a full scan of the entire drive or selected folders, and all your videos and music will be categorised as such (video, music, pictures). This can take a very long time the first time for large drives. I did this but then found I totally prefer to just navigate my files and folders the old-fashioned way (just as easy as using Windows on a PC) as I have all my music albums and films ordered and categorised as I like them (in rock, jazz and classical folders for music, and by country of origin and director for films). If you use the scanned database to search for films or music, you'll find all your films (whether TV or cinema or documentary or whatever) just appear in a massive single alphabetised list, and your music categorised by artist in one massive list, regardless of genre. I didn't like it.

How does it play? Films are brilliant - it plays back all manner of formats up to 1080p quality, as well as DVD images with fully functioning menus. I love the fact that with a couple of clicks on the remote you can snap the image to a choice of popular aspect ratios (very handy for films not ripped to perfect 16:9, 4:3, 2.35:1 or whatever). It plays a wide range of soft sub formats, and you can change the size and colour and position of the subtitles. Where subs are missing you can search an internet database for a sub file to download directly onto your Boxee, although I have never had to use this function so am not sure how reliable it is.

Soundtracks can be delivered as DTS "passthru" (allowing your TV to decode it) or you can tell the Boxee to decode the DTS before it is sent out the HDMI - essential for me as my LG TV can't handle DTS. It will also handle all manner of other audio formats. Sound quality via the HDMI is fine as far as I can tell, just from using my LG TV with built-in speakers. There are also analogue L + R audio outputs. Unfortunately, the analogue audio quality is truly abysmal. More of that in the next paragraph.

MUSIC - As I said, the analogue outputs give a horrible, horrible sound - it makes an audiophile stereo system sound like the cheapest, yuckiest Bontempi midi system. If you want this player for playing high quality music files (FLAC, APE and WV are all supported) then an external DAC is absolutely essential. But sadly it still falls down even here. I use a DACMagic, one of the best DACs in its admittedly low-cost class (couple of hundred quid). The DACMagic normally produces lovely warm, smooth, luxurious analogue-sounding audio, and I love it to bits. But using it with the Boxee (connected via an optical or coaxial cable) produces a bass-weak, slightly tinny sound, lacking smoothness. Clearly the Boxee is doing something to all those digital bits to degrade the sound before they are outputted to your DAC. There is no "pass-thru" option for stereo music files. I was hoping it would just decode the losslessly-compressed files and output that decoded data directly, but no such luck. So as a music player, it's useless for me. I get a nicer sound just from connecting my little Sansa Fuze to my stereo. A Squeezebox Touch will probably be my next purchase.
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on 29 November 2011
3 stars because although for the purpose to which I put it, it is 4 stars, for most people buying it based on what D-Link claim it is good for, it is worth 2 stars. The theory is that it allows you to watch online and networked content on your TV. The reality is that it is great with networked content (i.e. films and TV episodes you have - assuming they're in supported formats (most formats) on your PC or network drive, or a USB hard drive connected to Boxee) but for UK users, the online content is fairly limited (fortunately, you can filter out foreign content from the UI). Online content includes BBC iPlayer through a dedicated app which works well but you often get the audio out of synch and overlaying the in synch audio (a bug). It should also have 4OD content but right now the version of flash on the box is not supported by 4OD (nor Channel 5's offering I understand) so you can't use 4OD and haven't been able to for the last 6 months - looking at the latest from Boxee, it doesn't look like we will get it any time soon or even ever.

I have also had problems with the remote which periodically un-pairs itself from the Boxee. I was only able to get it to work again because I am fairly technical and trawled through forums. There is a reasonably useful support network when things do go wrong or you need assistance (online forums and support from the software developers).

Essentially, if you are buying this for online content, I don't recommend it, there is limited UK content and what you do get is widely available on other cheaper devices (plus 'Smart' TVs). If you are buying it for network content and want a nice front end (movie posters and TV DVD covers etc.) but would also like some online content then it is probably an OK purchase. If you are after a good music jukebox then avoid this, there is limited music jukebox functionality beyond album art (which I don't think it fetches itself) and a largely folder based structure.

Really, this should be half the price before I would recommend it to everyone. If it all worked and I was confident that all online content would continue to be supported as providers update their website technology then I would have given it 4 stars but it doesn't and I'm not.
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on 25 November 2013
About this review, note that I work in the consumer-electronics industry. I take part in the development of products similar to the Boxee box. These products do not compete with the Boxee box, so please consider my review to be unbiased and based on a modicum of knowledge for such products.

To summarise: it is quite a good product, but it was introduced three or four years ago. It has since been eclipsed by others (e.g. the WD Play box).

Positive points in my experience (I have not tried everything):
> Responsive user interface. There's a beefy Intel chip inside this product so its responsiveness is not surprising.
> Control via iOS/other app is possible.
> Remote control has a real keyboard on it, which makes it much easier to type in long strings (e.g. a wifi password) than using a virtual keyboard.
> Some useful apps available, e.g. iPlayer (which works, robust, trick modes supported).
> Set up is easy.
> uPnP works very well (in terms of content compatibility and trick modes).
> Simultaneous output of digital audio over HDMI and SPDIF, which means that the user does not have to switch between these outputs if wanting to move from watching video on TV to listening to music on hi-fi system,.

Negative points:
> The home screen is cluttered with suggested content which cannot be switched off or tailored. The suggested content is US focussed, and seeing this every time the box is enabled becomes irritating.
> The box tries to create thumbnails and titles for content stored on a uPnP server (instead of using the real name offered by the server), and often gets it wrong. It looks at the name and duration of each file, goes online to some database somewhere and comes back with what it thinks is the correct name and appropriate thumbnail. For example I have the 2012 Olympics on Blue Ray ripped to my server, and the Boxee box presents these as being copies of the movie '2012'. I could find no way of disabling this useless and faulty function.
> Not many of the hundreds of apps are useful. A smaller, more useful selection would be better.
> Although it was very robust during normal operation, it often crashes/stalls/hangs up when bringing it out of standby. Frustrating. Workarounds for this are to either leave it on all the time OR fully switch it off when not using it. But, leaving it on consumes a lot of power (due to its beefy Intel chip) and 2) there is no hard on-off switch near the front of the box (there is one on the power cable) and it takes about a minute to boot up.

So I returned mine and bought a WD Play (which is generally superior, cheaper and so far has not crashed).
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on 18 October 2012
You will find from reviews on this product that it has some very good attributes and true the one I have has given me good service.

But be aware this product is no longer being developed by the manufacturer and is on maintenance update only.

I would recommend that any buyer researches via the boxee web site and not end up dissapointed after the event.

The notice about support is published in the announcement section posted by Boxee on October 16, 2012 at 10:00 am
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on 7 August 2014
Be aware, online in the uk this will not play itv player or 4od or channel 5 catch up.
The internet browser is very basic,hardly worth the effort.
The free content by boxee is mostly pants.
I does play all downloaded movies off a hard drive,and wirelessly from other pcs and devices.
Lousy for tv.....ok for movies,tunes and pics.
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on 25 January 2011
I have given 3 stars as there is still lots of faults with the product.Half of the free content is not available in the UK and video freezes occasionaly
particularly on Iplayer.However it is still a great concept and I was able to get internet video easily.I look forward to the improvements they have promised and all in all I like it very much
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on 15 August 2014
This should have been the best product on the market, as it played nearly every video and music format that you through at it, including iso and vob. I had mine setup so that it played the variety of media that is stored locally on my home server, for which the product would get summaries and pictures, from the internet for each episode and series and for films. The online content was well catered for as well with plugins for Netflix, BBC iPLayer adn well as countless others.
biggest issue I had with it was the poor remote control which I had a habit of multiple clicking i.e. you press a button once and then it would repeat it for your several times uncontrollably ( I overcame this by using the smartphone app). Then it would require restarts if the temperature rose a little high.

The final straw was that the sound stopped for no apparent reason, an no amount of tinkering could bring it back.
I suspect this was down to poor manufacturing or it being killed off by its corporate owners as they shifted their focus somewhere else
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on 23 November 2011
This is a difficult review.
I intially wanted the Boxee to stream video,music and photo's from an upstairs room to my living room TV via a Homeplug 200mbps setup.
For some reason the streaming was not a success with video stuttering etc. I tried lots of solutions, using my main computer as a media server but only with the same results. The eventual solution was to simply attach a 1TB laptop hard drive via usb cable to the boxee itself. Not quite what I intended but it is easy to add files to the hard drive and then re attach the hard drive to the boxee. This now plays all files with no problems.
The Boxee comes with lots of Apps e.g. BBC i player which streams over the same Homeplug setup. These work with no problems.
The App content is very american, so if you like baseball etc you will be very pleased.
I think to summarize this product, it is a very new concept which will undoubtably improve in future years.
D Link update the software on a regular basis as well.
The reason I stated this was a difficult review is simply the cost involved in getting the Boxee to work properly, some £270, I could have bought a lot of blu-ray discs for that kind of money.
I think it will get better, but at the moment it might not suite a lot of peoples ideas of streaming video etc.
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on 22 December 2011
When the first WD TV HD came out I went and bought it and then in nine months WD TV Live came out and I bought it as well but the problem with WD TV Live was its remote, not enough live content, media organization and its interface.

When I saw the demo for Boxee Box I was surprised and awaiting a stable version for it to come out so I can buy it and in June 2011 I did but in six months its remote\keyboard gave out as well and now I am using my iPhone as a remote, its live content is much better than WD TV Live but not perfect as a lot of it is only for US and they keep coming up with new versions every three or four months but it is still buggy and can be slow at time and the thing which bugs me most its stability while scanning for new sources or while playing getting hang or restarting on its own whenever it pleases.

But still I would keep it but I might have to change and upgrade to something else by June 2012, any suggestions?
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on 5 December 2012
got 3 of these at the same time one had to be sent back to be replace just after 2 days it just stopped working
the other 2 have worked without a problem since we had them amazon was very fast at replace the item was with me the very next day after i sent them a e-mail saying the problems with it

new one come and its still not working 100% has a habit of freezing up been on the boxee website too see if anything can be done for it seem have to wait for better firmware so i only play files though its file menus not with its main menus :(
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