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Boxee Box Matures; Another Look At the Platform

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the still-tee-vee dept.

Television 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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NAS (0)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#35323156)

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

Re:NAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35325014)

Why do you need RAID5 on wireless?

Re:NAS (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#35325980)

probably to make an all in one home server/router/firewall.

Re:NAS (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 2 years ago | (#35326064)

Network Adressable Storage. with redundancy.

As a option......... (2)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | more than 2 years ago | (#35323178)

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.

Re:As a option......... (1)

arhar (773548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327802)

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 firepower. In retrospect, I should've just gotten a Boxee Box with an external hard drive.

What i dislike .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323182)

in boxee is when the hardware came out there has been virtualy no binary releases of their software for those who like to use their software on their own hardware. Sources are up for graps but so they are not doing anything wrong licensing wise but the debian packing and building is a big pile of steaming spagetti..

Tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323196)

Where is the slownewsday tag?

Re:Tag (2)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 2 years ago | (#35323548)

mynameisboxee, surely?

And don't call me Shirley. mynameisboxee

boxing manure; megasloth response to world unrest (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323210)

even more 'meetings' are planned as 1000's die as a result of our boxed weapons 'deals'. there's now rumors that the manufactured weaponry (as it's taken from the corepirate nazi zionists), will be dismantled (recycled?), & used to build life extending equipment, should the populations survive our high dollar vaccines. see you there? some of us are out of work anyway, so we'll have more time (& soon resources) to take care of each other/our young, & rebuild a place/time where political administration (accounting/social work) does not require endless heavy weaponry to accomplish.

Re:boxing manure; megasloth response to world unre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323370)

Do not believe them: the sparrow does not exist in Kansas.

Re:boxing manure; megasloth response to world unre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323394)

I AM CHEESE

take that vortex tomato

Re:boxing manure; megasloth response to world unre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323706)

Yolanda where's my Muffin?

you said it would rise again last Sunday south of Douras.

Re:boxing manure; megasloth response to world unre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323708)

38 / 12 / 88 / 55 / 93 / 33 / 98 / 21 / 86 / 29 / 71 / 44 / 28 / 28 / 62 / 65 / 00

Re:boxing manure; megasloth response to world unre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323798)

Minghajr paci hemm gwerra.
Bez wojny nie ma pokoju.

lol.... newfags... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323240)

the queen of 4chan doesn't care about what slashdot thinks

Re:lol.... newfags... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323438)

I was waiting for that comment...

I read the Boxee Box does do Netflix with 5.1 AC3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323456)

I read the Boxee Box does do Netflix with 5.1 AC3 sound, which the Roku does not do yet. I like the Roku and use it several hours every day and really like it, but would like it better if it did 5.1 sound with Netflix - it's odd becasue the Roku does do 5.1 sound with the free Amazon streaming for Prime members, Maybe a Boxee Box is in my near future, as I read it is better than our Asus O'Play Air, bu tthe $200.00 price tag slows me down.

Re:I read the Boxee Box does do Netflix with 5.1 A (1)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 2 years ago | (#35323596)

This is presumed to be a PS3 exclusive for the time being, because as you mentioned... the "premier" Netflix streamer (Roku) can't do it yet either. All the boxes physically support it, it's just Netflix lagging behind.

You can periodically grab these new for $150 or less, and there have been several big deals in the past few weeks for $130. Don't pay $200.

can I plug in a USB DVD or bluray drive yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323544)

It would be great if I could replace a box in the TV cabinet instead of adding yet another one.

Re:can I plug in a USB DVD or bluray drive yet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323754)

I'd rather replace the box the Boxee is in.... have you seen it? What were they thinking?

Re:can I plug in a USB DVD or bluray drive yet? (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#35326038)

Apparently it's supposed to look like a submerged cube. I didn't realize that until I read an article on it. Once you look at it that way, it is kind of neat, but I don't think it works well in practice.

We LOVE our Boxee (2)

Murrdox (601048) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Iomega TV + Boxee. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323676)

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

ATV2 w/XMBC (3, Informative)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:ATV2 w/XMBC (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 2 years ago | (#35324032)

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

Re:ATV2 w/XMBC (2)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 2 years ago | (#35325956)

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]

Re:ATV2 w/XMBC (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 3 years ago | (#35332884)

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!

Re:ATV2 w/XMBC (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 2 years ago | (#35324966)

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 between Netflix implementations on different devices?

Re:ATV2 w/XMBC (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 2 years ago | (#35325976)

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 love my Boxee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35323934)

I bought mine specifically to free up my laptop and watch Baseball on the TV, but the rest of the content is pretty good. Their Apps section helped me find content that I never knew existed. My daughter likes earth touch. We tried the free trials of the commercial movie streaming services but won't be paying a monthly subscription. It simply doesn't fit our usage pattern. Our DVR has more newly recorded content than we have time to watch. It also plays our home movies from our file server very nicely.

The biggest drawback for my use case is their music player. Luckilly the underlying player (VLC I think) supports .m3u files, so I just wrote a script to generate .m3u files based on artist, genre, and other criteria found in our music file headers. So, we just point it at the .m3u files and play music over our stereo.

So, the Boxee Box is either great or sucks depending on what you want it for. With a little scripting know how, it became great for me and my family. And, the remote is awsome!

What's the big deal about this? (1)

Orleron (835910) | more than 2 years ago | (#35323938)

I can do all of this on my Tivo, and I don't even have the TivoHD.

Re:What's the big deal about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35325170)

No, you can't. Not even close.

Does not download movies from Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35324106)

Not being able to download movies from Amazon seems like a huge gap compared to the Roku Streaming Players.

Much as I hate to admit it... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 2 years ago | (#35324306)

...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 because otherwise it's a reasonable specification that's fairly open & at a good price...

Re:Much as I hate to admit it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35324400)

And make it beige!

And get off my lawn too!

Re:Much as I hate to admit it... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 2 years ago | (#35326114)

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).

Re:Much as I hate to admit it... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 2 years ago | (#35326984)

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.

Re:Much as I hate to admit it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35326374)

Even with its odd shape, it still takes up less space than a game cube. Worst case scenario, you can prop up that one corner on something.

Re:Much as I hate to admit it... (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 3 years ago | (#35330984)

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

Who uses Boxee as a social media tool? (2)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Who uses Boxee as a social media tool? (2)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 2 years ago | (#35326138)

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.

Re:Who uses Boxee as a social media tool? (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 3 years ago | (#35331010)

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.

Re:Who uses Boxee as a social media tool? (1)

rasjani (97395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35337508)

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 ..

DVR (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 2 years ago | (#35324948)

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 and do all of that natively, too?

Re:DVR (1)

spxero (782496) | more than 2 years ago | (#35325480)

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.

Re:DVR (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 2 years ago | (#35325582)

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 and GoogleTV, etc. have most of that - the aggregating local and Internet content. But there's a completely separate paradigm for the rest. Why can't everything be covered in a single box?

Re:DVR (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 2 years ago | (#35326020)

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, with XBMC or Plex.

I looked at boxee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35325286)

I looked quite seriously at Boxee at Christmastime. I wanted to stream movies to a tv set from the computer. I bought an LG BD570 (which accepts both wired and wireless b/g/n internet) for $80 (it only came with a 2 year manufacturers warranty because it had been factory-refurbished). I updated the firmware and its been working great. The boxee does basically the same, for $200. I've never seen that unit anywhere else for that little, and the store ran out of stock in less than 2 days (and they had more than 60 units). The boxee looked might tempting though, since its very competitive on price, and offers a few more file formats. I run linux with tiny dlna to stream movies from the computer to the unit (also the PS3). TinyDLNA connects to all of these perfectly.

Still waiting for an ideal cable/sat replacement (1)

Xaximus (1361711) | more than 2 years ago | (#35325392)

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 attacking Internet usage to protect their other entertainment products. And wrangling U.S. Netflix to work in Canada is a wee bit of a pain, but doable. Netflix Canada has a helluva lot of catching up to do.

IPv6? (2)

hendrikboom (1001110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35326994)

What! A now product comes on the market now, and it still doesn't do IPv6?

Re:IPv6? (1, Insightful)

mrnobo1024 (464702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327094)

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?

Re:IPv6? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35330758)

The question is whether there is a hardware reason for it not supporting IPv6, or will it just be a software update to be done when needed?

I'm very satisfied with my Boxee Box (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327370)

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 keying-in passwords and accounts much easier (for pandora, netflix, etc).  It's really nice to be able to pause/rw/ff my streaming content from the network too.

The way boxee aggregates all the internet content is really nice too and now having Netflix streaming available is pretty awesome.  It was the best $200 bucks I've spent.

My own solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35328106)

I've done well with the Asus O!Play media server. I upgraded to the latest firmware and it does a fine job of playing back a ton of different formats. I have it connected to a networked 2 terabyte hard drive and it's pretty awesome.

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