Boxee Box HD Media Player, Updated and Netflix Ready

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Boxee Box HD Media Player, Updated and Netflix ReadyFree flowing bandwidth; it's an enabler. There was a time when no one had cable modems or DSL lines. Remember that? Alright, fair enough, neither do we. Regardless, having a 10Mb+ data connection to your domicile is a thing of beauty, because there's obviously so much you can do with it. The question becomes not so much what the cable or telecom companies tell you, or sell to you, with respect to what you can do with it, but rather what a little imagination, and some optimized hardware and software can do with it. And that's exactly the premise by which service platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Google TV and Boxee were born, though Boxee was a bit of a pioneer in the space with the introduction of their cross-platform software in early 2010. Boxee touted their software as the first "Social Media Center," with the ability to rate content and share it with your friends across multiple portals like Facebook and Twitter...
 
Boxee Box HD Media Player, Updated and Netflix Ready

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BKiser replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 2:14 PM

The Boxee box is a great concept, but the thing is incredibly buggy. Many users are hanging on every firmware release, hoping for a fix to their particular problem. Boxee-7777 on their Jira big report site is the one that has made Boxee box almost useless to me personally.

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Joboj replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 2:28 PM

Apparently you guys didn't actually use Boxee Box before giving it an Editor's Choice award?

-Library is constantly out of date and never updates itself

-Thumbnails don't work 90% of the time

-Half my videos don't play smoothly

-Subtitles sorta kinda sometimes work

-Rewind/forward buttons don't work in a lot of videos

-Netflix is hilariously bad. Play/pause button doesn't work in it. Image quality is HORRIBLE. It's like I recorded my PS3 streaming Netflix onto a VHS tape and played it back.

-The keyboard letters are dark grey on a black background.

-Half the online content doesn't work

-To watch online content you have to move a mouse cursor around with a cheap d-pad to manually click on the full screen button, which only sometimes works

-Play/pause, forward/back buttons don't work in online content

-Videos with multiple DTS tracks don't play

-Library scraping is terrible -- descriptions are constantly wrong

-Doesn't support low power standby

-Online content doesn't support sorting (seriously, it's all in a random order)

-Tons of judder in PAL video

-There's like 20 different ways to turn subtitles on/off and some subtitles are only accessible through some of the menus

-There is no consistency in the UI whatsoever

The Boxee Box has a lot of features, but every single one is completely half assed. It feels like a college term project. Unfortunately I waited too long and can't return mine now, so it's going on Craigslist.

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BKiser replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 2:31 PM

I've experienced a lot of those things Joboj describes. I am waiting to see if one of the new streamers works correctly. All I really need is a good, reliable way to play files from my NAS. With the Boxee box stopping video playback every 2-5 minutes, I am getting extremely frustrated.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 4:49 PM

Sorry your experiences weren't good, guys but I did not experience these issues. I had an issue with Pandora needing to re-activate every time the system was reset but that was about the extent of bugs I saw. It wasn't perfect, as I noted in the article but I found it relatively smooth, especially after the last couple of updates. And yes, we tested it for about a month before even doing the demo in the video or writing this evaluation.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 4:50 PM

And I'll also add that Apple TV is pretty limited and Google TV pretty disjointed in spots, by comparison. I've spent time with lots of these types of devices and I've always been happiest with the Boxee interface.

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BKiser replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 3:22 PM

Hi, Dave.

You had to experience some of these issues, if you used your Boxee Box much at all. For instance, the thumbnails are cropped for *everyone*. This happens in the "Files" section when you are browsing your own videos. It also does not recognize your .nfo files. Fast forward and rewind don't freeze up the box anymore, but that was just fixed in the latest firmware release. The DTS audio is screwed up (again, for everyone, not just a few of us). The mouse is difficult to move around on a browser page because you just to have the arrow keys to move it. The advertising is on the main page, despite MANY requests to make that screen customizable. This is all established and proven behavior.

You can read all about the bugs on the Boxee Box forums and the Jira bug report web page. I promise I am not making them up. :)

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JSimon replied on Sat, Feb 26 2011 11:20 AM

I can do all of this on my Tivo Series 3...which isn't even the latest one.

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Feb 27 2011 8:33 PM

I think you might be exaggerating just a little bit, unless you Tivo is an open platform that allows you to install apps from 3rd party repositories: http://boxee.zendesk.com/entries/62508-where-can-i-get-some-repository-addresse

I've only used the Boxee software on Linux (though I usually use XBMC). Boxee's not perfect, but it's decent enough that I would probably buy one of these if I walked by it in the store.

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I don't know about this product. I put the software on my rig, but it is buggy as hell. I crashes often in the menu. Sometimes the videos don't work, but when it does work I love it.

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detnight replied on Mon, Apr 18 2011 9:12 PM

Thank you this has been a good read and all of the comments will be helpful in me making my choice. I read and research a lot before I buy anything.............................so far it has my vote

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