Boxee Box Review, Updated and Netflix Ready

Article Index

The Wrap-Up and Conclusion

The Boxee Box is pretty much the best implementation we've seen yet on the whole notion of Internet TV, Movies and other content served from the cloud and connected via socialization features.  On the content delivery side of things, though the experience is still far from perfect, Boxee has essentially taken the widest range of features and function and enabled it with hardware and software that is up to the task and becoming more polished every day.  Boxee's two primary competitors, Apple TV and Google TV (at least those with the most brand-name traction), deliver either a more limited experience (in the case of Apple TV) or one that is less polished (in the case of Google TV, from what we've seen thus far). And so, in short, the Boxee Box is a best-of-class product that delivers an experience at the highest level, which the ecosystem that currently exists for these types of product can support.

That's not to say that all is right as rain with the Boxee Box and devices in this space.  There are obvious network support issues which limit content currently, not to mention the whole DRM issue, not the least of which is the ability of these machine to stream HDCP protected content. And actually, since we're whining just a little, a touch more bandwidth across the entire backbone of the internet might help too. It's a rather big can of worms to sort through for Boxee and other competitors in this space but we'd wager that as time goes on, things should loosen up a bit and Boxee seems to be well-positioned to capitalize on it with products like the Boxee Box.

Since we received our evaluation system back in early January, Boxee has released a number of small updates to the platform that have either enhanced the user experience in some way or added new services like HDX movies from Vudu and the Netflix app. So far, if you're an early adopter and took the plunge on a Boxee Box, you're probably pretty happy with the decision you made.  For that we applaud Boxee and along with their best-of-class HD media streamer, the Boxee Box, we have zero reservations chalking them up for an Editor's Choice here at Hot Hardware.

  • Inexpensive for its capabilities
  • Beuatiful user interface
  • Netflix and Vudu HDX streaming
  • Lots of connectivity options: USB, SD Flash Card slot etc
  • Full 1080p capable
  • Regular updates, enhancements, maintenance
  • Solid local media streaming interface
  • Massive file/codec support

  • No support for HDCP protected content
  • Remote is rather small/tight to navigate in certain uses
  • Some applications occasionally need to be re-installed/activated (Pandora)

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