The Boxee Box: Without Doubt, The Best Streamer Available Today
by bestvalueadvice on May 14, 2012
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This is an end user review of The Boxee Box by D-Link HD Streaming Media Player ...
This is an end user review of The Boxee Box by D-Link HD Streaming Media Player
D-Link's The Boxee Box is the best media streamer out today. It's fast, powerful and easy to use. The Boxee Box may not be the cable TV killer that some people were looking for, but at $199 it's far cheaper than most HTPC builds and it makes an awesome addition to any media room.
I opted for the Boxee Box over building a home theater PC due to cost: you simply cannot build an HTPC for under $200. In making this choice, I was forced to wait several months until The Boxee Box was finally released. I am not disappointed.
In waiting for this unit, I had 3 major concerns: ease of use for the wife and kids, codec support and performance. All 3 have been addressed. Some reviews have criticized the release version of the software, but let's face it, the Boxee beta version was a bit cumbersome and more suited to a media desktop than a lean-back environment. The release version is definitely more non-geek (not to mention remote control) friendly. It's still a little daunting for my kids but far better than it was.
Codec support of the Boxee Box is amazing. I haven't found anything on my server it refuses to play. It plays FLAC audio and it even played some old rare kung-fu movies I had which were encoded in some kind of Real player codec. Basically, this thing is on par with VLC for codec support.
Finally, in the performance department I was pleasantly surprised. The Boxee Box quite robust in both web and local file streaming. I was previously using PlayOn Media Player on my XBox360 and it smokes that so bad it's not funny, which didn't come as a shock. What did catch me off guard is how much better it performs than my dual-core Lenovo laptop which I previously used to run the Boxee beta.
Cons? Well, the boot time is around a minute, but usually by the time I turn on my TV, select the correct HDMI input and power up my AV receiver it's ready. For me, the boot time is a minimal issue. Netflix and Hulu Plus are missing and VUDU isn't quite ready yet, which sucks, but I suspect that will be taken care of soon enough.
Granted I am still in the honeymoon phase with this unit, I've had it for 2 days now, but in that time I have not turned my cable box on once. Will I cut the cable once and for all? Probably not, due to my wife and kids, but I will definitely be downgrading our service from $77 to $50/mo.. That doesn't sound like much, but it's enough to pay for the price of the unit.
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