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on June 9, 2011
originally purchased apple tv 2. disappointed by a tremendous lack of file format support and 720p/24fps limitation, i returned apple tv and opted for boxee. boxee has outstanding support for local file playback (m2ts, mkv, m4v, mp4, m4a, wmv, avi, iso, etc, etc, etc). recommend using boxee wired via cat6 for hd playback. have had issues with 1080p file buffers over wifi (apple airport extreme). bugs here and there with gui, but it's a developing product (as are many of it's competitors). highly recommend for htpc & a/v enthusiasts looking to make less trips to the blu-ray bookshelf to swap movies from the blu-ray player and more time relaxing on the sofa watching flicks.

youtube, netflix, vudu, and other integrated apps are perks. bought boxee to use as a remote access machine to playback a/v content from pc in office and it does a wonderful job. full 1080p support, true-hd, dts-ma hd, 7.1, etc.

rf-integrated remote a huge plus. wish remote was a bit smaller and had backlit keypad, but overall it does the job.

"free" television content offered from major networks hit and miss, but i didn't purchase the product for said feature.

netflix streaming nice. vudu 1080p dolby 5.1 rentals are wonderful (far better quality than hd broadcast pay-per-view).

built-in wireless adapter supports only wireless n 2.4ghz band. if wireless is an only option, might recommend high performance wireless bridge to connect to ethernet to take full advantage of available wi-fi bandwidth (for bandwidth heavy files / blu-ray rips / etc).

work pc connected via cat6 to apple airport extreme, boxee connected to airport extreme via cat6. boxee connected to denon avr-1912 via hdmi 1.4. wonderful little machine for $199. in comparison, boxee makes apple tv look like a mother's day gift.

a little know-how in mac or windows required for initial setup (to share directories for local playback). nothing terribly challenging.

did plenty of research on boxee forum, reseller sites, etc before purchase. keep in mind these are all developing technologies - time will iron out kinks, bugs, and issues. loving boxee and excited to see what future updates bring. haven't watched cable tv in weeks!
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on December 10, 2011
Simply put, the power of the Boxee Box is its ability to play virtually every format of local video/audio and its extensibility via 3rd party repositories.

If your friends come over with a USB stick filled with images/video, the Boxee is hands down the most likely player to play it without problem. Why waste time converting your existing library into something your media player can read? It's much more time/cost effective to buy the player that plays EVERYTHING!

Do a Web search for "Bartsidee" and "Navi-X" 3rd party repositories. These are amazing installable apps that provide access to the few things that appear to be missing from the the Boxee Box at first glance.

Purchase a wireless keyboard/touchpad combo and you can turn the Boxee into a living room media PC for surfing the Web or playing Flash games. Note that high-speed Flash games play about 60% of their normal speed (e.g., Cannabalt) and that certain web apps will not work since Boxee's browser is Webkit-based (e.g., google apps).

Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad (920-003070)

Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard (Built-in TouchPad/Laser Pointer) - Black

If you're an intermediate-level computer user, you will grow to love the extensibility of the Boxee Box. This is not a product that makes you feel like you're being corralled into a corporate media ecosystem. On the other hand, if you're a novice computer user, with no local library of 'downloaded video content' you might be better served purchasing a player with a simpler interface (e.g., a few buttons on the 'home menu' that directly send you to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon VOD, etc).

And finally note that you'll need a HDMI connector on your TV or display. A cheapo HDMI to VGA or HDMI to DVI converter WILL NOT WORK! Boxee needs HDMI to HDMI.
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on June 5, 2012
This box is an excellent method for connecting with Internet entertainment. We use the box primarily for Netflix and GBTV. There are some foibles, which I will list - However, the technical support is good and they are working to correct any problems. Because it is based on the open-source Boxee OS, problem resolution is a little less organized - But, that is the cost of open-source.

FORTES:

Power on/off
This is an important feature. Roku, for example,
is on continually and has a habit of self-destructing.

Qwerty Keyboard
This is great for entering data, whether entering a
movie selection or a URL - SPEEDY! It beats "arrow over"
character selection hands-down. Of course, that option
is available if you choose - or are conditioned to use
that method.

IR interface*
The Boxee Box has an IR interface. Use this port to
attach a Manta interface. This allows a single controller,
such as the Logitech Harmony 670 Universal Remote, to
operate the Boxee Box (whose keyboard controller is RF).
You still need the Boxee Box controller to turn on the
Boxee Box.

Stability
None of the notorious Roku "loading" messages while
watching a program.

FOIBLES:

Forgetfulness
The Boxee Box will gently enter "sleep mode" if left unused.
Unfortunately it forgets anything you may have logged into,
such as Netflix and GBTV. You must then "back out" of the
application (e.g. Netflix, GBTV) and re-enter the application
to access the application programs.

New Technology
New technology - And a whole new set of problems, including
those between the provider (e.g. Boxee Box) and the vendor
(e.g. GBTV): Broadcast delays, voice syncing, etc. Expect
some workarounds.

Netflix Problem
...when playing selections, one sometimes receives a "program
not available." Netflix has a workaround for this Boxee Box
problem - and Netflix support is excellent. For those who I
notice having the same problem, here is the Netflix solution:

1. Using the Boxee Box controller's QWERTY keyboard, enter
the following arrow key sequence in fast succession:
Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Up, Up, Up, Up.

2. After key sequence is entered on Boxee Box keyboard,
power-cycle the wireless modem.

3. Press the Netflix Boxee Box button and enter the Netflix
account information.

4. Boxee Box will now play Netflix titles.

I hope this information helps the frustrated - Remember, this is a brand new media technology for all media providers, whether Roku, Sony, Google, or Boxee Box - expect problems. It is my humble opinion that this is the best product with the most flexibility at this point in time.

*IR is Infrared and RF is radio frequency. You do not need a 'line-of-site' with RF. However, most digital entertainment equipment use IR due its smaller real-estate and cost factors.
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on April 22, 2012
I have used Boxee Desktop software before it was discontinued, when it was still in Beta. I remember it being quite functional and snappy. So recently I've decided to buy a Boxee Box. I read online that it supports HBO GO, Netflix, VUDU, AirPlay and many other services.

The hardware design in beautiful. But it's irregular shape makes it difficult to stack it on the side/corner of a TV stand. The refurb piece looked pretty good without any signs of wear. Then I plugged it in and updated the software first. The UI looks beautiful, but I don't like some of the design choices they made. For example I couldn't find a reliable way to search a list of apps or a list of videos. I always end up doing a system wide search, which is not very useful many times.

1. AirPlay:
AirPlay works fine for short videos, but for long ones, the iPad goes to sleep and the video playback stops. Strangely, it doesn't happen with the Apple TV. Also, AirPlay mirroring doesn't work, but in fairness it only works on Apple branded devices.

2. Netflix:
Netflix UI lags a bit, but the streaming works fine for the most part. Quality is pretty good, no big surprises.

3. HBO GO:
I thought Boxee Box, supported HBO GO natively, but disappointed that it is nothing more than a mere hack. The App is just a wrapper to the website, which is fine with me, but it never works. Sometimes I see black bars when I switch to full screen. Even worse, I have to use the D-Pad on the remote as a mouse, which is a huge pain during navigation. Also many times the video and audio go out of sync and I can't navigate through the video since its a web player.

4. VUDU:
Everytime I try to open this app, it tells me there is a network error hence it can't be opened.

5. Local Playback:
Local playback from a network drive works for the most part, but sometimes it completely chokes and freezes. Not only that I experience audio lags very frequently and sometimes it randomly skips to a different time etc., This is one of the huge factors for me to return this. It should atleast playback local files without issues.

6. Other Apps:
There are a zillion apps/channels that I don't need or don't work properly. I tried watching PBS videos but it takes me again to the browser. The Youtube app is also just a Widescreen youtube website, which is fine, but it rarely works well on the Boxee box.

7. WiFi Issues:
Wifi disconnects intermittently and many apps crash in that process. It doesn't happen when using Ethernet, but WiFi on this device isn't reliable at all.

Conclusion:
Its a huge disappointment that Boxee box tries to do many things, but none of them work well. May be over the time, if they release more software updates it might get better, but it has been over 2 years already since this was first released. It feels like some Beta product rather than a finished product.

In comparision, I also own a Roku box, which doesn't have many features (No local playback, No Airplay, No Youtube), but for the few things it does, it works flawlessly.
4 helpful votes
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on March 22, 2012
I've lived in a Windows household for many years. I have a number of Win7 PCs in all flavors and have a WHS 2011 with 5TB of space set up. I wanted to serve my media seamlessly to my TV. I bought a Mac (Mac Mini) for the first time and the kids are happy with it - did this hoping it would see WHS media easily. I also bought an AppleTV hoping it would be good for my purposes and work in a MAc ecosystem. I also wanted to be able to update my media on the WHS media server and have a streaming device detect updates and changes automatically. AppleTV was *not* the solution to this problem. Getting iTunes to run on WHS 2011 was tough, but doable (separate user ID that doesn't log out and has iTunes running Home Sharing). Updating the media in the iTunes library and having it recognized by the streaming device - now THAT was a pain. I also wanted to keep the media in the WHS media folders (Music, Pictures, Video) without it being moved to another location, so "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder wasn't a solution. I ditched the AppleTV and went for the Boxee. It was recommended by friends and got some great reviews, so I thought I would try it. It is AWESOME. Great interface, automatically scans your home server, or whatever file share you set up, works with AirPlay and other sharing protocols (had to set my WHS 2011 up by IP address as using the server name didn't yield any found media folders - weird). I set up a specific user ID for the Boxee on the WHS to see the media in Read Only mode. I LOVE the Video interface as it goes out and finds cover art for your MP4s and M4vs - some were unrecognized, so I have to figure that one out (maybe it's naming). I have 18,000 songs, so as of this morning (12 hours of scanning so far) it's through about half of the songs. I love the Boxee apps, but the one big one missing is Amazon Video (no, I don't work for Amazon and this is not a plug). I subscribe to Prime and have the video app on my Panasonic Bluray player. It would be a great addition to the Boxee as it competes directly with Vudu and is priced better for rentals - I'd also get more movies with Prime. I like Amazon better because of its interface, too. The Slingplayer built into the Boxee was also great. It looks exactly like the interface on the iPhone - and you don't have to dish out another $29.99 for it like with all the other Slingplayer clients.

The Boxee remote is great and reminds me of the Lenovo wireless handheld keyboard, minus the Lenovo trackball.

The Boxee refurb worked like a charm out of the box. The bottom of the Boxee was definitely dirty - but, it's the bottom. As long as I don't lick it or keep the Boxee upside down, I'm fine. I did get the Squaretrade warranty as the refurb clearly states "Warranty for 30 days only" right on the serial number sticker as another reviewer noted, so I had the heads-up.

I have the Boxee hooked up via wired gigabit (not that it needs that kind of bandwidth, but it can't hurt). I run 9k Jumbo frames from my home server, no hiccups so far. Getting the battery for the remote inserted properly is the most important part when you set up. I don't read instructions normally and couldn't figure out why the remote wasn't working and the box wasn't turning on. First, I found the power button on the box in a place I didn't expect (kind of hidden on the top, back). Next, duh, the battery was inserted upside down. (I figured this all out, still without reading the instructions). I downloaded the Boxee app for iPhone but it seems to be very barebones and I haven't tried it yet. Hopefully, some development will be done on it to make it a more interesting and functional interface - something to mirror the Boxee's excellent interface.

The Mac sits in the house and keeps the kids entertained, but doesn't play nice with WHS 2011. Time Capsule does not work, even with the 2011 connector installed and a read-write folder mapped to a drive. All streamed media is playing through the Boxee.

I still have iTunes running on the WHS with Home Sharing for the other iTunes clients in the house, but updating media is a pain.

Overall, I'm VERY happy so far with the Boxee and the refurb was worth the 28% savings (50/180).
4 helpful votes
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on December 7, 2012
I purchase Boxee Box after extensive reviews of the product and because I wanted a product that not only bring me all entertainment like Streaming videos from different web sites like movies , shows, hundredths of Aps and free movie channels but specially because it allows you to go to the web using any browser. I have not been disappointed at all. It was easy to set up and now I am enjoying it. I can play my own music library, movies, and videos including music videos from my computer. The Linux operating system can handle anything. What I like the most is the remote control because it has a button for Netflix on one side along with the enter button and mouse like wheel to navigate but the other side of the remote is a full keyboard qwerty where you can enter the names of the website you want to see. Including YouTube, Pandora, Hulu. Boxee is a full computer but in an small box. The menus are easy to navigate. You can cut Cable since all your entertainment is there for you. The only drawback is that Adobe has not release yet a Flash Player for Linux so some of the videos on some website does not work. Boxee said that Adobe is working on it and as soon as they release it they will notify me via a firmware update. I recommend this product to any one hands down. Amazon.com price was the cheapest around.
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on May 11, 2013
Originally ordered this unit because of all the features it possessed including web browsing. The first unit worked flawlessly until I tried to connect to NetFlix. Then the unit started to freeze. Contacted customer support for both Boxee and NetFlix, and finally determined the box was defective The unit was replaced within 3 working days. Excited that the unit would work, connected it following the instructions to the letter, and it failed to load. The unit did not work and even after the "upgrades", the unit failed to boot. Returned the product with a full refund and will stick with the basic Boxee TV and Roku since they are working without issues.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on August 9, 2012
I was looking for an upgrade to my original Roku player and needed it to have the following capabilities, Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, Hulu, and the ability to play files and media stored on my home network. I've been doing some extensive searching and couldn't find any single device that did it all, but this seemed to come pretty close and offered a lot more.

So sounds great right? well here's the real deal, while it looks like it has loads of content and channels that other players don't have, most of them are either broken or severely outdated. For instance, i was excited that there was a Vice magazine app, i love watching the vice documentaries online, so i figured i could watch videos right on my tv. Upon opening the app, i was disappointed, the content was old and didn't have a fraction of what was on the actual vice website. I could have opened it on the built in browser, but what's the point if there's an app that's supposed to be easier to navigate and is more intuitive?.

There's also other channels like twit tv, that i was unable to stream at the highest quality, video froze and i had to restart the app several times. There's another nature station (i cant recall the name) which all the videos were broken, the vevo app didn't work either, i searched for Chris Brown and it all of his videos appeared when searching but upon playing, it gave an error "this content is not available, blah blah". So it boasts tons of apps, a major selling point over other players, but most of them do not work or are outdated. The only satisfactory working apps are the big wigs, Netflix, Spotify, Vudu, AOL, pandora, etc, all work well. So after this, i thought to myself, was the 180 for this worth it when other streaming devices can play these for half the price?. The extra content that would have made this a better deal does not even work properly? Probably not.

So i tried to find something else that would justify me keeping this. The only really unique feature not found on other players is the web browser, it supports adobe flash so you can browse to almost any site and play embedded flash videos. This works really well, and the browser speed is pretty good. Navigating kinda sucks though with the remote, as you need to use the up down left right to scroll a mouse pointer. It would be nice to have the directional pad function as a touch sensitive pad as well, but its just a 4 way rocker with a button in the middle. You can connect a mouse and keyboard, but u'd think you can use that in place of the remote, but no, the mouse cursor only appears in the browser and you need to use the remote for everything else. I also couldn't find an official boxee remote app for my android phone in the Google market even though they say there's one.

Onto the hardware, which is pretty beefy, Atom Chip, 1GB ram, etc, but i'm not a big fan of the weird looking melting box design. It would be nice to include a stand so it can be placed upright like a regular cube, or have the option to remove it for those who like the funky URBAN melting ice cube position. I'm thinking a clear plastic stand would be nice, maybe on Boxee 2 who knows.

Otherwise back to the basics, quality is great streams in 1080p etc, no issues with sound, video or build quality and plays almost everything i threw at it ( even some old TIFF files that i could never open on my pc). I still haven't found out how to zoom on the photo viewer, not sure if you can or not.

I had some issues with it freezing, though only twice, not a big deal but if it happens again, i might become a bit worried about it. The bottom line is, the hardware is over 2 years old and while this would have been a smash hit when it was released in 2010, cheaper players like the Roku 2 are and the WD TV Live streaming are catching up. It would have been a better deal if this player was in the 120-140 range but i don't think it offers enough unique features to justify the 180 dollar price tag. I'm going to return mine and get the WD HD TV live which offers the same features plus network streaming, i loose web browsing and social networking capabilities but hey i wouldn't want it broadcasting that i'm watching those late night movies (if you know what i mean) to all my friends anyway.

-Pros

* Strong Hardware under the covers (Should be good for the next 3-4 years)
* Plays everything i could throw at it
* More of a software platform than a media player, open to enhancements, upgrades, third party developers.
* Web Browser
* Youtube ( Which Roku at the moment does not offer )

-Cons
* Freezes at times
* Some channels are broken and outdated
* Expensive ( Compared to other models )
* No Hulu
3 helpful votes
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on August 17, 2014
I've used the Boxee almost since it was launched to well after they discontinued support for it (in fact I continued to update it with the unofficial Boxee+ firmware which added further features). At the time, although it was pricey it was in my opinion the best media streamer available with excellent file format support, and by far and away the best interface (both gui and remote) when compared to the competition such as WD Live.

Support from Boxee was great for about 2 years with regular updates but once the updates stopped then the box slowly lost utility for me over time. I found that as my media file sizes got bigger boxee struggled not only with playing the higher bit rate files but also with cataloging my burgeoning video library. Eventually I replaced the Boxee Box with a HTPC (Intel NUC) running XBMC (which Boxee is forked from anyway) and the Boxee Box was relegated to secondary room purposes and being lent to friends to show them what a media streamer can do.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on April 22, 2011
I've had a few products that do some of the things that Boxee does, but never had a dedicated streamer before.

Tivo -- Netflix, Amazon rentals etc. It does stream local content but not well (you have to download it to the Tivo first).
PS3 -- Netflix, PSN rentals etc. It streams local content but it is not easy to setup, you have to use tversity, windows media server or PS3 media server. You basically have to convert all video to PS3 compatible format.

I started to have issues with the PS3 my primary device, so I spent several months looking into what streamer to get next. I looked at Popcorn hour, WDlive, Xtreamer, building my own PC and Boxee.

Before buying each product seems to have issues and every time I was researching one of the products I'd find someone had mentioned boxee and they were happy with it. So when I researched Boxee the only complaints were generally from people with old firmware versions complaining that Neflix and other products didn't work as advertised, these issues seem to be resolved in the current firmware versions.

I purchased the Boxee Box, and I am very impressed.

Setup was fairly easy. I plugged it in spent a few minutes configuring my network settings (I've got a complex network with proxy servers and windows domain controllers). It took a while to get the boxee to find media on my PCs and Servers, but once I got the network settings right it worked, if you have simple network without Windows Domains and proxies it would probably be much easier.

Usage was a breeze, it just works once it finds your content and you setup the apps it is easy to navigate and I've not had issues playing any content. My wife and children even use it, they never used the PS3 and only used the Tivo for music and Netflix.

The interface is responsive and simple, the remote is pretty good.

Issues:
1) The remote, it is cool having the flipover keyboard. I have to be a little careful with it because sometimes I push buttons on the bottom side by accident. Also the keyboard is not easy to use I typo a lot, even more then on my iphone :)
2) The remote (again). I have a harmony remote that I want to use, and Boxee is RF so I needed to work out an IR solution. I spent a few bucks on at MCE IR remote, and it works, it was easy to setup, just plug it in and test that it works, then set it up in harmony, BUT not all of the buttons I wanted work... for example I have a menu button but it doesn't work the same as the Boxee menu button (which can double as a back button).
3) When playing online content (like youtube) there is no easy way to make the video full screen. This sucks because you have to use the remote as a pointer and move the mouse to the full screen button. This is really minor, but is very irritating, to have to do it after playing each video :)
4) Sound, I am using HDMI and sometimes the sound just cuts out after switching media. To fix this I need to turn off the TV and turn it back on. I don't believe this is a boxee issue, I think this my TV getting HDCP confused, but it never happens on other devices (OK it used to happen with my Tivo that I don't use anymore).

Over all I'm very happy and none of the issues above are deal breakers (even if you are a casual user). I think overall the box does exactly what it is supposed to very well! Just wait till you see all the content and apps that are available!

One thing I've not checked yet, and I hope to update when I do. I've not hooked the device up to my high end system (Projector and DTS-HD capable receiver). Once I do I need to find out if the device handles DTS HD 7.1 properly, if it does the devices will be damn near perfect (and I will add the last star).
6 helpful votes
7 helpful votes
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