Boxee Box Review

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Boxee Box Review

Postby madchild » Mon May 23, 2011 7:21 pm

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Ive been looking for a new media player to replace my aging Popcorn Hour A100. I purchased my Popcorn Hour (PCH) about 3 years ago, and it has served me well. When I first got it, it was one of the very few media players on the the market and was highly touted as being the best one.

When I first got it, it was a BITCH to setup and get working correctly. After a few months, and a few firmware updates it finally worked flawlessly in all the formats you expect (avi, mkv, mp4, etc.). It handles everything I throw at it, and I've thoroughly enjoyed my PCH over the last few years. However, its GUI is horrible. Its slow, and doesnt pull any metadata or images of the files like movie thumbnails and such.

I considered a WDTV live, but heard that the GUI for it sucks balls. Asus OPLAY! was also another media player that I considered, but after reading some reviews, I decided it wasnt the player for me. Ive been reading more and more about the Boxee Box and how good it is, so today I took the plunge and dropped $199 on a new Boxee Box.

Setup was simple: Plugged it in, powered it up, and within minutes it was downloading an update and scanning my network for media. Since I had already setup my Windows 7 network for filesharing, the Boxee found my files fairly quickly and within a 30 minutes had pulled most of the thumbnails and metadata from the net.

MetaData: Since I used to run a HTPC, I got into the habit of naming my files correctly so most of the data was pulled correctly. For files that are incorrectly named, the Boxee puts them under "Unidentified Files", which I can quickly resolve by naming them correctly. Another nice feature is that the file naming convention doesnt have to be exact. The Boxee can identify the file even if there are periods between the names (eg: game.of.thrones.s01.e03.720p.avi) which is nice. My old HTPC using XMBC needed exact naming to find the meta data.

Playback: Is flawless. I have the latest Harry Potter movie in uncompressed mkv (its 16GB) and the Boxee didnt stutter or have any issues whatsoever. The Boxee is also smart enough to pickup where you left off (resume) if you leave a movie for some reason.

Remote Control: Its awesome. Its two sided, with simple playback controls on one side and a full keyboard on the other. Its also RF so it doesnt need line of sight to work.

Aps: Kinda suck in Canada, but thats not what I bought it for. Ive done a bit of research and I might be able to get Hulu, Netflix, and Vudu working but I need to do some more reading.

Now, Ive only had it for about 6 hours, but Ive been thoroughly impressed thusfar. Im sure I will find some flaws, but so far its pretty nice.

If your in the market for a media player, I'd suggest looking at the Boxee Box. Its a bit pricey compared to the WDTV Live and Asus OPLAY! but I think you'll be happy with the Boxee.

-MC
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