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D-Link Boxee Review: Steam Media Today!
Boxee Box Review
Boxee box is a device that finds all your favorite movies and shows and puts them on your TV. The best part is that there is no monthly fee to access the media; To make it even better you don't have to buy any hardware to get started.
Setting Up Your Boxee
- First you’ll need to collect your hardware. You’ll need a computer. If you don’t have a computer to connect to your TV and you’re looking to buy one I would recommend the Acer Revo, Mac Mini or the Dell Zino HD. Once you have a computer you’ll need to connect it to a TV using a HDMI cable or DVI cable. I prefer using a HDMI cable since it provides a better picture and higher sound quality. If you’re on a budget or your computer doesn’t have a HDMI port you can use a DVI cable.
- When you have the box connected to your TV, you’re not going to want to get up every time to choose a TV show or movie. That is why you'll want to buy a remote. You have two options for a remote , the first option is to download the I Phone app and use your I Phone as your remote and the second option is to buy a separate PC remote
- Now you need to download the Boxee software for free. Easy enough right?
Once you have your hardware and software you’ll find that it comes preloaded with tons of popular movies and shows. To make the Boxee even better it’s a good idea to connect the software to your Facebook or Twitter account. Finally, you’ll want to browse through all the Boxee Apps and add the ones you enjoy. Some popular apps include MLB, Flickr, Pandora, NHL, Vimeo and Facebook.
Boxee Media Options
TV Shows: The Boxee Box will be preloaded with a ton of TV shows. You will be able to watch full episodes that are available on the internet. All you’ll need to do is find the show you like and press play.
Movies: Boxee Box provides an easy way to rent movies and a convenient way to stream movies from your Netflix account. They have also partnered with VUDO so you’ll even have access to their massive library as well.
Boxee Apps: Apps are a great way to customize your box. You can browse through the many Boxxee Apps that are available and choose the ones you like. The apps are specifically designed so that you can enjoy them from your couch.
Boxee’s Watch Later: This is similar to a DVR; however, it acts more like a bucket that you can throw videos in that you would like to watch later. Imagine browsing through movies with friends and you find something you want to watch, but your friends don’t want to watch it. The solution is to throw the movie into your “Watch Later” bin. The next time you get a chance it will be in an easy to find, convenient location.
Boxee is Social: While watching TV or movies with Boxee you can share what your watching with your friends using Facebook and Twitter. You can also use it to find recommendations from your friends.
Show off your Photos: The Boxee Box can handle pretty much any file type that you throw at it. If your computer is able to display a video or photo, the Boxee Box will most likely be able to handle the file type as well. The Boxee Box is a great place to store all your pictures and video so that you can share them on your TV.
Not sure if the Boxee Box is for you, then you might want to check out the Roku Box. The Roku Box is a streaming media player like Boxee Box, but it offers a few other features. To learn more you should check out my hub on the Roku Box.
The Disappointing Stuff
Once you get your Boxee Box up and running you’ll quickly realize that many of the major networks in the United States don’t like it. When you try to watch videos on sites like ABC, FOX, NBC and even Hulu. You will find that they won’t let you play any of the videos. Apparently, these networks have a license that doesn’t allow you to view their web media on a television. It sounds odd to me, but I guess that’s how it works. If you’re looking for something like the Boxee Box, but you had your heart set on watching Hulu you’ll need to buy a Roku Box. As far as I know it’s the only media box that Hulu allows besides gaming consoles like the PS3.
I also found the Boxee Apps to be a bit disappointing. Don’t get me wrong they do the job, but many of the apps are essentially logos that link to media on their web site. The Boxee App market is more like a link directory than an app market in my opinion.
The Boxee Box is an easy and affordable way to get a massive amount of content to your TV. If you already own a Laptop and I Phone you can actually set everything up for free. The Boxee box works well if you enjoy sites like YouTube and Vimeo, but if you’re looking for shows on Hulu your out of luck. If you can set up your Boxee Box for free or with little investment I say you should go for it; however, I think I would recommend the Roku Box before I would recommend the Boxee Box.