Nowadays, there are several digital media devices available to playback media files over the home network. The D-Link Boxee Box tries to stand out from the crowd by bringing the Internet content into your TV.
Let’s have a look more in detail at this popular Boxee social media center packaged in a box.
Obviously, the first thing that catches your eye is the unique design that definitely divides opinions among the tech community. The device is equipped with an Intel Atom CE4100 processor and the package also includes a practical looking remote control with a built-in keyboard.
The Boxee Box is designed for the living room use and thus it looks more like a design product than a technical device. The device only supports the HDMI connectivity, which can be found from the most TVs nowadays. You can connect the box to the Internet either using the ethernet or the wireless 802.11n connection.
The 10-foot user interface is optimized for the Internet content browsing rather than for managing your local media library. While you can view your local media files it is not necessarily the strongest point of this media center, compared for example to the Plex media center on Mac OS X.
To some extent, the Boxee Box is a challenger to HTPC computers as it can perform many similar tasks as an HTPC:
- Online Internet video
- Local media streaming
- Internet browsing
The Internet browser even supports flash, so if your favorite video service is not included in Boxee’s app collection, you can watch flash videos through the browser.
The remote control is definitely one of the positive surprises of this device. There is a qwerty-keyboard on the backside, so the internet browsing is a satisfactory experience. On the other hand, as a media remote control it is probably too stripped. For example, rewinding or forwarding only works with the cursor button using the progress bar on the TV screen.
- Excellent remote control
- HDMI output
- Good Internet browser
- No rewind or forward buttons
- Odd shape form factor may not fit to your TV cabinet
- Slightly higher price compared to the competition
All in all, the D-Link Boxee Box is a great alternative to an HTPC if you need a device only to stream videos and music online and occasionally browse the Internet.