Boxee Box by D-Link review
The Boxee Box is somewhat like the Apple TV in that it lacks any onboard storage. However, it does have the distinct advantage of having two USB ports, so you can add external storage to the device should the need arise. As well as the USB ports there’s an Ethernet connection and built-in WiFi. A single HDMI port is the only way to connect the Boxee to your TV. The remote control has a full QWERTY keyboard on one side and a few simple buttons on the other.
The Boxee service offers a slick user interface and options to connect to the world of internet-based content. Often websites that stream content are designed primarily for computer use and never quite work when they’re shoehorned onto a living room television set. The Boxee aims to rid you of that problem by giving you a quick and easy way to grab online content without having to use an interface that’s been designed for a computer.
There’s an excellent range of television programmes on offer, and unlike many other free-to-view services, the Boxee option includes shows you’ll have actually heard of, such as Friends, Pan Am, and a host of others. Boxee has a number of content partners in the UK including the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, and ad-supported movie services. The movie selection is a little less impressive, but Netflix is due to arrive in the UK soon, so this should improve.
The lack of local storage might put you off, but with hard disks being so cheap nowadays adding your own isn’t too bad a compromise. Accessing your local stuff is easy enough and given it’s USB ports, upgrading and increasing storage in the future will be incredibly easy.
What the Boxee box lacks in a hard disk, it more than makes up for with its slick interface and TV selection
There were a few irritations though, such as when websites don’t push the video full screen and you have to manually click on the full-screen option. This might not sound that bad, but controlling a mouse pointer with a remote control is trickier than you might think.
The Boxee Box by D-Link is a great compromise if you already have plenty of content stored on hard disk and want to easily show it on your television, with the added benefit of a slick interface and internet content that’s totally free.