Boxee’s been around for awhile now as a software platform, with a decent following amongst alpha and beta testers. A few months back D-Link launched the Boxee Box, the first piece of hardware built specifically to run the media center platform. The Intel-powered set top box features wired and wireless networking, support for HD video, and an SD card slot and USB ports for local storage of media files.
Boxee Box is a combination playback device, Web video streamer and social hub for finding and sharing recommendations for everything from viral videos to streaming TV shows and movies. While the newest version of the software has a great UI, nice Vudu support, and benefits from a nifty dual-sided remote – one side is a standard D-Pad with buttons, the other a full QWERTY thumbboard – the platform is not without its quirks and frustrations. Netflix support has been “coming soon” for awhile now, but still hasn’t rolled out. Also, while the integrated Webkit browser is great in many respects, many Boxee’s “apps” only provide a nice layer of icons that then lead you to Web pages with embedded videos. So instead of browsing through a TV-optimized UI that launches video clips, you wind up having to use an onscreen cursor to find the Webpage icon to launch “full screen mode” in a Flash player. Blech.
Anyway … Not only do I have a Boxee Box, but Sean does too. So we’ll hit you up with a tag-team review in the near future. For now, enjoy the epic unboxing video and think good thoughts for Sean as he toils away somewhere in Middle America that’s currently blanketed by a Blizzard Warning.
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