Boxee is a well-known open source name in the entertainment industry, which used to provide free and open source applications for the computer platform. But in terms of watching Netflix and other internet streaming videos on TV, Boxee is the latest entrant, and certainly late for the party. This certainly reflects badly on the company, since they had all the tools to come out with a product a bit earlier than their competition. But it does offer a few standout features to ensure that its late entrance into the scene is justified.
Boxee Box is a Digital Media Receiver, and not a Digital Video Recorder. Not that the box makes any extravagant claims thereof, but it is just a simple tool to connect your existing HDTV to the internet. If you were wondering if you could get rid of your existing DVR, you will be disappointed. This box is a direct competitor to existing digital media devices such asand .
Boxee Box comes with all the essential features required for watching Netflix on TV, and then some. Supported by both Ethernet as well as Wi-Fi connection, Boxee Box can also be used as an extension for browsing your social network profile on your home TV. Boxee Box supports full 1080p HD support; therefore, all the videos can be viewed in true HD, provided the available movie purchases and rentals are offered in HD.
Boxee supports a range of online channels and sports portals, along with the opportunity to play your own digital media. It should be worthy of a mention that the interface is quite excellent, and one of the best that can be experienced in the industry. Retailing for around $179.99, it is certainly more expensive than other boxes, including the available options from Roku and Apple.
The Boxee Box Netflix Player Review
The first thing that comes across is the design or form factor. It is certainly a unique design, but not necessarily beautiful. At first glance, it represents the shape of a sub-woofer of a home theater system. But take a second look, and you will begin to notice odd shapes and line, including a mix of green on black effect, where one side is polished and reflective. It isn’t ugly, but it is certainly odd to look at. There is no guarantee that the design will bond well with the interior décor of a house or even a flat TV. But beauty is relative to the perspective of a person looking at it, so the design aspect is best left to your tastes.
Powered by the Intel Atom processor, Boxee is supported by 1 GB RAM, and the Box measures 120 mm X 120 mm X 120 mm and weighs around 2.2 lbs. Due to the improbable dimensions, it is difficult to get an exact measure, but it will take more space than its immediate competitors. It is certainly larger, but the dimensions only hint at the range of features and options available with the device. This is where the Boxee Box truly gets into a league of its own. First off, the Boxee box supports a wide variety of channels; both paid as well as free, and it is one of the best devices in the market for watching Netflix on TV.
The Boxee Box supports an expandable memory SD slot, which is one feature that the competition hasn’t thought about. This means that you can directly transfer media files to your device without any intermediate devices. The box has an HDMI port, two USB ports, an Ethernet port, an optical audio port, standard Audio ports and an AC power supply. There certainly seems to be the full array of connectivity options, but older generation TV users will feel left out due to the only availability of HDMI.
The remote control is another genius solution. It is designed and built using a polished surface that is fingerprint resistant. At the front, you are greeted by just four buttons. You get the navigation circle, a select/enter button, the menu button and the pause/play button. The interface is easy and the buttons are easily navigable. But it is at the back of the remote that things start getting smarter. There is a full-on QWERTY keyboard at the back. Now this is a boon for all of us who are tired of using a cursor and the onscreen keyboard to type in various information. This system is certainly innovative and well thought out. That being said, there are a few problems with the remote. First of all, the remote is not backlit, which makes it difficult to differentiate between the surfaces under dim light, and it is quite difficult to make out the lettering in the dark. There are also a few issues with the keyboard interface, and the onscreen keyboard with cursor was fully omitted. This creates a problem when the QWERTY keyword malfunctions or when it gets dark.
The Boxee box makes use of existing social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which is integrated into the interface. This allows for a multitude of options such as video sharing, video or media recommendations, social networking, bookmarking and a whole lot of options that will let you indulge in your social profile via your TV.
If you are away, and you want to watch a show later, you can do so with the Boxee Box using the Watch Later application. This allows you to send any videos from your browser to the Boxee Box. The Box is also equipped with a range of apps ranging from Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, MLB, NHL, Flickr, Vimeo, and you get access to large apps library.
The interface of the Boxee Box is also one of the best. It is really uncluttered, and all the information is provided in a legible and easy to understand manner. You can go from one screen to the other without much effort and you don’t need to go back and forth between your manual and your remote.
Overall, the Boxee Box is a great device, but the steep price of $179.99 might put a few potential buyers away. Sure, the price may be justified for the range of features available, but Boxee should have taken the competition pricing into consideration. If price is not a concern, you should buy the Boxee Box, as it is certainly great value for your money.
Watch Netflix On TV Outside The US On Boxee Box
Again and again, people are asking us for the best way to access and watch Netflix on TV outside the US. The simple solution to the question is by subscribing to a VPN service. Every digital media device, including the Boxee Box, can connect to the website through a wireless router. By subscribing to a VPN service provider, such as HideMyAss! (our own favorite), it is possible to connect to the internet secure and anonymously through a VPN server. Several top VPN companies also offer the option to choose an IP or a country location at the time of signing up, which can certainly help you watch Netflix on your TV by choosing US as your primary IP location. You configure your router to the VPN settings you receive from the provider after signing up. This way your entire home network will re-direct your internet connection through a VPN server and your connection will not only be encrypted and safe, you will also appear to be located in the country of the VPN server. This way you can easily gain access to otherwise blocked websites such as Netflix.