Friday, December 17, 2010

D-Link's Boxee Box Review

I remember when TV's were just TV's. But now your TV can tell you what the weather is, check your stocks, and even check email. But now you don't have to buy a new TV for that functionality. Thanks to the Boxee Box by D-Link, you can get all that functionality from your current TV.

What is the Boxee Box? To make it simple, it is basically on multimedia internet hub. Thanks in part to Intel Atom processor built-in, the Boxee Box can do it all. It helps to bring the entertainment found on the internet to your fingertips. And it does so in HD 1080p and Dolby Surround Sound.

From a hardware standpoint, it is small and cube-like in shape. It measures roughly five inches by five inches by five inches. It has an elegant looking glass black finish, and the green Boxee Box logo glows through the front when it is powered on. Connectivity is fairly simple. On the back are parts for HDMI, optical, composite audio, and a pair of USB inputs. On the side is an SD card slot for your personal files. So as far as video goes, it hooks up to your TV through the HDMA TV only. So while it adds a lot of functionality to your TV, you will need a newer TV with an HDMI input to take advantage of it.

Setting up the device was very simple. It automatically found my wireless network. After typing in my password, it was time to configure the display. The Boxee Box walked me through that with ease. Once it was set-up, it was time to start surfing.

From the Home screen, the Boxee Box is set-up with different categories. They include Friends, Watch Later, Shows, Movies, Apps, and Files. The Friends category is pretty cool. I linked it with my Facebook Account. Now, video posts from my Facebook friends can be watched here. Watch Later is pretty self explanatory - tag shows to watch later. Shows are TV shows, both current and old, and range from Prime Time shows to B rated online shows. Movies also range from Hollywood blockbusters to B rated as well. The applications give you access to other activities. Here is where you would go for activities such as checking email, weather, and Facebook. There are also apps for sites like YouTube. Netflix is scheduled to be supported in a month. You would access these files through the Files category.

So how did it all come together? The image and sound quality from the Boxee Box was very good, and very HD looking. Navigation thru pages and typing in searches was simple using the well designed remote control. I really liked how you had the simple play/pause, menu, and navigation buttons on the front, and the keyboard on the back. It gave you access to the internet for features such as email, weather, and just general web surfing. There is also a great variety of TV shows and movies. And while it currently does not support Netflix or Hulu, that is coming soon.

D-Link has done a great job in delivering a finished product with the Boxee Box. It gives you access to the internet for general surfing on your TV as well as access to both free and premium TV and movie sites. The Boxee Box would make for a great Holiday gift! Based on its performance it has earned our Editor's Choice Award. Congrats! For more info and complete specs, check out their website