D-Link Boxee Box

The Boxee Box is D-Link's answer to the Apple TV and WD TV Live and it's a winner

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D-Link Boxee Box The Boxee's remote has a QWERTY keyboard on one side and basic navigation controls on the other
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  June 12, 2011

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Key Specs

Audio output: Optical
OS: Windows / Mac OS
Price: $272
Type: Media player
Warranty: One-year

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D-Link's Boxee Box was first announced over a year ago and between that time and it's recent official launch, the product went through some major changes. While we aren't sure exactly what or how many modifications were made since we first saw it, we're happy to say that the final product is easily one of the best media centres we've ever tested.

The Boxee is designed to go up against other media centres such as the Apple TV and the WD TV Live and as far as looks and design are concerned, D-Link has a winner on its hands. The Boxee looks brilliant in person with its combination matte black sides, piano black front facade and contrasting green Boxee logo and text. This is a media centre that you will want to show off rather than hide.

The D-Link's fantastic design isn't restricted to just the device itself, even the supplied remote control is a thing of beauty. Like the media centre the remote is finished in both matte and glossy black. The matte side of the remote features a full QWERTY keyboard, while the piano black side sports a directional pad and three other buttons for content interaction.       

Hooking the Boxee up to our 40-inch HD TV and firing it up, we were amazed with just how simple it was to setup. Almost everything was taken care of automatically, so the only inputs we had to volunteer were an e-mail address and password for the Boxee's online services and the password to our Wireless LAN. As soon as the media centre was online it informed us an update was available and began a background download.

Once the update had been applied we got our first look at the Boxee's interface and, like the hardware, it was perfectly designed too. Accessing photos, videos, network shares and web sites was a doddle and this was the case even when we let novice users tinker with the brilliant Boxee. Advanced settings are, for the most part, tucked out of sight but when you do access them, you'll find everything under the sun.

Feeding the D-Link content we found ourselves won over. Using the wireless network connectivity we were able to watch a Full HD 1080p video of Iron Man 2 with no dropped frames or out of sync audio. Even when we wanted to jump ahead or re-watch a scene, the Boxee proved up to the task. Video quality was superb and easily matched up to what we've seen from the Apple TV and WD TV Live.

The Boxee is only limited in terms of connectivity. Since this media centre sports an HDMI output port, you won't be able to use it with older TVs. And retailing for US $272 it is also one of the more expensive media centres on the market today, which makes the limited video connectivity stand out even more.

For: Winning looks, slick user interface, superb remote control, can be controlled by your Apple iPhone or Google Android-powered smartphone.
Against: A little expensive, no Component output.
Verdict: The Boxee is an excellent media centre that anyone can use on a day-to-day basis. While it is somewhat expensive and lacks Component output connectivity, these flaws aren’t actually deal breakers. Highly recommended.

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