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D-Link Boxee Box review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £200
inc VAT

It supports tons of file formats and has access to hundreds of online services, making the best media streamer we've seen.


Once into the main interface, the Boxee Box is just about the friendliest media streamer that we’ve ever seen. Across the bottom of the screen are big thumbnails of recommended services, and large icons for the main menu options: Friends, Watch Later, Shows, Movies, Apps and Files.

Browsing through the interface is a doddle, with the remote working in a similar way to an iPod: the single menu button either brings up a sub-menu or steps you backwards through the interface depending on where you are.

Friends lets you view videos shared by your friends on Facebook and Twitter, although you need to add this feature first using the Boxee website. You’ll also need to use the website to add your own Boxee friends to follow. Watch Later is your queue of programmes that you’ve lined up. It’s a great way of making sure that you don’t forget about a show or movie you found when browsing the interface.

Shows is where things get really interesting. The default view is a list of the most popular shows – you can ‘like’ a show to help boost its popularity. All programmes in this list are pulled from online video services. These include big names, such as Channel 4, but also smaller services, such as GeekBeat.TV. Selecting a show brings up a list of available episodes. For example, we selected Father Ted and could choose any episode from all three seasons.

Playing a show either plays the video directly or takes you to the website the video is contained on in the Boxee Box’s browser. Using the remote you can move the mouse cursor to make the video full-screen or access other options. It’s not quite as neat as having a full app, but means that you can use any online video service immediately.

D-Link Boxee Box

Alternatively, you can start typing to find a show. This isn’t always successful, as we found that we could be diverted to a site that doesn’t support UK viewing, such as Fox TV. There are also a fair number of results for TV shows that are just for clips or trailers.

Movies does a similar thing for films. The main interface gives you the most popular films listed, with thumbnails for each. Selecting one either plays it directly or sends you to the hosting website using the built-in browser. You can also search for films, although there’s the same kinds of limitations as with shows: some sites require a subscription, while others aren’t supported from the UK. A potential work around is to use the Boxee Box’s VPN support to rent a VPN connection in the US to make it appear as though you’re American. Even without this, there’s a wide choice of films on offer, with a fairly decent range of free films. The quality is dependent on the service used, ranging from high-quality, almost DVD-quality films, to sub-SD footage.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Media Streamer type streaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback No
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback Yes
Audio WAV playback Yes
Audio Audible playback No
Other audio formats FLAC

Video Compatibility

Other video formats MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, WMV9, XVID, DIVX, VC-1

Image Compatibility

Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support Yes

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support Yes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs 0
Minijack headphone outputs 0
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Total SCART sockets 0
HDMI outputs 1
Component outputs 0
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 0
Other connectors 2xUSB, SD, SDHC, MMC


Size 114x114x114mm
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 12W

Server Compatibility

Software included none
UPnP Yes
iTunes No
SlimServer No

Buying Information

Price £200
Warranty one year RTB

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