PROS / Boxee TV’s proprietary software allows you to bring just about any content on the internet into your home.
CONS / It lacks access to major services like Amazon Instant and Hulu Plus, and there is no internal storage.
VERDICT / This home media player is a great option for viewing online content and the cloud-based DVR is a unique, convenient feature that makes this an option worth looking a close look.
Boxee's cutting edge technology is its strong point, but some of its shortcomings, like limited apps, prevent it from rising to the top of the home media server market. However, the No Limits DVR feature is useful and innovative.
Boxee TV is a media streaming box that opens your TV to a wide array of digital media, combining your personal computer files with internet content like YouTube, and letting you do things like browse Facebook from your TV.
Without the need for internal storage or a hard drive, Boxee retrieves movies and other data from a cloud-based system. Boxee TV also has a dual tuner, which allows you to record two programs at once or to record one program while watching another on live TV.
Boxee TV includes a remote, but it’s very stripped of features. It has only the essential buttons to help you scroll through the menus on your TV, and it lacks a QWERTY keyboard. However, once you're set up, your phone, tablet or computer can individually act as a remote control or program guide that will function better than the included remote. You can schedule the Boxee DRV to record when you are away and then watch the recording on any device.
With the No Limits DVR and dual tuner, Boxee TV simulates the DRV experience of cable television. However, it falls short in at least one respect: You can't pause live TV as you can with a cable service DVR. But many people like to record shows before they watch them anyway and then pause, fast forward and rewind at will. You can do all of that with Boxee's cloud-based DVR service if you're willing to record your shows first. You should also be aware that the No Limits DVR service costs an additional monthly fee.
Boxee is well supported by its developers, with plenty of information available in an online knowledgebase to answer almost any general question you might have. For more specific, directed questions, you can contact Boxee support via email, through user forums or by phone, which may be your best bet.
For a convenient home media server solution, Boxee functions admirably. Boxee’s No Limits DVR, internet connectivity and live TV capability will bring thousands of movies, TV shows and songs into your living room. With features that keep Boxee on cutting edge of technology, we predict that Boxee will stay competitive and perhaps even move past much of the competition as it continues to improve its feature package into the future.