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D-Link Boxee Box review

On paper, the media streamer to beat. In practice...

We wanted so much to love this box and possibly could have justified the price point if it worked brilliantly and trumped the Apple TV for openness. As it is, you can buy better streamers than this for less than half the price – WD TV, for example. And while they might not promise such an overall experience, at least the stuff they can do actually works reasonably well.

D Link boxee box review

The Boxee does, however, hold a lot of appeal for those of us who like to configure things just how we want them. You can set up streaming from network storage (though it might take you a little while to configure it).

D Link boxee box review

We liked

The hardware is great, as is the remote. The keyboard isn't an amazing experience, but it works when you need it to. The interface itself is also great to use in the main, though there are some unnecessary bits – if I put something in the search box and enter it, why do you then need to click again to search the web?

But it's fast, responsive, and easy to navigate. The codec support is Grade A, as is the YouTube app, and the ability to play Flash content is welcome. The content in place is okay and not bad for a start, but we'd like to see a lot more – we're assured there will be more too.

We disliked

The software just isn't up to scratch as yet. It's a shame for D-Link that Boxee has updated the Boxee Box with new firmware since the demo which appears to be more glitchy than before. The software simply has so many foibles that it's hard to take stock and something that works one day simply might not the next. It's just very strange.

Verdict

However, the above is also a blessing, because it shows us what the Boxee Box really can be. When the bugs are ironed out and even more content is available, this will be the media streamer to beat – not least because the hardware is terrific. But it comes at a price. And that price is, very sadly, far too much – especially when you consider just how annoyed the software will make you.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetwork Audio/Video Player
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
HDMIYes
Internet StreamingYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Brand NameD-Link
Audio FormatsAAC, FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA
Video FormatsAVI, DivX, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV, XviD
Scan Format1080p
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
USBYes
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)
ColourBlack
Sound SystemDolby Digital
Image FormatsJPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF
ManufacturerD-Link Systems, Inc
Product ModelDSM-380
Product NameBoxee Box DSM-380 Network Media Player
Manufacturer Part NumberDSM-380
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.dlink.co.uk
Marketing Information

We get it you want Internet freedom on your TV, but you want it to be the stuff you actually want to watch in HD and you want to enjoy it from the comfort of your couch. We're all over it-introducing the Boxee Box by D-Link: click, follow, watch - you are now in full command of your TV for the first time. No rules, no contracts.

ProtocolsWEP, WPA2, WPA, SMB
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan