The D-Link Boxee Box (*Est. $180) debuted to much anticipation, but it also left most reviewers disappointed. Lack of content and lots of rough edges that would challenge everyday users led the list of complaints.
Flash forward to today, and things look a bit brighter. Hulu Plus is still "coming soon," but firmware updates and content deals have brought more content, including must haves such as Netflix, to the table. According to D-Link, Boxee Box users can now enjoy access to more than 40,000 TV episodes.
Still, reviewers say that for those who want a simple and low cost solution, Boxee Box might not be the best choice. Other digital media players, such as the Roku 2 XS (*Est. $100), offer plenty of content but are cheaper and easier to use. One area where Boxee Box does prevail is in its ability to stream content from your computer -- something that's a challenge with the Roku 2.
As noted, reviews when the Boxee Box debuted were on the harsh side, and many of the worst issues have been dealt with through updates. For guidance, look to more recent evaluations such as those hosted by PC World Magazine, Mashable.com and The Wall Street Journal. Enthusiast site AnandTech.com also hosts a comparative review, but it's aimed at a tech-savvy audience. Older reviews, such as those at CNET and PCMag.com, can also be helpful in identifying pluses and minus that remain unchanged. Amazon.com has user reviews.
The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg compares three solutions to watching Internet video on your TV: The Roku 2 XS, the Apple TV (recently upgraded but still similar) and the D-Link Boxee Box. He finds the Boxee Box to be "more confusing and geeky than the other two." He notes that there's access to lots of content, but that the content isn't always presented in a "TV-friendly fashion."
Review: Ways to Make Web Watching More Like TV, Less Like a PC, Walt Mossberg, Aug. 24, 2011
2. PC World
This review is an update of one that originally ran in late 2010. Yardena Arar looks at the improvements made to the D-Link Boxee Box and says that it "has finally become the first-rate media streamer that should have shipped last fall." Inconvenient browsing and the continued blocking of most U.S. TV network fare remain as negatives.
Review: Boxee Box by D-Link: Media Streaming With Style, Yardena Arar, Updated March 28, 2011
Like many, Mashable.com was excited about the potential of the D-Link Boxee box. Like many, it was disappointed with what was delivered at launch. However, Christina Warren says that the Boxee Box has shaken off most of that to become a capable media streamer. She has fewer issues with the browser than some other reviewers, and she is happy to see more premium content available. Support for local files is called "unparalleled."
Review: With Latest Firmware, Boxee Box Is Finally Ready for Prime Time, Christina Warren, May 19, 2011
This technology site compares the D-Link Boxee Box to two other streaming solutions -- this time, however, to enthusiast streamers designed to bring content from your computer to your living room TV. Even so, the lack of support for OTT streaming by all these digital media players is noted, and it is a disappointment. Ultimately, none earns a recommendation, though at the right price, the Boxee Box can be a good deal, the reviewer says.
Review: 2011 Media Streamer Roundup: Netgear NTV550, A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD2 and the Boxee Box, "Ganesh T S", Nov. 20, 2011
This review dates from when the D-Link Boxee Box debuted and has not been updated. Many of the complaints expressed have since been fixed in firmware updates, though some comments regarding the Boxee Box hardware remain relevant. Both the set-top box and the remote are called "convention-breaking," but that's not necessarily a good thing. The double-sided remote with QWERTY keyboard looks like a great idea at first glance "but it loses a lot of its luster in real-world use."
Review: D-Link Boxee Box, Matthew Moskovciak, Nov. 19, 2010
This is another older review of the D-Link Boxee Box that expresses some disappointments that have since been rectified but others that have not. The remote again comes in for criticism. Set up could also be easier, but it is also "nearly impossible to screw up." File support is "robust."
Review: Boxee Box by D-Link, Tim Gideon and David Pierce, Nov. 28, 2010
About 700 owners report on their experiences with the D-Link Boxee Box. The overall rating of 3.4 stars out of 5 reflects the opinions of a significant number of disappointed users. Some of the reports are long and detailed. Many are updated with revised impressions following firmware updates -- and those often reflect a higher level of satisfaction.
Review: The Boxee Box by D-Link HD Streaming Media Player, Contributors to Amazon.com