Wacky streamer can confuse

Adrian Justins ponders the promise of a flawed fancy

Boxee Box acts as a conduit between your TV and an unrestricted universe of online entertainment including movies, TV shows, music and photos. It also lets you share your favourite content via Facebook and Twitter.

Also available as a free software download for TV-connected computers, this oddly -shaped piece of hardware is up against the significantly more affordable (£100) Apple TV, but can browse the internet and play flash video.

It comes with wireless and Ethernet networking, an SD card slot and a slick remote that looks like an oversized Apple remote with a mini QWERTY keyboard on its rear.

Highs

Setting up is a fairly painless procedure. The interface is slick and neat-looking and I hooked up easily over wi-fi to a BT Home Hub and simultaneously enjoyed automatic access to a Twonky server on a laptop. File compatibility is fairly universal despite one or two inexplicable playback refusals.

The main screen has options for TV shows, movies, files and apps. There are 158 of the latter, including iPlayer, and LOVEFiLM is due to arrive soon.

The Boxee box takes HD material in its stride, serving up excellent 1080p footage, and it can pass lossless audio and the likes of Dolby Digital and True HD from its optical output to your AVR.

Lows

The app-based interface can be a bit confusing. The iPlayer app, for example, has no HD shows listed, but select an indivdual show from the TV Shows portal and you’re offered standard-def and HD (720p) options.

Web browsing is an inconsistent experience. Most text is too small even on a largescreen TV and navigation is no fun without a trackpad on the remote control.


Boxee Box
Price:
£200 Approx

Overall: 3/5