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Fenrisulven
April 25th, 2011, 03:37 AM
Is there any good alternatives to the boxee box?

haveringcottage
April 25th, 2011, 04:14 AM
alternatives... yes

good alternatives?.... that's really up to you. Those active on the forum who keep moaning will probably say yes, but most will say no!

Apple TV

Google TV

Plex

XBMC

many more

Fenrisulven
April 25th, 2011, 04:15 AM
Not software, but hardware. Alternatives to the boxee box.

I love boxee, so i will continue to use it, but hates the noise from the boxee box from d-link.

haveringcottage
April 25th, 2011, 04:24 AM
boxee are apparently working with various hardware suppliers to bring their software to other devices. i heard something a while ago about TV's with boxee integrated.

you can of course build yourself an HTPC and install boxee for windows or for linux on it, but this will inevitably cost you more....

boxee on ATV is quieter, but there are a number of limitations with this (see the forum for more)

Fenrisulven
April 25th, 2011, 04:27 AM
OK thanks.

Want to build a HTPC, but unsure who to do it cheapest and most silent as possible. Any tips?

haveringcottage
April 25th, 2011, 04:43 AM
get a mini ITX motherboard with a mOTD (mobile on the Desktop) processor so you can use passive cooling (or as small a fan as possible).

i've got a silverstone case with a silent (brick) PSU and it is great.

Don't bother with discreet graphics, just ensure the integrated chip on the board is modern so it will accelarate flash.

if you're comfortable with ubuntu, then don't bother with windows (but again, there are boxee limitations on the linux builds) - linux will run better on less powerful hardware.

2gigs of ram min, recommend 4.

go for a small (around 60gig) SSD drive (silent, low power, fast access) and store only the bare minimum locally, access your media from the network).

any more specifics?

Prospero424
April 25th, 2011, 05:01 AM
The short answer is not yet, but they're coming. The Iomega Boxee Box/NAS (http://iomega.com/iomegatv-media-center/) is being tentatively slated for June.

Right now, building/buying a PC for Boxee can get expensive quick if you need it to run Netflix. The version of Boxee available for PCs is now fairly old at around 6 months, has very different interface, and has some unfixed long-standing bugs. We're talking $400-$500 for a PC with a processor fast enough to run the Netflix app reliably. You can go much cheaper (~$300) if you don't need Netflix.

If you're still interested in going that route, there are plenty of threads in the "General" and "Windows" forums with hardware recommendations.

Edit: also, an HTPC powerful enough to run Boxee would almost certainly be just as "loud" or louder.

haveringcottage
April 25th, 2011, 06:18 AM
http://www.geekazine.com/video-pod/viewsonic-announces-first-boxee-integrated-tv-2

Viewsonic .... are working on a tv with integrated boxee. That's a nice elegant solution if you don't mind buying a new tv too!!

tronbrain
April 25th, 2011, 08:50 PM
Not software, but hardware. Alternatives to the boxee box.

I love boxee, so i will continue to use it, but hates the noise from the boxee box from d-link.

If you believe the fan is defective, call D-Link and request an RMA. My fan is completely silent. I cannot hear it unless I put my ear right against the unit, and otherwise I never hear it.

xmcnuggetx
April 25th, 2011, 08:54 PM
if you want a cheap xbmc solution i hear the apple tv 2 is a decent solution... and at 99$ its a steal :)

http://xbmc.org/theuni/2011/01/20/you-asked-for-it-xbmc-for-appletv2-ipad-iphone4/

valthrudnir
April 25th, 2011, 09:30 PM
if you want a cheap xbmc solution i hear the apple tv 2 is a decent solution... and at 99$ its a steal :)

http://xbmc.org/theuni/2011/01/20/you-asked-for-it-xbmc-for-appletv2-ipad-iphone4/

lmao the comment section on that link is priceless, that solution seems rather pointless.

Lukecro
April 25th, 2011, 10:42 PM
If you believe the fan is defective, call D-Link and request an RMA. My fan is completely silent. I cannot hear it unless I put my ear right against the unit, and otherwise I never hear it.

+1

I can't hear any noise from my Boxee Box unless my TV is off and I've got my ears a couple of feet away from the Box -- if you feel the Box is really loud, you might have got a lemon that should be switched out if possible.

Fenrisulven
April 26th, 2011, 02:36 AM
If you believe the fan is defective, call D-Link and request an RMA. My fan is completely silent. I cannot hear it unless I put my ear right against the unit, and otherwise I never hear it.

Well... I'm on my 4th box now. It's the most silent one yet, but still i can hear it.

MajorTom1
April 26th, 2011, 05:50 AM
Well... I'm on my 4th box now. It's the most silent one yet, but still i can hear it.

Please check
http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?t=21980&page=11

i inserted a SD-card and a small piece of paper paralell to the SD-card...
my box is silent ;-)

Chuck_IV
April 26th, 2011, 07:44 AM
If you want something that just plays local media, then another option is something like a Popcorn Hour A-210 which is fanless, so no noise. However, their online selection/apps isn't very good at all. No Netflix or anoy other major online app.

There's also the Popbox, which comes from the same company and is a lot cheaper. It supports more online apps than the A-210, such as MLB but still no Netflix(Although I keep hearing rumors that it's coming).

Jonson
April 26th, 2011, 03:26 PM
take a look at this Beast :

http://www.xtreamer.net/Ultra/

This is my Alternative and it will runs Boxee, xmbc nice and easy

darcilicious
April 26th, 2011, 03:34 PM
Boxee v0.9 that is...

So you have this now or are just thinking about it? Plenty of comments about this platform:
http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?t=29823
http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?t=33494

Mike Hock
April 26th, 2011, 06:36 PM
Since I watch a lot of fansubbed anime with stylized subtitles and am too lazy to do an XBMC HTPC build, which would be my optimum choice, Boxee is the best solution for me right now. I tried a WDTV Live and the lack of apps (not that big a concern but would be nice), pain in the ass method needed to get and maintain a movie wall, and piss-poor handling of subtitles made me look for an alternative. Not to mention the fact that instead of adding features with firmware updates, WD just came out with new hardware in the form of the WDTV Live Hub.

The Xtreamer sounds nice but I've heard a lot of bad things about that company. So right now I'm sticking with team Boxee and hope that with the coming updates, they get their stuff together and can transform this arguably pretty great product from something that feels like a fairly neat but incomplete homebrew product into a kickass, stable mass consumer product.

As of right now I still have faith that they can do it but we will see how long that lasts based on the results of the next few updates and what other manufacturers have on the horizon.

wincrasher
April 26th, 2011, 07:31 PM
Nothing plays blu-ray rips as nicely as a boxee box.

My old setup was a mac mini with and hdmi connector and core2duo processor - video playback was "problematic". Playback is also disappointing on my HP I7. The updated software may remedy the situation.

Funny how a $200 box out performs an $800 mini and a $1400 HP.

Another thing to consider is presentation of your library. Boxee is dead simple to scrape your files and present you with the movie info and box cover graphic. Plex and XMBC will do it - don't know if any of the cheap streamers will do it.

jasch
April 26th, 2011, 10:38 PM
Funny how a $200 box out performs an $800 mini and a $1400 HP.

Well, that $200 box has a CPU specially designed with hardware video decoding. That's why video playback is great, but everything else is so slow (navigation, file decompression, general any other CPU related task).

The $800 mini and $1400 HP just have a CPU designed for everyday computer use, not just video playback.

Take the AppleTV 2... it's cheap, because it offers great video playback (CPU hardware decoding of H264). Try running anything else on it, and it shows why it costs $99...

geekazine
April 27th, 2011, 10:55 AM
http://www.geekazine.com/video-pod/viewsonic-announces-first-boxee-integrated-tv-2

Viewsonic .... are working on a tv with integrated boxee. That's a nice elegant solution if you don't mind buying a new tv too!!

Thanks for pointing to the article. We found many alternatives at CES. LG is working on a box.

However, I wrote this article on Roku and Boxee (application). Check it out - it might help in your decision:

http://www.geekazine.com/news/the-roundup/why-i-choose-roku-boxee-application-over-apple-tv-google-tv

hdmkv
April 27th, 2011, 02:45 PM
There are options to Boxee Box, each with its pros and cons:

Popcorn Hour A200/A210 or C200
Better video playback than Boxee, but poor online content. HD audio working well, camcorder hi-def files play smoothly (Boxee has issues with my 1080p/60 camcorder m2ts files for example), no stutter/buffering with other videos. No native Netflix (requires PlayOn). UI is bland, but can be jazzed up using various jukeboxes.

SageTV HD300
In extender mode (with server app running), it's quite versatile. Decent selection of online content, but no native Netflix. Stock UI poor, but the user-created Diamond theme is beautiful. Video playback almost as good as Popcorn Hour.

WD TV Live Hub
Not a bad option if you don't need DTS-HD MA bitstreaming. It supports Dolby TrueHD however. Online content includes Netflix, Blockbuster OnDemand, CinemaNow and soon Hulu Plus. Local media playback is very good like the Popcorn Hour and SageTV HD300 (all use Sigma chips).

I'd say Boxee does online content great for a set-top box, while the above two handle local content better.

But, for an overall box with minimal fuss, and a good mix of local & online content support, Boxee Box is probably the best available streamer right now.

haveringcottage
April 27th, 2011, 03:26 PM
that is a fantastic concise summary!

iRoNBiLL
April 27th, 2011, 03:44 PM
hdmkv, great review of the products my friend! +1!

iRoNBiLL

brettich
April 27th, 2011, 06:37 PM
get a mini ITX motherboard with a mOTD (mobile on the Desktop) processor so you can use passive cooling (or as small a fan as possible).

i've got a silverstone case with a silent (brick) PSU and it is great.

Don't bother with discreet graphics, just ensure the integrated chip on the board is modern so it will accelarate flash.

if you're comfortable with ubuntu, then don't bother with windows (but again, there are boxee limitations on the linux builds) - linux will run better on less powerful hardware.

2gigs of ram min, recommend 4.

go for a small (around 60gig) SSD drive (silent, low power, fast access) and store only the bare minimum locally, access your media from the network).

any more specifics?


Currently the AMD E-350 APU "Zacate" platform is your best choice for a mini-ITX system as it is the only fully integrated board that supports bitsteaming HD audio. None of Atom based systems support HDMI HD audio unless you add a discreet GPU...

A killer system for under $350 CAD:

SFF Case: Antec ISK Series ISK 100
CPU/GPU/Mobo: MSI E350IS-E45 AMD E-350 APU
RAM: OEM Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3
SSD: OCZ Onyx OCZSSD2-1ONX32G

Add your own OS + media software of choice (Windows 7 MCE) and this will be quiet, fast, low power!, and small HTPC...

Cheers,

BR

Chuck_IV
April 28th, 2011, 08:37 AM
There are options to Boxee Box, each with its pros and cons:

Popcorn Hour A200/A210 or C200
Better video playback than Boxee, but poor online content. HD audio working well, camcorder hi-def files play smoothly (Boxee has issues with my 1080p/60 camcorder m2ts files for example), no stutter/buffering with other videos. No native Netflix (requires PlayOn). UI is bland, but can be jazzed up using various jukeboxes.

SageTV HD300
In extender mode (with server app running), it's quite versatile. Decent selection of online content, but no native Netflix. Stock UI poor, but the user-created Diamond theme is beautiful. Video playback almost as good as Popcorn Hour.

WD TV Live Hub
Not a bad option if you don't need DTS-HD MA bitstreaming. It supports Dolby TrueHD however. Online content includes Netflix, Blockbuster OnDemand, CinemaNow and soon Hulu Plus. Local media playback is very good like the Popcorn Hour and SageTV HD300 (all use Sigma chips).

I'd say Boxee does online content great for a set-top box, while the above two handle local content better.

But, for an overall box with minimal fuss, and a good mix of local & online content support, Boxee Box is probably the best available streamer right now.

Excellent summary. One note to at least the Popcorn Hours boxes is that they still have component outs and tend to be more compatible with older HDTV that don't support EDID. For some reason DLink thought it was a good idea that if the Boxee doesn't receive EDID information from the TV, it should force itself into 1080p mode and completely ignore what the user has chosen in the display settings, so many older HDTVs will have issues syncing with Boxee.

So keep that in mind if you have an older HDTV.

haveringcottage
April 28th, 2011, 08:58 AM
SFF Case: Antec ISK Series ISK 100
CPU/GPU/Mobo: MSI E350IS-E45 AMD E-350 APU
RAM: OEM Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3
SSD: OCZ Onyx OCZSSD2-1ONX32

brettich- that is a great recommendation, excellent shout on the AMD E-350 audio bitstreaming support.

this does also illustrate a good point - a x86 (or x64) based system capable of supporting an OS WILL cost you a hell of a lot more than the boxee box, but WILL be capable of alot more.

It's really whatever the OP needs or wants.... more flexibility or cheaper hardware?

haveringcottage
April 28th, 2011, 09:00 AM
that Antec ISK Series ISK 100 is a nice looking case too!

Axeia
May 16th, 2011, 05:52 PM
this does also illustrate a good point - a x86 (or x64) based system capable of supporting an OS WILL cost you a hell of a lot more than the boxee box, but WILL be capable of alot more.
?

Actually, it seems that you can have a x64 (AMD E-350) based system for a mere 204,96 (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=12968014). Since the Boxee Box is $200 I can't say it's a lot more. Hell you can shave off $5,- by using the cheapest disk, but I thought 500GB for $39.99 was a better deal than 160GB for $34.99.
There is one major difference though, the boxee box comes with a nifty remote can be purchased seperately.. but it's $50. Still not that big a difference for a capable system.

twistybox
May 16th, 2011, 05:59 PM
the boxee box comes with a nifty remote can be purchased seperately..

You know what else Boxee comes with? Software. Much more important than the small plastic remote.

Axeia
May 17th, 2011, 05:49 AM
You know what else Boxee comes with? Software. Much more important than the small plastic remote.
Assume you mean Boxee box, not just 'Boxee' since you can run that just fine (be it an older version)
Was balancing that off against but WILL be capable of alot more
Regrettably we cannot have it all.

c1derman
May 17th, 2011, 07:16 AM
Actually, it seems that you can have a x64 (AMD E-350) based system for a mere 204,96 (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=12968014). Since the Boxee Box is $200 I can't say it's a lot more. Hell you can shave off $5,- by using the cheapest disk, but I thought 500GB for $39.99 was a better deal than 160GB for $34.99.
There is one major difference though, the boxee box comes with a nifty remote can be purchased seperately.. but it's $50. Still not that big a difference for a capable system.

You added another difference. By picking a cheaper Mobo you lose the HD audio and HDMI connection.

pjk
May 17th, 2011, 08:35 AM
Actually, it seems that you can have a x64 (AMD E-350) based system for a mere 204,96 (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=12968014). Since the Boxee Box is $200 I can't say it's a lot more. Hell you can shave off $5,- by using the cheapest disk, but I thought 500GB for $39.99 was a better deal than 160GB for $34.99.
There is one major difference though, the boxee box comes with a nifty remote can be purchased seperately.. but it's $50. Still not that big a difference for a capable system.

I think you will also need to budget in a DVI to HDMI converter since the mobo you've chosen only has DVI and VGA ports. That should add 5 to 10 dollars to your price.

DravenGSX
May 17th, 2011, 09:38 AM
The other concern is that the zacate CPUs are underpowered... According to reviews on AVSForum, they struggle with 1080p60 and blu-ray playback.

I think you're trading one headache for another. That said, for under $350, you can build a Sandy Bridge i3 machine. I can't hear my i5 machine, but then again, I also can't hear my Boxee Box so I don't know if that would work for the OP either.

Jonson
May 17th, 2011, 12:05 PM
You added another difference. By picking a cheaper Mobo you lose the HD audio and HDMI connection.

why this shoud be ?

If you pick a today cheaper Mobo which should outperform a Gadget with 4 year old Technology, why this should be a bad choice.

I was voted further below in this thread for the Xtreamer Ultra, but for some dumb reasons the european Customers should pay 50 % more for the same Hardware, because their dumb sales strategy. So .. the xtreamer Ultra for 250 would be a good bang for the Buck but lame when they ask 379 and more for this without HDD.

So i will pass on this. Thank to one nice Guy from another Tech Gadget Forum who tells me that theres a much easier way because the Ultra is build on Zotac Hardware. While Zotac is pretty good available in Germany, so are the Prices very good.

At the Moment i consider one of these Zboxes :

The Zotac Zbox HD ID-41 (with 64 GB Cruzial SSD, 4 GB DDR3) , Chipset Atom D525 with Next Generation ION GFX. Price for this config 249

or

The Zotac Zbox HD AD02 (same SSD and Ram), E-350 AMD with HD 6310 Radeon GFX) . Price for this Config 242


Both are capable to run XBMC, Boxee and Mediacenter if someone wish. I prefer XMBC over Boxee because as European User, i dont have 80 % of the nice Content as US Citizen have. For all other Stuff XMBC is far better and run nice and easy.

I only saw both configs running XBMC from XBMC LIve image and it rockz. But maybe when i got one of these i give Boxee a second chance because on PC is the boxee Soft not bad and less buggy then on this DLink Cube.

So thats my Alternatives