Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why I hate the Boxee Box

This is a boxee box.

It is a d-link TV connected device. What it is SUPPOSED to do(among other things), and I have to be honest, what it MAY do for some people, is deliver content from internet sources to the television.

I liked the idea of it a lot. I wanted something primarily to watch netflix, but I was drawn to the Boxee because it supports flash and so it meant (theoretically) that I could watch more shows through the internet than I could using the apple tv device.

I had problems right from installation. I could not access netflix. I had to install an upgrade and it seemed to take care of the netflix problem for a day. I could not access any movies. The wifi signal kept dropping, which is still a problem and I see is also a problem for other users.

According to the information on screen, I have access to over 1000 movies. When I tried to watch the first movie, I needed to create an online account with MUBI. I did. I tried again to access a movie only to discover that the movie I wanted actually cost $3 on MUBI and I needed to put money onto my MUBI account. Honestly, If I wanted to pay for movies I would pay for pay-per view movies or rent a DVD from the video store. So I have access to SOME movies, but there is no information on screen about which movies cost money so you have to go one by one to find the movies that are free, or in most cases, not free.
Many of the movies say "Not available in your area" which I thought might be our rural area, but turns out is Canada!

Then there are the television shows. Scrolling through the shows that are available was fun. I had visions like sugar plums dancing through my head of all the shows I was going to watch. Then I tried it. The connection is TERRIBLE which I originally blamed on my home internet connection until I read some other reviews. apparently I am not the only person who has had trouble with shows buffering and CONTINUALLY stopping as I am trying to watch. This is so annoying and has happened on EVERY show I have tried to watch that it is simply a feature I will not use again.

The remote control is something reviewers have raved about. To be honest I find it annoying for two reasons.
#1. It is so easy to get turned around and impossible and so everything you are trying to do on the screen is happening backwards.
#2. I watch television and movies in the dark and so having this QWERTY keyboard on the back of it is useless for me because I cannot see it. And I cannot type in the dark- although someone else may be able to (or may watch tv with the lights on).

With all the hassles with movies and tv shows streaming I basically decided I would use it for watching netflix only. With that in mind there is no reason to have a boxee instead of an apple tv device and the apples are cheaper by about 90 bucks.

So last night I went home and got comfortable, or "Come -see" as CJ says, and turned on the boxee to watch some netflix. For the second time since I have had the boxee (two days), I cannot access netflix. I went online to contact boxee support and I cannot find ANYWHERE on the website a contact number to phone. There is a place online where you have access to forums, none of the information on the forums was helpful. There was a place on the site where I could register a problem with my boxee for customer support. I entered my problem and sent it off and so far - in 24 hours - I have not had a response from customer support.

I would NOT recommend this product and will be returning mine. What a complete waste.

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