Boxee Box Owner's Thread - Reviews, tips, tricks, bugs and feature requests - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:48 AM
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I also agree that the Boxee Box launch has not started out very well. However, what is keeping me from returning my Boxee Box is that we have the developer right here in this forum acknowledging the issues and listening to people's concerns. A few posts ago Eli said that the issues are primarily software related (including on Intel firmware bug), which is a relief for me. I currently have my unopened Boxee Box and the box that Amazon shipped it in sitting together on the counter together as I was going to return it and build another HTPC. Well I slept on it last night, and I am going to fire the thing up. I think the real fly in the ointment for Boxee could occur when more boxes hit the B&M stores, and as the Holiday Season approaches with more and more people buying and using this thing. Eli, hopefully you guys can get some quick fixes out on some of the larger issues quickly (like the buffering, slow local scraping, lock-ups,...) and keep firmware fixes coming out - hopefully on a weekly basis.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by stefjnl View Post

Cheers for that jmpage2! Hopefully Boxee Box/D-link will take note of these bugs you've come across. Especially the storage of metadata locally (on the sd-card) would be an advantage. Retrieving all the coverart everytime the Boxee boots up seems annoying.

Not just on a sd-card....needs to be on the network drive too. Many of us have collections sitting on NAS. I am using WHS.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:51 AM
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Yeah, if the mainstream users buy this device and see these issues come the holiday season, the Boxee brand will take a serious hit. It sounds like having people beta test with older software wasn't such a great idea. Almost like they were beta testing the hardware, not the software.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tally999 View Post

Not just on a sd-card....needs to be on the network drive too. Many of us have collections sitting on NAS. I am using WHS.

I'd rather have it on an SD card because my NAS disks spin down when not in use and I wouldn't like them sppining up just for thumbnails, but I guess the two options could be offered (SD or network).
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by samukas View Post

I'd rather have it on an SD card because my NAS disks spin down when not in use and I wouldn't like them sppining up just for thumbnails, but I guess the two options could be offered (SD or network).

They need to have two options. If you have two Boxee Boxes you are messing with metadata separately by each Box (which is an issue now as well).
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by oneway23 View Post

Again, I know it seems insane to fathom, but you've described, without fail, almost every product release in this category.

Even the most stable of the current players typically took months post-release to have their issues sorted, and the best players in the segment still have some issues that continue to dangle and linger in forums such as this.

And yet my TV arrived in a box was plugged in and watching Vudu, Netflix and Hulu+ within minutes flawlessly. Add to that running PlayOn on my PC for free (480p) Hulu DLNA and local content ripped VOBs, etc. and the Boxee's target audience is gone- poof! That solution doesn't address the videophile or audiophile population found on AVS, but your average Best Buy customer would be fine.

People don't want something they need to futz with, media streaming is mainstream (forgive the pun) and people expect it to just work. Of course something slicker than DLNA would be awesome, but at least it works.

I am still considering a Boxee PC HTPC build for it's GUI and neat front-end.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samukas View Post

I'd rather have it on an SD card because my NAS disks spin down when not in use and I wouldn't like them sppining up just for thumbnails, but I guess the two options could be offered (SD or network).

+1. Same here, and access/refresh of the thumbnails would be quicker.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mbryanr View Post

+1. Same here, and access/refresh of the thumbnails would be quicker.

+ 11venty billion. It makes the movies folder nearly unusable after a full boot.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jmpage2 View Post

Eli,

Please make sure that if the global flag is set to "disable subtitles altogether" that forced subs are still played automatically for the language preference of the player or user account. It should also be made easy for a user to turn subs on for a single title during playback if desired.

I am relieved that the True-HD bug is acknowledged and hope it can be fixed soon.

I am seeing audio muting even with DTS-MA tracks where the audio will mute for a second every so many minutes. I don't think this is a buffering problem. Could be a problem with mkv chapter markers?

Obviously it will be tough to get things to were people will be happy
By the time the holidays are over, boxee have their work cut out for sure.

Might I suggest a separate forum for boxee box at the official boxee forums? It is too difficult to track issues currently. The feeling one is left with is that boxee box is just another platform for running boxee software, and really not all that important.

Thanks and have a nice weekend.

I have experienced the same issues with the audio muting when playing MKV files. Usually requires me to change the audio track to AC3 then back to the DTS track to get sound back.

I also second the suggestion to make it easier to enable or disable subtitles while during playback. It does not make sense to have to go into the settings during a movie, check or uncheck the "Enable Subtitles" option then have to arrow down to select which subtitle should be used. We have a remote with a lot of buttone it would be good if Boxee utilizes the other buttons on the remote to quickly change options. Like if I press "s" it cycles through the subtitles with one of the options being disabled. If I press "a" it cycles through the audio tracks. Press "d" or "r" cycles through the resolution or display options.

Boxee, got to take advantage of the remote more than just the few buttons used to navigate to a mini menu to control everything. Just my two cents.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by NitrousFoxide View Post

And yet my TV arrived in a box was plugged in and watching Vudu, Netflix and Hulu+ within minutes flawlessly. Add to that running PlayOn on my PC for free (480p) Hulu DLNA and local content ripped VOBs, etc. and the Boxee's target audience is gone- poof! That solution doesn't address the videophile or audiophile population found on AVS, but your average Best Buy customer would be fine.

People don't want something they need to futz with, media streaming is mainstream (forgive the pun) and people expect it to just work. Of course something slicker than DLNA would be awesome, but at least it works.

I am still considering a Boxee PC HTPC build for it's GUI and neat front-end.

Exactly. Out of the gate, there seems like there is little the boxee does that other devices aren't doing better (or at least more hassle free).

Online Video? TVs, bluray players, and the major consoles have them.
Local video streaming? Host of devices available, and the Dune/NeoTV are on the horizon, with dedicated hardware rather than the PC based solution Boxee has.
Music/Photos? What doesn't have the same or better functionality?
Apps/Browser? HTPCs, which have the benefit of running all of the above as well.

As it stands, the Boxee is a weird hybrid of HTPC and dedicated device, with the flaws of both built in. Granted, having a software-focused team is boon, and firmware updates are going to be far more plentiful than competitors. I'm just not sure where the market is for this thing in its current state.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mike_Stuewe View Post

did you check under the "unfound files" section or whatever it is called, to see if you can identify them yourself?

I have already identified the missing files, so this appears to be something else. The files in question show up if I browse the share, Boxee is just not aware of them being there in library mode.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvarisco View Post

Exactly. Out of the gate, there seems like there is little the boxee does that other devices aren't doing better (or at least more hassle free).

Online Video? TVs, bluray players, and the major consoles have them.
Local video streaming? Host of devices available, and the Dune/NeoTV are on the horizon, with dedicated hardware rather than the PC based solution Boxee has.
Music/Photos? What doesn't have the same or better functionality?
Apps/Browser? HTPCs, which have the benefit of running all of the above as well.

As it stands, the Boxee is a weird hybrid of HTPC and dedicated device, with the flaws of both built in. Granted, having a software-focused team is boon, and firmware updates are going to be far more plentiful than competitors. I'm just not sure where the market is for this thing in its current state.

Well, I would say that Boxee Box has only been out for 2 days, so let's give it a little time to get its $hit together. I think the key here is how quickly can the development team fix the issues everyone is having If Q1 rolls around and we are still talking about the same issues then that will be a bad sign.

Cheers,
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisemory View Post

Hi,

Regarding audio muting, are you playing a single large MKV? If the answer is yes, please try this:
Once you hear the mute, go back and play that part again. Does the mute show again at the same place?

Eli.

Yes, single large MKV file, from blu-ray source.

The mute does not reappear of I rewind the movie and play the same section again, so it appears to be random. I see no CPU spikes or other activity when this happens. I have only observed it with DTS-MA but maybe it happens with Dolby Digital as well but I haven't tested with dolby digital. I have all selections chosen for my AVR in the Boxee audio setup screen as my AVR supports all audio formats.

I certainly agree that the hardware is more than capable. This thing is a monster compared to other streamers. I'm watching Hellboy 2 and the cpu is running at about 20% while pushing this high quality title to my 1080P display. There is plenty of free RAM shown with the debugger.

These appear to be software/firmware/driver issues and if you guys can fix them you will have the best streamer on the market for the AV enthusiast who does not require BD ISO full menu playback.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Well, I would say that Boxee Box has only been out for 2 days, so let's give it a little time to get its $hit together. I think the key here is how quickly can the development team fix the issues everyone is having If Q1 rolls around and we are still talking about the same issues then that will be a bad sign.

basically everything needs to be gravy by the end of amazon's return window
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tally999 View Post

I also agree that the Boxee Box launch has not started out very well. However, what is keeping me from returning my Boxee Box is that we have the developer right here in this forum acknowledging the issues and listening to people's concerns. A few posts ago Eli said that the issues are primarily software related (including on Intel firmware bug), which is a relief for me. I currently have my unopened Boxee Box and the box that Amazon shipped it in sitting together on the counter together as I was going to return it and build another HTPC. Well I slept on it last night, and I am going to fire the thing up. I think the real fly in the ointment for Boxee could occur when more boxes hit the B&M stores, and as the Holiday Season approaches with more and more people buying and using this thing. Eli, hopefully you guys can get some quick fixes out on some of the larger issues quickly (like the buffering, slow local scraping, lock-ups,...) and keep firmware fixes coming out - hopefully on a weekly basis.

I still have my chips with Boxee as well. The first couple of houes working the Box I said this is not worth it if it cannot even play the same files that my WD TV Live plays over network without stutter. But Boxee has been very responsive, especially when comparing them to Syabas. They are software company. They are not concerned with the hardware, marketing, logestics, or sales. Their focus is primarily on getting the software to be what everyone expects in this niche market, so I think updates to fix a lot of the issues will come out pretty swift and will not be a 6month to a year shell game like most companies like to play. I know a lot of us had been burned by other devices due to lack support, but lets hope Boxee is planning to break out of that cycle.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisemory View Post

- I've seen many reports regarding buffering issues in HD content. This is usually not a problem with your network. It looks like there are two kind of problems:

1. Constant re-buffering. Box will re-buffer, play for 2-3 seconds, re-buffer...
2. Movie is playing fine - but there is a re-buffering every 1-2 minutes.

I'm having problem #1 with my 1080i H.264/AVC home videos from my HD camcorder (in an .m2ts container), as well as with regular 480i MPEG-2 video from video tape captures. Both will play for about 5-10 seconds and then buffer for 10 seconds or more. I'm at work at the moment so I can't perform the tests you had asked to try yet.

Glad to hear that the subtitles on by default can be disabled in the next release!

I will say that the video quality on my Popcorn Hour A-110 does look a little more crisp and the colors slightly more vivid than on the Boxee Box; I was comparing the two with the same source video last night. Not sure if this is something that can be cleaned up on the software side or if it's just the video processor.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tally999 View Post

Not just on a sd-card....needs to be on the network drive too. Many of us have collections sitting on NAS. I am using WHS.

Have it as option in GUI to specific the location of meta data cover arts only. In that case, it can network/usb/sanddisk/flash( default )
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by NitrousFoxide View Post

And yet my TV arrived in a box was plugged in and watching Vudu, Netflix and Hulu+ within minutes flawlessly. Add to that running PlayOn on my PC for free (480p) Hulu DLNA and local content ripped VOBs, etc. and the Boxee's target audience is gone- poof! That solution doesn't address the videophile or audiophile population found on AVS, but your average Best Buy customer would be fine.

People don't want something they need to futz with, media streaming is mainstream (forgive the pun) and people expect it to just work. Of course something slicker than DLNA would be awesome, but at least it works.

I am still considering a Boxee PC HTPC build for it's GUI and neat front-end.

Not debating the merits of TV manufacturers here, as I'd place Sony, Samsung, Panasonic on a COMPLETELY different wavelength in terms of R&D, marketing, whatever metric you care to use, so i don't feel that's necessarily a fair comparison, although yes, of course they are delving into similar waters.

That being said, I do feel like what you've described is likely more than enough for most people. It truly is. People complain about Apple TV (myself included), but most folks seem more than content with their "HD" downloads on their Xbox or Playstation. Hell, most are content w/ their compressed HD feed from the cable company.

IMHO, most of these smaller companies need to abandon their dreams of widespread mainstream domination, find their AV enthusiast niche audience, and calibrate their strategy in line with what will appeal most to them.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:29 AM
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Is there a place where we can see what items are slated to be worked on? Some of the stuttering issues and whatnot, I've heard Eli comment about. But the subtitles being on my default, or local music, movies, and pictures being buried down - I'm not sure these issues will be "resolved" by changing the UI if the boxee team feels they are in the right place already.

I'd like to see what's being addresses (or will be) and what we might have to live with.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Well, I would say that Boxee Box has only been out for 2 days, so let's give it a little time to get its $hit together. I think the key here is how quickly can the development team fix the issues everyone is having If Q1 rolls around and we are still talking about the same issues then that will be a bad sign.

Like I said, the fact that the team is software focused is a plus. But for pete's sake, this is standardized platform (albeit changed very late in the game), manufactured by a large hardware company, with a software that's been in development for years. Compared to something like the Dune, they had every advantage. For so much functionality to be missing or buggy on launch day is pretty crazy.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:41 AM
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I too am having the rebuffering issue every 15-20 minutes during TV shows that are 720p and mkv.

Please fix the subtitle issue soon. I disabled them all together, and now I am missing out on the forced ones. I just want forced subs to play by default.

Please give me an easier way to access local content (on my pc over the network). Everytime I boot up the boxee, i have to sign in to my computer to get access to the shares. The UI is so painful for trying to watch local content. I really should not have to sort through tons of online crap just to play a movie off my computer. The old interface seemed like it was a lot easier to watch local content. The whole reason I bought the box was to play local content and you all are making it really hard and frustrating to do so.

Last, I really wanted to use this to play content from espn3. But I have yet to figure out how to add the espn3 app that boxee for the pc has and the browser is just useless.

Thank goodness for amazon's long return window, because otherwise, this box would be going back today with all of these problems.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:45 AM
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What blows me is the fact I based my purchasing decision by downloading the software and running it on my laptop, which ran well and I liked the UI, specifically having all my media accessible from the "top level' and the option to use the "fly-out" menu from the left to select and filter on both online and local content. Please bring this back, having to drill down under "files" to access local content and now way of filtering other than scrolling down a list to find your local content compared to the older UI is just painful. I feel like I have been had with the lack of UI functionality and the lack of Netflix etc........
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:45 AM
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Just to throw my 2 cents in:

-So far I quite like the device, but there are some bugs to work out, which can be expected.
-I initially had some of the disappearing, black screen video issues others had, but after a reboot and a few hours it hasn't happened again. I wonder if the media scraping in the background had something to do with it?
-The device has played all of my media without issue, but I don't have any BD Iso's or anything with HD audio.
-The cover downloading is ridiculously slow. Especially if something goes wrong and you need to reboot, waiting for all of that to download every time just doesn't work. I know they have mentioned using local nfo and cover art which would be a plus, but at the moment it would be nice if it even just cached the downloaded cover art to the flash memory.

-Is there a way to tell when it is scanning?

-Is there a way to page up/down when scrolling through the lists of media?


-The scraper worked pretty well. I have over 500 movies and only misidentified a few of them. Other than that, it only had about 20 that it couldn't identify at all. I was able to manually identify them and add them to the database within 5-10 minutes. I only have 3 TV series on my server, and it scraped those perfectly.
-Please add a restart option to the shutdown menu. Things do go wrong and when they do it would be nice to be able to reboot it without having to get up to hit the button. (I know, I'm lazy)

-The remote, which was my initial draw to this product, kind of stinks. As one poster stated, it's very easy to get it turned upside down and not know it. And the lack of backlight / glow issue stinks. I'm going to personally eat crow on that one because I didn't think it would be that big of an issue, but the problem is that they printed the letters in a dark gray on the remote. In any low lighting you can't read them at all. The green numbers and symbols can be seen, though. I might take one for the team and try to fix the issue with a mod. The buttons come on one of those rubber pressure sheets. If I take the rubber sheet out of the remote I might try using some glow in the dark spray paint on it. The glow paint is clear, but there would need to be some kind of durable top coat to keep it from rubbing off. If anyone has a suggestion for top coating spray paint, let me know.

-I know there's a lot of negativity in this post and on this thread, but overall I do really like the box. Hammer out a few bugs for everyone quickly and you will have a great device on your hands. The problem with the Popbox was that it had issues at launch and Syabas STILL hasn't fixed many of them. That device came out in July. Furthermore, there is such a lack of communication from the developers of that product. Nobody wants any rush jobs that create more issues, but I can't stress to the Boxee team enough that frequent updates fixing some of these issues needs to happen. If you wait 2 months to release an update like Syabas did, then you will have mass return issues to deal with. I personally would rather see frequent small updates that fix one or two things every few days. It reminds everyone that Boxee is working on the issues .
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by see spot run View Post


Last, I really wanted to use this to play content from espn3. But I have yet to figure out how to add the espn3 app that boxee for the pc has and the browser is just useless.

Add this to your repository ( http://repository.boxee.thinkonezero.com ) and ESPN3 APP should show up.

http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?t=20282
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Govnah View Post

What blows me is the fact I based my purchasing decision by downloading the software and running it on my laptop, which ran well and I liked the UI, specifically having all my media accessible from the "top level' and the option to use the "fly-out" menu from the left to select and filter on both online and local content. Please bring this back, having to drill down under "files" to access local content and now way of filtering other than scrolling down a list to find your local content compared to the older UI is just painful. I feel like I have been had with the lack of UI functionality and the lack of Netflix etc........

Agreed regarding going back to the old UI for accessing local content. It is odd that Boxee would advertise trying the PC software before jumping into the Boxee Box yet the Boxee Box UI when released is different Maybe initial release is not the best time to try out a redesigned UI lol

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Old 11-12-2010, 07:53 AM
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The conspiracy theorist in me has me wondering if the decision to move local content under Files has to do with the incentive Boxee has to get people streaming online content? If their expected revenue structure is to be from premium services like Netflix, Hulu+, etc, they may want online content to be front and center.

If that is the case, they should really pursue this (as expected, they need to make money somehow) but offer customization on the menu for those who will use the box for more local data. This way most people will still be directed to online content, while those that prefer the local stuff will be satisfied as well.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostXtreme View Post

Add this to your repository ( http://repository.boxee.thinkonezero.com ) and ESPN3 APP should show up.

http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?t=20282

Ive used that app, and it doesnt do anything when I click on the various options such as live/replay or picking a game.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:57 AM
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Hearing all these problems is a huge disappointment. I have been waiting for a long time to get a streaming box and have been eagerly awaiting the Boxee Box. Now I can see I need to keep looking for something else. Sounds like the music and streaming video are pretty bad and that is what I want most.

I have been putting off building an HTPC for a long time. I just don't want to deal with setup. I just want a simple box but it still seems like none of these boxes are nearly as capable as they should be.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Agreed regarding going back to the old UI for accessing local content. It is odd that Boxee would advertise trying the PC software before jumping into the Boxee Box yet the Boxee Box UI when released is different Maybe initial release is not the best time to try out a redesigned UI lol

What's more frustrating is contemplating how much time the developers spent completely revamping the UI when they already had a large community that were by and large happy with the existing UI.

That time spent redoing the entire UI could have been spent addressing some of the glitches we are seeing early on.

I know Jakmal has sent the video test suite to Boxee but I almost feel that us AV enthusiasts need to build our own test suite with entire large clips of movies, etc, so they can adequately test their software prior to going out. It seems as though some guy clicks a remote and plays 20 or 30 short test samples, thinks things are fine and stamps it "QA check passed".
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:02 AM
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Plugged mine in and updated without issue. I've enjoyed it so far, but have some questions and comments.

- The remote is really nice, but too small. 50% larger would be perfect. My hands get cramped using it for long periods.

- No Vudu at launch really stinks when piled on top of the lack of Hulu and Netflix. Why even have the giant icon on the home screen???

- How does Xfinity/Fancast know who you are? Typically I have to log in with my account to get access to Xfinity. I'm getting some basic shows in the list, but nowhere near what I get if I log in and use the web app on a PC.

- Need an easier way to get Fancast to full screen!

- The need to get to local content easier is well documented here

I see a lot of potential. I'm not returning it any time soon, and I hope we see a lot of those fixes very soon.

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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