Originally Posted by undersinjake
hey guys! I have been trying to read through this thread but it is so long!
I've been trying to find something I can use to put all my movies onto my computer and stream to my tv. I was looking at apple tv, but then I found the boxee box. So I downloaded the free software and it is pretty nice. It recognized my movies on my HDD and had information and a nice layout for them! cool!
Anyways, so how are you guys liking the box so far is it worth the 199.99? But what I was wondering for just maybe $100 more you could just build a dedicated HTPC and run the boxee software on it. Is there any reason to use the actual boxee box instead?
My other question is what do you guys use to rip your SD dvds and BDs? Is the program free?
Also can you use dvd menus with this? if so, how? And when I use their subtitle feature which seemed to be awesome it usually is not matched up. Any way to fix this?
It comes down to how amenable you are to tweaking, hacking and dealing with a full OS installed box in the case of the HTPC.
The advantage of the Boxee is that for the most part you just plug it in and it works. No worrying about OS installation, patches, drivers, configuration settings, etc... not to mention no need to maintain or back it up. Unlike most other streamers you don't need to go in and build special applications and settings files on a central PC to build a library wall view for it. It can aggregate as many sources as you tell it about, scrape the movie/show details and present them to you in a nice library view. For those shows that don't get located properly the Boxee has a very robust file browser that makes finding the show you want to access a snap. With the latest version you can quickly sort the list by date added, etc.
The Boxee also has the advantage of one click premium content, first with Vudu and soon with Netflix and if we are lucky Hulu+ as well this year.
The advantage of an HTPC is that it is completely customizable and can be made to more or less do exactly what you want, it can run XBMC (which is much better for local media playback in my opinion, although no HD audio support as of yet). It has a full blown browser (if you are running it under Windows or Linux) so you can often times access any and all web pages, flash content, etc, without having to worry about interoperability problems.
At the end of the day I don't need to come home from my stressful job and deal with fixing a bunch of broken crap in my home. I turn the Boxee on, and it works. If I need to "wipe" the Boxee settings and reconfigure it, it takes all of five minutes.
I briefly had an ACER 1600 HTPC running the Live version of XBMC and it was a non stop PITA. I don't want to deal with that again. I do understand though that the newest version of XBMC Dharma is quite a bit improved. Still not going there, at least not any time soon.