Boxee Box Owner's Thread - Reviews, tips, tricks, bugs and feature requests - Page 324 - AVS Forum
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post #9691 of 9720 Old 04-25-2014, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

In the other thread it was said that XBMC on the FireTV has issues playing back content encoded with VC-1. Which for me covers several hundred titles. And it also doesn't bitstream the HD Audio. Only the legacy audio.

Are you saying that there are no issues with VC-1 encodes and it can bitstream the HD audio with the FireTV using XBMC? I was only going by what was posted in the FireTV thread. So I never bothered trying it out since if true, I have no use for streaming content that way.

VC-1 playback is choppy, supposedly a report has been filed with Amazon since they say they support it. As far as HD Audio the specs say passthru is supported but no one has gotten it to work yet. Saying that, my boxee has been unplugged for 20 days and I haven't had a need for it.

Fire TV doesn't lock up, my boxee did. Fire tv is faster, better interface, amazon prime streaming, netflix super HD, and will actually be supported.

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post #9692 of 9720 Old 04-26-2014, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CarguyHere View Post

But would really like to use the Boxee for something...

What about a paperweight?
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post #9693 of 9720 Old 04-26-2014, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Neil S. Bulk View Post

What about a paperweight?

I have three of them here. I haven't turned them on in along time. I pretty much use my PCH A400's for most of my BD ISO watching. It's nice to be able to browse and select a BD ISO title from the program on the tablet and it just starts playing on the A400 I selected.
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post #9694 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by NeilF View Post

Is there really no alternative to these boxes for fast/friendly network playback?

Unfortunately the latest boxes are internet streamer players only or don't support much in local media playing without having to use trans-coders or converting all my media.

I'll continue to use and buy Boxee Boxes until something better comes out that does all I use my Boxee Boxes for.
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post #9695 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsanf3 View Post

Unfortunately the latest boxes are internet streamer players only or don't support much in local media playing without having to use trans-coders or converting all my media.

I'll continue to use and buy Boxee Boxes until something better comes out that does all I use my Boxee Boxes for.

Fire-TV is pretty close actually... especially for secondary rooms of the home. It appears to be running XBMC quite well and still has all of the popular streaming apps.

I am unboxing one now and will be setting it up... will share my comments later.
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post #9696 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 01:08 PM
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+1 ... look forward to your impressions of FTV. I'm loving my 3 FTV's (one for kids, who already know how to open/navigate around XBMC).

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post #9697 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 02:33 PM
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Yes I'm curious to see what you think. For me persnally, I like it for Amazon content, but that is about it.

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post #9698 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, so I just spent the last hour messing around with the Fire-TV.

This is, right now, the leading contender in my view as a Boxee Box replacement.

Side loading the latest nightly build of XBMC Gotham was a snap. For grins I also side loaded the Milestone Xprotect surveillance application that I use. Side-loaded apps don't show up in the main application area, but there is probably a way of building a shortcut somehow so that they show up there.... I will be investigating that shortly.

Performance of the box is impressive... at least as fast as Boxee Box if not faster. Since you have access to full blown XBMC the GUI performance will largely be dictated by which skin you choose... however using the "out of the box" default Confluence skin the performance was impressive. Full blown 1080P fan art, cover flow working well and pretty "snappy" when scanning through my large library of about 500 films.

Playback performance is impressive, with a couple of caveats. I played back a full rip of my blu-ray Thor: The Dark World and it played back flawlessly, including typical XBMC goodness like automatic detection and display of forced subtitles. FF/REW buttons on the FireTV itself aren't working in XBMC yet, but you can do "jumps" with the directional pad and those worked very well. XBMC gets it's marching orders as to display resolution, etc, from the host Android device, so, you can't for example get 1080p/24 working since Android (or the FTV itself) does not support it. 1080P/60 however worked VERY well with everything I tried with it, with a couple of notable exceptions.

1. FTV does not fully support VC1 hardware decode. This is quite a blow to local media fans since SO MUCH GOOD STUFF is encoded in VC1. Probably 80 of my films including many favorites like The Matrix are in VC1. When you play them back with FTV you will get a slide-show. It's unlikely that this will be changing anytime soon. Options are to simply not watch those films on this device or transcode the VC1 titles into the much more universal H.264. Since I only view this as a device for use in secondary rooms of the home I MAY be able to live with this... not sure yet. On the plus side the CPU in the FTV is good enough to decode 480P MPEG-2 DVD without issues... so even though it's not supported in hardware it seems to work just fine.

2. FTV does not support HD audio bitstream. It will down mix True-HD to 2.0 audio and it will extract 5.1 core DTS from DTS-MA. Again, for use in a secondary room not necessarily a deal killer but another limitation that some of us will view as crippling our full enjoyment of local audio.

3. I can't find a way to power it off. The FTV appears to be "always on" until it "goes to sleep". It does have an obnoxiously bright white LED that is lit when it's in use that I would have to cover with tape if I had it in a bedroom as it is really annoying... it's too bad there is no dim or off setting for the LED light in the settings.

4. It is fanless... and tiny... and super low power consumption. All of this is GOOD.

5. It has a BT remote, which, while not having a kb like the Boxee is of slightly better construction quality and has a "voice" search feature that you can use when using the FTV with any of the many streaming services shipping on the box.

All in all this box is MOST impressive. It's $99... has a nice remote, is tiny and uses very low power and ships with an impressive app store. Being able to run XBMC on it is certainly a killer feature from my perspective.

Now, on to the let-downs. This box (and most other boxes like this) are simply not geared for VC1 playback or HD audio. For those uses our choices as media snobs is to either down mix our Blu-rays (blasphemy!) - make second copies of the movies for playback on this device, or simply don't watch those titles on this box. It's disappointing but with BD on the down-spiral towards eventual obliteration it is sadly to be expected.

Now, compared to the $199 that Boxee originally cost or the $250-$300 that a NUC costs to build (which still has issues with VC1 by-the-way) this box is compelling. The ability to side load and run pretty much ANY android app is impressive. The previously mentioned Milestone security app? Well, I had that configured in about 5 minutes and was watching my 2MP camera feeds and the quality was outstanding....

FTV, right now, is definitely the box to watch. There is so much interest in it in XBMC land that there are patches going in to the Gotham code weekly to improve support for Fire TV. For $99 you can almost view it as a disposable toy to play with while you wait for your Boxee Box to kick the bucket.
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post #9699 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 04:06 PM
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I used a LightDim on my FireTV to cover the bright LED.

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post #9700 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Side-loaded apps don't show up in the main application area, but there is probably a way of building a shortcut somehow so that they show up there.... I will be investigating that shortly.
Not possible yet, but a guy at XBMC forum is creating a XBMC launcher app he plans to submit to Amazon for approval. It's unclear whether they'll approve it.
Quote:
Yes I'm curious to see what you think. For me persnally, I like it for Amazon content, but that is about it.
You're missing out if you aren't using XBMC on it. Without it, FTV isn't of much use to me.

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post #9701 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

Not possible yet, but a guy at XBMC forum is creating a XBMC launcher app he plans to submit to Amazon for approval. It's unclear whether they'll approve it.
You're missing out if you aren't using XBMC on it. Without it, FTV isn't of much use to me.

Thanks Brajesh... I just got up to speed and saw the same comments about trying to get a launcher approved which would solve the problem.

Honestly with the app on the application home screen the only thing that stops me from whole-heartedly endorsing it is the lack of VC1 support... I'm tempted to say though that even missing VC1 it's still better than Boxee Box.
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post #9702 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 05:32 PM
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Agree. Amazon claims VC-1 support (or at least did at launch), so hopefully it's still possible. As you noted, this ain't a dedicated home theater box, but well suited as a secondary box. I rely on Mede8er 600X3D and Intel NUC w/XBMC for HT use.

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post #9703 of 9720 Old 05-01-2014, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

Agree. Amazon claims VC-1 support (or at least did at launch), so hopefully it's still possible. As you noted, this ain't a dedicated home theater box, but well suited as a secondary box. I rely on Mede8er 600X3D and Intel NUC w/XBMC for HT use.

From reading the latest it appears that they probably support only specific VC1 profiles that are more prevalent in non BD content. The chances of full VC1 hardware support seem highly unlikely at this juncture.
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post #9704 of 9720 Old 05-02-2014, 09:19 AM
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This is slightly off topic, but I keep seeing mention that the NUC isn't up to VC-1 playback either. From what I can tell, this is just an issue with the Intel integrated video chipset, right? Meaning...if you built a core i3 system with a dedicated video card, this wouldn't be an issue, right?
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post #9705 of 9720 Old 05-02-2014, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by skro View Post

This is slightly off topic, but I keep seeing mention that the NUC isn't up to VC-1 playback either. From what I can tell, this is just an issue with the Intel integrated video chipset, right? Meaning...if you built a core i3 system with a dedicated video card, this wouldn't be an issue, right?

The problem is a combination of crappy intel drivers for Linux and the version of decoders in use in XBMC.

I don't believe the issue exists in windows but does exist in mainline versions of XBMC under Linux including openelec.

Picking another video card with a nuc is not an option since there is nowhere to put one. Not to mention other video cards have issues with 23.976 output.
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post #9706 of 9720 Old 05-08-2014, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jmpage2 View Post

OK, so I just spent the last hour messing around with the Fire-TV.

1. FTV does not fully support VC1 hardware decode. This is quite a blow to local media fans since SO MUCH GOOD STUFF is encoded in VC1. Probably 80 of my films including many favorites like The Matrix are in VC1. When you play them back with FTV you will get a slide-show. It's unlikely that this will be changing anytime soon. Options are to simply not watch those films on this device or transcode the VC1 titles into the much more universal H.264. Since I only view this as a device for use in secondary rooms of the home I MAY be able to live with this... not sure yet. On the plus side the CPU in the FTV is good enough to decode 480P MPEG-2 DVD without issues... so even though it's not supported in hardware it seems to work just fine.
......

That's a big issue, I deal with mostly ISO files and don't encode to other formats.

Does the FireTV have a browser or a feature like Boxee's Watch Later?
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post #9707 of 9720 Old 05-11-2014, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsanf3 View Post

That's a big issue, I deal with mostly ISO files and don't encode to other formats.

Does the FireTV have a browser or a feature like Boxee's Watch Later?

Does not have a watch later feature, I'm not sure about the browser... although I imagine side-loading Opera or Firefox would be a pretty trivial thing to do.
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post #9708 of 9720 Old 06-01-2014, 12:29 PM
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Does anyone know how to change the display modes while in the Netflix app on Boxee?  I use the "Stretch 16:9" mode when playing back 4:3 content on a 4:3 projector and can't find this menu while in Netflix...

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post #9709 of 9720 Old 07-11-2014, 09:14 PM
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I replaced my Boxee Box with an android TV box and never looked back. I have 5 different boxes I have been testing, and they all work great. They are a real computers running android, which is based on Linux. With XMBC INSTALLED ALL YOUR MEDIA CAN BE PLAYED FLAWLESSLY. ALSO IT IS A COMMUNICATION CENTER FOR EMAIL.SKYPE,web browsing AND SMS texting.it is really an in one box. For a good box,it will cost around $100 UD Dollars. With my boxes,I incorporate a PVR which gives me 12days of guide data.

Here are a couple of YouTube videos. I am not a seller or even recommend these boxes. I am just showing how I replaced my Boxee box.



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post #9710 of 9720 Old 07-11-2014, 10:24 PM
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Does it handle BD ISOs like the Boxee Box and other media players? Will it handle 96Khz and 192Khz Advanced audio tracks from the BD ISOs?

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post #9711 of 9720 Old 07-12-2014, 07:21 AM
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Does it handle BD ISOs like the Boxee Box and other media players? Will it handle 96Khz and 192Khz Advanced audio tracks from the BD ISOs?
I personally don't have any BD ISOs to test, but a lot of information can be found on this forum. http://www.freaktab.com/showthread.p...inless-1-8-ROM. Some people have commented that they do play BD ISOs well. I loved my Boxee Box, it is sitting in a closet now, but found other devices that worked better for me. These little android boxes are quite amazing and getting better all the time. They still have problems, but they are being corrected.
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post #9712 of 9720 Old 07-12-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jmpage2 View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by bsanf3 

Unfortunately the latest boxes are internet streamer players only or don't support much in local media playing without having to use trans-coders or converting all my media.

I'll continue to use and buy Boxee Boxes until something better comes out that does all I use my Boxee Boxes for.


Fire-TV is pretty close actually... especially for secondary rooms of the home. It appears to be running XBMC quite well and still has all of the popular streaming apps.

I am unboxing one now and will be setting it up... will share my comments later.
replaced my boxee box yesterday (it has XBMC on it) with a Fire TV HD. Rooted the Fire TV, XBMC on it. Love it. So much faster than my old boxee box. Not looking back at all!

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post #9713 of 9720 Old 07-12-2014, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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FireTV is fine if you don't need to play straight BD rips and don't care about 1080p/24 support. There still aren't any Android boxes that support 23.976 playback, I'm not aware of any that support any of the HD audio formats.

For all of its shortcomings, Boxee is still better at nearly 3 years old than the new Android boxes other than menu speed.

Now that XBMC can be easily run on the Boxee and can be the default boot OS, I see myself hanging onto my Boxees longer than I would have thought.
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post #9714 of 9720 Old 07-27-2014, 03:38 PM
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I just finished this guide, getting the Boxee remote to work with your HTPC. Using the remote now with XBMC and it works perfectly!
Getting the Boxee Box remote to work on Windows/Linux/Rasp Pi/XBMC etc
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post #9715 of 9720 Old 07-27-2014, 04:04 PM
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I really miss using my Boxee Boxes. I still have three of them. I wish they would have come out with a newer version that just improved upon what the original did. Along with updated components.
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post #9716 of 9720 Old 07-28-2014, 07:25 AM
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Mine is sitting on a pile of electronics I've been meaning to attempt to sell.
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post #9717 of 9720 Old 07-28-2014, 03:45 PM
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i still use mine basically every day - as a bedroom streamer for my needs i've found nothing better. been meaning to check craigslist or ebay for at least one more for the kids tv and possibly a back up unit for when my current one dies.
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post #9718 of 9720 Old 07-29-2014, 12:26 AM
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i still use mine basically every day - as a bedroom streamer for my needs i've found nothing better. been meaning to check craigslist or ebay for at least one more for the kids tv and possibly a back up unit for when my current one dies.
So to list/catalog and play stuff (MKV) off a NFS NAS, it would be good?
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post #9719 of 9720 Old 07-29-2014, 03:07 PM
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So to list/catalog and play stuff (MKV) off a NFS NAS, it would be good?
I would say that as long as the audio is DTS\DD (non HD) you should be OK....
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post #9720 of 9720 Old 07-30-2014, 02:33 PM
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So to list/catalog and play stuff (MKV) off a NFS NAS, it would be good?
same as Ph8te - as long as you don't need HD audio.
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