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Boxee Box vs New PCH A210 - need advice

post #1 of 210
Thread Starter 
I currently have the PCH A110 and LOVE it! Its quite, does what I want and only had a few hiccups in 2+ years. I also have a WD LIVE which I HATE, works perfect if playing from a USB drive, but if you try and stream, it has problems 80% of the time, so time for it to go.

I am considering either the new Boxee Box or PCH A210. I really do not like the look of the Boxee Box (ugly shape) and do not care about Netflix, web, ect. I keep all my HD Movies on my Windows Home Server and stream all my video. But I have 1000s of movies so I want something that will scrape DVD covers and provide info.

Anyone have the Boxee Box and like it, or would i be better going with the newer PCH?

Thanks
Jason
post #2 of 210
I love the Boxee for its great and easy UI, but honestly I'm unfamiliar with the UI of the PCH you mention. Does it have any kind of built-in scraper, or is it the kind of thing you need a separate jukebox program to make "pretty?"
post #3 of 210
The NMJ from the A210/C200 needs quite a bit more work. However, it plays everything under the sun. I love my A200, but I use YAMJ. Its easy to install, but not foolproof.

I cant comment on Boxee, but it seems more geared towards internet data and not a home streaming option. Unless they have their blu ray/high bit rate studdering problems fixed, its not for me.
post #4 of 210
I have both the PCH A200 and Boxee Box. They both have their pros and cons. The Boxee Box still has some issues with HD Audio dropouts, but if you just use the core or downmix you are fine. The Boxee Box UI is better then most other media players stock UI, and you don't need a PC to maintain.

The new jukebox the PCH A200 has called NMJ is a bit of a hit or miss. You mention that you have a PCH A110, what are you using for your jukebox currently? If you are using YAMJ you are already set up for the A210 and can using something like YAMJ + Aeon or YAMJ Flash
post #5 of 210
Thread Starter 
Hello dbone1026, yes I am using vanilla YAMJ and like it allot. Its about 95% accurate. I just have such a large TV and Movie collection (15 TB) it I was looking for something a bit more automated. From what I have been reading, the Boxee Box is more for people who want internet apps and internet functionality. I only want to stream my 1080p BluRay rip from my home server so I think I will pick up the new A210.

thanks all for the replies!
post #6 of 210
Actually, what the Boxee Box really is, is the best of both worlds, local and internet streaming. I haven't heard of any issues with Blu-Ray or high bitrate streaming, the only issues right now are with HD audio formats, and I'm sure that will be fixed soon.
post #7 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by jericko76 View Post

Hello dbone1026, yes I am using vanilla YAMJ and like it allot. Its about 95% accurate. I just have such a large TV and Movie collection (15 TB) it I was looking for something a bit more automated. From what I have been reading, the Boxee Box is more for people who want internet apps and internet functionality. I only want to stream my 1080p BluRay rip from my home server so I think I will pick up the new A210.

thanks all for the replies!

I have the Popcorn Hour A-200 which is exactly the same hardware as the A-210 (the A210 has a metal enclosure) and it streamed full Blu-Ray ISO direct rip and MKV files 30GB+ (with HD Audio) with NO issues or stutter at all.

My Nixeus Fusion HD buffers and stutters a few times when trying to stream the 30GB+ file - but was watchable. It streamed Blu-Ray ISOs perfectly.

The short time I had the Boxee Box by D-Link when it first came out- stutters and buffers every 1 min and 30 sec with the exact same Blu-Ray ISO rip and 30GB+files and wasn't watchable... which was the main reason why I returned it (back in December, it may have improved by now).

All three were hooked up to via ethernet cable.

Go with the PCH A-210... it is perfect for what you want with HD-Audio and for streaming high bitrate large MKV files and Blu-Ray ISO...
post #8 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by jericko76 View Post

I currently have the PCH A110 and LOVE it! Its quite, does what I want and only had a few hiccups in 2+ years. I also have a WD LIVE which I HATE, works perfect if playing from a USB drive, but if you try and stream, it has problems 80% of the time, so time for it to go.

I am considering either the new Boxee Box or PCH A210. I really do not like the look of the Boxee Box (ugly shape) and do not care about Netflix, web, ect. I keep all my HD Movies on my Windows Home Server and stream all my video. But I have 1000s of movies so I want something that will scrape DVD covers and provide info.

Anyone have the Boxee Box and like it, or would i be better going with the newer PCH?

Thanks
Jason

I had a Boxee Box (well several). I also have the PCH-C200. If internet streaming is not a priority I'd say to go with the A210. Note that the Boxee Box has a fan which is not quiet. The A210 is silent.

I also use a WHS with the C200. Works great and I'm certain the A210 would as well.

As far as a GUI goes, well that is the issue. I simply don't like Boxee's approach on my Mac Mini and I didn't like it on the Boxee Box. I don't like having to log into Boxee for whatever. However, it is more capable than your traditional jukebox and certainly the interactive nature is nice. I still prefer Oversight on the C200 but these things are subjective.

A lot of people like the Boxee Box. It doesn't sound like it's the product for you though.

philip
post #9 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by twan69666 View Post

Unless they have their blu ray/high bit rate studdering problems fixed, its not for me.

They must have it worked out because I've had a Boxee for several weeks and not had any issues whatsoever with stuttering while streaming either BluRay ISOs or 1:1 MKV files.

I can't offer a comparison but the way I feel about the Boxee Box is that IMO it currently has best combination of internet and local streaming abilities.
post #10 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_IV View Post

I can't offer a comparison but the way I feel about the Boxee Box is that IMO it currently has best combination of internet and local streaming abilities.

Completely agreed if you want both. For pure local video playback I still prefer the Dune or PCH (especially if proper HD Audio playback is important), but if you also want internet content (including Vudu and Netflix) included then the Boxee Box is tough to match right now.
post #11 of 210
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, some great info in this thread as usual. I am ruling out the Boxee Box, but one last question, which Dune Player would be similar to that of the PCH A210? Is dune the better of the two?
post #12 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by jericko76 View Post

Thanks guys, some great info in this thread as usual. I am ruling out the Boxee Box, but one last question, which Dune Player would be similar to that of the PCH A210? Is dune the better of the two?

Probably the equivalent to the PCH A210 would be the Dune Lite. I have a PCH C200/A200 and a Dune Smart D1/BD Prime. They are all fine players, but I do prefer the Dunes, but that is just my personal preference
post #13 of 210
Thread Starter 
How is the GUI on the Dune? Can you run YAMJ on it (Already have it running for my current A110 from my WHS). Do they have their own built in GUI that does covers and video info?
post #14 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by jericko76 View Post

How is the GUI on the Dune? Can you run YAMJ on it (Already have it running for my current A110 from my WHS). Do they have their own built in GUI that does covers and video info?

The stock UI is the usual bare bones. You can't use YAMJ. There is a new YAMJ flash version for the PCH that I am hoping will get ported over to the Dune (http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2011...-a200a210c200/). I use Zappiti on the Dunes (http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010...-for-the-dune/)

Supposedly they will be releasing a new GUI with their next big FW update but I have no idea what exactly it will be.

If you already have YAMJ set up and running I would think that the PCH A210 would make the most sense for you
post #15 of 210
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

The stock UI is the usual bare bones. You can't use YAMJ. There is a new YAMJ flash version for the PCH that I am hoping will get ported over to the Dune (http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2011...-a200a210c200/). I use Zappiti on the Dunes (http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010...-for-the-dune/)

Supposedly they will be releasing a new GUI with their next big FW update but I have no idea what exactly it will be.

If you already have YAMJ set up and running I would think that the PCH A210 would make the most sense for you

dbone1026 - Thank you for the great advice. You solidified for me the A210 is perfect for my needs.

pmcd - thanks for bring up Oversight for the PCH, I have a bunch of custom scripts and YAMJ, but this is something that might be a replacement.
post #16 of 210
Like the others said-the Boxee Box is a piece of crap. I made a decision to go with the A210 instead and have never regretted it.
post #17 of 210
I don't care about internet apps, the single most important thing for me was playback of blu-ray iso's with proper HD (dolby tru-hd and dts-ma) sound. Both the pch 200 and my Dune Base do that well. Played with the boxee box and in addition to stuttering and frequent drop outs I hate the physical look of it.
post #18 of 210
I have a question for those with the Popcorn Horu A200(or 210), how does it do it's media scraping? I know the Boxee goes out the IMDB and does it directly from there. Where does the PCH go to get it's media info. I thought I read somewhere that the interface(maybe it's YAMJ) requires it come from a PC?

I'm asking because I have one TV that needs a local media streaming that's family friendly, but it doesn't need the apps(it already has a blu-ray player with all the app we need). So I was comtemplating the A200, since it can be had for a good price right now on Amazon(it's gonna be sitting next to a Directv HR21 that already is a bit noisy so fan noise is not an issue).
post #19 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_IV View Post

I have a question for those with the Popcorn Horu A200(or 210), how does it do it's media scraping? I know the Boxee goes out the IMDB and does it directly from there. Where does the PCH go to get it's media info. I thought I read somewhere that the interface(maybe it's YAMJ) requires it come from a PC?

I'm asking because I have one TV that needs a local media streaming that's family friendly, but it doesn't need the apps(it already has a blu-ray player with all the app we need). So I was comtemplating the A200, since it can be had for a good price right now on Amazon(it's gonna be sitting next to a Directv HR21 that already is a bit noisy so fan noise is not an issue).

It depends. The PCH A2XX has a native jukebox called NMJ. This jukebox gets the metadata from IMDB (I am not sure if this is for both movies and tv, or if it uses TVDB for tv). If you don't want to use NMJ you could instead run YAMJ (which scrapes TMDB and TVDB and requires a PC to run). A third option would be to run Oversight (my guess it uses TMDB and TVDB as well), which runs directly on the PCH, similar to NMJ.
post #20 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by zrdb View Post

Like the others said-the Boxee Box is a piece of crap. I made a decision to go with the A210 instead and have never regretted it.


I prefer the Boxee Box over the A200 and C200(I never tried the A210 but the hardware is identical to the A200 sans fan). The only time I use my C200 now is when I want full BD menus.
As was mentioned the Boxee Box is the best of both worlds.
Plus the interface is much nicer and quicker than the PCH boxes.
post #21 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

I prefer the Boxee Box over the A200 and C200(I never tried the A210 but the hardware is identical to the A200 sans fan). The only time I use my C200 now is when I want full BD menus.
As was mentioned the Boxee Box is the best of both worlds.
Plus the interface is much nicer and quicker than the PCH boxes.

I have to agree, I prefer the Boxee Box to the A210 also. The Boxee is more versatile and is the best all around solution and it's getting better with bug fixes and enhancements. That said the A210 is a pretty mature platform and works fine. I have mine in the guest bedroom now having replaced it with a Dune and a Boxee Box in the main theater room and our bedroom. Based purely on playback stability I think the Dune is still the best of the bunch with the Boxee closing in fast while offering all the extra web streaming options and a cooler UI. Nice that there are so many good options out there now.
post #22 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_IV View Post

I have a question for those with the Popcorn Horu A200(or 210), how does it do it's media scraping? I know the Boxee goes out the IMDB and does it directly from there. Where does the PCH go to get it's media info. I thought I read somewhere that the interface(maybe it's YAMJ) requires it come from a PC?

I know that Boxee Box gets metadata and info from the web for your home digital library, and it does that very well - much easier and better than YAMJ and NMJ... The question I'm wondering is does it transmit that information to its Boxee.tv Inc's servers for possible sale to advertisers/3rd parties?... does it indicate someone can see what you actually have in your digital library? Can someone verify if this is true or not? (Sorry if this was answered on the official thread - but that thread has over 6000 posts and I need to sleep soon!)

From Wikipedia:

Quote:


As part of the social networking functionality, information about what content users watch is transmitted to Boxee.tv Inc's servers. Concerns have arisen over the use of this information, as Boxee is being created by a for-profit company and possible revenue-generation models for media center applications include the sale of user activity data to advertisers and other interested parties. Boxee's privacy policy[92] does not directly address this issue.
post #23 of 210
If I'm going to have advertisements pushed at me, I would rather it be something tailored to what I might be interested in.
post #24 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgvroadster View Post

I know that Boxee Box gets metadata and info from the web for your home digital library, and it does that very well - much easier and better than YAMJ and NMJ... The question I'm wondering is does it transmit that information to its Boxee.tv Inc's servers for possible sale to advertisers/3rd parties?... does it indicate someone can see what you actually have in your digital library? Can someone verify if this is true or not? (Sorry if this was answered on the official thread - but that thread has over 6000 posts and I need to sleep soon!)

From Wikipedia:

I have a pretty paranoid outgoing firewall, and I have not noticed any suspicious outgoing traffic to Boxee HQ. It will contact their servers if you add something to your "Watch Later," which is essentially a list of online videos you bookmark that get stored on the Boxee servers so you can watch them from anywhere. It also requests data from Boxee at regular intervals if you link your Facebook/Twitter accounts, which it then scrapes for videos and adds to your "Friend Feed." This feature is optional. Other than that, I haven't seen anything.

That said, it can't play full Blu Ray menus, and still has an HD audio dropout problem. The dropouts are supposed to be fixed in an update due this week, and menu support has been mentioned, but I wouldn't expect it any time soon. If Blu Ray menus are important, the Boxee Box isn't a good choice. Otherwise, if it were me I would wait to see if this update fixes the audio dropouts. The latest update should also bring XMBC .nfo support, so you can either let it scrape automatically or place your own data. It'll be interesting to see how it works.

I bought mine only for local HD video playback, and I find myself using the Netflix/VUDU/etc. streaming capabilities far more than I anticipated.
post #25 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmotoy View Post

I have a pretty paranoid outgoing firewall, and I have not noticed any suspicious outgoing traffic to Boxee HQ. It will contact their servers if you add something to your "Watch Later," which is essentially a list of online videos you bookmark that get stored on the Boxee servers so you can watch them from anywhere.

[ ]

I bought mine only for local HD video playback, and I find myself using the Netflix/VUDU/etc. streaming capabilities far more than I anticipated.

When you start Boxee, you have to log into their site. This identifies which country you are from unless you are running a sophisticated VPN service. I am not sure how this impacts access to various services which are country specific. Certainly with a good vpn service you can use the Boxee Box ( there are specific ones as well as routers), but it may impact the simple schemes for overcoming country identification.

In any case, this is one of the negatives for me with Boxee in general. It's been so long since I have used it that I can't recall if it works without a connection to Boxee. Even my ATV doesn't require that I log into Apple, though you obviously miss out on a lot if you don't.

No question that Boxee is a good choice if net streaming is something one might be interested in, although Netflix is on everything now. Even my Sony Dash alarm clock will do Netflix, etc ...

philip
post #26 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdoom View Post
Actually, what the Boxee Box really is, is the best of both worlds, local and internet streaming. I haven't heard of any issues with Blu-Ray or high bitrate streaming, the only issues right now are with HD audio formats, and I'm sure that will be fixed soon.
Sorry-plain and simple the Boxee Box is a piece of crap.
post #27 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by zrdb View Post

Sorry-plain and simple the Boxee Box is a piece of crap.

Since you've now posted this twice on the same thread, can you give us some reasons why you think that? Many of us disagree with you completely. It's not without it's bugs, but it's not a piece of crap at all IMO.
post #28 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_IV View Post
Since you've now posted this twice on the same thread, can you give us some reasons why you think that? Many of us disagree with you completely. It's not without it's bugs, but it's not a piece of crap at all IMO.
I really, really dislike Boxee and the Boxee Box, but even I would have to admit it is not terrible. It's actually a very interesting media player. Well worth considering by most people in fact. Probably one of the better options out there. The Boxee Box itself could do without a fan and a better remote, but the fan obviously doesn't bother most people. The remote is what it is ...

So, in short it is far from the poor player that some feel it is. I guess if you like the Boxee software then it's a really nice solution to local and net issues.

philip
post #29 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post
A third option would be to run Oversight (my guess it uses TMDB and TVDB as well), which runs directly on the PCH, similar to NMJ.
Oversight currently uses imdb and tvdb.

philip
post #30 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_IV View Post

Since you've now posted this twice on the same thread, can you give us some reasons why you think that? Many of us disagree with you completely. It's not without it's bugs, but it's not a piece of crap at all IMO.

I had one for a brief period-all it did was crash everytime I started it up-wouldn't play but 1 out of 5 mkvs. The fan sounded like it was revving for take off-all in all not a pleasent experiance at all. Sent it back to amazon and ordered an A210-it's not perfect, no media player is but it works an whole lot better than the @&*$)^%!@(! Boxee did. If your Boxee works well for you-more power to ya.
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