Boxee on new Apple TV or a Boxee Box?? Or something else??!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by peanutismint, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2007
    Cardiff, UK
    I'm considering getting one of the new ATV boxes. I currently view all my media via my PS3 which works really well but it has trouble streaming certain formats and won't play HD in .mkv format. It also won't let me view much online flash content from services like Channel 4's '4oD' service or any of the other UK channel offerings.

    I use Boxee on my Mac, and I love it. I'm just wondering whether a Boxee Box has anything over one of the new ATV boxes running Boxee? I'm not interested in an internal HDD as we have a media server in the house to which it could easily connect.

    Or is there a magical third option? I've heard people fawning over that 'Plex' app, but I'm not sure if that runs on ATV or the Boxee Box or whether I'd have to buy a Mac Mini or something...

    One thing I do love about the Boxee on ATV argument is the price. For £99 I can't go wrong......can i????
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    If that was the case then it might be right but more complicated than that. If you read through the forum you will see that the ATV2 will not play MKV files and chokes on most 1080P content. Boxee is also not available on the new ATV2 only the old one (and i heard its buggy as hell).

    Now, the jailbreak scene for this device may come about very rapidly as it has already been jailbroken and I have to imagine jailbreak apps may not be far away once someone figure out how to run/launch them. This would likely add similar capabilities found on the iPad such as apps that can play/stream almost any video file you throw at it, ability to play content back from networked drives (without the need for home sharing), etc. But the one thing that will not happen, i mention again, is the ability to playback most 1080p content well. So if this is important to you then it is not the device for you.

    Fortunately you can re-encode that content into 720p using handbrake which there are also many forum entries about and that seems to work well.

    Plain and simply, plex and or boxee on a mac mini is going to be your most flexible and capable option. Neither is as seemless and polished as ATV (which is saying alot since the ATV has its own issues) afterall Boxee is in Beta and Plex isnt even at version 1 yet. But I have used both and they provide a crapload of additional online content (hulu,, TED TV, the network sites, etc) which may also interest you. Its possible some of this can come to appletv via jailbreak (or even by apple itself) but its a question of how long you want to wait.

    My suggestion is give the jailbreak scene a month to see what is possible. Then decide.
  3. macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009
    You ignored the reference to the Boxee Box which I think is going to be the best solution if it's really as good as it sounds ans certainly makes much more sense (financially) than a mac mini running Boxee/Plex.

    Being able to play .mkvs without needing to convert is worth it on it's own over the ATV2.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    I did. But that isnt out until at least mid-November and wouldnt be surprised if it got delayed for a second time. My two cents but given the software bugginess on the windows and mac versions, that thing may have some real issues at launch which would make me hold off even longer.

    I agree it may be a good option since its more powerful and can play back more content in various formats....

    But i have read a bunch about whether content providers like Hulu will let them continue to access their content now that its hardware play.

    Again, all speculation so i would wait a month (if not longer) to see how it shakes out. Its all happening (incl Goog TV) now so next 3 months will be very interesting.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    In reality, NONE of the media streamers (ATV, Boxee Box, Roku, Google TV, etc) are going to do EVERYTHING we want. There is no all-in-one solution right now, so you really need to decide what's important. Or like me, you'll probably just end up buying more than one and get a bigger HDMI switcher! LOL.

    ATV is great for Netflix and it's killer app will be Airplay. If you have quite a few Apple devices and use iTunes, then ATV will be a great fit. And with jailbreak possibilities, the ATV has great potential. On top of that, it's small, light, and uses very little power. On the other hand, content is light, streaming is only through iTunes (right now) in the formats it will accept.

    The Boxee Box is more expensive, but has greater capability. It will (hopefully) play every format and allow you to stream just about whatever you want from your computer. Content is still uncertain because we don't even know for sure if it will have Netflix.

    Roku has the most content (especially with their Hulu Plus announcement) at a very good price. However, I do not believe it has the ability to stream media from your computer.

    I would buy an ATV for Airplay and iTunes content. I would buy a Boxee Box for streaming my own content. And I would buy a Roku for the best streaming content from the Internet. I already have an ATV and have a Boxee Box on order. Not sure if I'm getting the Roku or not.... I have to draw the line somewhere! lol

    PS - I forgot about Google TV, which I probably will not be getting, at least in its first iteration. Would be nice to have Android apps on the TV, but I'd rather have iOS apps when and if Apple puts them on the ATV.
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2007
    Cardiff, UK
    ah cool, I didn't realise you couldn't do Boxee on the new ATVs yet... I think I will take your advice and wait a while to see what happens on the scene.

    Manually transcoding my MKVs and other unsupported formats via Handbrake or similar isn't really an option I'd consider - too time/processor intensive. I could do this with my PS3 as it is, but Boxee plays MKVs (and almost everything else) on my Mac without question, so I hoped Boxee on the new (and more powerful) ATV would cope well with HD content.

    Will wait it out I guess!
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2007
    Cardiff, UK
    I live in the UK so a lot of those online services like Hulu aren't available. We don't even really use Netflix over here, but we do have a lot of TV shows available via online streaming (BBC iPlayer, Channel 4oD etc).

    I think I'll wait for Boxee (which I love) to become available on ATV2. The only drawback I can see with ATV2 is that it doesn't have an analogue output. My TV has HDMI so that's not a problem, but with the tiny size of the unit I'd love to be able to take it to hotels and relatives houses who don't have HDTVs, so the Boxee Box with its composite outputs is good on that front....

    (Slightly off-topic - i am, in general, a little disappointed at how quickly Apple has removed analogue signals from its product lines. Not everyone in the world is fortunate enough or even cares enough about that kind of tech to have upgraded to an HDMI-compliant display. I can't plug my MBP into my parents SDTV to show them photos because there's no mini displayport to composite/scart adapter available. Bad show, :apple:!!)

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