Boxee Box by D-Link (photos)

The Boxee Box by D-Link has some innovative design choices and a promising user interface, but mainstream content is mostly missing in action until future firmware updates are available.

Matthew Moskovciak
1 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

The Boxee Box's box

Boxee got a head start on the Internet TV revolution, with many users becoming familiar with the open-source media-streaming platform because it was an easy way to add functionality to their first-gen Apple TVs (albeit through an unauthorized hack). But despite that head start, the finally released Boxee Box by D-Link is already playing catch-up in a product category crowded by Apple TV, Google TV, Roku, connected Blu-ray players, and game consoles.

Though it has an attractive user interface and supports playback of almost any kind of digital media file, it currently lacks popular streaming-media services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Vudu--all of which Boxee says are coming soon. Boxee also does a decent job of trying to collate all of the free video content available online, but the information is often outdated or inaccurate. There's no doubt the Boxee Box has potential, and the company is promising many of the updates before the end of the year, but until then, buyers should hold off until Boxee catches up with the competition.

2 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Boxee Box by D-Link

The Boxee Box's exterior design is like no other home theater gadget we've seen. It's designed to look like a cube, but one of the corners is chopped off, so it gives the impression that it's sinking into your TV cabinet.
3 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Side view

Its glowing green Boxee logo and sharp, protruding edges give it a geek-chic charm that's great for those who like to show off their tech, but those same qualities will make it garish to those who want their tech to blend in.
4 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

SD card slot

There's an SD card slot on the side, for easy playback of your digital media.
5 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET


The ports are located around back, including HDMI, and analog and optical digital audio outputs. (There are no analog video outputs for those with older TVs.) Two USB ports are available on the back, too, for connecting a portable hard drive full of content. There's an Ethernet port, but also built-in 802.11N Wi-Fi, so you won't need Ethernet connectivity in your living room.
6 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET


The included remote feels almost as convention-breaking as the Boxee's cubelike cabinet.
7 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Double-sided remote

Though the front side is pretty standard, with a directional pad, play/pause button, and a menu button, the backside has a full QWERTY keyboard, to take the tedium out of entering search phrases onscreen.
8 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

User interface

The home page displays six main icons, the majority of which are focused on streaming content off the Web. The last icon, Files, is for accessing your personal media collection.
9 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

TV shows

Shows and Movies are similar, allowing you to browse cover art for content that Boxee has found online. The list of TV shows seems decent at first glance, including shows like "How I Met Your Mother," "The Daily Show," and "The Colbert Report," but it's ultimately disappointing. Boxee's data was often inaccurate, not showing the most recent available episode or not showing all the episodes that are available on the Web site.
10 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Selecting a show

When you do select a show, Boxee brings up the browser
11 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Navigating the browser

Navigating a Web page isn't easy since the remote lacks a touch pad.
12 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET


Pressing the menu key on almost any screen brings up the search bar.
13 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Watch later

You can queue up shows in the "Watch Later" section of the Boxee interface.
14 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Not much popular movie content

The selection of movies is even worse, with very few titles we've ever heard of before.
15 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apps are limited, too

The lack of "free" content wouldn't be quite so frustrating if there were solid premium options available. These would typically be listed under the Apps section, but currently major apps like Netflix, Vudu, and Hulu Plus are not available yet. (Boxee says they're coming soon.) There are some good apps available, like Pandora (free) and MLB.TV (paid subscription required), plus tons of video podcasts, but it's not enough to make up for what's missing.
16 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

HDMI cable included

Unlike many other home video gadgets, the Boxee Box includes an HDMI cable in the box.

More Galleries

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
Go Inside the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: See How the New iPhones Look and Work
iphone 15 in different color from an angled view

Go Inside the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: See How the New iPhones Look and Work

21 Photos
Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

16 Photos
CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

9 Photos
2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

14 Photos