Before you can start using the Iomega TV with Boxee you first need to create a Boxee log-in. Once you've done this, you then tell it where your movies and TV shows are stored and it will automatically catalogue them. This takes quite a while, especially with larger libraries, but it generally does a pretty good job of working out which file name relates to which show or movie. However, it does help a lot if you stick to Boxee's recommended filing system of using period marks to separate words in movie names and using the S0xE0x format for detailing individual shows in a TV series.
Shows and movies not recognised by the cataloguing system are filed under 'Unidentified'. You can then go in and manually do a search to match the file to a movie or TV show name. However, this can be a bit tiresome to carry out via the remote and we actually found it easier to rename the files on our NAS drive to something Boxee was more likely to recognise and simply run the scan again.
Nevertheless, once everything has been catalogued, the media browsing experience is first rate. Zipping through movies by poster art is so much more satisfying than just browsing through lists of file names. We also like the way the TV Show view gives you summaries of individual episodes of a series and lets you mark episodes as 'Watched' so you don’t lose track of which ones you've already seen and what you've left to view.
Codec is support is generally excellent too, and you'll be hard pushed to find a video file that it won’t play. For example, it'll handle DivX, Xvid and HD MKV files without breaking a sweat. However, audio support isn’t as good on this model as it is on the D-Link version, because for some unknown reason it doesn't play ball with HD audio.
There are a few other negatives too. At times the software can feel quite buggy. For example, during our testing of the box it would randomly fail to send audio over HDMI to our Panasonic TV. The only way to get it back again was to restore all settings to default, which involved a reboot. It froze on us a few times, too.
Also, despite the apps section's 200-strong app count for various video and radio internet services, including CineTrailer and AOL HD, it lacks any big hitters for the UK market. There's no BBC iPlayer support, which is unforgivable considering the unit's high price tag, and nor does it support ITV Player, 4OD, LoveFilm or Netflix.
Also, for all the benefits of the slick user interface, navigation can be a bit quirky. To access the settings menu, for example, you have to hit the home button on the remote, then press the back button, which brings up the search menu.
You then have to press the up button to select a tiny 'cog' icon, which takes you to the settings screen. Talk about long winded. Even the function of the back button can be confusing. Sometimes it takes you back a step, while at other times it calls up this search box.
We had high hopes for the Iomega TV and especially its Boxee software. Although it streams lots of different formats and presents your video files beautifully, the annoying bugs, high price tag and lack of support for UK services like BBC iPlayer, severely dampen our enthusiasm for the product.