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Iomega TV with Boxee - User Interface and Performance

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

6

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.

Iomega TV with Boxee

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.

Iomega TV with Boxee

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.

Iomega TV with Boxee

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.

Verdict

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.

Overall Score

6

Scores In Detail

  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Value 6

kentajalli

October 22, 2012, 7:16 pm

Well I have had the box for a few weeks now. I only paid £85 for it from Scandot codotuk.
Yes the software is buggy and the remote problematic and slow.
I can't even get BBC iPlayer on it. Indeed the internet contents side of it, does not appeal to me. My Samsung TV is far more functional in that aspect. To me the only clever thing the boxee software does in automatic juke-box like menu it creates. With smart TV's rolling out now as common, the boxee software is becoming more and more redundant.
BUT:
the playback picture is so good, that I have decided to keep the box! Indeed my trustee AC Ryan HD has been replaced by this box, I use the AC Ryan in bedroom now.
Picture quality is vibrant, no visible noise (with all filters switched off), resolution on HD material is second to none, even SD material is fantastic too.
So well done Iomega harware engineers, and Brrrrr... to your software engineers!!

brian topp

June 18, 2013, 7:19 am

I have had this pile of junk for a few months had nothing but problems even had to swap my first one because sometimes it would not switch on via remote..the answer from iomega plug a keyboard in sheesh thanks for nothing guys... eventually got it exchanged the 2nd one ok at first couple of weeks later same problem occurs so i have to unplug it then its ok ...BTW the Iomega tech says its the remote really guys you still think it the remote.I use this box so i can watch stuff on line it looks like its going to load and then browser closed unexpectedly not just once or twice some times take 20 mins to get to the file not a happy customer any one want to but a cheap iomega pile of crap....

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