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Iomega TV with Boxee review

Niall Magennis

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Reviewed:

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Iomega TV with Boxee
  • Iomega TV with Boxee
  • Iomega TV with Boxee
  • Iomega TV with Boxee
  • Iomega TV with Boxee
  • Iomega TV with Boxee
  • Iomega TV with Boxee

Summary

Our Score:

6

Pros

  • Slick presentation of your existing media files
  • Excellent video format support
  • Can work as a NAS device

Cons

  • Buggy software
  • Poor remote
  • No HD Audio support
  • Expensive

Key Features

  • HDMI and composite video out
  • Digital audio optical out
  • QWERTY dual-sided remote
  • Adobe Flash Player support
  • Manufacturer: Iomega
  • Review Price: £189.00

The Iomega TV with Boxee is only the second product to hit the market running the Boxee media centre software, which started life on the PC. Unlike the original Boxee Box from D-Link, this one has a much more conventional design and can also work as a NAS device, so you can store your media on it locally and share it out to other devices on your network.

Externally, the Iomega TV isn’t much to look at. It’s essentially a squat, rectangular box finished in a mixture of glossy and matt black plastic. However, if you just want to slide it into an AV rack next to the rest of your kit you'll probably appreciate its more standard design compared to the radical styling of the original D-Link Boxee Box. The original Boxee's unusual shape made it difficult to house next to your other bits of AV kit.

Iomega TV with Boxee

Connections are taken care of by an HDMI port along with digital and stereo phono audio outputs, a composite video connector, Ethernet jack and two USB ports (front and rear). The Iomega TV doesn’t have Wi-Fi built-in, which is a tad bizarre, but Iomega includes a Wi-Fi USB dongle that you can connect up to the port on the rear of the unit.

Iomega currently offers three versions of this product: one with no hard drive, one with a 1TB hard drive and one with a 2TB hard drive. We had the version without the hard drive. This model does have a fan for cooling the main Intel Atom CPU, but it's so quiet that it's virtually silent.

Iomega TV with Boxee

Like the D-Link model, this one comes with a dual sided remote control that has a full Qwerty keyboard on one side and more standard navigation buttons on the other. Interestingly, the navigation buttons also double up as a touchpad, so you can move a cursor around onscreen just by gliding your thumb over its surface. However, this is only supported in certain apps, such as the web browser. The remote on the D-link box uses RF wireless, but this one relies on InfraRed, so it needs line of sight to work.

In truth, the remote isn't great. We find it annoying that you have to press the unlock button on the Qwerty side before you can start to type on it. Sony's similar remote for its Google TV product has a sensor that knows when you're holding the keyboard part upright and automatically unlocks it, which is a much better solution. We also find that the keyboard frequently misses or double-enters letters during typing.

Iomega TV with Boxee

The navigation side of the remote isn't much better. The main problem is that the four way control pad and the selection button in the middle are grouped together into one flat surface, so you can’t really tell by feel where the selection button is. As a result, you constantly have to look down at the remote to make sure you're pressing the right buttons.

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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