Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Jan 2010 00:33 UTC
Multimedia, AV My favourite media centre software, Boxee, has just launched the highly-anticipated new beta version of its XBMC-based media centre, complete with a redesigned user interface. On top of that, Boxee launched its very first piece of hardware during CES, the Boxee Box, together with D-Link. It's an impressive little device.
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RE: ... and where do you put it?
by Laurence on Fri 8th Jan 2010 10:12 UTC in reply to "... and where do you put it?"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

... and with a target price point of $199, at that point buy a Acer Revo which can do stuff OTHER than their service - AND would be a lot easier to tuck into a corner or stack atop something else.


I'm currently running Boxee off a freebie laptop a mate gave me because he broken the LCD screen.
It makes a great system because (aside being free) it's very quiet and draws much less power than a standard tower would. Plus the laptop is a reasonable spec so plays HD content well (not perfectly, but near to that).

But even with the compactness of my Boxee laptop, I quickly came to realise that they take up more space than I (and you) first anticipate.
The reason is simple - all the connectors on a laptop are spread across at least 3 of the 4 sides.

So on my laptop, I have the audio connectors on the front, the ethernet on one side, the USB ports (for remote control) on the other side and the power cable on the back.
It gets further messy if I choose to plug in a USB keyboard (something that wont be required on Boxees official device due to their remote control design), a mouse or any other additional USB storage devices.

So quickly my compact and tidy laptop looks like a bulky and messy octopus (particularly when you factor in that many wires usually need around an inch of overhang from the socket before you can tuck them away (either because of the design of the cable's plug or because the cable itself is too tough to perform "tight turning circles" - for want a better description)


With this in mind, ~124GBP seems like a good price for a quiet, low-watt media device to me (assuming I can order the device here in the UK).

Plus, (and being optimistic for the moment) because the device is running Linux and has ethernet plus 2 USB ports - there may still be every opportunity to hack/expand it to run additional services to additional storages and so on.

Reply Parent Score: 2

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

The reason is simple - all the connectors on a laptop are spread across at least 3 of the 4 sides.

Another reason I listed the Acer Revo. NetTop form factor means you've got USB, video and power on the back, USB and a SD slot on the front, and that's it.

... and since it's an Atom with nVidia ION you can get accelerated flash under the new flash beta, so it can run Hulu fullscreen despite being slightly below the official specs, and it will run the new beta of boxee like a dream too. (at least, under windows... Linsux, not so much)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103228

... and it's at the same price-point.

The only real drawback is the only analog audio connector is on the front, but there is live audio on the HDMI connector ... in windows. Front panel is dead in linsux - same problem as my HP laptop I suspect where the it's being treated as a software switched headphone jack, which rarely work right without dicking with the driver settings.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"The reason is simple - all the connectors on a laptop are spread across at least 3 of the 4 sides.

Another reason I listed the Acer Revo. NetTop form factor means you've got USB, video and power on the back, USB and a SD slot on the front, and that's it.

... and since it's an Atom with nVidia ION you can get accelerated flash under the new flash beta, so it can run Hulu fullscreen despite being slightly below the official specs, and it will run the new beta of boxee like a dream too. (at least, under windows... Linsux, not so much)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103228

... and it's at the same price-point.

The only real drawback is the only analog audio connector is on the front, but there is live audio on the HDMI connector ... in windows. Front panel is dead in linsux - same problem as my HP laptop I suspect where the it's being treated as a software switched headphone jack, which rarely work right without dicking with the driver settings.
"

Thats a nice little device. Thanks for the link

Reply Parent Score: 2

bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

I recently built a mini-itx media PC for Boxee use, which is fanless, low-power and operated solely by remote control. It also has all the connectors at the back ;)

I'm very pleased with it so I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you have the time & skillz required, since that way you get exactly what you want/need, plus it's just a computer at the end of the day so if you want to hack it or repurpose it as a desktop PC or whatever then that option is always open to you.

The price depends on what specs you get of course, but you could probably put something together for little more than Ā£100.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I'd love to but just bought a house so budget is limited and I really need to upgrade my home server first (hence my using a freebie laptop that had a broken LCD screen as the media centre).

My previous media centre - though not fanless - wasn't too loud as I took the HDDs out and powered it by a compact flash microdrive. Unfortunately it wasn't powerful enough to run true HD content either


In an ideal world I'd build a water cooled system hehehe


I'm interested to know what your spec was and how much it cost though


As for the Boxee box, I reckon you could hack that quite easily. It's already running Linux and as Boxee already has repository for Ubuntu - I wouldn't be surprised if the Boxee Box is also a debian derivative.

Edited 2010-01-09 11:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

UglyKidBill Member since:
2005-07-27

Can you share some details about spec's??

At one time I looked at the kind of system recommended in some media centersĀ“ forums and it looked like they require insane processing power for something any crappy player could handle without the noise or the heat caused by such a PC ;) ...

T.I.A.

Reply Parent Score: 1