roku vs. boxee
December 24, 2010 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Final Decision: Roku or Boxee ?? I am between either the Boxee Box or Roku XDS. I like the Boxee platform, but the boxee box doesn't have netflix yet, they claim it's gonna be available some time soon. Roku seems to be great, works as described, just not as robust as Boxee... So, convince me either way...

Please don't tell me Apple TV, WD, or build my own... I'm pretty much between these two only... Thanks Cloud!!!
posted by fozzie33 to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I like the Roku, but it doesn't have things like "watch later." If you need that, get a Boxee box. If you want Netflix now, get a Roku now and you won't be disappointed. There are some neat guides for things you can do with your can Google them. We've been very happy with ours and customer support is awesome.
posted by circular at 9:51 AM on December 24, 2010

Wait, does Boxee not have Amazon rentals?? Crazy. That's a nice feature to have if you want to watch newer films.
posted by circular at 9:51 AM on December 24, 2010

I have both a Roku box and an option you don't want a WD (plug in a drive and just play what ever media you throw at it, downside no internet on this model).
If netflix is a must you will be happy with the Roku box as it really does work great.
I have my sights on a boxee one of these days.
posted by handbanana at 10:07 AM on December 24, 2010

I love my Roku box.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:20 AM on December 24, 2010

If you settle on a Roku, (I love mine), be sure to check out the expanded content available from TheNowhereMan, who has since been hired by Roku.
posted by geekyguy at 10:22 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Definitely Roku. So easy to use and you'll never think twice about it.
posted by jourman2 at 10:37 AM on December 24, 2010

This "first day impressions" review of the Roku helped me decide that it was the box to get the girlfriend for Christmas.

He updates the review here for the Hulu Plus addition.

And here's the same reviewer's first impressions of the Boxee Box, for comparison.
posted by General Zubon at 10:45 AM on December 24, 2010

Best answer: So I run a business in this space, so I have all the new over the top boxes including a Roku and Boxee. Day to Day I like the Roku more, its got Netflix, Amazon and Hulu which is a ton of content. That being said, Boxee has an easier path to get stuff off of your local network. You can do this on Roku but its a few more hoops.

Roku's UI is super simple and as a whole it "just works" especially around streaming video. If you want something you don't have to play with much - then thats the way to go. Boxee's UI is more pretty but its not anywhere near as easy as Roku's. For example they just did an update yesterday and I can't find where you go to add new apps.

Boxee's box is higher powered. It has the potential to be a casual game platform much more so then Roku. Though Roku does have some simple games.

Roku's strategy seems to be to add functionality as needed and as hardware costs come down. I doubt you will ever see a Roku box over $150 but that means its going to get more features later then some other platforms.

Anyway if you want something simple and does 90% of what you need, go with Roku. If you want something more "geeky" and flexible go with Boxee, but realize it doesn't yet have some of the apps you really probably want (Netflix, Amazon)
posted by bitdamaged at 10:52 AM on December 24, 2010

oh and if you have any specific questions about them feel free to memail me, and I'll try to answer. Like I said I've got both.
posted by bitdamaged at 10:55 AM on December 24, 2010

Can you hold off on buying the boxee for a month or so? It seems that by then the Netflix app should be on there. As a long time Boxee user I have seen that their developers are the best at delivering features demanded by their users, so if your only issue is lack of netflix is best believe that it will be there eventually. I like the Roku as well but the only problem that I have is that it is not very good at accessing your local content, and at least for me this is very important as I have a lot of movies and files that do not come from Netflix. With that being said, I will be probably getting my Boxee box tomorrow and if a month from now it still does not have netflix I will be returning it.
posted by The1andonly at 12:04 PM on December 24, 2010

New boxee firmware is apparently awesome.

Lack of netflix is a killer right now. I assume it's on the way, mostly because they've been extremely proactive in getting stuff fixed/added.
posted by Lord_Pall at 12:52 PM on December 24, 2010

I love my Boxee Box. I'm ditching cable for it. When it finally gets Netflix (and please let that include the Canadian version!) it will be everything I need. That being said, I have a ton of downloaded content on a networked drive, and the best part of the BB is not only does it just work with every file type you can throw at it, it gets all the other metadata off the web as well.

That beige said, it's pretty crappy if you're trying to watch online content (comedy central, for example). Somewhere along the line full screen viewing became a pain in the ass, so you're pretty much stuck looking at a web page on your tv, without the benefit of a mouse to navigate.

But OTOH you can also use your iPhone as a boxee remote. it's even better than the boxee box remote that is comes with (which is pretty great on it's own.) Totally unexpected bonus!
posted by cgg at 1:25 PM on December 24, 2010

I love, love, love our Roku. I love it. Did I mention I love it? Netflix has been great, HuluPlus has been great (and will get even better with each upgrade), Amazon has been great. No issues at all. We even got one for my brother-in-law for Christmas.

I love it.
posted by cooker girl at 1:49 PM on December 24, 2010

Best answer: Crazy happy with my Roku (I got the one with a USB port). Top on my to-do after the holidays is to learn how to build private channels.
posted by catlet at 3:16 PM on December 24, 2010

Boxee. It has a brighter future than Roku, I believe, because of the nature of the software (open/tons of planned updates).
posted by Patbon at 6:03 AM on December 25, 2010

I'm also in the market for one of these boxes, but since I get netflix and so on from Tivo, my biggest concern is which would best play the random movie files on my various hard drives?
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:57 AM on December 25, 2010

An aside, this just showed up on Consumerist regarding Roku. Roku Rep Tells Me There Are Secret Limits To Netflix Streaming
posted by greenland at 3:06 PM on December 25, 2010

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