Review of the Boxee TV Dongle by

Review of the Boxee TV Dongle by

In a confirmation of an earlier leak, Boxee confirmed this week that it will be releasing a live, Over the Air (OTA) dongle for its Boxee Box. The small device is the company’s attempt to provide a cheap alternative to cable TV for its customers, and is an entry into the OTA HD TV market, something that Boxee Box owners may not have had access to before. The Boxee TV Dongle is the name that the company gave to this new product, available in January 2012.

OTA TV is simply any local television channel that’s broadcasting over the air, with an antenna. These typically include ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in the US, along with some others, and provide HD signals of varying quality. If you live in an urban area, or somewhere that can be reached by the local tower, you may have access to these channels with your own antenna. Certainly this small device won’t work without one, and the antenna you need depends on how far away from the station you’re located. The Boxee TV Dongle is pretty simple, with 2 ports, one USB connection to plug on the Boxee Box, and a plug to connect your antenna to. There’s no new interface or remote included, since it’s aimed at working directly with the existing Boxee Box, and will interface with the software that’s already shown on your screen. Once connected, there’s nothing more to configure to get access to these channels.

The point of the device is somewhat dubious. First, if you already have a cable connection, you don’t need this. For people who don’t, then if you have a TV, your antenna is most likely already working and giving you OTA channels. Every relatively recent TV has an HD tuner included inside of it, which means you can connect your antenna to it. In essence, this is what the Boxee TV Dongle is, an OTA HD tuner, a way to convert the signals from your antenna to your TV. The main advantage seems to be that rather than switching between your Internet based Boxee Box content and your antenna directly on your TV, with this dongle everything can be done from within the Boxee interface. However, this dongle does require a Boxee Box. This won’t be usable on other devices, or on computers, even if you have the Boxee software running on your PC. The company confirmed that it’s not planning to add support any time soon for local systems.

At $49, it may be something you can be interested in, if you live in an urban area, you have an antenna, and wish to watch these channels directly through your Boxee Box, rather than your TV. The company is hoping this will help bring adoption of its devices, and the new dongle will be available starting in January.

One Response

  1. Lorita Yonts Says:

    #trans keep it up! Thanks






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