Software playback?

Hi folks. I am hesitating between purchasing the D-Link Boxee Box or the WD TV live. I have read that the Boxee Box is future-proof, because it has software playback, i.e. when a new video codec (or major new codec version) is released, it can be easily installed via software update (thanks to Intel CPU) - whereas on other players (e.g. with Sigma or Realtek CPU) this is generally not possible, because they would need a hardware upgrade.

Is this true?
And if so, wouldn’t I be better off purchasing the Boxee Box instead?

Many thanks for your comments.

1 Like

I don’t think that’s true of the CE4100… I could be wrong, though. When I had a Boxee box, even full HD high bit rate blu ray rips didn’t increase CPU utilization more than about 10%, implying that the decode was done in hardware, not software.

1 Like

RE: “… implying that the decode was done in hardware, not software.”

Why is this implying anything? In the end, en/decoding is always  done in CPU, right? 

You can download and run the Boxee Box software on your PC, so it must be software playback, no ? 

The CE4100 has a internal hardware HD video decoder built in.

1 Like

As expected, the folks over there @ Boxee Box have a different answer: 

To the technical query, yes it is true.

Boxee does not use a traditional system on chip like Realtek or Sigma Design’s players these are low power MIPS chips (extremely weak CPU’s) coupled with a chip that handles all video decoding in hardware.

The chip Boxee uses is an x86 Atom CPU (a weak x86 CPU at that but much more powerful vs Realtek/Sigma) coupled with a PowerVR GPU and the chip has built in hardware decoders for H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2 video no different really from your typical PC.

Boxee could update their software with additional codec support but if the format is not one of the built in ones with hardware acceleration then it falls back to the Atom CPU which is not so great but can handle stuff depending on bitrate and resolution.

I’d like to test this system (XBMC rules) but  I just can’t stand the design. Form follows function, my a** :wink:

Well, XBMC may very well rule.  :)

But as far as I was concerned,  Boxee’s UI bore only a passing resemblence to XBMC.