November 17th, 2010
It seems like a new set-top box streamer comes out every month. Roku, Boxee, Apple iTV, Popbox, etc. Very few support 1080p streaming. Each one has different strengths and weaknesses.
The iXtremer is a new streaming set-top box that also acts as an Apple dock. You can play movies, music, and photos right off your iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc at full 1080p. The device also has an internal bay with a SATA hard drive for your own media. However, you are not limited to this media. You may also stream media from any of your networked computers in many many formats (including blu-ray ISO’s ). The iXtremer can be wired or wireless in terms of network access. I own way too many boxes already that have YouTube but this is the first one that lets me play YouTube videos at HD quality. There are a few other “apps” similar to most set-top boxes but one nice possible feature is access to Apple’s apps. The feature is available but depends on Apple. A funny feature on this device is the access to a bunch of searchable live material includes adult oriented stuff.
As with most boxes, there is the option to use your phone as a remote. This is done via your phone’s browser. It might not be as appealing as an app but it’s widely available and any visiting smartphone would be able to control it.
The iXtreamer also comes with the flash-enabled Opera browser to freely surf the web. One feature I don’t see here is Netflix streaming. This may be possible via the Apple App but don’t get your hopes up. This, however, isn’t a big deal for me because Netflix streaming doesn’t stream movies as they were shot. They either crop or stretch to fit your screen. Major no-no for me.
At $235 this isn’t a horrible deal. I’d love to read reviews of this. The gui looks nice and the access to movie posters seems better than the Popbox. It’s available now.