Given the nature of the BoXXX, a PIN code is required to access the device after it’s left to go idle, or after it’s been turned on. For those who aren’t concerned or have no reason for it to be locked, the PIN code can just remain all 0′s which requires just a couple of pushes of the “Enter” button.
Because the FyreTV I receive was pre-configured, I’m not entirely sure what the initial setup looks like, but I assume it’s similar to running the “Wizard” feature found under the Settings menu. There, you can configure your display output, networking and other minor settings.
A major caveat of the FyreTV BoXXX that I should mention is that it’s able to show SD content only. Given today’s emphasis on HD, I had hoped it’d be capable, but don’t fret… an HD-capable model is en route. It’s not due to hit the market for a couple of months, but the UI and most other features will be 1:1 with this model.
Excuse the poor photographs here; getting clean images from photographing a TV screen is tough.
The UI that the BoXXX offers couldn’t be easier to use, and once again, I have to compare it to the Apple TV. Granted, since all of the content is streaming-only, it’s easier to simplify the UI, but aside from it being easy-to-use, it’s also extremely fluid with almost non-existent lag.
Keeping things even simpler, there are not too many options to choose from, and overall, that’s fine since there’s no need to complicate things. The “Movies” section will allow you to check out the latest or most popular releases, while “Store” allows you to navigate all of the different bundles (packages) and scenes available.
The photo below is what’s seen after going into the “New Releases” section. It’s fairly self-explanatory, with a large side-scrolling list that can be sorted by various criteria, such as release date, A – Z, rating, et cetera.
All of the movies available through FyreTV can be purchased outright for a flat fee (varies, but most are not “cheap”), which means that anytime you want to watch it, you can. The caveat of course boils down to this being a streaming-only device… it might be yours to own, but it’s still located on remote servers.
If purchasing films outright isn’t the most appealing option, “packages” might be. Currently, there are 41 major labels that offer packages through FyreTV, and each deliver a different number of films. In the case of Elegant Angel, a staggering 500+ movies are waiting to be streamed, all under the one flat monthly fee (again, varies depending on the company… for Elegant Angel it’s $14.95).
After selecting a package to analyze, you can view all of the movies found within it and choose to purchase titles individually, or decide on the monthly fee to watch anything from the collection, but never “own” any specific title.
Realizing that not all scenes on a particular film may appeal to everyone, FyreTV also allows you to purchase a scene for outright ownership from any movie. Pricing this way tends to be a little more expensive when you weigh the number of scenes for a film against the total price, but for those who just want a single scene and nothing else, it’s at least an option.
Similar to searching for a film, you can also search through the scenes database and either seek out something you already know about, or simply look at the thumbnails and see if something piques your interest.
Given the sheer amount of content found on FyreTV’s service, it shouldn’t take too much effort to stumble upon something interesting, but if you’re interested in a particular publisher or star, searching through their related content couldn’t be easier. For stars, you can simply type in the name and once found, you click on them to load up a list of every film available through the service.
As mentioned, you can also search via publishing house, or to get really specific, you can even filter through all of the movies with filters. All of these are off by default, so you can simply go through and enable whatever you’re interested in.
The thing that strikes me overall about the BoXXX is that despite it being a rather simple device in design, being that it’s streaming-only, the amount of content available and the ability to find specific content fast is rather impressive. To make things even better, the UI is very responsive, and even over a WiFi connection (with the router two rooms away), box art and screenshots loaded fast.
Though the BoXXX doesn’t act as a media player in the sense that you can play your own content, it does offer a couple of neat features not found on other devices. For example, as soon as I hooked the device up and got connected to the Internet, it immediately detected that new firmware was available, and after allowing it to proceed with the upgrade, it all completed within minutes.
I admit that I didn’t expect such a polished interface here, and while it’s not perfect, it’s still quite impressive.