Patriot Box Office Home Media Player

9.6 Overall Score

The Patriot Box Office is an excellent piece of hardware. It makes for a wonderful home media player, but it does have some limitations. A 10/100 ethernet controller is not ideal for HD streaming. Requiring an internal drive to enable home networking is the only other drawback we have seen with the Box Office. That being said, if you connect a USB external drive to the Box Office and since you can also play HD content off an internal storage solution, the ethernet issue goes away. We will be doing more testing once we receive Patriot’s Valkyrie, which is a dual bay NAS solution and works well with the Box Office.

The Patriot Box Office does involve some time setting up, especially if you are not a computer wiz. Once it is setup, playing content on this media player is excellent. We had very limited issues with play back on Blu Ray ISO’s, which is a good thing. All of our other media files played without hiccups. It is nice to see FLAC audio files play flawlessly on the Box Office.

This unit is available in etail channels now. MSRP is $129.99, but many online shops offer a $30 mail-in rebate dropping the cost to $99.99. The amount of file types alone, that this device can play, justifies the low entry cost. Combined with a tiny form factor, the Patriot Box Office is an excellent alternative to a much larger and more expensive HTPC.

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In this section, we will add new information, such as firmware updates and other info we have gathered during our use of the Patriot Box Office.

Firmware updates:

as of 02/16/2010…

http://www.patriotmemory.com/softwar…MPBO25-P02.rar

(02/16/2010)

We have installed a 500GB SATA drive in the Box Office to test out the SAMBA and bittorrent features of the Box Office. We also received the Valkyrie NAS from Patriot and will be testing out that as well.

Please note that if you are going to install a SATA drive in the Box Office, you must format the drive after installation. The Box Office runs on a Linux based OS and is required to properly format the disk and install necessary files on the new drive. After installation and setup are complete, you can transfer files via USB or over your home network to the internal drive.

(02/17/2010)

You can see the Box Office listed in our home group network under the name ‘VENUS’. That name was given to it by the unit itself, not our decision. Installation and setup of the internal drive is quick and easy. Two screws hold the SATA drive inside the Box Office, and you are immediately prompted to format the disk when you start up the media player.

Once the format is complete, you are asked to reboot the machine. After booting back up, the bittorrent and SAMBA utilities automatically install. We had instant access to all files stored on the drive. To get some information on the drive, we used a USB card reader and transfered files over to the internal drive. Access to the files over the network is instantaneous.

When transfering a rather large file, 32.4GB, from our main computer to the Box Office, we experienced a rather poor ~4.5MB/s transfer rate. This is most likely due to the 10/100 ethernet controller onboard, but we will test out some more files to make sure.

 

Stay tuned for more updates!

 

 

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