Are you one of those people who want access to hundreds of channels on your TV without having to pay for a monthly subscription? Seebo Maxx has just been launched in Australia and claims to give you that and more.
It is a smart set-top box, a media streamer and media player in one. Their website says users can watch content from all over the world, record favourite shows, listen to the latest music, connect all your devices, and take control of your viewing experience.
Did I mention there is no monthly subscription? Just buy the box and that’s it.
Unfortunately, we used a pre-production box for the review and it wasn’t able to do all the functions that they claimed it could. We couldn’t tune the Live TV function and record TV shows. So we’ll talk about what we actually used the box for.
The On Demand section of the box allows you to access content from around the world.
What kind of content? What kinds of channels? Can you watch Game of Thrones? What about The Walking Dead? Yes and yes. But it’s not as easy as your subscription TV.
As it is internet TV, the content comes from a huge network of free IPTV channels – open-source third parties. The quality depends on where this content comes from. Episodes are available but some of them are quite pixelated, dark or just plain irretrievable. Broken links are everywhere and it gets frustrating trying to find an episode that works.
I was able to watch new episodes of TV shows like Selfie and The Mysteries of Laura. But again, it totally depends on what content is on the Internet free to stream.
Also, just because popular channels are there doesn’t mean you can get the content you want. For instance, Disney channel only offers bits and pieces of their episodes depending on what’s available on the internet. You will need to find a specific add-on channel that has directories of complete episodes.
If you don’t know what channel to add or what directory to find content on, it can be quite annoying. Channels like 1Channel have a whole lot of content – from television shows to movies to kids’ channels. If you’re ready to trawl through the links to find one that works, then you’ll probably be okay.
Because of Seebo’s nature, you will need a good internet connection, which is tricky given that Australia’s speed is apparently still ranked 42nd in the world. Very disappointing.
So, how much data are you going to be eating when you’re using Seebo? A company representative said that if you’re just watching every night after work, the average monthly bite is 20GB. However, for those school holiday periods when kids are watching almost non-stop, it’ll eat up to 70-80GB per month. Make sure you check your monthly allowance before diving in.
The menu could use some work, like maybe a grid option instead of scrolling left and right to find the channels you want to add or the show you want to watch. There is a keypad on the other side of the remote control, which makes searching easier.
Like any video streaming there is buffering involved, and when it buffers just as the lead actor shoots the bad guy, it makes you want to scream. That’s what you get when it’s internet TV.
As for music, there are heaps of add-on channels, radio stations and podcasts that you can listen to. There is even an add-on channel for free audiobooks – just don’t expect the Morgan Freeman version.
We tried looking for current movies we wanted to watch but with no success. So many of the links are broken and it becomes frustrating fast.
Having said that, kids channels and movies seem to be everywhere, with only minor broken links. It’s a kid smorgasbord of content, from Disney, to Nick Jr to the full Postman Pat movie.
The verdict? Yes you do have access to hundreds of channels, but do you really need one from Denmark or Alaska? For the price, there are too many little niggles – channels that aren’t working, links that are dead, buffering that takes forever, videos that are poor quality, content that’s not available or don’t know where to find – adding up to a frustrating experience.
And there is always that awareness that when you’re not really watching what’s on, the set-top box is slowly chewing into your monthly internet quota. The problem is if you don’t opt for IPTV then you’re stuck with either an expensive monthly subscription service or the not-very-legal way of watching shows.
Technology like Seebo Maxx has a long way to go before it becomes a strong alternative for what’s out there right now.
Seebo Maxx can be purchased from the Seebo website for $599.