Hands-On: NZXT DOKO Box Streams Games to Your TV for $100

By Published January 13, 2015 at 12:00 am
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During our NZXT office tour back in September, we spotted a tiny box in the corner of a conference room – something that wouldn't be given a name or explanation “until further notice.”

Last week's CES tour saw a revisit to NZXT, whereupon the company showcased its strikingly familiar “DOKO” streaming box. The unit serves as an input passthrough between a gaming rig and a living room gaming setup, effectively forwarding USB signals from the box (like gamepads or keyboards) to the LAN-connected PC.

The DOKO is pretty simple in nature: It's $100, hosts 4xUSB2.0 ports, 1xRJ45 ethernet, 1x3.5mm, and HDMI out. The unit is incapable of wireless connectivity due to CPU limitations – something we anticipate may be resolved if this first release goes over well – but the ethernet connectivity is rated at 50-80ms. For most games, this is acceptable. It's not flawless, but relatively unnoticeable for controller input in a non-competitive environment (we wouldn't recommend this for competitive CSGO or RTS, but it works for more casual or single-player games).

For sake of clarity, the DOKO is not a full computer, but serves more as a USB & network passthrough to the host system.

The DOKO is equipped with a fairly weak WonderMedia CPU, though it performs the basic tasks necessary to stream PC-rendered content to living room environments. NZXT expressed an interest in upgrading the CPU in future iterations if the DOKO goes over well, in which case wireless or other functionality may be added to the small box. 2GB of non-user storage sits on the device, mostly used for firmware, software, and swapping.

Impressions

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Most of GN's staff writers have a home theater PC of some sort, and I'm included in that list. Something like the DOKO allows a more affordable solution to same-house gaming in different rooms, allowing the buyer to spend $100 on a passthrough box rather than building a new system entirely dedicated to living room gaming. That said, I wouldn't trade my HTPC in for it just yet – you've still got more functionality, responsiveness, and ability with a dedicated PC, and that's not going to change. For users who just want to stream their games from a home system – without the requirement of yet more third-party software (like Razer's Forge demands) – the DOKO makes good sense and we can endorse it for that.

The DOKO's software is incredibly simple and strictly dedicated to interfacing between various PCs and the output TV. There is no other function beyond interfacing, so the bloat is minimal and usability is straight-forward. Multiple PCs can talk to the DOKO via LAN, so mirroring various desktop screens is easily done.

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At $100, DOKO's biggest competition is the same-priced Razer's Forge, which seems to require the company's Cortex software in its current state. Devices like ChromeCast, Amazon's Fire Stick, and similar USB-hosted streaming interfaces don't accomplish the same low-latency streaming and function vastly differently from the DOKO. The DOKO can be thought of as more similar in scope to nVidia's GameStream or Steam's or In-Home Streaming, but limits latency and doesn't require the hardware that GameStream demands.

Official product page here.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Last modified on January 13, 2015 at 12:00 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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