Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Build a BoxeeBox and Wean Yourself From Cable

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-what-about-chuck dept.

Hardware Hacking 335

Since I've been having serious problems with satellite all week, DeviceGuru's submission was really interesting to me. He says "Inspired by Roku's awesome Netflix video download box and impressed with Boxee's free A/V media center platform, it was merely a matter of time before DeviceGuru blogger Rick Lehrbaum would create the BoxeeBox, an Ubuntu-powered HTPC with Boxee serving as its primary media center UI. Based on a 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, the BoxeeBox has the look and feel of consumer A/V equipment and packs 2GB RAM, 1TB HDD, CD/DVD drive, USB, Firewire, HDMI, DVI-D, RGB, and 8-channel surround sound audio."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

dang...it was slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26811635)

dang...and I wanted to see and read the actual article.

is it anything similar to mythtv, etc.?
anyone got a mirror?

This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (-1, Offtopic)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811643)

Too bad we /.'d the site.

P.S. This would have been a first post, but the first post i got a "wait up a second your typing too fast", then when i tried to repost I got the "you have posted within the last minute"....I think the /. forum is buggy

Re:This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811709)

Apparently slashdot has determined how fast one can think and type and then deemed any faster "too fast". I guess it keeps out the trolls, LOL!

Re:This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (0)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811725)

/. needs to be deregulated :) Sides good trolls know how to time things JUST right.

Re:This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811883)

Sides good trolls know how to time things JUST right.

Skipping unnecessary characters such as "b", "e", and "," can make all the difference!

Re:This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (5, Informative)

modf (213273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811831)

It's back up for me, but here is a cached version just in case:

http://74.125.47.132/search?sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.deviceguru.com%2Fthe-boxeebox-cookbook%2F

Re:This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812007)

Here was their list of recommendations:

The solution would be to optimize your applications to use less CPU.
Adding appropriate indeces to your SQL tables can often help reduce CPU.
Using static .html documents instead of painful .php scripts will practically eliminate CPU usage.

Painful? I think someone enjoys Perl a bit too much :)

Re:This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812189)

Too bad we /.'d the site.

Maybe DeviceGuru "sat" on it.

Re:This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812743)

/. buggy? Not at all, it's jsut that the code lags the documentation.

That can be fixed, in documentation, right?

ps- It should be obvious now that /. is not yet self-aware.

slight difference (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26811647)

"Inspired" by this little $100 box, I decided to make a clone that's 30x bigger and only cost me $600.

Re:slight difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812131)

Heh, this Dick Lehrbaum guy should go to work for the U.S. government designing economic stimulus packages!

Sub $500? (4, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811649)

That's nice and all, but how about something sub $300. If one of these can be built sub $200 (including the tuner), I would buy it today.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811699)

You would need to sacrifice some components for cheaper ones and sometimes these systems are tweaked so they do one thing and they do it well, but just barely.

Re:Sub $500? (2, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812045)

You would need to sacrifice some components for cheaper ones and sometimes these systems are tweaked so they do one thing and they do it well, but just barely.

Which reminds me, from what I read of the article (before I restarted my browser and discovered the site was Slashdotted) they spent something like $190 on THE CASE! Why the case? I'm thinking I should start making cases in my garage out of plywood and selling them for $100 each.

Re:Sub $500? (2, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812119)

HTPC cases are expensive because they can be.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812649)

And because the finish is better?

Re:Sub $500? (4, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811777)

I couldn't agree more. A $500 box would free me from cable, at the price of about 18 months worth of cable. That's not a very good ROI. $300 would at least break me free in a year or so. (I don't have digital cable, if I did, it would probably be much quicker) Also, why do you never see these set top boxes with the over the air tuners? I would love one that acted as my digital TV tuner too

Re:Sub $500? (4, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811937)

I've got an old Athlon with Mythbuntu and XBMC sitting in the living room streaming content off my home network, and I'm quite content not having cable. People who visit that do have cable with all the trimmings want to know how they can buy what I've got because it's better than what they have at home.

I could use another terabyte drive on the thing though...

Why isn't the free distribution of cultural content considered part of a countries diplomatic budget? It should be...

Re:Sub $500? (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811979)

A $500 box would free me from cable, at the price of about 18 months worth of cable. That's not a very good ROI.

Mod parent up! That's exactly what I'm talking about.

Not only is it not a good return on investment, but you also have to worry about it breaking.

What about channel guides? All of the MythTV users I've talked too complain about them being unreliable, or having to pay a subscription fee for them. It totally defeats the purpose!

You're really at the whim of these content providers to continue to provide programming for free. One little disagreement with your ISP, etc. could render this thing useless.

Re:Sub $500? (3, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812039)

What good would a channel guide do you if you cancel your cable and no longer have "channels" to tune into? Sounds like some people haven't really thought this through.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812215)

What good would a channel guide do you if you cancel your cable and no longer have "channels" to tune into?

I was thinking more along the lines of canceling TiVo, but it's also an example of how, without corporate support, these kinds of projects can go wrong.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812481)

Gotcha. I was still thinking along the lines of the GP (or whoever) up there who said he was gonna ditch cable.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

Jon_S (15368) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812333)

True, My Mythtv + boxee box is over $500 ($400 core2duo+nvidia Dell box, plus more for tuners and a 500 gig drive), but after 18 months, you still have the box (and I can use it as a real computer in the meantime when I want).

Program guide costs $20/yr, pretty cheap.

Both mythtv and boxee work great (well, boxee is still alpha). Note, with cable, you can't record (i.e. mythtv PVR) hardly any HD since it's encrypted, although the new hauppauge HDPVR "tuner" is making strides (and you have to jump through some hoops). I suppose you can use the cable-supplied PVR but I heard they aren't that great and of course you are limited with what you can do with it.

Overall, I have no inclination to consider cable.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

PunditGuy (1073446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812569)

I guess it depends on your cable company, but Comcrap in Minneapolis has SA set-top boxes for digital cable that have active Firewire ports, and I was able to record everything -- including HD channels -- that wasn't pay TV (e.g., HBO) via MythTV. Until I ditched the cable, anyway. It was highly reliable with the latest Knoppmyth, and didn't tie up a tuner.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812607)

If you can get the cable provider's PVR box, then go for it.

Otherwise, be very cautious. You may end up spending good money
on something that ends up being a big turd.

Homebrew systems can be expensive and complex. However they are also reusable.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812269)

A $500 box would free me from cable

I can't read the article, so I'll ask you. How does this free you from cable? Maybe if all you do is watch movies, but if you want to watch TV you would still need to connect something to the tuner on this thing.

Re:Sub $500? (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812553)

In this case, the OTA's often about as good as basic cable these days, with the TV stations providing multiple feeds in addition to the network one. I'm only missing a few things like Discovery at this point- not sure if it's worth the $30-50/mo for Dish to get it.

Re:Sub $500? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812565)

I use MythTV to capture OTA HDTV (ATSC) in Los Angeles. I get all the regular network and PBS programming stored directly to disk at native broadcast resolutions. For example I recorded the entire superbowl broadcast (at 1080i), just so I could fast forward and see the halftime commercials that everyone likes to talk about. This was so I could replay it during the week once I scrounged up the 3D glasses...

The only thing I feel like I'm missing is movies, so I might eventually subscribe to netflix. But since those hours spent watching movies would be hours not using the new MythTV recording, I'll probably wait a while and see if I really miss the movies that much. With the three different SoCal PBS channels and their 3-4 ATSC subchannels each, I'm still finding more than enough new programming recorded each week to have a surplus of content worth watching whenever I happen to turn on the TV.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812655)

The Hulu plugin will give you access to all the "TV" you would ever want.

If you aren't used to Tivo style navigation, you won't even be missing anything.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812485)

I couldn't agree more. A $500 box would free me from cable, at the price of about 18 months worth of cable.

You have cheap cable. "Standard" cable in my area was $50/month and rising when I dropped it over a year ago. "Basic" is cheaper but I can get all of basic over the air anyway.

Also, why do you never see these set top boxes with the over the air tuners? I would love one that acted as my digital TV tuner too

It can be done, it just costs money. The only way to do it cheaply is to design your own hardware based on set top box components and sell enough units to cover development costs.

I have a MythTV box I built for about $800. It could be done more cheaply. But below $500 is pushing it, unless component prices have dropped a lot. An ATSC tuner is still around $80, and you're probably going to want two. Then you need all the regular computer stuff. For HD playback, you need a reasonably powerful CPU and decent video. And you'll probably want to put some effort into making it quiet, so you can't just grab the cheapest crap around.

Re:Sub $500? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811779)

Why? The point of Roku is that you can get netflix content. The BoxeeBox is not going to do that.

Re:Sub $500? (4, Informative)

Striikerr (798526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811885)

Why? The point of Roku is that you can get netflix content. The BoxeeBox is not going to do that.

Umm, yes the Boxee Box WILL get NetFlix streaming content. It can connect into your NetFlix account and it displays all of the Streamable content presently in your queue. It will also let you browse other streamable content. I have used Boxee to access my NetFlix streamable content on my Mac connected to my TV. It is an amazing application!

Re:Sub $500? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812235)

I was under the impression that the Roku had a modest buffer in it. The streamed netflix content really stinks for me. I have comcast and after 6pm at night I get all sorts of interruptions. I can't figure out who to blame. When I do a traceroute I see the latency if about 0.5 seconds and there are 5 hops just within the the limelight system Netflix uses. Plus half the time the resolution goes to hell.

So I had assumed the reason to pay for roku was it somehow worked better than the ultra-craptastic silverlight system Netflix has.

Re:Sub $500? (3, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811941)

Buy and old xbox. It's not going to do HD content, but Boxee is a fork of XBMC. [xbmc.org] Using XBMC+rtorrent+pytvshotws [sourceforge.net] I have what can be assumed to be a near identical setup. The 'server' is in a different room and it has 2TB of space.

Version 1.6 Warning (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811987)

Buy and old xbox.

Any ideas on how to buy an old Xbox console without buying one that has version 1.6 firmware [xbox-linux.org] ?

Re:Version 1.6 Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812371)

I have an xBox that I bought 4-5 years ago, and that has never been connected to the internet. I'm not sure of the firmware version offhand, but I'll check when I get home... Seems to me like it should still be an old version, and I'd be happy to get rid of it if someone were interested...

Re:Sub $500? (1)

jammindice (786569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812411)

I think the real question here is can the streaming content be saved locally?

With my mythtv box that i have one of the main benefits is i can store the shows for later, not just until i have time to watch them but for when you want to do those marathon weekends and re-watch everything from the beginning in order.

I think if they can record streaming shows from abc and such (which are available OTA) would be great, recording the netflix is not as needed since as long as you have the service you have all of the movies.

how do you pronounce ubuntu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26811665)

I've always read it as "you-bun-too", which would make "an ubuntu" wrong. But i guess it could be pronounced a "uhh-bun-too" or "ooo-boon-too". "ooo-boon-too" sounds like something a chimp would say, so I guess that must be correct.

Re:how do you pronounce ubuntu? (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811703)

I've always thought it was ooo-bun-too

Like Goo bun too, which apparently, makes me sound like a chimp ;)

Re:how do you pronounce ubuntu? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811835)

/me imagines a ubuntu advertising campaign similar to the budweiser frogs, but with monkeys.

Re:how do you pronounce ubuntu? (1)

MoellerPlesset2 (1419023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812135)

I've always thought it was ooo-bun-too

All three 'u's are like 'oo' in 'moon'. The pronunciation of 'u' as in 'unique' is pretty much unique to English.
Check out this video of Mandela [wikipedia.org] talking about Ubuntu (the concept, not the distro). He's a Xhosa speaker, so he should know.

Re:how do you pronounce ubuntu? (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812405)

I thought it was a swahili word, in which case the first sound would be a "yoo," as in "yoo-ganda," that swahili-speaking nation near kenya.

Re:how do you pronounce ubuntu? (1)

Shark (78448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812573)

Except that 'unique' is originally a french word which is where that 'u' sound comes from.

Re:how do you pronounce ubuntu? (1)

rgetty (249498) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811871)

A Zambian (Africa) friend says "ooo-boon-too".

Re:how do you pronounce ubuntu? (1)

Panzor (1372841) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812067)

Wow, I've been saying it wrong for two years...

"oo-BOON-too" http://www.ubuntu.com/aboutus/faq [ubuntu.com]

Re:how do you pronounce ubuntu? (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812313)

Wow, I've been saying it wrong for two years...

That's nothing. Think about how long some people have been mispronouncing "Linux."

Re:how do you pronounce ubuntu? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812447)

Wow, I've been saying it wrong for two years...

"oo-BOON-too" http://www.ubuntu.com/aboutus/faq [ubuntu.com]

I pronounce it "Niggerbuntu." I'm really looking forward to the next release, Jackin' Jiggaboo (9.04). It's a great OS.

popcornhour rules (5, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811685)


If you don't want DIY and something non-geek friendly for ~$200 check out the popcornhour network media tanks [popcornhour.com] . Streams from a server or user-installed hard disk. Plays x264, divx, xvid, wmv, etc all at up to 1080p.

We own two and just love them.

Re:popcornhour rules (2, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812081)

The Popcorn Hour boxes look very nice. Still, they are rather limited by their lack of ability to play web based video. I'd like to see a box around the size and cost of the Popcorn Hour box, which adds the following:

1. Runs Boxee, in order to give access to Hulu, YouTube, and many other online videos.
2. Is a licensed Netflix device.

Maybe they are working on it, or Roku is, or someone at Boxee is. Whoever gets there first should find plenty of waiting customers.

Re:popcornhour rules (1)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812487)

Popcornhour boxes can play youtube, google video, etc. Hook up a USB keyboard and you needn't fumble with the remote control to enter things.
I just forgot to mention that in my post.

Re:popcornhour rules (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812583)

Install the PlayOn media server on a Windows PC. It's a DLNA server that will stream Hulu and your Netflix queue to any DLNA client. I've used it with Boxee, Xbox 360 and Apple TV w/XBMC. It's a one-time fee of $30, but so handy for so many devices!

Re:popcornhour rules (1)

DwySteve (521303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812719)

I believe I saw an addon program that lets your computer act as a DLNA server (uPNP streaming media server) that the Popcorn Hour will find. The program allows the streaming of Netflix movies with a proper account, etc. It might also have done Hulu. I agree that those are becoming very important, but remember the Popcorn Hour is Linux-based, so people will be hacking it completely.

As a side note does anyone know if this thing is legit? I know it's biased but the place that makes them seems to be a mainland chinese company and they have the reputation of sometimes copying designs, adding a few features and selling them. While it's a great box I wouldn't be surprised to hear it's a WDTV core with some software additions (AFAIK, both use the same processor and decoding hardware, but lots of boxes do nowadays so it's kind of a wash).

What's in a name (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811693)

A 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo based system isn't going to be silent.
I think THE requirement for a media centre is silent operation. (and I don't mean silent 2.0 as defined by the marketers these days)

Also, stupid name.

Re:What's in a name (1)

rhpenguin (655576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811833)

I'm not running Boxee, but.. I am running MythTV on a machine I built and it's REALLY quiet. Specs are:

Asus M2N-E
AMD Athlon x2 5000+BE
GeForce 8400GS Silent Edition
2GB OCZ DDR2 PC6400 RAM
WD 1TB HDD x2

Works fantastic, you'd never know it's running while watching TV.

Re:What's in a name (1)

Rageon (522706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812299)

Extremely similar specs to my HTPC, except I went with the 5400 and the 8800GT. I just used a ton of fans running slowly. It's not "silent", but it's quieter than the DVR from my cable company.

Re:What's in a name (1)

quattr0 (1210192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811859)

Totally agree. Building a box like that and could keep it running quietly like a regular DVR is not cheap. Like other poster mentioned, popcornhour is the way to go. Simple and affordable.

Re:What's in a name (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811867)

You'd be surprised. I recently build a media pc using a 3.0 GHz core 2 duo, 4GB of ram, etc. The system is deathly quiet compared to my old one, which featured duel p4 xeon's....

Re:What's in a name (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812507)

A design choice rather than a limitation. The C2Ds have a TDP of 65 watts and very high tolerances in general. Great candidates for passive cooling.

Re:What's in a name (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812589)

My PC is a 2.2GHZ C2D, stock cooler. I have it in an Antec P180b, with 2 120mm fans on low. I can't tell whether the thing is running or not without looking at it. It's definately quieter than my first gen Xbox running XBMC. Granted, this is probably not the case you want for an HTPC, but it can be done.

Re:What's in a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812677)

Actually, that depends on the cooling system you use. Liquid cooling answers end up being much quieter than air-only cooling- and there's even off the shelf, sealed, ready-to-go answers for this sort of thing.

Good article if... (2, Interesting)

MrBandersnatch (544818) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811719)

You're looking to build a media PC but I couldnt help but be disappointed by the use of a micro-atx rather than mini-itx motherboard. While we may have to wait for Nvidia's Ion platform before mini-itx can do HD playback the current batch of boards are quite nice for SD playback.

Boxee looks interesting...are there any comparisons out there between it, Freevo and MythTV?

hiiiii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26811729)

my name is boxxeeee

HDTV channels not possible though (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811771)

Sadly, without the ability to get HD channels like Discovery, HBO, etc, these boxes will always be at a serious disadvantage.

Re:HDTV channels not possible though (1)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811881)


Any decent BitTorrent client with RSS feed capability is all we use. The sense of immediacy to watch a show "now" because it's being broadcast at that moment is gone. It takes control of your viewing away from the broadcasters.

Re:HDTV channels not possible though (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26811915)

Sadly, without the ability to get HD channels like Discovery, HBO, etc, these boxes will always be at a serious disadvantage.

No offense, but I'm sick and tired of comments like the above. You come in here and talk about HDTV as if it is actually available to everyone now.

Why can't you see that when you purchase one of these boxes, you're fighting for freedom? If you buy a cable box, you're voluntarily submitting yourself to oppression. It is really that simple. Now, the beauty of this box isn't just the snide factor involved in running a minority-share operating system, it is also in that you don't have to rent it yourself, thus, saving yourself around $60 per year! Do you know how much Linux software you could buy with that?

I'm not trying to be harsh here, just to wake you up to the realities of the enormous implications inherent in choosing a set-top box. Next time you go looking for one, remember that features like "HD" really aren't totally necessary.

Re:HDTV channels not possible though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812079)

You are right. "HD" is really not necessary. Neither is TV at all for that matter.

Re:HDTV channels not possible though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812283)

8/10

*golfclap*

Re:HDTV channels not possible though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812567)

Long live the new flesh.

Please tell me this is a troll (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812291)

Why can't you see that when you purchase one of these boxes, you're fighting for freedom? If you buy a cable box, you're voluntarily submitting yourself to oppression. It is really that simple.

Freedom? Oppression? We're talking about TV here. If not having full control of TV programming (which you don't create or pay for) is the worst thing that's happening to you, then you are leading a seriously charmed life.

If the parent is a troll, on the other hand, then very well done indeed.

Re:HDTV channels not possible though (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812373)

Why can't you see that when you purchase one of these boxes, you're fighting for freedom? If you buy a cable box, you're voluntarily submitting yourself to oppression. It is really that simple.

Get a sense of perspective. Someone choosing to pay a monthly subscription for television is so completely different from just about anything that could legitimately be called oppression that it makes the whole notion laughable.

There are no 'enormous' implications in buying a set top box, there are a few ones that might constitute definition as minor. If you're really out to support media 'freedom' then stop watching the fucking TV, watching TV content on official portals and/or using Bittorrent to download TV content, then go support material produced and distributed in another way.

Boxee for Developers (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811773)

I have been in touch with the Boxee people about sourcing content on Boxee, and they pointed me to their API for Developers [boxee.tv] and an RSS format [boxee.tv] .

What's not clear to me why there aren't templates or the equivalent for common video sources such as H.264 or Flash. (I.e., if I am sourcing a standard video stream, why do I even need an API ?

Since we can't RTFA, I don't get it (4, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811837)

TFS makes it sound like you can replace your cable (or satellite) provider with this box. Where is the (non-OTA) broadcast content coming from. Has he made a wife-capable Hulu scraper? If so, and Hulu agrees not to break the box every couple of months, then I'm interested. If it's just "you can download stuff that's a year old and on DVD from netflix, do OTA, and access your personal media collection," then it's really not much better than what already exists.

Unless it's that he's put it into a nice looking box. In which case...he's just discovered the world of HTPC cases.

I'd love to believe, but without an article I'm puzzled at where the novelty is.

Re:Since we can't RTFA, I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812111)

There's lots of stuff that you can do that makes the vast majority of cable/sat boxes look like sad relics from the 20th century....mainly because they are exactly that. SADLY though, there's absolutely no legal avenue to do what is possible without violating someone's copyright e.g. If I download the latest BSG 10 days before it will air on my (paid-for) sat channel I cannot do so legally. Its a stupid situation.

As to the article...its fluff.

Re:Since we can't RTFA, I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812165)

If I download the latest BSG 10 days before it will air on my (paid-for) sat channel I cannot do so legally.

Not sure where you live, but where I live there's nothing wrong with downloading anything. Providing is the problem. That said, if you think that being able to get something 10 days before the owner intends it to be distributed, you've got problems bigger than you think.

Re:Since we can't RTFA, I don't get it (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812697)

There is a Hulu scraper for XBMC on which Boxee is based. It works pretty well for the most part. Some streams just don't work, but most do. I doubt they have permission from Hulu, as they seem to bypass the flash based ads. But it is GF friendly, as long as she can handle an occasional stream not working. Pick up a used xbox on the cheap and try it out.

Boxee or Miro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26811849)

I've been thinking of building a similar system. A friend at work has been experimenting with Boxee and is fairly satisfied, although he had some issues w/sound and Ubuntu.

Then I read the Slashdot post about Miro, and thought maybe that was a more refined option and maybe I should go for that software instead.

Has any one used both? Are there any major advantages/disadvantages to either of them?

Could someone fill us in? (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811855)

Since the site is slashdotted and the summary is a little shy on details, can someone summarize how this thing works without cable? I know you can torrent some shows and watch some on sites like hulu, but that doesn't really "replace cable" (especially if you watch HD content). So how does this media center work with no cable input?

Re:Could someone fill us in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26811999)

It's entirely based around the illegal downloading of copyrighted content from the internet. You know, the thing that everyone around here claims not to do. Yet whenever an article like this pops up, those same people talk about how they've set up something like this and canceled their cable accounts.

Re:Could someone fill us in? (3, Insightful)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812323)

So then it doesn't free you from cable since you cannot reliably download copyrighted content.

Bittorrent? Ok..if you don't mind waiting days for it to dribble down to your PC. And that's if the file is actually what the title says it is. Not that anyone would offer a file for torrent with one name and have it be something completely different.

Usenet news suffers from the same problem. Trying to decipher some of the file names people use can take longer than the actual download.

Hulu? Nice start. But so much is missing and content is getting rotated off pretty quickly lately.

Re:Could someone fill us in? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812763)

> It's entirely based around the illegal downloading of copyrighted content from the internet.

This is just FUD.

Boxee just takes what you can already legally access in a web browser from a
computer and makes it a bit more suitable for consumer use. It gives you a
nice full screen interface that you can control with an IR remote.

If you have your own content online then you can access that too.

It's just AppleTV minus the store.

How does this rid oneself from cable? (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811923)

Okay, so you can watch movies on the thing. What about the latest soap opera or miniseries or news program?

Re:How does this rid oneself from cable? (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812063)

What about the latest soap opera or miniseries or news program?

I don't watch soaps. I live them.

Boxxee on AppleTV $229 option? (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26811951)

Look here: http://forum.boxee.tv/showthread.php?t=5773&highlight=AppleTV [boxee.tv]

Seems like using an AppleTV with Boxxee provides a nice elegant $229 Boxxee box. I haven't used it, but friends tell me its great and dirt easy todo.

Re:Boxxee on AppleTV $229 option? (1)

jorenko (238937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812209)

I do this. The only hard part is the initial patching of the aTV to turn on ssh, though that may have gotten easier since I first did it a year ago.

I use it to watch downloaded stuff like Make: Television and to stream from Hulu. Works pretty damn well, and the NFS and SMB support is much better than the previously best apps like aTVFiles and others.

Re:Boxxee on AppleTV $229 option? (1)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812387)

I use this as well. Relatively simple to install using a USB stick. I use it more for Hulu than the Boxee codecs. It's still in alpha so there are a few glitches from a performance standpoint, but nothing too serious. This combined with Netflix streaming from my Xbox360 and simple AppleTV purchases has allowed me to totally ditch cable since October of last year. I do receive OTA to my Media Center PC, which allows me to use my Xbox as a MCE. This allows me to access my local channels for news and such. I still get to watch what I want, commercial free for the most part. AppleTV's video podcast are also phenomenal, allowing me to watch the national news channels on a nightly basis.

links... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812033)

link1-cpu quota exeeded

link2-cpu quota exeeded

link3-cpu quota exeeded

uh... anyone got mirrors?

or just buy a dlink HD media server for 100$ like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812073)

or just buy a dlink HD media server for 100$ like i did

Re:or just buy a dlink HD media server for 100$ li (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812491)

Or just use your pre-existing PC. Which is what I do. Why another box? My PC already has everything described in the summary. All I need to do one of these days is add a Blu-ray drive. I already watch online videos (Hulu, etc.), download content from binary newsgroups, pop in DVDs, and watch programming through cable. On top of that I can surf the web, play games, do programming, use office applications, etc. Why do I (or anyone with a half-decent computer) need this?

Re:or just buy a dlink HD media server for 100$ li (1)

DwySteve (521303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812739)

Lower power consumption is the killer app of this decade.

x86_64 yet? (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812145)

The media available for boxee is quite diverse; I very much like the idea of watching Netflix videos without having to resort to a VirtualBox/WinXP operating system. But I haven't been able to get a 64-bit binary for it, and I can't seem to compile it in 64-bit too. Running it in a 32-bit chroot was unsuccessful as well -- has anyone had success with boxee for 64-bit platforms?

What is this thing called Boxee? (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812275)

Seeing as TFA was /.ed, I tried to look up the Boxee project [boxee.tv] , and it's necessary to register just to see anything about it. Does anyone know what's up with that?

Re:What is this thing called Boxee? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812431)

That's exactly what I was going to ask. This isn't the way Open Source is usually done, so it seems pretty suspicious. I'm sticking with XBMC, don't have to register to get it, and I can watch Hulu, etc on it. What does Boxee do that XBMC doesn't? If I have to register to find out, I'm not even going to bother.

This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (1)

jlwestsr (1103661) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812321)

Looks like the DeviceGuru's site got hammered from traffic being directed from here. Good for the visit stats, bad on the hosting account. :-)

Mirrordot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26812347)

Whatever happened to Mirrordot?

PS3 Port? (1)

Tularean (321332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812497)

The PS3 seems like the perfect platform for this app, I wonder why it hasn't been ported to it. There are similar apps already available. They're capable of playing 1080p video, and they can be used easily (just burn a DVD, no need to even install anything) and legally, with no hackery (like you have to do with the original XBMC). Those apps just aren't nearly as slick as Boxee, or even XBMC.

Linux as an HTPC frontend (3, Insightful)

Riddles (2787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812597)

And this basically sums up my experience with these devices over the past couple of years. Getting any pc to do decent tv-out is a nightmare (Modeline Hell as he calls it). Getting sound on both regular outputs and digital outputs with Alsa is "challenging" to say the least. And then I just want the box to suspend and wake-up using a remote. Again, that's possible in theory, but somehow I've never found a board that will reliably go into S3 and wakeup from S3 over and over again. If you finally get it to work once, it suddenly doesn't work the second time.

Finally, I've just switched to a UPNP frontend for my Mythtv backend. It turns on and off in 5-10 secs, does both analog and digital audio outputs and I've never had issues with its tv outputs. I've lost some functionality, but at least it's reliable and "just works".

More than just Hulu (1)

rickatnight11 (818463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26812709)

Yes, Boxee can play illegally downloaded content, but this is not what it's being "geared" towards. If it were purely for downloaded content then you could use XBMC, Windows Media Center, MythTV, or any of the many media center software packages out there. Boxee is special in the fact that it has a much wider array of streamed content support (not just Hulu.) If you check out there website it says right on the front pageabout how it supports streaming video sites such as "Hulu, Netflix, ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, Last.fm, and flickr." This is in ADDITION to your downloaded content. Now, I personally prefer my downloaded content as it's the exact quality I want and I don't have to tax my network while playing. Plus, I like having more control over my interface, so XBMC is my favorite, but Boxee is REALLY easy to use, and just simply plays a lot of content. At least try it before writing it off.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?