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Boxee Scores $16.5M Investment

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the take-the-money-and-run dept.

Media 77

DeviceGuru writes "Boxee, maker of the free Boxee multimedia-player software platform for PCs and Macs, and the smarts behind D-Link's recently introduced Boxee Box, has just received $16.5 million more funding. Following several significant firmware updates and the addition of new apps for Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and other content sources, all pushed automatically out to users' devices, the $199 D-Link Boxee Box is finally stating to feel more like a finished product than a beta-test device. What's next for Boxee? The D-Link device will soon be joined by two more Boxee-powered devices: a Boxee NAS device from Iomega and a ViewSonic TV running Boxee, and one of the main uses of the company's new funding will be to 'sign up more device and distribution partners,' says Boxee CEO Avner Ronen."

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Awesome (0)

debilo (612116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349750)

Now they can buy even more Slashvertisments!

Re:Awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350220)

yea seriously, I figured the link to the $199 Boxee would have at least taken me to the Boxee website.
fuck the DeviceGuru blog ass-hat. http://www.boxee.tv/buy [boxee.tv]

How the heck do I attach to my TV? (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349768)

I don't see an RF out, Video out, or S-video connector?

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349812)

You get a new TV with an HDMI port.

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35357564)

Whoosh!

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (3, Funny)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349958)

Yeah, it sure is awful trying to hook up blu-ray players, video game consoles, and these new-fangled internet devices to my 1982 Zenith television.

Luckily, Amazon still sells those 75-to-300 ohm adapters with the forks on the end that you have to screw down.

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (2, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350188)

>>>Yeah, it sure is awful trying to hook up blu-ray players, video game consoles, and these new-fangled internet devices to my [2008] Zenith television.

Fixed that for you.
It is ridiculous that engineers think anything three years old is too old to support. On the other hand: Maybe it's marketers desiring to obsolete perfectly working TVs, in order to sell more shit.

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350328)

HDMI first appeared in products around 2003. Five years later Zenith wanted to sell and you wanted to buy a device that didn't have the connector that was clearly the future proof choice -- not smart but probably you got a good deal.

Now, the rest of the world can now wait until you decide upgrade, or we can move on and let you handle this with a converter box. Guess which one makes sense?

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350606)

The one that makes sense is that there are options out there.

There is competition, and some of that competition has the connectors he needs. That means that basically Boxee has excluded everyone without HDMI from their customer base, while Boxee's competitors have not.

Which do you think is the better option? To limit yourself to a single output method and limit your customer base, or give options and open up your customer base?

It's not like TV's only have one input type.

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (1, Troll)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350848)

To limit yourself to a single output method and limit your customer base

... that is growing, while not wasting dollars on investing in the shrinking "legacy connector" customer base.

The more time passes, the more your connectors will be irrelevant, and the less money Boxee will have wasted on trying to capture your smaller and smaller slice of the market.

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350726)

Seriously, you bought an analog TV in 2008? One year before the total analog shutoff (2009?)

And you blame others for not supporting you?

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35355778)

>>>you bought an analog TV in 2008? One year before the total analog shutoff (2009)

Analog TVs with only RF, Video, or s-video inputs can show digital television just fine.
Duh.

>>>HDMI first appeared in products around 2003.....- not smart but probably you got a good deal.

In 2003 Firewire was the future. It had even been chosen by the US-FCC to be the "standard" connector on cable boxes and televisions, and legally-mandated that CATV companies provide that output to customers. Look how that turned out.

The future is not always as easy-to-predict as you falsely believe.

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35354060)

"Maybe it's marketers desiring to obsolete perfectly working TVs, in order to sell more shit."

Possibly, or paranoia that you're going to rip those hi-def blu-rays onto VHS tape..

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35356742)

>On the other hand: Maybe it's marketers desiring to obsolete perfectly working TVs, in order to sell more shit.
And so the big machine keeps going....making all its consumers consume!

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350234)

Good thing there is competition.

Has the connectors you want.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882438004 [newegg.com]

Re:How the heck do I attach to my TV? (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35355730)

can you install boxee on it?

or... (0)

Aeros (668253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349782)

They can use some of that money to build the rest of that stupid-ass looking semi-box they put their device in.

Re:or... (0, Troll)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349874)

Or make it uncrippled. I heard the Boxee box was more or less a bait and switch making it impossible to add local sources.

In much the same way I prefer Debian over Ubuntu, if you want the real deal just get XBMC. There are plenty of ION chipsets out there that will do 1080p without blinking.

Re:or... (2)

Swervin (836962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350210)

I own a Boxee Box. I have no problem adding local sources, and use it to play DVD .iso images from a shared drive on my Windows 7 desktop.

Re:or... (2)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35351568)

I heard the Boxee box was more or less a bait and switch making it impossible to add local sources.

Where the fuck did you hear that?

Re:or... (0)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352706)

Their own website:
http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?t=22313 [boxee.tv]

Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxee#Criticism_regarding_the_Boxee_Box_by_D-Link [wikipedia.org]
This viewpoint is furthered by the user interface development changes that took place between the beta version and the version 1.0 software shipped with the Boxee Box, with very little public user testing or input. These interface changes place greater emphasis on streaming content versus local downloaded content. Coupled with the removal of the BitTorrent client that was present in the beta version, these changes have led users to believe there is an active shift towards subscription/pay content.

Re:or... (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352816)

The changes Avner talked about in that forum post from November 15th, 2010? They were made in a firmware update distributed in December.

Have you heard anything about this product in the last two months? I'm not a fanboy, but it's hard not to come off that way when you're basically saying, "I heard you can't sync an iPod on Windows."

My, how things change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35349816)

Re:My, how things change... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35353132)

OH NOES! A world leader is being POLITE at an official function? Say it ain't so! Listen, I'm as skeptical of government as anyone, but you're really going to have to do better than that.

Hulu is not on boxee (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349822)

I'm sick of boxee constantly advertising that it has a hulu app. There is no official hulu app for boxee. You have hit or miss hacks that may let you watch hulu. It's not like netflix.

Re:Hulu is not on boxee (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35349968)

Rob Spectre of Boxee said during his SCALE 9x presentation [socallinuxexpo.org] last weekend, that regular Hulu is not available because Hulu only licenses Hulu-Plus for embedded devices like Boxee and internet enabled TV's. Hulu-Plus is available for Boxee (subscription required).

Re:Hulu is not on boxee (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350086)

Well if it is it's only available for the boxee box. I downloaded boxee and hulu was not available there on my mac mini. I have done a few hundred google searches and not found any proof that hulu plus is even available on the boxee box, but only "coming soon". It is also not on their list of apps and I can not find any confirmation of hulu plus on their website or forums.

I'd be happy with hulu plus honestly, it works fine on my ps3 and I need something for upstairs. Currently I'm using a mac mini with xbmc + hulu desktop.

Re:Hulu is not on boxee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35351160)

I own the Boxee Box... Netflix was only recently added on 2/14. There is no Hulu or Hulu Plus app for the Boxee Box. They really need to stop touting that.

Re:Hulu is not on boxee (1)

unrtst (777550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352180)

Mod parent up. It's as close to false advertising as it gets. There isn't even a planned release date for Hulu yet, and that word isn't even present on their blog.

Their claims that netflix would be ready be end of year failed too, as did their Feb 1 date.

I understand that things slip and that the netflix support was not completely in their control, but their product page and their blog is within their control. A little forthright honesty isn't too much to ask for. Their boxee box product page has had netflix as a "featured content provider" since the start. Until recently (feb 14), that was extremely misleading IMO.

You can't backtrace this comment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35349840)

Good luck! I'm behind 7 Boxxies!

Only good in the USA... (4, Informative)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349860)

My buddy bought his wife a Boxee Box as a present last Christmas. On Boxing Day they returned it. Why? Here in Canada, most of the content is unavailable due to region blocking. They should stop selling the thing here in America's hat if you can't use it to its fullest potential.

Re:Only good in the USA... (3, Funny)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350038)

Careful mate, returning a Boxee Box on Boxing Day is one step away from creating a linguistic tesseract.

Re:Only good in the USA... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350158)

Good point - But it was Christmas Day that was Boxee Day. Boxing Day was just Boxing Day.

Re:Only good in the USA... (2)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350378)

Think of the poor stocker. How many Boxee boxes did he have to rebox on boxing day?

Re:Only good in the USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352052)

How many boxes does a Boxee boxer box on Boxing Day? He boxes and boxes until he can box no more.

Re:Only good in the USA... (1)

CreamyG31337 (1084693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350562)

There are ways to get it working, using vpn, proxies, dns tricks... I don't want to say the exact solution that I used because it was easy and inexpensive enough that anyone can do it. This isn't exactly a good thing as stuff that easy tends to get blocked too. Lets just say if you want to watch US VIDEOs there is an ORGanization that can help you with that. But, please just be a sucker and pay for the crappy Canadian version of Netflix, that is the only way they will make enough money to license all the content for us as well in the future. (I hope I'm wrong)

Re:Only good in the USA... (1)

MaXMC (138127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350850)

At least Canada has a Canadian version of Netflix..

Nothing except for youtube works in the BoxeeBox that is sold in Sweden...

Re:Only good in the USA... (1)

CreamyG31337 (1084693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35351606)

Yeah, and they wonder why there is a piracy problem.
"Can I watch this show? Here is $8 US"
"No, the binary data would become unlicensed and therefore Illegal if it crossed an imaginary line while being transferred over the Internet."
I'd understand if they wanted to charge less money in countries with worthless currency, but I really don't get why these idiot network executives shun the global market and then cancel all the cool sci-fi shows I like because "nobody wants to watch them".

Re:Only good in the USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350808)

There is enough content in Canada - not nearly as much as in the US, but all the Cdn networks that rebroadcast American shows are available to stream from - Global, CTV, CBC etc. Also, Netflix works in Canada, albeit with less content.

Only good in Quebec. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35353956)

And just imagine if Canadians had developed a box like the Boxee. Only Canadian programming would be available on it, and if it was sold in Quebec it would be French only.

Re:Only good in the USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35354992)

FWIW, the software version of Boxee could still be useful, if you're inclined to do a bit of setup. There's a tutorial online showing how to get a computer running Boxee to create on-demand VPN connections to the various content sources to allow you to view/listen to them no matter where you live. You can get the best of both worlds (continents) and have access to Hulu, Spotify and other region-limited services.

Google for 'miniharmony'

I can't speak to whether any of that would be useful for the actual Boxee Box, since I don't know what kind of access they give you.

Re:Only good in the USA... (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 3 years ago | (#35355858)

This is exactly why I'm not buying the Boxee box. In the Netherlands (or perhaps I should say Europe as a whole), your options are limited even further. Sure, I have enough local stuff to watch/listen to, but I might as well use the audio and video player I've always been using for those (especially since Boxee doesn't properly find information for 80% of it, for some reason).

Not a free lunch (1)

The Nipponese (875458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349996)

I hope they know many times that amount of needs to be returned some day.

Re:Not a free lunch (1)

kyle5t (1479639) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350746)

Well, this is their series C, but yeah, I'm kind of amazed at the amount.

move to paid content only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350018)

I would like to see as little outside money enter boxee as possible. There are always strings attached, and open functionality always suffers. I would rather they sold drugs to support their software and hardware development.

what about google tv? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350042)

Haven't heard much about that lately. Sony and Logitech were running ads (the Kevin Bacon one was pretty funny) but the google tv idea was pretty retarded, if you ask me. WebTV much?

Anyhow, did google give up on it yet?

inb4 (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350080)

all hail to our queen

Boxee Owner (1)

rsimpson (884581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350120)

As a Boxee Box owner from almost day 1 of its release, I would say they finally made it out of the alpha stage and into the beta. While I love it, it is still riddled with bugs and poor design choices. Plus, as a non US resident (like the other 90% of the planet), Hulu (which btw, doesn't exist on Boxee), Netflix and Vudu mean nothing to me. I originally bought the Boxee Box because I believed it would be more open (ie. the firmware being open to hacking), as opposed to the other options where they are based off closed sourced code exclusively. Sadly this isn't the case. While I'm able to download the source for Boxee and fix the bugs, I'm unable to apply these fixes to my Boxee Box to make sure they are working 100%. This disappoints me. I can understand their need to make the content providers like Netflix and Vudu feel safe, but what about the other 90% of the market that has no access to these features? Why not go the Chrome route where you have one official build that supports the American content, and then still allow the Chromium builds that exclude the propriety stuff for a more community driven endeavor? I actually seethe with rage when I hear the Boxee team praising their support for American video service X. So what? Many other devices on the market already have that ... it isn't anything new. They are only diverting resources and alienating non US based residents to support the minority. And don't even get me started on them supporting new devices when they can't even get their flagship product working properly...

Re:Boxee Owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350556)

I would love to read your reply but all I see is a wall of text. Learn to use paragraphs please.

Re:Boxee Owner (1)

MaXMC (138127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350890)

I would love to read your reply but all I see is a wall of text. Learn to use paragraphs please.

Fixed it for you:

As a Boxee Box owner from almost day 1 of its release, I would say they finally made it out of the alpha stage and into the beta.

  While I love it, it is still riddled with bugs and poor design choices. Plus, as a non US resident (like the other 90% of the planet), Hulu (which btw, doesn't exist on Boxee), Netflix and Vudu mean nothing to me.
  I originally bought the Boxee Box because I believed it would be more open (ie. the firmware being open to hacking), as opposed to the other options where they are based off closed sourced code exclusively.

Sadly this isn't the case. While I'm able to download the source for Boxee and fix the bugs, I'm unable to apply these fixes to my Boxee Box to make sure they are working 100%. This disappoints me.
I can understand their need to make the content providers like Netflix and Vudu feel safe, but what about the other 90% of the market that has no access to these features?
Why not go the Chrome route where you have one official build that supports the American content, and then still allow the Chromium builds that exclude the propriety stuff for a more community driven endeavor?

I actually see the with rage when I hear the Boxee team praising their support for American video service X.
So what?
Many other devices on the market already have that ... it isn't anything new.
They are only diverting resources and alienating non US based residents to support the minority.
And don't even get me started on them supporting new devices when they can't even get their flagship product working properly...

Re:Boxee Owner (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35351872)

I originally bought the Boxee Box because I believed it would be more open

So does anyone have experience with the other players in this market?
WDTV Live, Asus O Play, Patriot Box Office, popcorn Hour, something else?
Openness, hackability, connectability, ease of use for low-tech family members, plays well with NAS and Ubuntu, formats/codecs supported, playback quality, heat, fan noise???

Re:Boxee Owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352458)

WDTV LIVE Plus has alternate firmware http://b-rad.cc/ which enables some additionally functionality. Plays everything I throw at it. Connects to my gentoo powered NAS, no noise, little heat.

Putting Genie Back in the Bottle (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350336)

Following several significant firmware updates and the addition of new apps for Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and other content sources, all pushed automatically out to users' devices, the $199 D-Link Boxee Box is finally stating to feel more like a finished product than a beta-test device. What's next for Boxee?

Well, given their company, I think that Boxee's next move will be to apologise and tell me that their services are no longer available in my country.

My Review. (2)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350358)

I actually held back. [amazon.com]

Anyone on SlashDot is twice as intelligent as necessary to setup an XBMC install that would blow Boxee out of the water. I bought three Boxee Boxes and sent all three back, don't regret it for a second.

Re:My Review. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350836)

That was in November. This is March. They have made a lot of progress with the patches and I think you would be hard pressed to build your own HTPC for $200 that includes all the features of the Boxee Box.

Re:My Review. (2)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350892)

My father still owns one, and I've been over to his place to see it as recently as two weeks ago. I upgraded to the DroboPro FS and gave him my old Drobo FS. It is just as abysmal product compared to XBMC as it was in November.

And when the hell did it become totally acceptable to release a shitty product with the promise that it would become "okay" later on?

Re:My Review. (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352410)

And when the hell did it become totally acceptable to release a shitty product with the promise that it would become "okay" later on?

I don't like it either, but that's how it works now that we can upgrade firmware online. See also: the Orange Box for XBox 360.

Re:My Review. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35351010)

6mps? Is that 6 meters per second?

Re:My Review. (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35351394)

I actually held back. [amazon.com] Anyone on SlashDot is twice as intelligent as necessary to setup an XBMC install that would blow Boxee out of the water. I bought three Boxee Boxes and sent all three back, don't regret it for a second.

I am just not interested in the work to get XBMC working. When I have tried to get XBMC software installed nothing ever works as easily as Boxee. For example, title scraping, box art, etc I couldn't get to work in XBMC. Boxee, it instantly all worked, categorized my content, got the IMDB information, everything. XBMC the design is lacking if you just want everything to work right after install. Also, I found the XBMC interface just not clear or as intuitive to figure out.

Re:My Review. (0)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35351556)

Ok, serious question here; has the intelligence level of Slashdot dropped sharply since last I came around?

You're right though, the Boxee tagging system is completely foolproof [imgur.com] .

Re:My Review. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352036)

You know, Slashdot is said to cater to nerds but that doesn't mean that everyone who comes here is interested in computers and software. They could be nerds experts in other things.

I wonder if you're in IT. I'm an IT guy myself and see many among my peers who treat everyone else as idiots because they don't know how to do this or that on a computer.

Re:My Review. (2)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352158)

Ok, serious question here; has the intelligence level of Slashdot dropped sharply since last I came around? You're right though, the Boxee tagging system is completely foolproof [imgur.com] .

I installed both XBMC and Boxee on the same exact HTPC. Boxee (as early as the Alpha version) worked within 1 minute after going to settings and pointing it at my data folder the software started scraping. As for your example, I had that happen to me once with a video. Not a big deal compared to the thousands of other videos Boxee properly identified. BTW your error in Boxee scrapping was not in the suggested format of title.year so perhaps that was the problem with the identification or it wasn't the latest Boxee release?

Could I have eventually figured out how to get XBMC to work? Sure. Are there still a few quirks with Boxee? Yes! But why would I want to spend time figuring out XBMC obscure organization and interface (IMHO) as opposed to watching videos? Perhaps you want to waste time on this sort of stuff or maybe out of the box XBMC just worked for you. For me I just want to watch a video on my HTPC and not futz with a computer.

Lastly, there is really no need to insult someone who doesn't agree with you. I am just giving you my experience using XBMC. If you work on XBMC perhaps you should listen to a users real world experience rather than play blame the user.

Re:My Review. (1)

itslifejimbutnotaswe (1173791) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352690)

If you're genuinely interested in improving XBMC (by pointing out why it didn't work for you) please go to the XBMC forums and let them know of ideas to make it better. "It didn't work" is useless both ways as you quite rightly point out. It's not going to get any better unless you give folk reasons to improve it! XBMC is 100% open. Boxee is not - both the hardware and (parts of) the software are closed. Which is an incredible shame, given it's origins. Just imagine what the XBMC guys could do with even 1/10th of that investment.

Re:My Review. (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352394)

Can XBMC index a TV show that is available for streaming online, by episode, with episode summaries? Is there a repository of information on available TV shows?

I'm not being facetious, I really want to know. Last time I tried XBMC I couldn't figure out how to show metadata for my ripped movies and shows, and I definitely couldn't figure out how to stream flash videos. I didn't spend a lot of time on it, since I was running it on an Atom pc with a GMA945 integrated video, which sucked.

Re:My Review. (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 2 years ago | (#35361676)

Can XBMC index a TV show that is available for streaming online, by episode, with episode summaries? Is there a repository of information on available TV shows?

I don't know about the streaming part (prefer to download and watch), but Sick Beard [sickbeard.com] will manage metadata for TV shows in an XBMC-compatible way.

Hulu Plus you mean (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350542)

When pricing for playing video on a PC or device like this is different I am never going to remove the Computer from my living room. Why pay more to see the same thing on another box?

Shape (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350612)

From one of TFA:

The unusually shaped box measures 4.7-inches on a side ... It was designed by Astro Studios, which counts among its past accomplishments Microsoft’s stylish Xbox 360+.

Ya, thanks for making it un-stackable - horiz or vert. (sigh)

Re:Shape (1)

CyberDragon777 (1573387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353834)

Think of it as a Borg cube trying to assimilate your table.

Re:Shape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35354360)

Buy two. They make great e-bookends.

MythTV still better (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350628)

a little do it yourself and you don't have to watch commercials on shows you record among other niceties.

Re:MythTV still better (1)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35354086)

They're not comparable. MythTV is a PVR, whereas Boxee is primarily a streaming client/movie file organizer. Myth is more comparable to another XBMC fork, MediaPortal, which aims to add PVR functionality to the XBMC core.

Boxee? Meh, Dell Zino is more versatile (1)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350728)

First, good for them (Boxee), and I wish them success in their niche. That being said.....

I've been using the Dell Zino with Win 7 Media Center for several months now (since Sept 10) with wireless keyboard with trackball. The Zino is an extremely small box (8 in x 8 in) with a HDMI connector, so it plugs right into the TV. As far as I know, it does everything the Boxee does, plus more because its a regular Windows computer. Vudu, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Slashcontrol, etc all have regular web interfaces (plus Hulu has the Hulu Desktop client), so everything can be accessed just by opening a browser. I use the desktop app for Hulu. Plus, I can play all my DVDs and CDs that I have ripped to my NAS from the Win 7 media center. As I mentioned in a previous post back in Sept, I am having very good luck with the vanilla Win 7 media center that comes with Win 7 Home Premium. The user interface is easy enough for my 6 year old to operate it without assistance. No trans-coding or format translations required to play DVD rips. I have my video library (DVD native VOBs) backed up on a 2 TB NAS (WD My Book World Edition, which is a Linux box that you can admin through the web gui or SSH and to which I have installed a CUPS print server ). Everything plays perfectly on my three Win 7 media center clients and on my Vista media center client (Vista requires an easy registry hack to get the DVD library to show up, Win 7 needs only be pointed to the NAS). Again, these are straight DVD backups with no trans-coding. The good thing with this is that all the DVD menus and special features are available. I have removed the dedicated DVD-player from the living room and use the DVD drive in the Zino now instead. There is essentially no fan noise (you literally have to put your ear up next to the machine to hear the fan).

I added a Hauppauge tuner so I can use the Zino as a DVR [analog cable and unscrambled digital only, although it picks up digital HD broadcast too ] . I had bought the upgraded HDD on the expectation of saving lots of recorded shows, but now I realize I didn't need it, because I can move recorded shows to the NAS if the HDD starts to get full. For the next purchase, I'll keep the standard drive.

So, If I was going to spend $199 for another box to hook to a TV, I'd spend the extra $100 to get the Zino (low end is $299). The extra functionality is probably worth the extra $100.

So far the only real annoyance that I've had, is that when Windows updates itself, the video driver sometimes get confused and fubars the HDMI audio to Media Center (but oddly not to the rest of Windows). So I have to regularly (probably at least monthly) ensure that I have the latest video driver.

I also have to say I've been favorably impressed with the WD Mybook World Edition. Nowadays, they include a checkbox in the web gui to enable ssh. You can then ssh in and do anything you want with it. In my case, I replaced the busybox setup with a full system using optware (ipkg), installed a cups print server, and attached a printer to the USB port. So far it has been able to serve up different movies to three different clients simultaneously over my home network without any problems.

I use a power-line Ethernet adapter because I perceived it to be easier and more reliable than wireless. The kids go to a separate room to watch their own stuff on their computers and I was concerned about flooding my wireless network by trying to stream multiple DVDs/online videos to different rooms, so I went with a wired solution.

Did you ever look in a mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35353228)

And see a gigantic douche bag?

DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350896)

i have a bad DRM feeling about this

boxxybabe? (1)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | more than 3 years ago | (#35355066)

For a minute, I thought Boxxy became a millionaire. That could have been a real news for nerds.

Like the iPad, less functionality, more price. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35355408)

Why bother with this when you can buy a used, 4 year old computer, plop in a $50 video card with HDMI out, and get more functionality for roughly the same price? My single core 3ghz PC runs everything I throw at it after I bought a new video card, not to mention High-Def gaming (because, you know, you really have to run Minecraft in 1080p to fully appreciate the level of detail..), whatever audio library you want, and *real* internet functionality.

No thanks (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35355670)

Ronen's inclusion of 'social' stuff in his software feels creepy. It's bad enough Netflix knows what I watch; I don't want Avner (and his customers) looking over my shoulder as well.
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