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Boxee 1.5 Will Be the Last Supported Desktop Version

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the buyxee-buy dept.

The Internet 113

DeviceGuru writes with excerpts from the article: "Boxee released [a beta of] version 1.5 of its free multimedia streaming software for Mac, Windows, and Linux desktops today, but simultaneously announced that it will cease offering the Boxee desktop software after January. Thereafter, the company will limit its focus to devices such as the D-Link Boxee Box, which faces stiff competition from multimedia streaming TV set-top-box products such as the Roku players, Google TV, and Apple TV. Hopefully, the XBMC project, on which Boxee's software is largely based, will carry the ball forward for desktop users. Speaking of which, the first preview release of XBMC 11.0 Eden was just released."

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first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498790)


Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498800)

Maybe Google's acquisition of Motorola will present a GoogleTV DVR Box? The next step must be apps that control the actual TV channel control.


Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498822)

I think there's a patent on it.

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (1)

devitto (230479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498894)


Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499220)

I think there's a patent on it.


Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499390)

You Might Be A Stupid-Ass If ...

... you can't understand why patent-encumberence might be a problem for Google.

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499762)

you can't understand why patent-encumberence might be a problem for Google.

No, I can't understand why I should care.

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499958)

you can't understand why patent-encumberence might be a problem for Google.

No, I can't understand why I should care.

Ok. SInce you don't dispute they would be a problem for Google, that saves us a lot of time ...

The original question, to which you replied, was: "Maybe Google's acquisition of Motorola will present a GoogleTV DVR Box?"

The objection was raised that such an item is (already) patented. You say "So?".

The answer to the question you cared enough to ask, is that Google producing something is not like your personal use of that thing. Chances are, no one trying to enforce intellectual property law is going to find out about any patents and/or copyrights you violate. Google, on the other hand, releases things on a publically-visible scale. If they openly violate a law, the wrong people are going to notice it.

So, that means either a cost for licenses or extreme legal liability for Google. Both are disincentives to use patented technology if alternatives are available. Got it?

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502226)

So, that means either a cost for licenses or extreme legal liability for Google. Both are disincentives to use patented technology if alternatives are available. Got it?

I'm sorry, you seem nice enough, and earnest, but I still don't see why I should care if Google is prevented from bringing a "GoogleTV DVR Box" to market.

First, it's not like Google is really known for its consumer electronics. Second, I bet something nicer could be built from open source tools, giving the big fungoo to the patent system entirely. Maybe it could be built into the case of a Sony Playstation 3 just so a video can be put online to piss off those jerks as an added bonus.

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (2)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498896)

you mean something like [] ? record up to 4 HD channels at once if you have a cable card from your cable tv provider

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498948)

As far as I can tell, the InfiniTV 4 PCIe only works on Windows (7). I remember reading somewhere that the drivers for these kind of devices won't be released for anything else to protect the content - or some such crap. Did something change?

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499182)

Support for the ceton card was recently added to mythtv (trunk). So there's work on it.

And the HDHomeRun Prime has worked with linux since day one. So has the DCR-something or other from Hap-screw-their-shitty-name.

The only restriction is DRM Encumbered channels. If you're on Time Warner Cable - that's all of them. If you're on comcast, it's just the premiums (hbo, cinemax, showtime, starz, encore). If you're on verizon fios, I read that everything is marked as Copy Freely - so no DRM to deal with.

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501650)

. If you're on comcast, it's just the premiums (hbo, cinemax, showtime, starz, encore).

Are you sure? I admit I'm a bit confused over the whole damn thing (I don't really watch enough TV to have followed the specifics, and SD has been good enough for most of it).

Since Comcast is going full digital in my area "soon" (they haven't nailed it down yet, but they're giving away the free mini-box things), I decided to do the only test I could think of to see if putting a digital tuner in my Mythbox would make a difference: I did a scan with my (supposedly) digital-ready LCD TV. The only digital channel I received was the "guide" channel, sans overlay (I assume that comes from the STB). I assume that's call I'd get with a digital tuner/capture card, too, right?

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (1)

WoodstockJeff (568111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504088)

Comcast routinely scrambles non-premium channels. When they went digital here, we lost everything except local broadcast, and even some of the local broadcast disappeared. The channels ARE there, but they're scrambled, so the digital-cable-ready TVs just lock them out. Can only watch them through a converter... which is incredibly STUPID!

well mac os x is about the only other system that (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499186)

well mac os x is about the only other system that may pass cable lab's / the cable CO DRM rules and then there is the lack of systems other then the mac pro with pci-e slots and apples lack of the os sub systems to make the DRM work. Now apple could have a Apple tv with cable card but then they will also need have working USB for SDV systems to use a add on tuner.

And the name says it all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499366)

This is device will only work on Infinity Cable (formerly known as Comcast).

Re:And the name says it all (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500904)

No it should work with any cable tv provider, TWC, charter etc, you just gotta purchase a cable card from them.

Re:And the name says it all (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500908)

"Works with any U.S. cable provider InfiniTV 4 PCIe connects to any U.S. cable system to receive all SD and HD digital cable channels without needing a separate set-top box." --- right off their website

Re:And the name says it all (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502356)

You need the cable box to decode the signal. If none of the channels are protected then you don't need the separate top box.

cable labs that is owned by the cable co's (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499156)

has quite a bit of control over the cable card / cable box market and they like renting boxes and cable cards many times over there cost and like to keep very old boxes still out there working not only that they have the same GUI as the newer HD boxes and have the same channel map as the HD boxes. Now some of that must be holding back the newer HD boxes in some ways.

Re:cable labs that is owned by the cable co's (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499498)

has quite a bit of control over the cable card / cable box market and they like renting boxes and cable cards many times over there cost and like to keep very old boxes still out there working not only that they have the same GUI as the newer HD boxes and have the same channel map as the HD boxes. Now some of that must be holding back the newer HD boxes in some ways.

Your writing ability sucks balls. Have you ever tried proofreading for clarity? I recommend it. It will remove much of the ball-suckage.

Well the cable co's f* up cable card there used to (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499250)

Well the cable co's f* up cable card there used to be quite a few tv's with it but now I think alot of old one's can't do SDV makeing them some what useless in some systems.

Also getting the cable co have a cable guy / phone people who know about cable cards is very hit or miss and then some times it's odd stuff like some times the cable card is not setup up in right node / headend or other odd issues that the cable co boxes that have cable cards don't seem to have or it seems the phone people just don't know how to stuff they can do with cable boxes..

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (1)

pcwhalen (230935) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499502)

I spend $100 a month for basic cable card rental and service from Time Warner Cable in NY. I spent over $400 to buy lifetime service for a new HD TiVo. There's still nothing on.

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500286)

Put a cablecard into any mATX case (there are several that look like TiVos) along with win 7 HP and tada! Easy Peasy. Windows media center frankly kicks ass as a DVR, I've been running my cable into it since Oct 09 and its as simple and easy as one can get. I can tell it to record a show or record a series with a single click, it automatically downloads two weeks worth of scheduling and keeps itself updated (I have mine set to 7AM, it turns the PC on from sleep, updates and then goes back to sleep) and makes it butt simple with homegroups to share with the rest of my machines.

So just do it yourself friend, it couldn't be simpler. modern boards come with fricking pictures so you don't even have to Habla English to put together a PC, there are plenty of nice mATX cases that are perfect for HTPCs, you can use one of the new AMD E-350 boards (which last I checked are like $90 from Newegg) if you want it ultra low power with hardware decode or for $10-$15 more depending on which HSF you choose you can get a Phenom I quad ( just go to and pick one out) for $55 and an AM2+ board is beyond cheap. then just load it out any way you like with regards to RAM and HDD, hell if you don't mind a standard black case (I've built a couple of them and they look quite nice in a slot in the entertainment center and most of the customers i'd found would rather have more power than a baby case) you can go nuts and get a 6 core for $300 after rebate [] with everything you'll need and more than enough power to transcode any format you wish. You could even slap in a cheap refurb HD4830 or HD4850 along with the wireless X360 controller and make a pretty kick ass game machine. I have a customer that went that route and all his friends just drool when he fires up Batman:AA or Just Cause II on that fat 50 inch TV. Go DIY and you save a ton and can have it YOUR way with what YOU want.

As for TFA....uhhh....who cares? XBMC isn't going anywhere, and you also have MediaPortal and of course WMC to go along with it, so it isn't like we don't have a wealth of choices here. If anything I'd say its never been easier to go HTPC, there is a ton of software, you can get cases in any shape and style, if you stick with AMD you can get insane horsepower for dirt cheap, for those of us that want to use our PCs for TVs or DVRs life is good.

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502224)

Everything parent said but with a recommendation for an Atom+ION. These things really kickass.

Re:Will someone produce a cable card rival to TIVO (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504984)

The E-350 is on average 25% cheaper while getting 30% more performance so there really isn't a reason to go atom + ION anymore. Intel really slit their own throats by hamstringing Nvidia to the point they got out of the chipset business. For those that don't know there will be NO chipset updates from Nvidia, no new chips, what you see is what you get. nearly their entire line is so out of date they don't support NCQ which means you are slowing down your drives by using ION, as new versions of Windows come out I seriously doubt they'll be spending hardly any money on QA for a line that is dead so you are looking at no drivers or shoddy drivers, meanwhile the new AMD E-Series have Radeon 6310 chips with full support for decoding every popular format in use today.

So I'm sorry friend but atom is history for HTPCs. the ONLY reason they get any score at all is from rigging the benches with their ICC cripple code which as one reviewer on a new netbook I was looking at said "For some reason the Atom seems to score highly on the benches, better than the E-350, but real world usage just doesn't bear the numbers out" yeah that is because they might as well call the benches quack.exe for all the use they are now!

But the new AMD E-Series gives you more graphics power, more memory (Atom is usually limited to 2Gb or 4Gb by Intel to cripple it compared to Celeron while the AMD E-series supports 8Gb-16Gb) and an out of order CPU with VM support for less money. The only thing Atom is good for is those $60 bottom of the line boards that make okay office boxes, nothing more. ION thanks to Intel's cutting off Nvidia's access is a dead end system simply being sold for as long as someone will give them a buck for it, but no new investments in the platform will be made. its a dead end, not worth wasting money on.

Welp.. (3)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498824)

Time to move to XBMC.

However, if they actually DO update Boxee for Linux it will be the first time in a long time. They haven't even bothered for a while.

Re:Welp.. (4, Insightful)

Balthisar (649688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498850)

Or Plex, if you have multiple front-ends. Mac/Windows, and Linux is looking promising.

Re:Welp.. (1)

CyDharttha (939997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499890)

Re:Welp.. (1)

Siridar (85255) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502808)

yep, i'll second (third?) the plex recommendation. I'm now running the server on my linux fileserver, serving up to OSX clients, android clients, iOS clients, you name it. We have 2 iPhones, a iPad, a ASUS android tablet, a windows machine, and two macs - a mac mini and a macbook pro - all connected to the same server. Works flawlessly.

Great... (5, Informative)

rannmann (2348880) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498892)

As someone who currently owns a bricked Boxee Box, I'm somewhat pleased they're finally focusing on just the Boxee Box, because that thing seriously needs some love. It was really cool for the first month or so when it worked, but the forced firmware updates brick Boxee Boxes left and right (according to the forums). The browser is absolutely terrible and isn't supported by Hulu, the "mouse" on the remote is one of the worst things I've ever used (try using arrow keys to move one pixel at a time).

They have a lot of work to do if they want to be in the media center market.

Re:Great... (2)

Kplx138 (2523712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499120)

I agree with you, as a fellow boxee box owner it does require some love. Don't get me wrong I do love my boxee box I looked at all the other so called media streamers out there and by far boxee box is the best codec wise with full HD support and .mkv support plus web browser and apps it was worth the price tag. Having said that, yeah updates were a pain I had one or two updates early on that required factory resets because for some reason they absolutely hated the network and refused to see any shared drives (although I haven't had that problem with subsequent updates) the remote works well so long as you never have to use the cursor but you can get an app through itunes and andriod app market to use your phone as a remote control (although I haven't used it so I don't know how well that works over the default remote). For me the 'friends' option that allows you to watch videos your friends post on social networking sites no longer updates people still post videos to me but they never show up on boxee. The one thing that really annoys me beyond anything which is beyond boxee's control is content restriction rules, not being able to access certain content because of geographical location (australia) meaning half the apps are crippled or unusable. A problem that goes beyond just boxee itself but strong selling points of boxee are made useless beyond the american market. In short love boxee but needs more work

Re:Great... (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499990)

And there's the beautiful vudu advertisment feature: If you have a single episode of a series in a network drive, there is no view out there that will show you just what you have: If Vudu sells the rest of the episodes, they will show up on your screen, and there will always be a link to download from them, even if you already ripped the dvds.

And the lack of UI customization makes it so that if you have a different use for the box than their idea of a norm, you are out of luck: For example, they have a parental controls feature (which is no good, BTW), and do not provide a simple way to just display a specific list of movies. I want to be able to say: Tyke, you go here, and here are your cartoons: It's not an issue of forbidding content, but make the content he actually wants to be more convenient. Instead, we either need multi login, which is stupid, or use the pre-defined genre filters, which are as accurate as a drunk grandmother with a .44.

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38500040)

you click the ' . ' icon in the top right of the screen and deselect vudu...

Re:Great... (2)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500430)

Boxee serves a very narrow and tightly defined purpose: it's XBMC for dummies. If you want less dummyness, it's time you switched to full-on XBMC. No Vudu links plastered all over your face, good customization, and far better Linux support.

The Boxee box is nice if you want to shut up a non-tech-savvy friend or relative, because it is plug-and-play. For us geeks, XBMC on either an old gaming PC or a nice compact ION box is a better fit.

Re:Great... (2)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501694)

Tried both:

Boxee - fairly easy to use, slightly stupid UI, slow-as-fuck, missing several features
XBMC - Not so easy to use, not stable (Ubuntu 10.4, Win7), not wife-acceptable, lots of features but several non-functional (Weather, library analysis)

So far I'm not impressed, yet they are still better than Windows Media Center and Apple Front Row.

Note: Updated to latest Boxee a few weeks ago, seems faster (OSX 10.6)

Re:Great... (1)

dmesg0 (1342071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502180)

XBMC - very stable (last crash was a year ago), controlled entirely by universal IR remote, used mostly by my wife (I myself don't watch much), beautiful and very impressive (several guests installed it as well after seeing ours), very nice movie library sorted by IMDB rating. Running on old ubuntu htpc box with nvidia card (vdpau).

Boxee - tried it at some point, found no reason to keep.

i never could figure out... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499058)

its crappy software anyway, so who cares?

Boxxy? (2)

FairAndHateful (2522378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499060)

I can't be the only person that thought of this [] .

Re:Boxxy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499214)

We'd rather not remember that. It always comes up and we try to forget it. Damn it there goes a years worth of effort.

Plex (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499062)

I just recently started using Plex when we bought a new LG TV that happened to have a built-in Plex client - and I must say it's pretty slick. So, even with Boxee, it would seem like there are still going to be readily available free options for people.

People don't cycle through televisions all that quickly, but with smart TV functionality becoming more prevalent it's probably just a matter of time before all these add-on boxes die off. Heck, even my beloved Tivo became a lot less interesting after we bought the TV - we still use the basic DVR functionality, but all the "value added" features (e.g. Netflix, Pandora, home media viewing) became redundant. The TV itself offers them now - and it does them better.

Re:Plex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38501960)

I see innovation coming faster than TV's can integrate it .... set top boxes are not being phased out ... they are growing. even with up-gradable firmware the curve is still to great for somebody to write off STB's completely. take a look at Cisco for example in the last three years they've grown their STB side of the business by buying SA and Linksys. Other company's not in the business have recently gotten on Samsung and Roku are examples. STB's give a simple and sometimes robust method for bringing the beading edge of media delivery to the TV without requiring you to upgrade your set every six months to a year.


atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499126)

Well nice going Boxee, you've just alienated THE MAJORITY OF YOUR FANBASE that ignore the expensive glorified trinkets w/ HDMI cables sticking out of them in favor of self-built microATX, laptop, or straight-up desktop setups. Either way, perhaps something better will come out of it. IIRC Boxee used entirely different backends for each platform...


osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499206)

Well nice going Boxee, you've just alienated THE MAJORITY OF YOUR FANBASE that ignore the expensive glorified trinkets w/ HDMI cables sticking out of them in favor of self-built microATX, laptop, or straight-up desktop setups.

How much do said users pay Boxee? Just curious how much money they stand to lose if they entirely lose the self-built crowd of fans...


WoLpH (699064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499268)

Those users don't pay money, but they help to remove the bugs and introduce new features. Or atleast... that's what I do with XBMC.

Personally I don't use Boxee though, I simply can't stand the Boxee user interface and bugs. Some bugs are ok but Boxee has had so many completely broken and/or missing features that it has never been a viable alternative for me. Too bad since some of the interfaces seem better than XBMC out of the box.


SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500428)

I had a similar opinion. Used it for a while and had to bail on it.

And it's a little sad... I can't figure out how the Boxee Box is going to survive much longer. Not that it wasn't an interesting attempt, but they haven't nailed the inexpensive, "just works" end of the market like Roku has. They also haven't managed to nail the higher end, tinkerer land of htpc'ers. The market in between for $180 stb's that aren't great in either of those roles can't be very big.

And for what small middle-ground there is, it's probably about to get eaten up with solutions involving powerful, inexpensive hardware like Raspberry Pi's. Low cost like the Roku end, flexible like the htpc end, and capable of doing most anything in-between... can't see a lot of people deciding to buy the $180 "meh" option.


ubrgeek (679399) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502530)

Just got our Roku and really like it. Wish it had an OTA option and some sort of (even limited) DVR functionality. While I'm capable of building a home media box, I'd really prefer not to.


billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500476)

How much did said Boxee pay XBMC when they used it as their starting point ?

Oh, right. NOTHING!

They took years of public work, slapped on a watered down skin, got a chinese manufacturer to poop out a cheap media box, and plastered the resulting mess with a gazillion monetized links and ads. It seems it would only be fair that they continue producing the desktop port as a thank-you to the community that made their company possible in the first place, or at least provide the FULL SOURCE so someone else can produce binaries. The GPL doesn't require it, but it would constitute a good faith gesture that might actually get us open-source types to contribute patches and bug reports back to the project, which judging by the majority of user complaints are both things it sorely needs You could have a million non-techy people shit all over your forum, but it won't even come close to the positive impact one benevolent coder can impart with a few hours of volunteer debugging.

The way it stands now, Boxee sold out, and like most things that sell out, obsolescence typically follows shortly thereafter.


crash123 (2523388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501506)

Actually Boxee does help out XBMC. Every now and then their developers submit code; they also sponsor the annual XBMC dev conferences and help out with hosting costs.


Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500666)

All Boxee users see the same ads, and use the same Boxee accounts to access paid services, of which Boxee is surely getting a kickback.

That being said, Boxee has decided to crap on their desktop users, and especially their Linux desktop users from day one.

Competition from who??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499134)

Google TV sucks. Roku is now considered the worst (of the stables ... Google TV is still the king as sucking), AppleTV is limited.

So who is the competition?? If I were to name competition, I would say that the Western Digital and ALL of their models of multimedia devices.

Re:Competition from who??? (4, Informative)

slaker (53818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499782)

I think the answer is "it depends what you want to do." I had the opportunity to purchase and review 9 different media streaming devices. This is what I came away with:

WD TV Live HD: Has a wonderful interface for streaming services like Youtube and Pandora, and it does DLNA very well. Very good support for music without playlists (many DLNA streamers just want to play single tracks or tracks on a DLNA-shared playlist). But I couldn't get one to negotiate a 1080p connection with my bog-standard 1080p Toshiba TV despite switching cables and several different firmware revisions on two different units. I also found that navigating the user interface was slow and occasionally non-responsive.

Seagate has a very similar set of products. I only took a cursory look at a cheap FreeAgent Theater, found that it errored out when I tried to stream something from my DLNA server and set it aside.

Roku XD: Streams the stuff it streams. Doesn't technically do DLNA or allow access to local network content, though there is a DLNA-like application you can run on a Windows machine to sorta stream some content. I was really unimpressed. But at least it does 1080p.

Popcorn Hour C200: DLNA client, DLNA server. Has a local drive bay and USB ports to add storage. Supports every audio and video format known to man. Will auto-rip content if you put an optical drive in it. Has a great collection of free streaming services and network connectivity options... and a dreadfully slow user interface and no access to any sort of premium streaming options.

Boxee: I actually like the UI and social hooks. I like the variety of support for network connectivity and the overall speed of the UI. But oddly enough, it doesn't do UPNP or DLNA, something I ulimately confirmed with DLink. It has excellent file format support, a decent user interface for network browsing and for music playback, and I love the remote, but there are enough weird drawbacks that it feels like an unfinished product, especially at $150 or so. I'll also say that the Windows version of the software would regularly spike an i7-2600 to 100% CPU utilization across all cores, all by itself.

LG Smart TV Upgrader (Sony and several other companies sell identical devices): Accesses premium streaming services just fine. Supports Plex, as of the most recent update; the one at my parents' house can stream movies from my apartment 700 miles away. Fuss-free DLNA support and it kind-of manages SMB support as well. Dirt cheap, but the UI is ugly, slow and somewhat non-intuitive. Music support is particularly crappy and the remote is not that good either. Still, for $50, they do what I want them to to do.

Vortexbox: I set up a Vortexbox, thinking it would be an STB solution. It's a DLNA/AFP/SMB server that auto-rips stuff to FLAC or MKV and makes it available to other systems on a LAN. It's meant to be appliance-like. It worked OK for its intended purpose, but to my annoyance the install scripts assume there's only one storage drive and don't make provisions for expansion, meaning that it's basically a less-functional version of a Popcorn Hour C200.

PS3/Xbox360. Theses things can be used as streaming clients with obnoxious control devices and poor user interfaces. I'm sure it's great if you're used to it, but I found them lacking.

The great unknown for me is the Logitech Revue. They're cheap now, and I understand that they're essentially Android 3.1 devices. I would assume that I can get any sort of premium streaming on them, since all that stuff works on my Android phone, and I should have my pick of third-party media players if I don't like the ones it ships with. I don't know about the actual TV integration, but I don't really care about that aspect either.

At the end of the day, I liked the LG Smart TV Upgrader better than the others. I had too many problems with the WD TV Live HD and the Boxee needed to cost about half what it does in order to be competitive. Maybe this new focus on the hardware will fix some of the issues.

Re:Competition from who??? (1)

Creechur (847130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502002)

Wow, thanks for this. I'm adding a 2nd TV in my bedroom right now, and looking for a cheap box that will stream from my existing NAS setup, and this kind of list is precisely what I needed (and couldn't find).

Re:Competition from who??? (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502046)

I've also been trying to find the perfect Streaming TV box, but its tough because there's not much out there that does it all. I like Roku for it's simplicity but it lacks DLNA and I really wanted something that could also play BluRay. I also own a Logitech Revue which is the worse thing I ever purchased, even after the upgrade. I like XMBC, it has a nice interface and lots of plugins but no native apps for Netflix or Hulu, I know you can make netflix work but it's very cumbersome. Also, XMBC doesn't nativly play BluRay, you have to install thirdparty software and that's a pain to make work. Windows Media Center is primarily what I use right now but it lacks the plugins that XBMC has. I'm really looking forward to Windows 8 Media Center, I'm hoping it will be much better and will be all I need.

Identical? (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505442)

Very informative and useful review. Thanks. One addition/question:

LG Smart TV Upgrader (Sony and several other companies sell identical devices)

Are they really identical? I know when it comes to TVs and disc players embedding network media features, there is quite a bit of variation. Certainly I've discovered that Sony's streaming implementation is subpar on their TVs and disc players. Their Hulu client, in particular, is obnoxiously bad. Each program segment and advertisement is streamed separately, so there's a major pause for buffering at the end of each. You can't fast-forward or rewind across segments. And it doesn't remember where you left off for resuming later. The UI may be polished, but ultimately it's a polished turd.

Re:Competition from who??? (2)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500104)

Roku is the worst? I "cut the cord" in 08, been doing everything thru Xbox XBMC ever since.

Relatives were looking for a cable alternative but i thought a xbmc would be too complicated so I bought them a Roku LT for Christmas. For $50 it's pretty amazing, came with crackle and pandora, added Netflix and they were just in shock at all the content available for only $7 a month. Dead simple to use, makes an iPhone look complicated, and the hd video quality looked better than I had hoped. Can you explain why the Roku is the worse?

Re:Competition from who??? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502422)

I agree. My mom loves it and my wife loved it for the few weeks we borrowed it when my mom was out of town.

We use xbmc for our local stuff, but Roku is a great netflix box.

Re:Competition from who??? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504436)

It is also great when you travel. It is tiny, so packing it is trivial. Most hotels offer Wifi. Just bring a short HDMI and a short RCA set and you are set to connect to a huge number of hotel TVs. There are even remote apps for Android so you don't need even need to bring the remote.

Depends on what you want.. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505802)

I want a unified interface for everything. So far no winners.

For my PVR use (yes, some content is still only gettable that way *and* the quality is much better than even 'HD' streams from Netflix and such, while they may hit good resolution the more critical issue of bitrate is still necessarily low), Roku just does nothing for that at all. MythTV is about the best I've found for this, but does poor in all other areas. Xbmc Eden promises better support and I still need to try it. Plex does nothing for this use case too.

For downloaded media, Roku officially does nothing and the unofficial efforts are pretty inadequate when compared to the likes of Plex and XBMC.

For streaming, Roku is pretty much the best (Plex purports to be decent, but they just embed the video player from a browser and last I tried had *no* way of controlling)

Openelec. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499230)

I have openelec (a derivative of XBMC made to "just work") on an Acer Aspire Revo 3700 and a MediaGate GP-IR02BK remote control.

Everything works excellent. Have two copies of it, and may buy a third.

One word - Myth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499328)

Still the best! Nothing, but nothing matches Myth's client server model. And it is rock solid!

Re:One word - Myth (2)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506176)

I really wanted for Myth to work for me. It is just too much of a pain to set up. The OS install is easy. The MythTV software install is easy. The problem is when you get to the video capture and remote control setup. I don't know if it has gotten any easier, but there seems to be a lot of compiling, command line configuration, and finger crossing. I found the only benefit it had over XBMC was the live television capabilities. Once I cancelled Dish, XBMC covered 100% of my needs with dramatically easier installation.

Love XBMC (5, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499468)

XBMC is some really great software, I'm glad support has lasted this long. It's what I use on my TV PC, it's easy to setup, and does exactly what it's supposed to do. It's got some great plugins that allow live streaming from various sources, supports any format I've thrown at it, it's a DLNA server, supports various network protocols for indexing and streaming, supports many remote control devices, it's available for all major OSes and works great on all platforms. I'm extremely happy with it.

Re:Love XBMC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38500504)

It sure is. I got myself an Apple TV box a couple of days ago just to put XBMC on it. Jailbreaking was easy and fun (if you like that sort of thing, which I do) and now I have a tiny little box that streams all my content to the tv, just as the laptop did before, only without all the hassle of cables and such.

Roku,Google,Apple:HAH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499840)

..which faces stiff competition from multimedia streaming TV set-top-box products such as the Roku players, Google TV, and Apple TV.

What a load of archaic obsolete crap. What they meant to say is that it faces competition from actually useful products such as the WD TV Live (as well as half a dozen of other things like it which are about as good). The very idea of such narrowly limited stuff as Apple TV or Roku being the real competition -- I want to say it's over a decade out of date but I'll admit it's truly only a couple years out-of-date, due to how badly the tech lagged and stagnated.

Nevertheless the stagnation did eventually end. If Boxee thinks of Google TV being the competition, they are fighting 200x's battle and will fade into obscurity. Good bye, Boxee.

Ok, why is the WD TV better than an AppleTV? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500528)

I'll bite - why is the WD TV Live that much better than the Apple TV?

I've been casting around for a solution with only three requirements:

1) Has to be easy enough for my mom to use (since she will be the one I'm installing this for).
2) Has to play Netflix.
3) Has to record OTA HD streams.

The sad thing is, nothing at all meets all criteria. The Boxee came really close with the new plugin module that lets you watch LIVE OTA HD through a Boxee, but those idiots decided that no-one would be interested in recording anything to external storage, so they are only "thinking" about support for that.

Boxee could be the real cable-cutter for a lot of people with the simple ability to record sports games OTA, at least to let you rewind during the game... but instead they've chosen to be just like any other box.

I looked at the WD TV Live, and while the support for lots of formats is nice it's irrelevant in a world where most video is h.264. What does it really do better than an Apple TV besides that?

The thing the AppleTV brings to the table for someone wanting a simple solution is iTunes integration, where a LOT of people have media stored now... it's hard to ignore how easy it is to make use of that.

Re:Ok, why is the WD TV better than an AppleTV? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502924)

Sounds like a Tivo really.

If Netflix is all you are really after and some light PVR functions then a Tivo is probably the thing. It's just not the dirt cheap option.

As far as "legacy media" goes: all you should need to do is use the shiny happy GUI in your OS of choice to share your files. Video appliances should be able to handle the rest without any jailbreaking or nonsense

Although a lot of "iTunes" is DRM. So there is only one vendor that may even be in a position to offer something there.

Re:Ok, why is the WD TV better than an AppleTV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504890)

What does it really do better than an Apple TV besides that?

Plays media from your computer, via NFS, Samba, or even DLNA (I almost can't believe AppleTV doesn't do that last one .. did I fuck up my research?). WD's box can handle all that stuff (and I don't mean to single WD out; all of the modern players do it).

If you have already gone all-in with totally committing to iTunes, then I can see how this wouldn't seem like a big deal to you, so maybe AppleTV has its niche. But for the public in general? No way. Supporting solely iTunes as the only client is .. geez, that's like a camera which can only use Sony memory modules. Seriously, would you buy a Sony camera?

And yes, you can wipe Apple's crappy software off the AppleTV, replace it with XBMC or something, and end up with something decent. That's a reasonable way to salvage AppleTVs if you found one in a dumpster. But buying a new one and doing that ... the resulting capabilities per $ aren't in the same league as the modern players.

Also, about "most video is h.264" .. this happens to be true for recent stuff and I can't deny it. If you want to watch old TV series, though, you may very well end up having to resort to torrenting 8-year-old files unless Netflix just happens to have what you want (and Netflix's selection is .. weird .. sometimes it's great and sometimes it's barren, depending on what you want), and those will be in other codecs. Not that AppleTV necessarily can't play them (and you can always transcode), but WD's box definitely can.

All that aside, I'm not saying WD TV Live meets your mom's requirements; the TV recording aspect is totally outside these "player box" products' capabilities. (It can play recordings from Mythbackend's DLNA server, but I don't think your mom wants a second box or wants to deal with MythTV.)

Okay, Boxee is now dead (0)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499882)

So now what hackable devices should I be recommending my friends buy?

DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (4, Informative)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499910)

Digital Restriction Management indeed...
DRM is the reason Netflix isn't available o Linux.
DRM takes the customer as the enemy so there can't be FOSS DRM. (pirates don't suffer from DRM)
DRM hardware chips enable device makers to leverage the free work of the FOSS community without actually giving anything back.
Without allowing people to use their computer as they want.
DRM hardware is what enables TiVos and Roku boxes to function.
I have no doubt DRM hardware is the reason Boxee is leaving desktop users out in the cold.
DRM is the reason XBMC can't play blueray discs or Netflix.
It's the reason device makers manage to monopolise the market, by rising the cost for small players and making it impossible to play nice for independent and home-made players.

Without DRM there would be a revolution in Media players and Media Centers, In fact there is already one, it's just either illegal or nearly frozen.

Ultimately DRM attacks the wrong end of the distribution chain. IDIOTS! I WANT TO PAY FOR THIS STUFF, what are you afraid I might do with your stream? Post it online? There is no need! IT IS ALREADY ONLINE! I can stream it from anywhere in the world into the very same media center you don't want me to use to consume your damn service.

Imbecile Mother Fuckers.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (4, Interesting)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500090)

"DRM is the reason Netflix isn't available on Linux."

I hate DRM, but when Netflix tells you that's why Netflix isn't available on Linux, they are lying.

HBOGo - Available on Linux []
Amazon Prime - Available on Linux []
Hulu Plus - Available on Linux []

On the plus side, Netflix's lies further tarnish the reputation of DRM, which is agreeable to me.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500684)

The weird thing is that Netflix servers all run on Linux, and the company talks about how their business model wouldn't work if it wasn't for Linux. But they have no intention of supporting Linux desktop users.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502724)

That's not weird, it's just business sense. Linux has like a 1% share on the desktop, so where is their return on investment to support it?

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502938)

Amazon does.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (1)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500946)

All of those services are only available if you are willing to accept proprietary software and give up ownership of your data (even amazon prime for all of its good ideas still relies on Amazon remaining in business and offering that service in perpetuity).

Why isn't there something akin to the many DRM-free music services? I can already do the PITA that is waiting for a physical DVD and rip that trivially.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501988)

" I can already do the PITA that is waiting for a physical DVD and rip that trivially."

PITA? really? I have automated DVD ripping so well that all I have to do is insert the disc and it rips automagically. Handbrake CLI is awesome for that with a bit of scripting. (also using the libraries to restore the decss functionality to handbrake,m or use a older version)

Less than 6 seconds of my time spent. Open package, drop in disc, walk away. IT magically appears in my XBMC movie list when done. I grab the disc from the now open tray and put back in the case.

If that is a PITA, you must think having to go to the bathroom as Gitmo level of torture.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502988)

This is why I view the Roku and AppleTV as fundementally inferior solutions. Why can't a device like that in 2011 take advantage of network tech that has been pervasive since 1995 and commonplace since the mid 80s?

Some people like to whine about how "hard" other devices are when it's pretty trivial to create a setup where any GUI desktop user can easily add content for XBMC, or MythTV, or WMC. Once it's on the right place on the network, things "just work" and there's no extra file conversion steps needed.

TV recordings. DVDs. BDs. Old Home videos. New Home videos. Stuff saved from the web. Old AVI files from some 3 foot 10 pack. Anime fansubs. None of it's a problem.

Artificially limited solutions aren't inherently user friendly. They're just lame and require more work in the end.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503056)

The PITA is learning how to do the "bit of scripting" and how to "us[e] the libraries to restore the decss functionality" if you don't already know how to program a computer.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (1)

605dave (722736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501504)

I am guessing here, but Netflix runs on Silverlight and the rest on Flash? Flash has a Linux player, Silverlight doesn't. Or isn't supported.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (1)

sreekotay (955693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502538)

That's correct (and easily verified by visiting those sites w/o either installed). Saying "DRM" is a bit like saying "audio" or "video" --- there's more than a bit of nuance that makes it painful for everyone. Often the pain isn't JUST technical --- it may be contractual (with the content owners) or cost (with the DRM provider). In general though, it is just pain.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501788)

Just out of curiosity (since I don't really care either way personally), why is DRM bad?

I understand the technical limitations it imposes on various groups, however if we consider that without it, content (in general) will be forced to go down in price which means less pay for the creators; due to the fact most people will just "share it" rather than purchase it. And considering that the creation of content is a real investment (i.e. cost) what would be the incentive to create it, since time and equipment and support all cost money?

I'm just trying to get my head around this, so any answers would be appreciated.

Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503042)

It creates new monopolies, complicates/prevents the development of new products and technologies, and interferes with individual property rights.

DRM primarily impacts the paying customer and rarely if ever stops "pirates".

Sintel (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503118)

why is DRM bad?

I understand the technical limitations it imposes on various groups

Digital restrictions management is bad because of "the technical limitations it imposes on various groups". As each new locked-down device comes out, we inch closer to the dystopia that was considered unthinkable in 1997 [] .

without DRM, content (in general) will be forced to go down in price

"Content" makes works of authorship sound like mere things to fill a box [] .

And considering that the creation of content is a real investment (i.e. cost) what would be the incentive to create it

What was the incentive to create the short film Sintel?

Sold my Boxee Box for 2 ATV2/XBMC (2)

Flammon (4726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500422)

I was under the impression that the Boxee Box was going to be an open platform only to find out that it wasn't so I sold it about a month later and got two AppleTV2's, for the same price and installed XBMC on them. I've never been happier with this combo. ATV2 is just enough hardware to play 720p smoothly which is all I want. You don't need 1080p unless you have a 60" set and you're watching it within 8 feet which I don't. [] It uses about 8 Watts, has 8GB of solid state versus the 1GB on the Boxee Box. Content metadata, playback settings and thumbnails are all stored in a central location along with all my media. I can also watch my PVR content because of the MythTV support. I haven't seen any media centre come close to doing what XBMC does.

Re:Sold my Boxee Box for 2 ATV2/XBMC (2)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505164)

...You don't need 1080p unless you have a 60" set and you're watching it within 8 feet which I don't. ...

I never understood this.

Your claming that 1080p is only good if you have a 60" set and are watching it with in 8 feet. wtf?

I have a 38" 1080p TV. yes, 720p stuff looks fine on it, but 1080p really shines. Of course, it depends on the subject matter. I've gotten 1080p of older movies, ie. Tron 1982 and honestly, the 720p of that is good enough, because of the original source. New stuff? Different story. 1080p looks better on it almost all the time.

Why? Because my TV is a 1080p TV, not a 720p TV. You do understand that to view 720p stuff on my TV, the stuff gets upscaled? Sure, my TV might say it's in 1280x720 mode, but we know that since it's a 1080p TV, it's native resolution is 1080p, so everything is best view in that.

Granted I sit pretty close to my TV, because I live in a studio apartment, I spent most my time on my computer and don't have a couch. If i did have a couch, it would probably be about 10 feet from the TV. That has nothing to do with 720p or 1080p, it has to do with the size of the TV (38 inches) and where I would think the best view place was for me & others. Does it lose anything being less then 60" and at 1080p? No, not at all.

it's funny, because 5 to 10 years ago, people were happy with 26" TV's and even smaller, and suddenly less then 50" isn't good enough for anyone anymore and they make up usually a lot of falsehoods to justify their opinion.

Re:"You don't need 1080p" (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505290)

I looked at the linked chart and they are basing it on "with 20/20 vision it is possible to resolve 1/60th of a degree of an arc". Maybe I just have better than 20/20 vision with my glasses, but the quality difference between 720p and 1080p on a 47" at 14 feet is quite obvious to me. I will admit that 720p on my 52" still looks quite nice and I'm putting off on a 1080p upgrade because of it.

xbmc is all you need anyway (4, Informative)

forgottenusername (1495209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500480)

I tried out several software suites for my HTPC and ultimately ended up with XBMC.

There's enough free content that if you're a casual TV watcher you can get away without it. There's a "free cable" plugin that pulls in a bunch of channels, along with hulu free (of course, who knows how long that will exist).

I use amazon prime to get all the "free" prime movies/shows and that is another ton of content.

Unfortunately blockbuster isn't working but I believe Netflix does on windows ( don't have that ). It's silverlight.

There are tons of handy plugins. Anything from adult plugins (pr0n) to academic earth.

I drive it all from my harmony remote, audio passthrough through video hdmi out to receiver.

Once I get mythtv going to record football I'm going to (finally) cancel comcast. I hope that one day HBO / Showtime will smarten up and offer modular monthly subscriptions, instead of requiring you use a federated login based on your cable/dish provider. Lame.

XBMC is flexible/hackable enough to make me happy since I can make most anything work, but presents media simply enough my computer illiterate girlfriend can drive it all. Win.

Re:xbmc is all you need anyway (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501962)

If you want Netflix on XBMC, simply buy a Roku box and switch from HDMI input 1 to hdmi input 2 on your TV. works great. Or use the app on your Xbox or PS3.
You will never see Netflix on XBMC, Netflix is very hostile to XBMC and will never EVER release an official client for that media center.

Re:xbmc is all you need anyway (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502124)

Netflix works in XBMC but it's very cumbersom, and XBMC has no BluRay support. I tried getting PowerDVD9 to work with XBMC but got so frustrated I gave up. I like the Interface but without real Netflix , Hulu, and BluRay support, it just doesn't do it for me. I do like the new XBOX interface with Kinect, if Microsoft provides more content and Skype for XBOX, it may out-do all the compitition. With the Kinect you can just speak to the XBOX and tell it what your looking for. I just don't like having to pay for a Gold Subscription every year.

Google TV (1)

eminencja (1368047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500600)

The competition from Google TV must be particularly stiff: []

Re:Google TV (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500688)

Google announced Google TV too early, and it wasn't ready for primetime. Then they decided to pull back and told consumers not to buy early devices, because Google would re-launch a better software stack down the road. Hardware partners couldn't have been pleased with that.

We're going to see a revamped Android 4.0 Google TV, but Google still burned bridges with companies like Logitech.

Sad Boxee Fan (1)

greggman (102198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501164)

I used to use XBMC on Xbox. Switched to Boxee on a Mac Mini a couple of years ago.

If Boxee's dead what next? I actually liked Boxee (thought not the bugs)

Every time I try XBMC it dies or is missing features. I just downloaded it right now (v 10.1 for OSX). I like several of the Boxee Apps (ted, vimeo, escapist, ...) so I download the Ted app for XBMC. I run it. First thing I notice. It's not nearly has nice as the Boxee app. Simple list, no descriptions, no style. I click the first link, XBMC is now locked. It's been locked for 10 minutes now.

So, I'm sad to hear that boxee is going away. It's pretty clearly better than XBMC for my use cases at least.

Features I'm hoping for in whatever replaces Boxee no particular order

1) Shows Facebook new stream youtube videos (boxee does this on home screen)

Does XBMC have this built in or as an add on as slick as Boxee? Note: Picking some model script it NOT the solution

2) Has nice skinned apps to major sites (on boxee I use Ted, The Big Picture, Vimeo, The Escapist, Pandora and a few other apps)

are there good skinned apps in XBMC?

3) Has FULL Samba client support built in

Full = works with passwords XBMC has this. Not sure any of the other solutions do.

4) Has instant FF and REV

XBMC has this. Popcorn hour does not. Not sure about others but if I can't skip around in my media fast it's not a solution for me.

5) Has "post" to social media features throughout

I like being able to watch a video on youtube or vimeo in Boxee and click "Loved" and have that posted to Facebook.

6) Supports all the same formats or more

Both XBMC and Boxee support a lot of formats. Lots of other solutions I've tried support less. Of course supporting more would be good. I have to switch out of XBMC for certain types of files.

7) Can be controlled smoothly with an Apple 6 button remote

Boxee did this well. XBMC not so sure. Others? My Popcorn hour sucks here. Their remote has ton of buttons and its not responsive

8) Handles non English

Neither old XBMC nor Boxee were all that good here. Basically you had to configure them, copy in new fonts and other BS. Maybe current XBMC handles this?

9) Auto downloads subtitles

Boxee does this. I didn't see it in my 5 minute test of current XBMC (after I force closed it from the lock above)

I'm sure there's a lot more. Calls above that Boxee sucks, XBMC rules don't seem to fit with my experience though. XBMC is fine at playing already downloaded movies but I haven't had much luck with XBMC providing all the other features I loved in Boxee.

Is there something else that comes closer?

Re:Sad Boxee Fan (1)

crash123 (2523388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501528)

Try out the new beta. 10.1s nearly a year old.

Re:Sad Boxee Fan (1)

greggman (102198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504636)

Tried the new beta. Other than re-arranging the top menu I don't see much of a difference. It still doesn't have most of the features of boxee. It still crashed trying to watch a video in the ted app. And now it does silly things like show me a thumbnail of the movie I'M CURRENTLY WATCHING when I bring up the playback controls.

Beginning of the end of Boxee (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501664)

The primary reason Boxee is dropping PC support is because they are not getting much traction there. Not on the PC and likely not much anywhere else outside of /.

Re:Beginning of the end of Boxee (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503100)

Yeah. They are antagonizing their only real market.

Who outside of Slashdot and similar sites is going to bother paying twice the price or more? Most "normal consumers" are just going to buy the "well known brand" or the "cheap thing".

XBMC on the other hand.... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501940)

Will not abandon users for corporate gold like the Boxee goofballs.

I hope the Boxee guys dont think they can go closed source, 90% of their product is XBMC still under there. they need to rewrite all of that before they can go the corperate overlord route.

Google what? (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502088)

I don't think you can call the Google TV "stiff competition". It was a complete flop.

None of the options are ready for prime-time ... (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503792)

I've been VERY interested in an Internet based set-top box solution for many years now. As someone who likes movies a lot, but DOESN'T watch almost any network TV (sitcoms, reality TV episodes, cop/crime dramas, etc.), I've never gotten my money's worth paying for monthly cable or satellite subscriptions. I do, however, already have a fast broadband connection that I use enough to justify its monthly expense. Therefore, one of these boxes and a cheap subscription to something like Netflix streaming would appear to be ideal.

Unfortunately, whether it's XBMC, Boxee, AppleTV, or you-name-it? ALL of the current solutions are incomplete, primarily because the broadcasters and movie industry still isn't ready to fully embrace the digital age. As much as we all like to slam the recording industry for their backwards ways, it's an odd fact that they're probably the first of the bunch to come to grips with reality and co-operate with the change to digital media distribution. (Heck, they even want to give the late Steve Jobs a Grammy for iTunes!) Right now, the book publishers, for example, are years behind the record labels -- still fighting to keep public libraries from lending out some of their material via e-readers, pricing periodicals downloaded digitally at too high a price, snubbing authors who opt to publish digitally with companies like Amazon, etc. etc.

The movie and broadcast industry are in a similar place ... still desperately clinging onto a dying business model. The public wants/expects on-demand streaming of the video content they'd like to watch, when they want to view it. The industry wants/expects viewers to go out and purchase the content one show or movie at a time on physical plastic platters (DVDs), or alternately, to pay monthly for pre-selected content to constantly stream in over a cable or satellite link and artificial limitations be placed on the recording or copying of said content.

Until this changes, we keep seeing a cat and mouse game; networks trying to block the viewing of their available web content when using a GoogleTV, constant update patches required for Plex so it can continue to "scrape" popular web sites for info on downloaded movies or TV shows properly, artificial limitations placed on which devices can and can't view Hulu's content, etc.

In fact, I heard rumors that the AppleTV even had to deal with a Netflix vs. Hulu spat where Apple was forced to pick one, because they refused to BOTH be offered as options on the unit together.

I can understand Boxee's move, if they really feel they can make the Boxee box a better product by focusing strictly on it, vs. trying to support all sorts of other misc. PC hardware out there. But it's a risky move, IMO, from the standpoint that competitors like Plex seem to offer essentially all of the same functions and features, but are working deals so they come pre-installed on new TV sets out of the box, as well as $5 software downloads for GoogleTV bases products AND free downloads for Macs or PCs. What can Boxee do to differentiate themselves enough so people will still buy their proprietary set-top box?

good, the BoxeeBox needs their focus anyway (2)

fuck.your.politics (2085920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505052)

I've owned a BoxeeBox for nearly 1.5yrs now and a there are a few remaining issues which keep it from being great. And that's more a compliment than a bitch... As one who is more interested in a solution for Locally-stored Content (say, 80% local and 20% other), it's pretty good, no doubt, and almost does everything I need. Almost. So please, D-Link, take this opportunity to get it together and FINISH the BoxeeBox. What you/we have now is analogous to a Beta release, at best. Fix the known issues, add the most requested features - and I'd buy 2 more for home, and would've given away two more for Christmas (I gave away to Roku boxes instead).
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