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Boxee Sold To Samsung

timothy posted about a year ago | from the korean-volvo dept.

Television 128

New submitter TheRecklessWanderer writes "Boxee, manufacturer of The Boxee Box and Boxee DVR as well as developer of the Boxee software, has been sold to Samsung. Boxee has had a hard time adapting to the quickly changing environment where appliances have converged with televisions (morphing into Smart TVs), and I'm sure Samsung is looking to integrate the software in some form or another into their smart TVs."

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Microsoft Media Center (-1, Troll)

Microsoft YEEAAH (2973055) | about a year ago | (#44187065)

Microsoft Media Center. That is all.

Re:Microsoft Media Center (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187079)

Come back when it runs in a 3x3 cube, runs silently, and has full codec support out of the box.

Re:Microsoft Media Center (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44188425)

Tom Sellout.

Well, I hope you did good for yourself. That was an Open Source XBMC fork, and a lot of folks worked on Open Source Boxee, too.

Re:Microsoft Media Center (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44189181)

Intel NUC is 4x4" and can do all that........The Haswell NUCS are going to be even better.

even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187087)

bittorrent, mplayer and a file manager (mc is fine)

Re:Microsoft Media Center (3, Funny)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about a year ago | (#44187141)

Microsoft Media Center. That is all.

If Samsung started building Microsoft Media Center into their smart TVs, I would stop viewing them as an option.

Re:Microsoft Media Center (2)

GNious (953874) | about a year ago | (#44188681)

Serious? How can Microsoft Media Center be worse than the thing they put into them now?

* Extremely poor UI
* Minimal DLNA support
* Crappy "remote-control" software on handheld devices
* Not compatible with video recorded on SAMSUNG devices

Disclaimer: I have a 2011 BD player that features the same software as Samsung SmartTVs from the same time.

Re: Microsoft Media Center (2)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year ago | (#44189499)

Alot has changed since your 2011 model. I used to have a D model Smart TV and just replaced it with this years F model and for example the DLNA now supports everything that I throw at it (even flac and ogg) without the need for transcoding.

Re:Microsoft Media Center (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#44190089)

Serious? How can Microsoft Media Center be worse than the thing they put into them now?

* Extremely poor UI
* Minimal DLNA support
* Crappy "remote-control" software on handheld devices
* Not compatible with video recorded on SAMSUNG devices

Disclaimer: I have a 2011 BD player that features the same software as Samsung SmartTVs from the same time.

DLNA es really a bunch of protocols stuck together; and most of then are the "alternative" to an RFC. I'd rather see support for standarized protocols than a handful some alliance picked.
"video recorded on SAMSUNG devices"? Really? That's your reference format? It doesn't even have a name!?

Re: Microsoft Media Center (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187189)

bahahahahaha!!!! that doesnt even deserve a response!

Re: Microsoft Media Center (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44189195)

I have tried everything from Raspberry Pi to Boxee to Android crapsticks. NOTHING works as well or is as powerful as a Windows MCE box. Its the Rolls-Royce of media players. I know, because i tried everything else first.

Re:Microsoft Media Center (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#44190069)

Windows Media Center has detected a change in the channel you're viewing. Please restart you TV for the changes to take effect.

Oh, by the way... (4, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44187123)

However, the beta Cloud DVR functionality we provided to certain Boxee TV users will be discontinued on July 10th. You will not have access to your existing recordings after that date. We realize many of you loved the service, and we're sorry it won't be available moving forward.

Cloud, shmoud. I wonder how many times we see variations of this over the next few years?

Re:Oh, by the way... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187163)

Yeah it seems weird that people would want to give someone else control over their data but it's true they really do. From all my nontech friends I see that this is what people truly want, to not have to deal with it and have things be the simplest possible even if it means that they are at the mercy of a third party who could delete their recordings/email/pictures at any time, or disappear, or suddenly add new terms or conditions to access them, or even monetize them.

They just don't care about any of that. All that matters is maximal convenience and not having to think about it at all.

Re:Oh, by the way... (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44187217)

You say that as if it's a bad thing. If you are stupid enough to put something highly monetisable into a cloud service without at least encrypting it, you deserve what you get.. otherwise, yeah, who gives a shit?

Anyway, those types of services are for convenient synchronisation and data access - not for backup of essential data (unless you have a machine somewhere that you only activate every so often and synch as a backup).

Re:Oh, by the way... (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44188285)

Wow, its nice to know that elitism and being an arrogant asshole is alive and well on the Internet.

The reason Mr Arrogant that users want this is because THEY DON'T KNOW BETTER and are fricking bombarded with all these "the cloud is magical" ads constantly and they have ZERO clue as to how any of this shit works, but for you to expect that Joe and Jane average is gonna understand the nature of the cloud, encryption, and the value of data control is elitism at its most douchebaggy.

So how about instead of saying "Fuck them noobs LULZ" your ass put some of your time where your mouth is and try educating people? I try to spend at least an hour or two of my extremely limited free time online going to sites where there are plenty of noobs so i can point out the risks with this or that technology and showing them how they DO have alternatives. Its nice to get all these emails saying things like "Hey thanks for pointing me to several alternatives, i bought the one you suggested and its been working great, thanks again" and at least I'm doing my little part to share knowledge and experience and to point people away from these DRM "cloud in a box" solutions that just hand control to the corps.

Re:Oh, by the way... (0)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44188803)

Hmm. I was being quite serious though. Most people, especially the ignorant ones you allude to, wouldn't give a shit even if you point out the risks. I used to be quite idealistic too, but I no longer take it upon myself to try to save these people from themselves, unless they are posing a direct risk to my employer.

Re:Oh, by the way... (1)

ImdatS (958642) | about a year ago | (#44189361)

Hmm, early in my life I learned that "if a pupil doesn't learn, it's not his fault. It's the teacher's job..."

I can't agree with you out of my experience as most of the people I'm "supporting" (in terms of tech support within friends and family) DO understand the need for security, encryption and so on. Normally they wouldn't know much about it, but it took me some time to explain them, in plain english, why it is so important to encrypt data if it's either sensitive, private or a combination thereof, including emails, private hard discs, photos, and anything uploaded to the cloud.

P.S: My insight about teacher vs pupil didn't come when I was a pupil - instead, rather when I started being a teacher...

Re:Oh, by the way... (0)

stikves (127823) | about a year ago | (#44187225)

Yes, that's one of the reasons I'm still keeping my Windows Media Center. My shows are mine, and I can keep/delete/watch them in any way I want. I can share them across PCs, or use MCEBuddy to gut commercials, and put them on XBMC (lately Plex).

I'll be sad when they finally pull the plug (MS tried to do so during Win 8 development, but kept it for one more release).

Re:Oh, by the way... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44188857)

Windows 7 is good until 2020 and by that time we'll have plenty of choices ready to take its place like Open ELEC [openelec.tv] so its probably not something you should be too awful worried about. Heck most of my boards came with Win2K drivers as late as last year and I have no doubt we'll see Windows 7 drivers for boards probably for at least a couple of years after the plug is pulled which will mean up until 2022 so if you can't find a suitable replacement in 9 years you gotta be doing something wrong friend.

Oh and FYI but for those that use WMC and have large movie collections let me introduce you to your new best friend Media Center Master [mediacentermaster.com] which i not only hand out with each new HTPC but also use myself and it fricking ROCKS with a capital R. You want all your movies to show up with artwork, synopsis, cast and crew, and all without requiring more work than "clicky clicky" on your part? MCM has you covered. Want it in a format that can be read by WMC,XBMC,or any of a half a dozen devices? Just check the box and MCM will have that covered as well. I have dropped a customer's 400+ title movie collection on a drive and had MCM set up the whole thing, folder structure, artwork, you name it in less than half an hour and the most i had to do with it was answer the occasional question like "there are 4 movies with this title, which one is the one you have?". For anybody that wants to keep a large collection of movies and/or TV shows organized and at their fingertips you just can't go wrong with MCM, highly recommend.

Re:Oh, by the way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187441)

It's no different than going to the movies or watching a live performance.

Do you also complain that you'll not be able to watch them again once you exit the theater??

I'll take the convenience of streaming from the cloud (be it Netflix or Steam) over piles of discs cluttering up my house any day.

Re: Oh, by the way... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187721)

I guess you still use floppies?

Re:Oh, by the way... (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44188247)

This is why I have been pointing my customers to stand alone boxes like Nbox and WD devices, its too damned easy for these "streaming" boxes to get the plug pulled and then you are left with a brick. Logitech Google TV anyone?

This is also why I prefer low power X86 units like the AMD mini-Bobcat boards, if somebody pulls support? Well screw you too, I can slap something like Open ELEC [openelec.tv] on there and turn pretty much ANY X86 unit into an XBMC "media in a box" with 10 foot UI, just look at how MSFT fucked their customers with Internet TV, but with X86 you can either use a third party hack or completely toss the OS, you DO always have options. With these little ARM suckers I have found too damned many that end up being "DRM in a box" that when the company abandons them if you are VERY lucky you might find one guy in his basement putting out a build that if you jump through enough hoops MIGHT work for a while, but as soon as Chuck gets another box that support is gone and you are again left with a useless hunk of plastic.

So call me crazy, call me unhip, but i will continue to stick with either a stand alone that will continue working if the company goes tits up or if they have to have streaming support go with an X86 based device so that at least i can put on another OS or update it myself if the company decides to no longer support the users.

Re:Oh, by the way... (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44189223)

I too prefer an x86 box as a media player. After I gave up on Tivo for being WAY overpriced for its functions, i built 3 x86 MCE boxes for my TVs. Still came out WAY cheaper then 3 Tivos, and no monthly fee. Antec ISK 90 case with a Asus P8H61 mobo and a Celeron 1610 (Ivy Bridge). Works AWESOME. I have an i5 in the 'main' box for video conversion.

Re:Oh, by the way... (2)

ImdatS (958642) | about a year ago | (#44189389)

I throw all my movies, tv shows, and songs into directories on a NAS.

Then I point plex mediaserver to the directory - running on a Mac (currently an iMac or MacMini) and use Plex client to access it.

If Plex stops any support and kills the app, I can switch to XBMC or any other solution - heck I can even switch to iTunes (all my movies/TV shows are in mp4-format anyway) or just use something like VLC to watch them.

I *do* have a copy of my music on Google Music Services (20k songs) and on iTunes Match, for the convenience - and it is also good to have to additional backup places on top of my other backups, but apart from that, I don't rely solely on these cloud services. I.e., cloud is a nice to have, but not my sole source of media/document access - merely a secondary or tertiary or so backup solution... (for non-sensitive, non-private data; e.g. my photos are NOT on cloud, except the ones I actively make public).

Re:Oh, by the way... (1)

Darkroom (90294) | about a year ago | (#44189269)

However, the beta Cloud DVR functionality we provided to certain Boxee TV users will be discontinued on July 10th. You will not have access to your existing recordings after that date. We realize many of you loved the service, and we're sorry it won't be available moving forward.

Cloud, shmoud. I wonder how many times we see variations of this over the next few years?

If Boxee would have only had local storage too, cloud storage wouldn't have worked for several people I know because their internet connection is to slow.

Plex on Roku (0)

Minupla (62455) | about a year ago | (#44187177)

We've migrated to using Plex + Roku for video playback to the large non-touch tablet in the living room.

It seems to work well enough for the purposes, and avoids the XBMC issue of needing a general purpose computing device in the living room.

Remote connectivity to android devices comes as a convenient plus.

Min

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

DG (989) | about a year ago | (#44187201)

The BoxeeBox is a neat little device, with a few flaws that could easily be remedied in software (like a better music player)

I love that it can Samba in to my main server and play .isos

Re:Plex on Roku (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44187437)

It seems to work well enough for the purposes, and avoids the XBMC issue of needing a general purpose computing device in the living room.

Unfortunately, it swaps it for having to run your desktop PC and your media player at the same time. That's fine for people whose storage is connected directly to their PC anyway, but for those with NAS it's wasteful.

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

Jumperalex (185007) | about a year ago | (#44187993)

Plex Media Server can run natively on many NAS boxes. I personally run it on UnRaid, but i know it works with Synology and a few others

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44188917)

Its not wasteful if you use the right tool for the job Drinkypoo and for those that want a ULV HTPC with the ability to do just about anything a standard desktop can do as well i recommend the AMD Bobcat builds [tigerdirect.com] which can be as flexible as you want while still pulling only 17w under full load and less than 8w most of the time.

I personally prefer the ones with a PCI-E slot so they can add a midrange card and get hybrid crossfire if they need more graphical power down the line but the nice thing about these is how flexible they are, its not like these little ARM boxes where it can only do the job the OEM intended. I have used these to replace P4s in office boxes, used them for kid's PCs, used them for HTPCs,media servers, hell i have a friend that uses them as his go to system for carputers, that is what is so great about these Bobcats, they are cheap, flexible, low power, just great little units for all kinds of jobs.

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44189163)

Its not wasteful if you use the right tool for the job Drinkypoo and for those that want a ULV HTPC with the ability to do just about anything a standard desktop can do as well i recommend the AMD Bobcat builds which can be as flexible as you want while still pulling only 17w under full load and less than 8w most of the time.

But then you might as well put that machine in your living room connected to your television (whether it's acting as NAS or not) and run XBMC on it directly.

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44189275)

Here is the thing. You dont want to record on the same device you WATCH on. I have learned this through 13 years of HTPC.

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44189359)

Here is the thing. You dont want to record on the same device you WATCH on. I have learned this through 13 years of HTPC.

That's a valid point, but unimportant if you download instead :)

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#44190229)

Why not? With hardware encoding an old A64 won't even be breaking a sweat recording two shows while watching something else. haven't tried HD since I don't own an HDhomerun yet.

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

dj245 (732906) | about a year ago | (#44189287)

AMD Bobcat builds.....

I have one of these as an HTPC. It doesn't have quite enough power to do the job perfectly, but it has enough power that I can't yet justify replacing it with something else. Extremely frustrating when Youtube runs at a slightly choppy 20fps instead of 24.

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

Darkroom (90294) | about a year ago | (#44189335)

and that's why a Roku box is a not an options for me.

I still waiting on a small player that combines the best of Boxee Box, the DVR functions of BoxeeTV with LOCAL storage, an integrated canistreamit feature, back-lit radio remote like the Boxee Box's and DOESN'T run Windows. All these media players are missing key things between them, just one box guys. The Boxee Box is as close as I've seen.

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44189989)

XBMC on the upcoming Mad Catz Mojo with an android phone or MID (but used GB phones are cheaper) running XBMC remote? Probably still missing some of your functionality, but getting closer with every plugin.

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | about a year ago | (#44188547)

It seems to work well enough for the purposes, and avoids the XBMC issue of needing a general purpose computing device in the living room.

And what's wrong with having a general-purpose computing device in the living room? I run XBMC on a little Atom-based PC dedicated to that purpose. It's about the size of a hard-back book, draws very little power, and is silent. It uses a little wireless keyboard that's about the size of a game controller, so it's not like I have keyboard and mouse cables stretching across the room. For me it's the ideal set-top box.

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

Minupla (62455) | about a year ago | (#44189685)

Mostly resource starved - the resource being my time.

I've done it with Mythtv and XBMC, and the fact of the matter is I have fewer issues with the Roku/Plex solution. Plex runs on the household ESX server along with the firewall and assorted lab boxes which require power anyways, and the Roku plugs into the TV and provides a frontend simple enough for my 4 yr old to use.

Min

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

MrPeach (43671) | about a year ago | (#44189211)

I have my Rokus pretty well pimped out - Plex, PlayOn, tons of channels, and a wireless router configured to allow VPN access to virtually any country so I can watch region blocked vids when I want. Plus I'm learning how to write channels for Plex in Python, which is pretty cool. Maybe ActionScript is next, or maybe I'll improve my LUA skills for writing Playon channels (and World of Warcraft add-ons).

Cord cutting and skills honing, a win-win situation for me!

Re:Plex on Roku (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44189229)

XBMC runs on ARM too........ The official XBMC 'device' is a Pivos android box.

Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44187183)

For a second there, my brain read "Boxxy" instead of Boxee. I thought "OMG! What a awesome spokesmodel?!"

Re:Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (1)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about a year ago | (#44187299)

Yes, that certainly would have made this story more interesting, but no one was really dumb enough to assume that.

Especially not me. I didn't come here to make that exact same comment before seeing yours. Cough.

Re:Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188051)

Especially not me. I didn't come here to make that exact same comment before seeing yours. Cough

Who actually talks like that? You're probably trolling, trolling...

Re:Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44188973)

Funny as this old greybeard read that and thought "Wouldn't it have been better to use the robo-daggit instead of the annoying kid [wikipedia.org] ?"

And am I the only one that used to watch that show and wanted to see the robo-daggit just come waltzing up with a Cylon arm in its mouth like the way dogs and cats will bring dead animals as 'prezzies' for the owner? Just once i wanted to see the daggit just loping around in the background dragging an arm or a leg and have the rest of the cast go "Ehh its a dog, what can ya do?" and go right back to talking.

Re:Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year ago | (#44189399)

I actually don't remember anything cool about the show besides the launch tubes and the WW2 like dogfights in their starfighters.
Of course these days, I always mention the disco, but really it was the launch tubes.
So yes, if they had decided to do anything interesting with any character other than ummm Faceman?, it would of been awesome.

Re:Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187317)

The sad thing is that i understood the reference, which makes me wonder, firstly, about me, and secondly, about what kind of people dwell around here.

Re:Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187355)

I thought "OMG! What a awesome spokesmodel?!"

Yeah, right... sold to Samsung... makes sense as we e/in-volve from feudalism2.0 to slavery2.0

Re:Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187845)

Maybe. She kinda jumped the shark tho,.

On the other hand, youtubers seem to be a decent source of cheap corporate spokespersonage nowadays, so it might just work.

Re:Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44188157)

You've obviously only seen the stills.

Watch one of the videos. She would be a terrible spokes model, unless you could get her to shut the fuck up.

Re:Boxxy?! Oh nevermind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188311)

When I read your post I thought "OMG! What a fucking retarded dweeb!!!"

Smart TV? Help me understand... (5, Insightful)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about a year ago | (#44187305)

I'm in the market for a new TV. Since I'm very, very old, I'm upgrading from a 25-year-old CRT TV, and I don't think I care much about 4K. I'm prone to VR sickness, so I don't want 3D, either.

I realize that I probably can't count on my next TV lasting 25 years. But why on Earth would I want my media box built into my television, so that following the curve of technological advancement means pitching the entire huge TV into the waste stream? A media box has a single, well-defined interface to the TV -- one cord, a few if you want to get fancy -- and occupies not very many cubic inches of space. What's the advantage of integrating it into the TV, other than increasing the TV manufacturer's profit margin?

Someone upthread issued flamebait about MS Media Center, and I'm surprised the flamebait for Apple TV didn't appear even sooner. To me, buying a "Smart TV" is buying into another ecosystem just like them, only with a much tinier R&D budget, probably a less-polished UI, and much dimmer prospects for long-term support.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44187423)

If I could get Google TV integrated into my TV for little money, I'd take it. It's relatively open, etc. I wouldn't pay a lot. But I would actively avoid a TV with a highly proprietary software stack, and I certainly wouldn't pay very much for any integrated system.

It seems like they ought to be able to add in the functionality we're talking about for twenty or thirty bucks, though, given the price of a Raspberry Pi. I would certainly pay thirty dollars to get Google TV added to a decent-sized TV.

It also seems to me that if we had a standard involving a power jack, an HDMI connection, and CEC, that we could have upgradable media player modules. It's not rocket surgery. But of course, it would require cooperation, which is why it won't happen.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188331)

Well, you're a shitbag so you don't count for much anyway.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about a year ago | (#44187511)

I'm in the same camp. My XBox and Roku already serve my needs, so why spend more money to have that built into the TV? If you do your research, you'll find that most companies have a smart TV model that has all of the same features as a similar model of theirs, but the smart TV model costs more.

I like what Roku has done recently with their streaming stick. It's a thumb drive-sized Roku that plugs into the MHL port of newer TVs. Your media box doesn't even have to have a footprint anymore!

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187639)

I ended up with a smart tv because it was last year's model and a really nice, brand new samsung tv at a great price. I didn't care about the smart part but now that I have it, I have to admit it's really nice. Think of it like this, right now I can enjoy amazon prime, netflix and hulu plus straight from my tv with one remote that will navigate them all. Sure, it's a pain to have to type with a remote if you are browsing netflix but i'm really enjoying the clutter-free look and not having yet another device to power.

I know support will run out for the smart part and all of the apps will break eventually but guess what I'll do then? I'll just go buy a set top box! The way I look at it is I'll let the set top box market mature for another 1-3 years while support for my smart tv is decent and once it starts to suck, I'll be no worse off than if I had a non-smart tv.

tl:dr it's not worth a $100 price difference but it's convenient and doesn't preclude a set top box further down the line so it's a win in my book.

Re: Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44187647)

None
Smart tv's are smart about reaching into your wallet after the purchase

All they

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44187727)

But why on Earth would I want my media box built into my television, so that following the curve of technological advancement means pitching the entire huge TV into the waste stream?

You don't pitch it - you use the built-in media box until it becomes obsolete, and then you hook up an external box and use it like a dumb TV. At the end of the day, you've spent money on one less media box.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

TheP4st (1164315) | about a year ago | (#44188423)

At the end of the day, you've spent money on one less media box.

That's a bit naive, R&D, hardware and manufacturing costs are still there even if it is integrated into your TV and why would manufacturers not want to recoup those costs?

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

Shados (741919) | about a year ago | (#44188853)

smart tvs tend to have ads if they're hooked up. In many, many cases, that makes them -cheaper- than normal TVs with similar specs. And if you don't use the smart TV features, you don't get the ads....but you still get the cheaper price point.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44189307)

It's still going to be lower priced than a stand-alone box.

They may be willing to swallow the development costs to have a competitive advantage against a wall full of identical-looking TVs at Walmart.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year ago | (#44189695)

You don't pitch it - you use the built-in media box until it becomes obsolete, and then you hook up an external box and use it like a dumb TV. At the end of the day, you've spent money on one less media box.

If you take a look at TV set feature/pricing levels, you'll notice that the smart-TV features add an excess to the TV set price that is far higher than the separate media boxes run for. Also, if you buy the first media box built into your TV you can't eBay it when you get the successor.

It's really smarter to just buy dumb HDTV/Monitors and then purchase the media box separately to start with.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (3, Interesting)

laffer1 (701823) | about a year ago | (#44187737)

As someone who owns a smart tv, an apple tv and a ps3, you're not confused. Smart TV features suck in TVs. They do update them periodically regardless if you want them to or not and the menus are awful to navigate. A few times, I've had to reboot my TV due to a flaky update. Buying a new $100 set top box is no big deal... I upgraded the original apple tv to a v2 some years back painlessly. I get a few years out of one and buy a new one when they actually add features I care about. With the TV, I don't want it to do much.. in reality i just want a monitor with a remote to turn it on and off. I don't use the tuner. I don't change the input source. It's all through my receiver and cable box. If anything, I want a dumb tv.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (3, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44188087)

You want a computer monitor.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44190201)

With a "computer monitor", how does one receive OTA TV (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS) or route the audio in an HDMI signal to speakers?

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187739)

The media / smart-TV support is just a basic SoC linux solution. Some of the functionality supports "apps" which is why you get netflix, hulu clients without the need for yet another box. But what most people often overlook is that these TVs can read external USB harddrives and play the media directly from them. Samsung models have been able to handle mkvs for a number of years. That means no PC or dedicated media box to handle your library, and no need to transcode for fussy boxes like Apple's TV, or the 360 and PS3.

It costs about $7/unit for these media friendly SoCs, the cost is negligible and allows the manufacturers to update their OS and front-ends, should they choose. Heck, it even makes the TV hackable, if you're that way inclined.

What you want doesn't matter, the fact you look for a 25 year life expectancy in products that are designed for 5, in a changing field says you're not interesting in anything new, higher spec. Maybe you are poor, maybe you're just miserable. But that's irrelevant, you're a non-entity in the TV market, so stop your whining.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188103)

Why the hell should we buy a new television every five years? Are you fucking insane?

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188511)

What you want doesn't matter, the fact you look for a 25 year life expectancy in products that are designed for 5, in a changing field says you're not interesting in anything new, higher spec. Maybe you are poor, maybe you're just miserable. But that's irrelevant, you're a non-entity in the TV market, so stop your whining.

LOL. Yeah, I wish I could be like you, so that buying a big new TV (and tossing a giant slab of glass and electronics into the landfill) also gave me an upgrade to my sense of superiority.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

Omestes (471991) | about a year ago | (#44189535)

What you want doesn't matter, the fact you look for a 25 year life expectancy in products that are designed for 5, in a changing field says you're not interesting in anything new, higher spec. Maybe you are poor, maybe you're just miserable. But that's irrelevant, you're a non-entity in the TV market, so stop your whining.

Or maybe he wants a quality product? I don't see the term "throw away" as a term of quality, to me it just says "cheap shit", even if the price is high it is still cheap shit. My old CRT monitor is 15 years old, I finally retired it, but it works fine, has minimal drift or decay, supports higher resolutions than top-of-the-line modern flat panels. It weighs a ton and a half, and will outlive us all, thats quality. I bought a first-gen ASUS Transformer tablet, which they stopped supporting and tagged as a "legacy" device within 2 years of it coming out. Which product would you rather buy?'

If someone sold you a car, full of widgets, and told you it would only last five years (while costing no less), would you find this as a badge of quality? Or would you see it for what it is, overpriced cheap shit?

Its a big shocker, I'd rather spend money on quality. My version of quality includes build quality, and the ability to stick around and not break or become obsolete.
I personally am sick of the cell-phoneization of technology, we're supposed to just toss everything and buy a new full-priced unit in two years.

He should be an entity. Or rather people like him (myself included), because I want something that will actually last. I find it wasteful and ridiculous to cough up hundreds of dollars every 5 years when I really don't have to Even if I can afford it, why the hell would I want to?

Get a dumb TV + the steaming box you want. (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about a year ago | (#44187755)

I spent extra money for a 47" "smart" TV. Picture is fine. The smart part of it SUCKS compared to my roku box. Get the dumb TV you want and then pick the streaming box you want.

What did my smart TV get me? Well, it randomly locks up while streaming. Note, by "locks up" I mean you have to unplug the TV to get it restarted. Looked online and a lot of people have the same problem. You know, restarting a buggy app is fine. Stuff happens. Having to unplug your TV to reboot it...that should *never* happen. I paid extra to get that feature.

Navigating the Yahoo TV apps sucks. With a 47" TV, a lot of them do not even use much more than 1/4 of the screen. It's like they were designed for a cell phone. If I compared the apps to the Roku box navigation, Yahoo would be 1 star, Roku would be five.

I do have a remote with a full QWERTY keyboard on it, though. That was worth at least an extra 150.00! :)

Re:Get a dumb TV + the steaming box you want. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year ago | (#44188179)

Is there any manufacturer out there (3rd party or not) that JUST makes big screens? I know in the world of desktop monitors you can get one of those generic Korean 2560x1440 monitors for relatively cheap.

I want a big 50-60" screen with a few HDMI in ports and nothing else. Nothing. If I want OTA I'll have another box decode that.

Re:Get a dumb TV + the steaming box you want. (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#44188493)

US law requires anything being sold as a "television" to have a built-in digital tuner". This was intended to prevent potential fraud situations where a customer thought they were buying a television (that can receive OTA) but were actually being sold a monitor (that can't).

But, if someone is selling a big screen as a monitor, it's 1024 x 768 resolution makes it sound horrible, even if that's fine for HDTV viewing. So I don't think there are many of these on the market.

I'm not bothered by any of this. There are distinct words for devices with and without OTA tuners, and it's the government place to regulate commercial speech to prevent fraudulent advertizing, by forcing vendors to use the correct terms to describe their products.

Re:Get a dumb TV + the steaming box you want. (1)

TheP4st (1164315) | about a year ago | (#44188531)

Samsung among many others manufacture "dumb" screens for purposes such as digital signage so start loff by ooking for resellers of that. Something which doesn't quite fit your specs but that I have been considering to get is one of these: http://www.elotouch.com/Products/IDS/5500L/default.asp [elotouch.com] .

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44187763)

But why on Earth would I want my media box built into my television

Convenience. We have Netflix built into our TV. If my wife wants to watch something she just pushes the red button on the remote and starts browsing. Means we don't need yet another box next to the television.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188057)

If you only buy a product once every 25 years, then the market really doesn't give a damn about your particular preferences.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188269)

I just bought a TV and you are correct on most points. i got a 1080p Samsung 6xxx series LED LCD tv. I believe that this is going to last me at least 5-10 years of viewing. It comes with the Smart TV shit, but then it is hard to find one of decent quality without. I got the model, one step lower, so I did not have to have that stupid 3D shit on my TV.

The true problem lies in the Cable/Satellite (Cab/Sat) fucking choke hold on the gear that is used to decode/decrypt their signals. I forget the name of the association or whatever that was trying to get a Cable Card standard so that you would buy a card from the Cab/Sat provider and stick that in your device of choice. This would have allowed a COMPETITION of manufactures to make set top boxes. Much like how SIM cards on phones work.

Imagine a world where your TV is nothing more that a really large display, and the brains are in a box that has Cat6 and WiFi. Can pick up terrestrial signals, can do the Cab/Sat thing, DVR, has the optional DVD/BluRay device, all the Apps you want plus a browser. Then imagine this is controlled by a smartphone/tablet and you can split screen across multiple interfaces, or even quad screen. Going full screen on one would pause the other non-streamed interfaces (like DVR or DVD). One can be a master system and then you have mini readers around the house on other screens. I could go on and on.

Now, I do use the Netflix and Amazon apps on my Smart TV since I did not want to have another box on top of my SatDVR and DVD player.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44188315)

What's the advantage of integrating it into the TV, other than increasing the TV manufacturer's profit margin?

Exactly. TVs are a commodity - there's very little that differentiates one TV from another, and most consumers will go for the cheapest. There's very little money to be made in TVs (which is why Apple's rumored TV is most peculiar).

It comes about because the processors used in TVs are getting very powerful for what they're used for - these days you're talking about single or dual core ARM processors with 256+MB or more of RAM and a decent amount of ROM. The pace of technological development has pretty much meant that there's no point using a lower-powered processor (like an ARM9), less memory or Flash - it costs just as much anyways. So you just stick in a Cortex A8 or A9 based chip, some RAM that's supported and cheap and NAND flash, and the chip works just fine. Of course, the whole TV part is pretty low-resource since most people don't go fiddling with the menus often, and the scaling is handled by a bog-standard video processor core you'd probably recognize.

So you have a powerful chip with a powerful GPU and you're barely using 10% of it. What do you do? You start adding easy software features - a NIC chip or WiFi chip is fairly cheap. Linux is easy to get on (yes, a lot of these TVs run Linux), and now you have a wide open platform for adding stuff to make the TV "smart". The power's there, so why not use it?

I realize that I probably can't count on my next TV lasting 25 years

Given how cheap TVs are these days, you're paying far less for a TV of equivalent size to your old CRT one than your CRT one ever costed, not counting inflation. Add in inflation and you'll find your CRT TV probably cost many times more. Enough so that over 25 years of buying replacements, you probably would still spend less than on that CRT TV you bought in the late 80s.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

Darkroom (90294) | about a year ago | (#44189309)

and a lot of people don't even plug their Smart TV into the internet. I plan for my next TV to just be a big dumb LCD panel and plug one of my Boxee Boxes into that. I'll just give my BoxeeTV, I was just testing with anyways, to someone and they can use it as an enhanced digital TV converter box.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#44189383)

Maybe what would work better might be some form of common interface for a media "box" to attach to a TV.

Rather than running as a separate unit, have a dock etc where you could install such a device where it would be able to get power, display output, and possible use the TV remote etc.

USB has been around for quite awhile in various incarnations, so maybe a hybrid USB+HDMI type interface might work.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189463)

I have a Samsung SmartTV that is about 2 years old now, and it is a bit of a mixed bag. The UI is a bit clunky and slow, but I use it all the time now and it is more convenient than getting out and setting up my 360. It also has no fan noise, which you would expect from your TV, so it is much quieter than a 360 or many other media devices.

It streams video from my DNS-323 over its built in wifi without any issues (except for slow folder navigation), and runs netflix natively (although the netflix app does crash from time to time).

Main issue with it is that it is slow, and could use a better UI for navigating photos and videos. I imagine that if they simply powered it with a current (or even last generation) smart phone chip then the UI would be much faster and the only limitations would be solely on the software side. Hardware wise, a current gen exynos processor will be enough to power a TV for years since they are more than fast enough to do the video decoding which is the only aspect that will really push a TV processor (unless it is being turned into a console).

So, while I agree that the current gen of smart TVs are slow (enough to be frustrating, not enough to be useless), I expect that the next gen will be future proof enough to handle streaming needs for 5+ years (or even a decade). I also think that integrated TVs will dominate the market and kill off most of the dedicated set top streaming boxes. There will always be a niche market and high end market, but the bulk of consumer demand will be met with these integrated TVs.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#44189579)

I realize that I probably can't count on my next TV lasting 25 years. But why on Earth would I want my media box built into my television, so that following the curve of technological advancement means pitching the entire huge TV into the waste stream?

Your digital tv is a media box ---

The essential codecs and hardware are baked in, licensed, and ready to go. Ethernet and Wi-Fi adds next to nothing to the price of your set.

Walmart.com has about eighty "Smart TVs" in stock, starting at $300.

Re:Smart TV? Help me understand... (4, Informative)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#44190395)

I'm in the market for a new TV. Since I'm very, very old, I'm upgrading from a 25-year-old CRT TV, and I don't think I care much about 4K. I'm prone to VR sickness, so I don't want 3D, either.

I realize that I probably can't count on my next TV lasting 25 years. But why on Earth would I want my media box built into my television, so that following the curve of technological advancement means pitching the entire huge TV into the waste stream?

Samsung TV's have upgradable motherboards so you can upgrade the hardware that drives the smart tv functions independently of the rest of the box.
http://www.samsung.com/au/consumer/tv-audio-video/television/accessories/SEK-1000/XY?subsubtype=accessories [samsung.com]

I'm not a big Samsung fan, but that's your answer.

Let me tell you about my Boxee Box... (2, Interesting)

RobinH (124750) | about a year ago | (#44187359)

I know this reflects more on DLink, but I got a Boxee Box when they first came out, and while the idea is really great, the implementation sucked. The Boxee Box frequently freezes or crashes and it's underpowered. The remote control is great that it has a keyboard on the back, but the cursor control for the mouse leaves a lot to be desired. A new version did help a bit, but it's still annoying. Add to that the fact that lots of apps just seem to stop working after a while (not updating their feeds, etc.). Some content just stops working (like CityTV?) apparently because Boxee won't update their version of flash player. Overall, neat idea but sucky experience. Next time I'd just build my own media PC, not buy an appliance.

Re:Let me tell you about my Boxee Box... (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#44188503)

If the first one was so bad, why did you buy a second?

By the way, I've been pretty happy with my Roku XD. It's significantly smaller than any media PC I could have bought and serves all of my needs, and hasn't in my experience had the problems you've had with Boxee.

Re:Let me tell you about my Boxee Box... (1)

RobinH (124750) | about a year ago | (#44188573)

I only bought one. Not sure where I gave you the impression I bought 2.

Re:Let me tell you about my Boxee Box... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188559)

I agree with you 100%. Boxee Box has a sucky experience, because of lack of support from Boxee, ditching it after a couple of years. There are no updates and the couple of things that are keeping it alive (don't know for how long) are NaviX and Netflix. The rest is just useless junk. I've already built a media center with iPazzport remote (way better than Boxee's) and will be deploying that as soon as I buy a new TV.

Re:Let me tell you about my Boxee Box... (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about a year ago | (#44189225)

Yeah, I got a DLink Boxee Box early on, and it's a shame how they botched the software updates. I can't complain about the hardware, it plays just about anything over wireless with no issues, video looks great, the remote is quite well designed, and the audio over S/PDIF is just incredible. But they pushed out frequent buggy updates for a while, breaking things left and right, and then pretty much stopped all updates once they hit a build that wasn't *too* broken. The software's audio player has been a steaming pile since day one, which is a shame since the audio quality is good enough that I'd be happy just to have it as an audio bridge.

Re:Let me tell you about my Boxee Box... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189913)

I have no idea how Boxee ever got as far as it did. I tried and tried to make it work. It was full of great ideas but man I can't count the problems. Apps that suddenly stop working, content that is available one day but not the next (CityTV - along with bullshit excuses about flash on Linux when I could access their content just fine on my Linux machine), network content that is sometimes available and inexplicably not moments later, terrible and I mean terrible "auto" tagging that more often than not either wouldn't find the media or would offer the crappiest tagging (via IMDB) I've never seen a company promise so much and deliver so little.

Smart TV = Dumb Idea ... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44187373)

I'm of the opinion that a smart TV is a really stupid idea.

Starting with the fact that I don't trust the vendors (not to spy on me, not to be incompetent at security, not to be douchebags), moving on to the fact that my expected lifespan for the display is longer than the software is going to be useful, and moving on to the fact that they'll eventually try to dictate how I can watch TV and feed that information back to someone else ... I just don't see this as being a good thing for me, the consumer.

My current TV (a nice 55" LCD) is used as a monitor only -- my amplifier feeds it a video signal, which it gets from one of several devices. It doesn't participate in channel selection, volume, or anything other than knowing which video signal it needs.

The way manufacturers are going, any device which isn't a full-on computer is never going to be connected to a network, and won't be bought if it requires that. Not my DVD player, not my video game, not my TV. At least not without a firewall rule which prevents it from getting to the internet.

Because they keep demonstrating they're not trustworthy.

I'm not prepared to have some asshole corporation sneak updates onto my TV, or randomly update the EULA saying they're allowed to do whatever bullshit they've come up with this week, or generally act like they own the device when I paid for it.

These smart devices mostly just seem to give the corporations more control over stuff we paid for. Which I'm sure they think is awesome, but I'll pass.

Re:Smart TV = Dumb Idea ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187751)

here, here.

Re:Smart TV = Dumb Idea ... (0)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44187783)

My current TV (a nice 55" LCD) is used as a monitor only -- my amplifier feeds it a video signal, which it gets from one of several devices. It doesn't participate in channel selection, volume, or anything other than knowing which video signal it needs

Is it wife and grandparent-babysitter user friendly?

Re:Smart TV = Dumb Idea ... (0)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44188109)

Is it wife and grandparent-babysitter user friendly?

The wife can operate it just fine -- turn on the amp, select one of 4 input sources, turn on the input source. It aint rocket science. The amp does the video switching, it'a a pretty common setup for a home theatre.

No kids, no babysitters ... NMFP.

Re:Smart TV = Dumb Idea ... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188501)

Is it wife and grandparent-babysitter user friendly?

Logitech Harmony (and similar) remotes make everything but the most horribly configured A/V setups wife/kid/grandparent/babysitter friendly

Shitty Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44187415)

Boxee was a good idea, poorly executed. I've run XBMC for a long time, but the Boxee box was so underpowered that it was literally painful to use, so I returned it.

No (5, Informative)

yoink! (196362) | about a year ago | (#44187983)

FTA: "Boxee has had a hard time adapting to the quickly changing environment where appliances have converged with televisions (morphing into Smart TVs), and I'm sure Samsung is looking to integrate the software in some form or another into their smart TVs."

No. Boxee shunned the very people who championed their product, locking down their previously open software, based on already-open software, and mating it to poor hardware. Boxee abandoned all that made them Boxee to begin with. [wikipedia.org] (I can't seem to find the multi-page comment thread from Boxee's blog when they announced EOL for the still-buggy Boxee-box - maybe someone can get it [FIXED].)

For those who aren't in the loop, a simple (and not yet fully exploited) "hack" was found: http://boxeeplus.com/ [boxeeplus.com]

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44188517)

Agreed. I put boxee on a gen 1 appletv years ago and it was nice for the time but they stopped supporting it so I moved to Firecore aTV, then got a gen 2 and forgot about boxee. Heard boxee went private and were trying to compete with Roku. Now this.

I wish them luck but that's about it.

Now I've got a NAS (w/ sickbeard and a seedbox) plus aTV on my gen 2 appletv and no cable. Couldn't be happier.

Re:No (2)

Flammon (4726) | about a year ago | (#44189131)

I couldn't believe the Boxee guys had the audacity and stupidity to turn on the people who supported them. I sold my Boxee Box about 1 month after I bought it and got 2 ATV2's for about the same price! The ATV2 was $99 and the Boxee Box was $180 IIRC. I prefer XMBC over Firecore but at least I have the freedom to chose on my jailbroken ATV2.

TV is overdue for an "Apple-ization" (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44190559)

TV is overdue for an "Apple-ization".

If Samsung integrates this before it addresses the EDID negotiation on "inactive" input channels problem that most of their televisions suffer from, then they are just adding widgets to a poorly performing product. I shouldn't have to have an input be the active input before it is willing to negotiate EDID, and the reason Samsung TVs often make poor computer monitors for Samsung computers/laptops is that they won't dod an EDID negotiation on an electrictically active channel which is not selected for input. In other words, Samsung products don't interperate, unless you connect them on the primary input channel, or unless you can select an electrically inactive input channel as the primary before attaching/powering up a device connected to it.

When Apple did the iPhone, it was done with the idea that it would be closed, have a limited set of functionality, and there would not be apps offered on it. Steve was deathly afraid of building another Newton. The reason he wanted it was because he had gone through a lot of cell phones which were no good for making phone calls.

Bringing this philosophy to televisions/LCD displays, it would be more important to make them work as televisions/LCD displays, before you go off and attempt to add programming guides, DVR capability, streaming video capability, and so on.

So I repeat: TV is overdue for an "Apple-ization": it needs to be good at its primary function before people go adding crap to it and "gilding the turd", as Woz would perhaps put it.

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