Would You Like to see a Boxee Set-Top Box?

The Boxee team reported a little over a week ago that, while at CES, they were approached by a few hardward manufacturers about potentially integrating boxee into various types of hardware.

I’m curious; would you like to see an all-in-one media player like boxee (similar to Windows Media Center, but with more integration of Web-based technologies like YouTube, Hulu and more) available as a set-top box? If so, what features would you expect to see in that device?

Boxee Releases New Alpha Version

Boxee, the XBMC-based media player I wrote about a few weeks ago, has released a new alpha version. The official list of changes (to the Linux version, at least) is as follows:

  • complete UI overhaul
  • play content available from: Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central, MySpaceTV, NextNewNetworks, On Networks
  • connect to videos from Hulu and CBS straight from friends activity and recommendations
  • manage your personal RSS feeds from http://app.boxee.tv and access them through boxee (on My Feeds under Internet Video or Internet Music)
  • navigation in media is vertical (up/down) instead of horizontal (left/right)
  • mouse is supported and enabled by default for new installations (for upgrades it can be enabled via Settings > Appearance)
  • application settings (YouTube, Flickr, Last.fm) are now accessible from the Settings menu
  • improved SMB support, which also fixes accessing your media via the Apple TV
  • when using a keyboard, the ESCAPE button always takes you to the previous screen
  • improved lyrics support
  • improved subtitles look and feel, support for subtitle switching and fixed media going Speedy Gonzales for a few seconds when subtitle are applied
  • when working in off-line mode, you can now properly access your local content
  • numerous bug fixes
  • many fixes from our friends at xbmc.org
  • moved boxee install directory to /opt/boxee under Ubuntu (POSIX compliance FTW )
I am a bit excited about the addition of Hulu. Unfortunately, however, I found that on my slow “high-speed” Internet connection, Hulu videos are virtually unwatchable. This, sadly, has nothing to do with boxee, as I tested the video outside of boxee. I guess I’ll just have to keep dreaming and waiting for the day that Verizon decides to upgrade the phone lines that run to my house or Comcast decides to run the extra 50 feet of cable it would take to extend cable service from the end of my driveway (seriously, that’s where cable service in my area ends) to my house.

Boxee – First Impressions

Boxee LogoI recently heard about a new program called Boxee. The program is currently in the alpha stage, so you will have to apply for an invite on their Web site. When I applied, I received my invite within a few days.

Boxee is a media player very similar to Windows Media Center. In truth, it’s actually based on XBMC (Xbox Media Center).

I signed up for the invite knowing that it was only available for Mac and Linux. However, I did not realize that the only Linux flavor for which it’s been built, yet, is Ubuntu (technically, Gutsy Gibbon and Hardy Heron). Thankfully, I was planning to install Linux Mint Elyssa on my home machine, anyway, which is based on Hardy Heron.

So, I went ahead and installed Linux Mint Elyssa (a post about that will be forthcoming) and then installed Boxee.