History Of Boxee: What Makes Boxee Different?

We've already established that Boxee is one of the more notable spin-offs from the original XBMC project. What is it that makes it stand out from its parent product and rival media centre software offerings?

The most obvious example, and the one that attracted the most attention for Boxee early on, is its integration of 'social' features. Each Boxee user has their owner account, and you can share recommendations for viewing with others, a particularly useful option with online media streams. Via integration with Twitter and similar sites, Boxee makes it possible to share what you're viewing or listening to with others (though you can easily tweak those options to avoid bombarding your friends with in-depth updates on your viewing habits).

The second key feature was the in-depth integration of online video (from legal sources). Boxee makes playback from YouTube and other online sources a breeze. Unsurprisingly, much of the early work in this area has been US-centric, but even then there were occasional roadblocks; US TV-sharing site Hulu, for instance, was less than keen to be involved, and much cat-and-mouse ensued between the two parties (Boxee eventually added a browser option to work around site-specific blocking, meaning it could handle most Flash-encoded video).

Boxee absorbs the XBMC concept of designing an interface designed primarily for use on a large screen, rather than mimicking the kind of options you'd typically see on a standard PC (often described as a 10-foot friendly approach). It actively encourages third-party developers to build plug-ins to enable additional kinds of content via its AppBox service.

While those Boxee options aren't hardware-dependent, combining Boxee's software with custom-designed hardware does offer some useful options, a theme we'll pick up when we resume with the next instalment tomorrow.


Comments

    is this an advertising feature or genuine, independant gizmodo editorial?? given the SEVEN boxee box adds surrounding this post it seems it is an unlabeled advertising feature. journalistic integrity seems to be last season's fashion.

    i used to love gizAU... now i am not sure.

      +1

      I made this comment on the first posting. (allow a quick search under Boxee reviews many mentions of this item)

      We all love Gizmodo and we all realise that you have to earn a crust. Please just label it as an advertorial or whatnot. We read this site because we are looking for a valid commentary on tech, not labeling this faux-commentary as part of a promotional deal DOES jeopardize journalistic integrity and make your opinions much lest valid.

    All these posts about Boxee does nothing to convince me to get one. I read this post expecting comparison to other media devices on the market, but there was nothing, just fluff. There's mention about media services which won't be available in Australia, but no mention of any potential services that you can't already get on any other device, my PS3, iPhone and computers play Youtube. And what person wants to share everything they ever do on Twitter and Facebook? It's an annoying "feature".
    GizAU, make a serious review on this product that isn't biased due to the paid Advertising agreement that seems to be in place by D-Link, compare it to other devices like Popcorn Hour or Telstra's T-Box.

    Most people would recognize this as a sponsored article because it says BROUGHT TO YOU BY D-LINK under the article on the news feed and at the top of this page.

    I've enjoyed learning more about the boxee because it actually has a history. It's not just some faceless chinese factory spewing out identical, cheap plastic boxes (I'm looking at you apacer, ac ryan, buffalo, patriot, dvico, asus etc etc). Hopefully this means better build quality, less engrish and better support.

    However, having said that, I'm a bit worried about how much all this history is going to cost me. I'm hoping it will be on par with apple tv?

      The box is going to cost $299, which is more than the apple tv. However, apple TV will only let you play media encoded in a certain format from your itunes server/computer running itunes and only at 720p. This will display using HDMI, so full HD, plus will let you stream from anywhere on your network aslong as it is added to the boxee library. Also, apple TV, while it does not have app support yet, when it does, there will be a good chance the majority of the good apps will be paid. So far in boxee, there are no paid apps. There are some apps that access content that you would pay for(eg netflix), but still, they would cost no matter the platform.

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