Up and coming streaming box company Boxee isn't content sitting next to your TV. Instead, it's firing up an initiative to get inside your TV by offering an embeddable option to manufacturers.
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Boxee's origins were humble: once a free-to-download media centre app for computers and Apple TVs, the software evolved into a full-blown media streaming box for home theatres, and a powerful one at that (if ultimately flawed). But it was still sequestered from the main TV experience. With Boxee TV, we get one step closer to seamlessly merging the media streaming, channel surfing, and TV hoarding experiences.
Given its start as a little open-source project, Boxee has done very well for itself as a hub for streaming video. Now they want to give users a place to create and share their own video, like Instagram does for photos. But can Cloudee topple Viddy and SocialCam, the early entrants in the video-sharing space?
The Boxee box was a pretty decent streamer, but a big hole was its inability to stream Netflix - something pretty much every other electronic device in the US can do. Now it can.
A new update just brought Vudu's collection of HD streaming movies - some 4000 of them in all - to Boxee Boxes. More movies! Never a bad thing. These ones arrive in 1080p with Dolby Digital surround sound, and they'll cost Boxee owners $US2 a pop for two-night rentals. The Boxee team says they're still on track for an update that'll brings Netflix to the set-top box later this month, too. When it rains it pours.
As Jason noted in his review, the Boxee Box was a really good local media streamer, but the software was also pretty damn buggy. Well hopefully that will change for the better now that Boxee has issued their first firmware update. Not only does it offer 30 bug fixes, it adds improvements to navigational and sorting elements in the UI.
The D-Link Boxee Box (in addition to Boxee clients for PC and Mac) will offer HD movie rentals when it lands in living rooms in coming weeks, courtesy of a new partnership with Vudu. Vudu's full HD rentals - 1080p, Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Surround Sound - cost two bucks a pop for two nights of viewing. Not a bad service to add to Boxee's arsenal, not bad at all.
We've reached the final instalment in our History Of Boxee series, because we're at the point where the Boxee Box is about to be released and it isn't really history if you're making predictions about the future rather than writing about what's already happened. But there a couple of issues we should examine.
For anyone who pre-ordered the Boxee Box on blind faith that it would one day reach your door: the adorable little set-top box will arrive on the doorstep as early as November 11. Everyone else will have to wait some.