Boxee Goes Beta, Goes Set-Top with Boxee Box

Upstart Internet media center developer Boxee has come out with a one-two punch, first announcing a new beta version of its media-center software with a whole new interface and significant under-the-hood technical changes, plus a partnership with D-Link to produce the Boxee Box, a set-top device with embedded Boxee software that will bring Boxee content from the home and the Internet to user’s televisions.

Boxee Box

Boxee is an Internet-centric media center solution, tapping into both music and video from online sources like Netflix, Pandora, MLB.TV, and other providers—and Boxee has garnered a lot of fans amongst the do-it-yourself community of entertainment users who don’t want to be limited to what cable or satellite providers make available. The new Beta version of Boxee features a revamped, more consumer-friendly interface that makes it easier for users to navigate their libraries and locate their favorite content, including recommendations from friends (via Facebook or Twitter) as well as Boxee and its partners. The new interface treats local and Internet-based content almost identically: users will no longer have to launch separate source-specific applications to tap into online content. Boxee also organized television shows by season and episode by default, and does a better job of showing immediately what content is free and which carries a fee.

Boxee Interface

Under the hood, Boxee also transitioned the software’s graphics from OpenGL to DirectX under Windows, meaning a number of inexpensive PCs can now handle 1080p content with little difficulty.

The Boxee beta will go public on January 7th at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas; until then, users will just have to wait un eager anticipation.

Another thing Boxee fans can anticipate is the Boxee Box: Boxee has announced a partnership with Taiwan’s D-Link to put its software in a set-top box users can connect directly to their TV and home Internet connection. The Boxee Box will feature Ethernet connectivity, HDMI video output, S/PDIF and composition audio output; the unit will also be camera- and camcorder friendly with an SD card slot and two USB ports. The idea is that the Boxee Box will make it easy for consumers combine both Internet-based music and video with video and media already accessible on their home network, and bring it to the TV with a minimum of fuss. The companies expect the Boxee Box to reach market in about the second quarter of 2010, with an estimated price tag around $200. Whether the Boxee Box will succeed in a market where devices like the Roku set-top box and Apple TV have failed to ignite consumer interest remains to be seen…but Boxee does already have the advantage of some momentum behind its media center software.

Boxee Box (front)
Movies & TV

Tarantino goes back to 1969 with first Once Upon a Time in Hollywood trailer

Sony Pictures has released the first trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the ninth film from Oscar-winning writer and director Quentin Tarantino, which stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 trailer goes full ’80s with a monstrous finale

The first trailer for Stranger Things season 3 has been released by Netflix, and it offers a peek at what the kids -- and adults -- of Hawkins, Indiana, have been up to since the otherworldly events of the second season.
Movies & TV

Bear Grylls goes interactive with Netflix’s Bandersnatch-esque You vs. Wild

Think you have what it takes to survive in the wilderness, Bear Grylls-style? You vs. Wild, an eight-episode interactive Netflix series that takes cues from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, will let you prove it.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 teaser proclaims it's almost feeding time in Hawkins

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Home Theater

Pandora now lets you mess with the secret sauce for its music playlists

Pandora introduced a new feature called Modes, allowing subscribers to pick between six different algorithms that determine what the popular music streaming service will decide to play.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what movies and shows are leaving in April 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for April 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best Game of Thrones theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best theories about the show. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl or a King Aerys truther, here are our top theories.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Deals

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Home Theater

Apple’s new AirPods bring only minor updates to the much-loved originals

Apple has announced its new AirPods, the much-anticipated follow-up to Apple's wildly popular AirPods. With optional wireless charging and hands-free Siri, it's a minor update, but a welcome one.