Boxee releases final PC/Mac/Ubuntu software update

Boxee, the company that offers both software and hardware media products, has announced that it will soon be ending its official support for its PC, Mac and Ubuntu software product. In a post on the company's blog site, Boxee stated that version 1.5 of the software for those platforms will be the last. The software is now available for download at the blog site for all three versions and it will remain there until the end of January.

Boxee stated the reason for shutting down software development was due to the company's decision to concentrate on its hardware products. It said:

We believe the future of TV will be driven by devices such as the Boxee Box, Connected TVs / Blu-Rays and 2nd screen devices such as tablets and phones. While there are still many users who have computers connected to their TVs, we believe this use case is likely to decline as users find better alternatives. People will continue to watch a lot of video on their computer, but it is more likely to be a laptop than a home-theater PC and probably through a browser rather than downloaded software.

Boxee released its Boxee Box set top device in late 2010 (You can check out our review of the Boxee Box here at Neowin). It will release a USB dongle for the device that will allow support of live TV in January 2012.

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25 Comments

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I agree, why buy a media box when you can get a gaming console for the same price? I just checked online to be sure and a PS3 and the Boxee Box are both 199.99 in canada.

HTPC w/XBMC > Boxee > XBOX360 w/DivX transcoding setup

I have used all 3 in the last week and XBMC (once configured) is still my preferred setup though the time to configure can be a pain.
Boxee is simple out of the box but the time it takes to scrape all the data (I have 5TB) is ridiculous and there are some nagging bugs (i have a judder on many 1080p MKVs) and sometimes the audio simply does not work and I have to toggle it.
XBOX360 w/DivX - I did not feel like buying something for the bedroom so I decided to see if anyone had a decent WORKING solution and found a thread on using DivX app for transcoding and streaming to WMC on my 360. Well it does work and quite well on 720Ps but the 1080Ps are hit and miss (even over wired connection) ... my 2 cents canadian

Enter the 0.1% of people with an HTPC to act like they make up a significant enough portion of the market to be bothered with.

Xenomorph said,
Honestly, it's because of Boxee that I went out and bought ... a Roku. I haven't seen Boxee hardware anywhere.

Best Buy and they are great!

Fus10n said,

Best Buy and they are great!

If Roku boxes and Sony's SMP-N100 can get in Walmart stores, I'm sure Boxee can, unless they have an exclusivity deal with Best buy.

Since this announcement by them I've switched to PLEX. And it is miles ahead. The server side indexing system is able to get all the data for your Movies, TV and Music so when you access the client the content is all done and ready unlike Boxee which took bloody days to index content.

If anyone here is looking for an alternative to Boxee definitely check PLEX out it is based on the same XBMC source code as Boxee but they've focused on the things that matter while Boxee seems to be going after monetization as a goal.

And yes PLEX supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android, iPhone and iPad.

Vice said,
Since this announcement by them I've switched to PLEX. And it is miles ahead. The server side indexing system is able to get all the data for your Movies, TV and Music so when you access the client the content is all done and ready unlike Boxee which took bloody days to index content.

If anyone here is looking for an alternative to Boxee definitely check PLEX out it is based on the same XBMC source code as Boxee but they've focused on the things that matter while Boxee seems to be going after monetization as a goal.

And yes PLEX supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android, iPhone and iPad.

Any reasons to switch from XBMC to Plex? I've used XBMC since the original xbox days, it still seems to be improved upon

DomZ said,

Any reasons to switch from XBMC to Plex? I've used XBMC since the original xbox days, it still seems to be improved upon

Well after Boxee made this announcement I tried a bunch of Media Centre alternatives to Boxee including XBMC and PLEX. I found XBMC kind of basic for my first impression and although I know it can be extended with addons I found those difficult to install and there were a lot of compatibility issues. A lot of the skins and addons on their website seemed incompatible with the latest version of XBMC and basically I gave up trying to get it working correct. Although I could view my files as basic lists and play them perfectly I was unable to get it to index my content and provide extra features such as box art and story plots.

So after about 40 minutes with XBMC I tried PLEX. I tried the Client software first which looks almost identical to XBMC and indeed a lot of the XBMC themes are available for PLEX. But the thing that most interested me was the Media Server PLEX software. You install this on your server (I run a Windows 2008 R2 server in my house that has all my media on it) and then I told the PLEX Server where my Movies, TV and Music was. It then spent the next hour indexing all that content downloading the box art, plots, actors, directors, genres.. Pretty much every bit of data about my content.

Then when I later fired up the PLEX Media Player on my HTPC it instantly saw the PLEX Server, I didn't even need to type in the servers IP Address it just detected it automatically (I believe it uses Bonjour for this) - I could then browse all my movies, tv and music and play it. And it all looked great with the proper posters / boxart and all the relevant information. There were only a handful of things it couldn't identify but it still showed those in the Media Centre UI along side the things it did identify so unlike Boxee I wasn't missing content that it couldn't identify.

I'm really happy with PLEX and if you love XBMC I say stick with it but if you're looking to try something new definitely give PLEX a try, I was pleasantly surprised. The iPhone app is pretty great too, lets you view all your media on the phone itself but also use it as a high-tech touch screen remote so you can browse and select media to be played on the phones screen itself but then the media starts playing on your TV.

Vice said,


Then when I later fired up the PLEX Media Player on my HTPC it instantly saw the PLEX Server, I didn't even need to type in the servers IP Address it just detected it automatically (I believe it uses Bonjour for this)


If it's doing what I think it's doing, it's probably DLNA not Bonjour. If this is the case, you'll probably find that you can go to any DLNA enabled TV, Blu-Ray Player, etc and see all that content too.

I do exactly the same thing with a product called Serviio (http://www.serviio.org) which I find works VERY well. It indexes all my movies and tv episodes, and I can stream them over the lan directly to the TV using DLNA. I've also got a DLNA app for my iPad too, think it's called 8 Player or something like that. Serviio also lets you add online sources like BBC iPlayer, 4OD, YouTube, etc and stream them to your TV/BR player too.

TCLN Ryster said,

If it's doing what I think it's doing, it's probably DLNA not Bonjour. If this is the case, you'll probably find that you can go to any DLNA enabled TV, Blu-Ray Player, etc and see all that content too.

I do exactly the same thing with a product called Serviio (http://www.serviio.org) which I find works VERY well. It indexes all my movies and tv episodes, and I can stream them over the lan directly to the TV using DLNA. I've also got a DLNA app for my iPad too, think it's called 8 Player or something like that. Serviio also lets you add online sources like BBC iPlayer, 4OD, YouTube, etc and stream them to your TV/BR player too.

No it's definitely Bonjour as I saw it install the Bonjour service when I ran the installer. Also my DLNA devices cant see the content.

Quote:
While there are still many users who have computers connected to their TVs, we believe this
use case is likely to decline as users find better alternatives. People will continue to watch a
lot of video on their computer, but it is more likely to be a laptop than a home-theater PC
and probably through a browser rather than downloaded software.
Unquote.

Bull crap! How can watching video content on a laptop be better than on a nice flat screen TV?!?
How can watching video content hunched over a 12-19 inch laptop display possibly be a better
alternative to watching on a larger TV screen from 32 inches upwards?!?

Portability maybe one plus point, but that seems to be at the expense of comfortable viewing.

DJGM said,
Quote:
While there are still many users who have computers connected to their TVs, we believe this
use case is likely to decline as users find better alternatives. People will continue to watch a
lot of video on their computer, but it is more likely to be a laptop than a home-theater PC
and probably through a browser rather than downloaded software.
Unquote.

Bull crap! How can watching video content on a laptop be better than on a nice flat screen TV?!?
How can watching video content hunched over a 12-19 inch laptop display possibly be a better
alternative to watching on a larger TV screen from 32 inches upwards?!?

Portability maybe one plus point, but that seems to be at the expense of comfortable viewing.

If you buy their Boxee Box (you can get them all day at best buy), you can watch it on your tv. I bought one this past weekend and I love it. Streams 1080P x264 movies without a hitch. no converter/transcoding.. Took out my HTCP and replaced it fully with a boxee box.

Fus10n said,

If you buy their Boxee Box (you can get them all day at best buy), you can watch it on your tv.


Best Buy ... oh yes, that a hugely expensive retail flop that lasted about 12 months.

The Boxee Box isn't available at any high street retailers. Yes, I might well be able
to buy one from an online store, but why would I want to, when I've already got
a vastly superior media PC, and an XBox360, rather than that D-Link junk?

DJGM said,

Best Buy ... oh yes, that a hugely expensive retail flop that lasted about 12 months.

Huh? Only Best Buy UK went out of business, they are still very much alive and kicking in the USA.

TCLN Ryster said,

Huh? Only Best Buy UK went out of business, they are still very much alive and kicking in the USA.

Especially since Walmart views Best Buy as it's only competitor and their Market Cap at the end of today was 8.43 billion dollars.

DJGM said,

Best Buy ... oh yes, that a hugely expensive retail flop that lasted about 12 months.

The Boxee Box isn't available at any high street retailers. Yes, I might well be able
to buy one from an online store, but why would I want to, when I've already got
a vastly superior media PC, and an XBox360, rather than that D-Link junk?


You're ****ty HTPC pales in comparison to the boxee box...

omganinja said,

You're ****ty HTPC pales in comparison to the boxee box...


Oh really?!? So how does a s**tty 1.2GHz Atom based Boxee Box made by D-Link
compare to my standard media centre PC, with a 1.66GHz Core2Duo, 3GB RAM
a Radeon HD4350 PCI-x Gfx card, a (soon to be upgraded) 1TB storage drive?

A proprietary setup in a weird non-standard form factor, that can't be easily
upgraded internally, versus a comparatively powerful dual-core PC that can
have various components upgraded easily. The PC wins - period.

TCLN Ryster said,

Huh? Only Best Buy UK went out of business, they are
still very much alive and kicking in the USA.


I am well aware of that. So if I decided to buy a Boxee Box from an actual physical
retail outlet, specifically a branch of Best Buy, I would first need to buy a plane
ticket and fly several thousand miles across the Atlantic.

Overkill methinks, especially for a piece of proprietary D-Link made junk.