Boxee Media Center and Internet TV – The Next Generation
Boxee media center and Internet based TV are the next generation of entertainment that will rapidly change the way we watch TV! So what the heck is Boxee? First, Boxee is a media center that plays content on your computer or from other devices on your home network. It also allows you to connect to Internet based content such as; TV, music, video, pictures and much more. On you PC or laptop, think of it as a home page of sorts that brings all of your favorite media in one place. You can even install Boxee on a dedicated PC connected directly to your TV and supplement or replace your current cable TV subscriber! Plus, you can install it on Mac and Linux (Windows is currently in Alpha testing).
Boxee is an open source media center and is a direct descendant of Xbox Media Center (XBMC). XBMC originated as a media center hack for the first gen Xbox that has spent its life as an underground mod for the tech savvy. But in 2008, XBMC was rewritten with non-proprietary Microsoft code that enabled the authors to distribute it freely on the Internet. This also allowed the development of XBMC for multiple platforms: Mac, PC, and Linux.
Internet TV and Social Media?
Both XBMC and Boxee are very similar, except Boxee is designed from the outset to provide an almost seamless transition between your TV and Internet based entertainment. Boxee incorporates Internet TV sites such as: Hulu, CNN, Comedy Central, Joost, CBS, ABC, WB, Adult Swim, and Myspace TV to name a few. These sites allow you to watch your favorite TV shows like: ER, Bones, Burn Notice, Top Gear, SNL, Family Guy. Plus, hundreds or TV shows from the past like: Fantasy Island, Good Times, Battle Star Galactica and many more! Not to mention your favorite music videos. Talk about sensory overload! You’ll never leave your couch!
One other interesting thing about Boxee is that it incorporates and element of Social Networking. What is that you say? Well, Boxee allows you to share with your friends your favorite media and even what you are currently watching! You can link Boxee to your Boxee, Twitter, Friend Feed and NetFlix profiles. So your buddies can see what you like to watch and your favorite media on the web. Pretty cool. But, of course, this feature can be set to keep your viewing private if you want to.
My Boxee Experience So Far
Personally, I’ve used XBMC on the first gen Xbox for a few years now and have several plug-ins that give many of the same features as Boxee. I also have it connected to my Windows Home Server to stream all my movies, music and pictures to my TV. But I’m also an Alpha Tester for the new Windows release of Boxee and have been test driving it since it’s release 6 weeks ago. I like what I see so far. As Boxee matures over the next year, I’m sure it will gain momentum and become more mainstream.
Check out the Boxee links below to learn more about it, as I’ve only scratched the surface of what it can do. While your at it, sign up for the Windows Alpha or download it for your Mac or Linux machine. I bet it’ll change the way we all watch TV in the near future!