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  • 5 Post By JerkyChew
  1. JerkyChew's Avatar
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    I run a ton of different tech at my house - MythTV DVR, Boxee Box in the bedroom, Plex Media Server in the basement. I have a ton of my media stored locally and I access it on my Android phone, iPod Touch, desktops, laptops, etc.

    I bought a launch-day TouchPad. If you look at some of my posts you'll see that I'm less than thrilled with the device so far. But I've been a Palm ****** <<mod delete>> since the Treo 600 and have owned a ton of Palm phones since, running PalmOS, Windows Mobile and WebOS. Palm, and now HP, is like that girlfriend you keep going back to because she promises things will be different this time (And for the record, I've been in IT since 1997 and the only other HP product I've ever bought was a Compaq iPaq ten years ago). Every time i pick up my TouchPad I think to myself, "What besides the core of WebOS would make this more desirable and useful than an iPad or Honeycomb tablet?"

    My TouchPad is precariously mounted to my refrigerator using about six dollars worth of plastic brackets, and it's from there that the tablet streams music (via built-in apps or Google Music and Amazon MP3) and TV shows via their Flash-based full episodes. And while launching NBC Nightly News and asking myself yet again the what-does-HP-need question, it hit me. Boxee. It needs Boxee.

    For those that don't know, Boxee is a branch of the XBMC Media Center, a project that has been near and dear to my heart. Back before the days of HD content, I soft-modded original Xboxes for all my friends and loaded them with music, movies and game emulators. I have built at least 20 to 25 XBMC-based Xboxes over the years.

    XBMC and now Boxee are, at their core, content aggregators. They take content from all over the web and wrap it in their own tv-friendly shell to be consumed by Joe Sixpack using nothing more than a remote control (albeit one with a QWERTY keyboard). Boxee lets users install apps without leaving the core application, and even allows grey-area apps like Navi-X and FuzzTheD's GameLauncher by 'side-loading' those app repositories. This allows me to have everything from Netflix to Family Guy streams to MythTv recordings to my DVD rips right on the big screen in one interface. One big interface of remote-control-friendly icons. Icons and layouts that worked so well on a touchscreen that I built a touchscreen HTPC on a Dell One desktop for the kitchen, and it works great (pic here).

    How great? So great that there's an iOS port in the works. Check out a demo at .

    So you have Boxee with unlimited content. You have a thriving group of apps and developers who keep churning out new content for the platform. Unlike XBMC which is a purely open-source autonomous project, Boxee is a real company, with a real corporate business model, and one who has already expressed interest in licensing the OS to other devices and platforms.

    Take that video I linked to, and imagine having that app exclusive to the TouchPad. Imagine showing it off to your friends and colleagues when they ask what makes the TouchPad better than the iPad. This app would be enough to get the TouchPad over its "hump" of having almost no apps compared to the big boys, and would enable it to do so many things that, while possible on the iPad, aren't grouped together so nicely in such a wonderfully polished interface. The possibilities really are awesome - If HP realizes its dream of WebOS on desktops and laptops, Boxee could be included as a core app. HP's line of touchsmart PCs running WebOS and Boxee? I can't think of a better entertainment PC for the house!

    I'm going to forward this to everybody I can think of at HP and Boxee, and if you guys agree I think you should do the same. If Boxee releases its app for iOS it will be too late, and I will probably sell my TouchPad at that point and get an iPad 2. But if HP can swoop in now and get a lock on the technology, they'll have a fighting chance in the tablet battle.
    Last edited by bevcraw; 07/13/2011 at 01:32 PM. Reason: language
  2. #2  
    I agree. Boxee has a ton of potential but the problem right now is that it doesnt have the funding to do it correctly. I am in the same boat as you when it comes to the many different ways consume media. I have roku, playon, pogoplug, boxee, hdhomerun, netflix, hulu desktop and win7 mediaplayer. Out of all that stuff at the moment the one im most happy with is win7 mediaplayer and hulu desktop for ease of use. Boxee has an awesome interface but at the bottom of my list b/c it doesnt work very well right now. If hp could figure out a way to tightly intergrate it, it would be great.
  3. JerkyChew's Avatar
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    Are you running the PC-based Boxee? They've focused all development effort on the Boxee Box at the moment so it is waaaay better than the downloadable version. I think they plan on bringing the two together feature-wise over the next few months.
  4. #4  
    Yes the pc based. I have never tried the boxee box. When i first installed boxee it blew my socks off, i was like finally something that my girlfriend would be able to use without needing me :0) but then i ran into the problems with it having trouble with the tv show online content. It is still the best for all of my downloaded movies that I have on pogoplug and the best for watching my geek stuff through the apps. It just doesnt work very well with the online tv shows for some reason.
  5. #5  
    you both like boxee better than roku? can you share why?
  6. samab's Avatar
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    (1) why would HP need to license Boxee if they can just fork XBMC
    (2) if there is already an ios port in the works, then it ain't going to wow anyone
    (3) the whole thing can be done properly with standardized DLNA
    (4) Apple has their own DRM solution, Google spent $150 million to buy a DRM firm 6 months ago. This is where dollars and cents counts when volume is high. HP ain't going to be happy to pay a per unit licensing fee to all those HP PC's with webos.
  7. #7  
    Well for the reason for me liking boxee is b/c its free (a major plus for someone cheap like me) and works well getting the movies in my network, it displays the covers well and just looks real slick. I have more experience with boxee right now b/c i literally just got the roku, so I may end up liking it more after more time with it.
  8. #8  
    I would love to have a Boxee app for the Touchpad. I own a Boxee Box and a Roku box and think they compliment each other though I think the picture quality is better on the Boxee.

    I don't know if HP can slide in a get a Boxee app before the iPad because the Boxee people are so keen on this app (to the detriment of the Boxee Box at times as you'll see in their forums). They are a small group and have spread themselves very thin between all the box versions, the TV apps, the computer apps and this new iPad app. Maybe if HP made a major investment in the company they could get some pull.
  9. #9  
    I've been working on a Boxee Remote app for the last three weeks. I hope to finish it up this weekend. But it's just a remote, it's not like their new iOS app. I was thinking about building something like the iOS one, but I would need donations (i was going to do the remote app free, donation supported) to get an actual boxee box. Hopefully I'll have it done soon. I got sidetracked on another app that I think is much cooler.

    I'd post some screenshots but I haven't finished the icons for it yet.
  10. #10  
    Are you saying you get a US$600 tablet as a glorified movie player?
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by pdaneophyte View Post
    Are you saying you get a US$600 tablet as a glorified movie player?
    It can be...

    I love Boxee and yes can see using it in this fashion. I've love to see your TV Mount and Configuration (i.e., Picture Request please). Either way, anything that brings a difference to webOS and makes it more usable deserves a BIG Thumbs Up!

    Oh and by the way, Boxee is Open Source and how Dlink has done what they have done. If HP wants it...all they have to do is snag away and make it happen. I don't expect they have the time or motivation to do this, but it is still a great idea.

    Either way, don't forget the pictures and thanks for the suggestions! Sorli...

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