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Boxee and the Digital Future
The new build of Boxee is out, and I got a chance to play with it today. The new build offers a lot of new features:
Netflix, for the Mac version only.
a new Hulu – looks more like hulu.com, enables you to login (so you can get your Hulu Queue), works faster, and playback should be greatly improved on Apple TV
a new YouTube – new look, as well as higher quality video playback. some of these YouTube clips look pretty good on your 46” LCD
a new CNN, Flickr, Picasa and Apple Movie Trailers – we’ve re-written all of these plug-ins to work faster and look better
Boston Globe’s The Big Picture – it’s a great photo-blog, which we really like, and thought could be pretty cool in a 10-foot experience. if you’ll like it we could bring much more of these type of services (let us know!)
integration with MTV Music – when you click on an album you’ll see a new option to let you watch music videos of the artist. check it out. MTV said they can give us higher quality videos, and we have a few more ideas for providing a great music video experience on boxee
theWB – on our quest to bring more TV content to boxee theWB is the latest addition. it means shows like Buffy, Babylon5, Firefly, One Tree Hill and The O.C. are now available on boxee
Well, I have to give it mixed reviews. I love that Boxee is trying to bring together all of the online streaming options into one place. I installed it on my AppleTV, and I have to say, I am a fan. These are features that should exist natively on the AppleTV and they turned a something I loved into a device that I am now fanatical about.
There are a couple problems.
Netflix does not work on the AppleTV
I am not sure if this is because of the AppleTV’s processor or the fact that Netflix streaming service relies on Silver Light and a heavy dose of DRM.
This is not a deal breaker, and the folks at Boxee are committed to trying to make it work. If they can make it work, then the AppleTV will become the best media center I could imagine.
The new Hulu Interface.
While I like the look of the new Hulu interface, I don’t find it as intuitive as the old one. It could just be that not used to it, but I didn’t find it as easy to use as the old one. My biggest complaint, is that after I watched a show, I had to drill back down through the show menu to pick a new show. If there is a “back” botton, I didn’t see it.
All and All
I would have to say it is an improvement, and it shows what Boxee will eventually be able to do.