As my friends know well, I really enjoy watching TV/movies on my computer. In a Tivo world, I have lost my patience with commercials and am unwilling to center my life around the TV schedule. Sites like Hulu or Megavideo have made my TV viewing experience more pleasant. However, I am still subject to poor quality streams or a lack of breadth of options.
Boxee is a program, recently updated to alpha from beta, that is trying to change the way we watch media. It is a program downloadable from boxee.tv (an appropriately chosen host) that runs on your computer and you can hook it up to your TV so in the off chance that you actually have friends who want to watch the Biggest Loser with you, you won’t have to huddle around the computer.
This program acts similarly to Tivo in that you run all your media viewing through this application. No more opening a different window to search YouTube or go to Hulu. It’s userface is closer to that of the iPhone, with different levels organized by type, but with a standard home screen. It also aggregated all your current media outlets onto one platforms; that means YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon or any other outlet. However, those products protected by DMR, like iTunes are not yet available.
You might not have heard of Boxee yet, but you will. At this year’s CES, Boxee took home four awards, Best of CES: Popular Science Products of the Future. Just like phone providers are suffering due to Skype and Google Voice, traditional cable and satellite providers are suffering from the rise in popularity of media through the internet. But I ask, would you go back to using calling cards/paying egregiously high rates to all abroad? Never. So why would you shell high monthly fees to providers that don’t even meet your needs?
Warning: Boxee recently announced that they will start charging for content. They say this will entice producers of media to keep creating and the fee for users would be nominal.
I am taking this as a sign that Boxee is growing up. As one of the comments on the Boxee blog wonders, when is the IPO and how can we buy stock?
Check out this video to see an overview (don’t you want to be that attractive couple watching TV?)