Linked by David Adams on Tue 27th Dec 2011 17:47 UTC
Multimedia, AV Boxee released version 1.5 of its free multimedia streaming software for Mac, Windows, and Linux desktops today, but simultaneously announced that it will cease offering the Boxee desktop software after January 2012. Thereafter, the company will limit its focus to devices such as the D-Link Boxee Box.
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Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Dec 2011 18:01 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

And they disabled the backspace button to go back (which ruins my remote control).

Grmbl.

Reply Score: 3

The reason...
by Alfman on Tue 27th Dec 2011 18:28 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

"As a platform, we have been able to bring Boxee for Computers to about 85 percent of the Boxee Box in terms of features and functionality...Due to extensive DRM and certification requirements premium apps will not be available on the downloadable version of Boxee, most notably Netflix, Vudu, and Pandora"

Says it all really...

To paraphrase a wise man *: DRM is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.

* btw, this is a joke

Reply Score: 4

RE: The reason...
by _txf_ on Tue 27th Dec 2011 22:55 UTC in reply to "The reason..."
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Frankly I could imagine this coming right from the beginning which is why I stuck to the essentials (XBMC) instead of joining the boxee bandwagon and getting left behind later. Boxee was always too little a player to have any effect, but they did start in the open with the xbmc base and ended up closed and locked down.

Has boxee even contributed anything worthwhile back to xbmc? Has Plex?

Edited 2011-12-27 22:58 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: The reason...
by frderi on Fri 30th Dec 2011 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE: The reason..."
frderi Member since:
2011-06-17

I've also wondered Boxee to be the lesser of the three. As for Plex's contributions, the GNU-licensed parts are available on GitHub : https://github.com/elan/plex

I must say I like Plex' Client-Server model better than XBMC's monolithic approach. Plex started off as an XBMC fork but considerable parts have been rewritten.

Reply Score: 1

So...
by sukru on Tue 27th Dec 2011 18:44 UTC
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

The question is: will it be possible to keep the old version running?

They actually have the only application (except for iDevices) for the video site I follow, and I'd not like to lose that option.

Reply Score: 2

RE: So...
by Laurence on Thu 29th Dec 2011 13:05 UTC in reply to "So..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The question is: will it be possible to keep the old version running?

They actually have the only application (except for iDevices) for the video site I follow, and I'd not like to lose that option.

which app?

I've found XBMC apps for everything i used in Boxee

Reply Score: 2

Comment by danbuter
by danbuter on Tue 27th Dec 2011 22:11 UTC
danbuter
Member since:
2011-03-17

Anything named boxee is doomed to failure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx_SIFiyxGQ&feature=related

Edited 2011-12-27 22:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by danbuter
by gilljr on Wed 28th Dec 2011 22:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by danbuter"
gilljr Member since:
2008-01-30

Why had I never seen that character before? I think that act makes an ADD child look calm

Reply Score: 1

boxee box
by riha on Wed 28th Dec 2011 21:04 UTC
riha
Member since:
2006-01-24

I can recommend it.

Reply Score: 0

Boxee Box Is Frustrating
by mjhi11 on Wed 28th Dec 2011 22:09 UTC
mjhi11
Member since:
2009-08-15

I have to admit my experience with the Boxee Box has been a challenge. Seems that both Boxee and Roku (I've had both, passed on the Roku and am about to put the Boxee Box up on Craig's List) have serious problems with wireless security based on my experiences and forums for both products.

Fact is they just have problems connecting wirelessly, even if you remove ALL WPA/WPA2 security and even once I removed all security and created a non-public wireless network without security. And I had problems with BOTH boxes too just doing a hard wired ethernet connection to 2 different routers, a brand new Belkin and an Apple Airport Extreme.

What's crazy is my LG TV Smart TV has NEVER had a problem connecting to either router, wired or wireless (and that's LG, short for Lucky Goldstar, famed crap electronics producer from the 80s that has seriously upped their game since then).

But I have even bigger gripes. For all the talk of "channels" too many of these are just front ends for video RSS feeds of clips, shorts and commercials. Now this isn't Boxee's or Roku's fault, the content providers decide what they're going to make available, but after jacking with loading up a bunch of sites hoping to get at least an episode or two of a favorite program, I ended up pulling back to just a handful, Netflix, Amazon VOD, MOG or Pandora and that was about it.

The Roku blows because after paying $99 they put a big fat advertisement on the screen that you can't remove.

The Boxee Box blows because of their most recent decision to walk away from the desktop client. That was the WHOLE REASON I justified paying more than $99 for the Boxee Box, because I had a single, unified "media center" that could run on my Mac laptop, my work PC desktop and could control things with an iPad or iPhone or Android device.

But even that strategy was flawed because some apps are exclusive to the Boxee Box and wouldn't run on the desktop clients anyway.

So fact is I'm back to things that just work. My Apple TV just works (typical of Apple), my LG Smart TV just works (surprising but true).

Who wants to spend hours jacking with WPA/WPA2 security settings? Who wants to waste time on IT when you could be watching TV!

And one last rant, the content providers are jerks (particularly Hulu, I've fired them 3 times now). You can't watch this show on a Smart Blu-Ray player, Boxee doesn't have an app for this content on the desktop apps but does on the Boxee Box.

And the damn politicians in the back pockets of Hollywood, big media and content providers, the people that should be investigating these jerks who force cable to bundle crap just to get a decent rates, channels that shut off just before a big game because the satellite or cable provider can't agree to terms, etc.

The whole system is broke, and I don't see how having only a single platform, the Boxee Box does anything to advance the cause.

Like everything else I suspect because the "free" downloads didn't generate any revenue that's the real reason for the change.

But even that's short sighted. I suspect the installed base of Boxee Box owners is relatively small compared to the thousands (millions?) of people who have downloaded the apps to run on their PCs. Talk about an installed base that is so much larger than just the Boxee Box owners!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Boxee Box Is Frustrating
by mjhi11 on Wed 28th Dec 2011 22:25 UTC in reply to "Boxee Box Is Frustrating"
mjhi11 Member since:
2009-08-15

Talk about a timely topic on the subject of set-top boxes, and much in the same vein as my comments/frustrations...

http://gigaom.com/video/apple-itv-not-about-the-content/

Reply Score: 1

bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

Boxee is simply XBMC, but without the ability to install the custom skins, and without many of the best addons. Their one possible shining light was in the hardware, if they had allowed customers to install a vanilla version of XBMC, (or even to dual boot XBMC like the AppleTV can be made to do) because it would have provided a common set of hardware for people to use that just worked. Despite promises that the Boxee Box was just that, at the last minute they announced that the hardware required signed bootloader and would not be able to run anything but the bastardized XBMC remake that it shipped with.

That was the end of that for most of us. If they had at least allowed dual booting people might have given their crappy remake another look, but as it stands now people are ignoring Boxee in favor of...pretty much anything and everything else, including the AppleTV which can run plain vanilla XBMC....

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 4

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Fri 30th Dec 2011 09:31 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

On a semi-related comment, why Boxee and XBMC can't record? Why would anyone want to buy a device that doesn't record?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by bornagainenguin on Fri 30th Dec 2011 18:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

kurkosdr asked...

On a semi-related comment, why Boxee and XBMC can't record?


They're working on it: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=28918

Notice that the first post is dated 2007, and the guy making the proposal mentions that the developers weren't exactly keen on the whole concept due to limited time and energy. Feel free to join up at the forums and see if you can give them a hand.

kurkosdr asked...
Why would anyone want to buy a device that doesn't record?


LOL, seriously? Alright I'll bite...

Short answer:

Because our cultural overlords wish it to be that way, they hate downloadable media and streaming video with a passion. They aren't even truly happy with optical discs and vhs tapes either.

Big Media simply doesn't understand our reluctance to pay for overpriced foodstuffs, sit through thirty minutes of ads (including the ones that punish us for showing up instead of simply downloading a high quality dvdscreener that someone inside the industry themselves uploaded...) and fail to see the movie because dumbass is texting on his smartphone and Suzzy Chatsalot is talking back at the screen on which is playing a remake of a remake in fuzzy picture (too much work to switch out the 3D lens) and which has distorted audio.

Long answer:

Because our cultural overlords wish it so. Look at all the effort they've put into fighting the ability for people to rip copies of the films they own and to store them locally on their servers at home. Look at how they continue to screw with the DVD encoding on discs so that newer discs will not play in older DVD players, never mind the fun they have with Bluray and its upgradeable firmwares.. It gets harder and harder to simply play the discs, let alone archive them to the family NAS. All this and I haven't even mentioned the unskippable ads (love the feature in XBMC that allows you to skip right to the DVD menu!) berating you for stealing the movie you purchased, as well as stupid animations that get in the way of watching the bleeping film...

Oh and recording from television? What a joke! Okay sure, IF you can get a cable card, and IF the show you want to record doesn't have a donotrecord flag set in it, then MAYBE you'll be able to watch your show. Unless something went wrong or suddenly somehow the show got bumped due to some silly sports thing or another.

Bah! It's almost like Big Media wants you to pirate. I mean think about it, once you pirate you get a great picture, no commercial interruptions* and usually at a great file size if you get 480p releases. Heck most of the time they can be found with subtitles for what ever language you speak that work (unlike the teletext which gets garbled at random and if it is 'real time' captioning always cuts off the last three or four lines due to sudden commercial overlap before the captions finish.) What's not to like?

Oh and guess what? XBMC is very good about organizing your stuff, even to the point where plugins like PsuedoTV which will build "channels" of all your media, so no more of this premium cable nonsense where they simply run the same movie on a loop the whole weekend...

So while I very much look forward to seeing PVR in XBMC once it gets finished, really I don't care if it ever gets completed, seeing as how the MAFIAA have completely convinced me to switch to downloading, the better alternative to cable and movie theaters.

--bornagainpenguin

*other than the stupid interstatials that everyone seems to be doing these days.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by raboof on Fri 30th Dec 2011 18:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

On a semi-related comment, why Boxee and XBMC can't record? Why would anyone want to buy a device that doesn't record?

Because originally the software was designed as a media player, not as PVR software for TV streams.

Though XBMC is working on PVR functionality now: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Watch_TV_in_XBMC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Fri 30th Dec 2011 21:05 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

Boxee for Windows was always a dick sucker. I have some good news. The latest XBMC beta is significantly improved over previous versions, and might even be recommendation-worthy. They have tightened a lot of their fatty-fatty fat-fat belts and made a product that makes some sense now.

RIP BOXEE, NEVER MATTERED

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Fri 30th Dec 2011 22:34 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

The mess with cable TV is mostly an American problem. Here in Europe and most of the world, we can record TV more easily. At least the FTA. And we don't have a government enforcing the donotcopy flag. Plus, a box like Boxee or Revue doesn't have to adhere to the CSS license agreement (which enforces the donotcopy flag via a contract), so it could be easier. What happened to DVD recorders anyway? They have almost went extinct from the selves nowadays. And at one time there were even Bluray recorders on the selves. And I never got the whole brouhaha about the donotcopy flag. One Macromaster adapter and it's gone.

Just my opinion, but "the government/mafiaa doesn't want us to" is a cheap cheap excuse. The MAFIAA didn't want mp3 players, but it didn't prevent them from happening. If we ask for something loud enough, the manufacturers will find workarounds and they 'll give it to us. The problem is that we don't ask it. We 've grown complacent with our torrents and the rest, and we are perfectly OK with a device that can only play. Plus it saves a couple of bucks, so some people actually consider devices that can only play more desirable.

Edited 2011-12-30 22:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by bornagainenguin on Sat 31st Dec 2011 01:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

kurkosdr posted...

The mess with cable TV is mostly an American problem. Here in Europe and most of the world, we can record TV more easily. At least the FTA.


I wouldn't be so sure of that. I mean sure the UK has their TV license and the BBC is trying to ensure that anyone who pays the license fee gets access to their shows, even if this means through the internet and not a cable service. Only now due to unspecified "rightsholders" that is about to change:

http://www.openrightsgroup.org/campaigns/stop-bbc-drm/factsheet

kurkosdr posted...
And we don't have a government enforcing the donotcopy flag.


Uh...really? See above.

Besides it isn't the donotcopy flag that is what disturbs me as much as it is the donotrecord broadcast flag. Despite the US government repealing that provision the software and hardware manufacturers still continue to comply if the signal to disallow recording is sent to the dvr\pvr. There have been multiple incidents of Say Windows MCE refusing to record a program because this broadcast flag was set:

http://gizmodo.com/390898/media-centers-do-not-record-broadcast-fla...

kurkosdr posted...
Plus, a box like Boxee or Revue doesn't have to adhere to the CSS license agreement (which enforces the donotcopy flag via a contract), so it could be easier.


I wouldn't be so sure of that. The MPAA would attack anything that made it simple for customers to rip their own DVDs for playback from a system like that in a heartbeat. See:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/08/another-court-deals-major-...

http://gigaom.com/video/studios-sue-over-realdvd/

It simply isn't happening. Anyone trying to make it happen will be sued and destroyed in court. Common sense need not apply.

kurkosdr posted...
What happened to DVD recorders anyway? They have almost went extinct from the selves nowadays. And at one time there were even Bluray recorders on the selves.


1TB hard drives and a combination of sneakernets happened, that's what. Also consider the costs in price and time for copying files to a NAS or a portable hard drive compared to having to burn then verify the optical disc. And then hoping that the disc doesn't mysteriously stop working down the line.... A 1TB portable or NAS is simply easier and much cheaper. (At least it was until prices jumped due to the disasters in Thailand.)

kurkosdr posted...
And I never got the whole brouhaha about the donotcopy flag. One Macromaster adapter and it's gone.


Maybe. Unless of course it is illegal to own in your country as a "copyright circumvention device" and will be seized by customs if you order one. And if you're going to be breaking the law anyway, pirating is just easier and more compatible.

kurkosdr posted...
Just my opinion, but "the government/mafiaa doesn't want us to" is a cheap cheap excuse. The MAFIAA didn't want mp3 players, but it didn't prevent them from happening. If we ask for something loud enough, the manufacturers will find workarounds and they 'll give it to us.


Absolutely! I mean, just ask Rio Audio how easy it was to workaround the MAFIAA...oh wait. Yeah, they got sued into oblivion for their trouble. Ask Kaleidescape and RealNetworks how easy it was to workaround the issues, or ReplayTV...oops, nevermind ReplayTV is gone too. Hmmm...maybe...

kurkosdr posted...
The problem is that we don't ask it. We 've grown complacent with our torrents and the rest, and we are perfectly OK with a device that can only play. Plus it saves a couple of bucks, so some people actually consider devices that can only play more desirable.


Nice try, but the reality is downloading IS the workaround.

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Fri 30th Dec 2011 22:35 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Which brings my next question: And software PVR that doesn't suck? Any standalone PVR that doesn't suck?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Sat 31st Dec 2011 11:21 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

"I wouldn't be so sure of that. The MPAA would attack anything that made it simple for customers to rip their own DVDs for playback from a system like that in a heartbeat."

The links you posted were for CSS-licensed devices. If you make something that just records and doesn't play or decrypt DVDs (aka, no need for the CSS license), like the Revue and Boxee, you don't have to adhere to any "flag" (as you said, even the US retracted their silly flag mandate). To recap, set top boxes like the Revue and Boxee are our gold opportunity to make devices that can record without being hampered by the flag, and we are literally throwing that opportunity out of the window. This is what makes me really sad.

Anyway, DVD recorders worked most of the time and then people abandonded them to go and download instead, that's the hard story. Can we stop whining about the MAFIAA in every single semi-related post? It's getting annoying, really. If people keep voting for retards, the MAFIAA will get what they want, end off story. Please no more MAFIAA-whining.

And unfortunately downloading isn't always the solution. Not all shows are on the torrents. For example, many non-US shows aren't on the torrents.

PS: Europe isn't just the UK.

Edited 2011-12-31 11:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by bornagainenguin on Sat 31st Dec 2011 16:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

kurkosdr pointed out...

The links you posted were for CSS-licensed devices.


True, but the average person is (IMHO) much more likely to have a collection of DVDs and Blurays than they are to be editing their favorite shows and movies for commercials so they can save them for rewatching. Plus with recording you have to hope that you can record the episode you want, often times even with reruns you will never be able to get every episode because the station only buys a certain number of episodes in a package and reruns them to death. If you missed the episode when it aired, its gone forever unless you have the DVD or know where to look online.

Well that plus the fact you can pick up DVDs at thrift stores for as little as a buck and so it is easier to build a collection versus hoping the movie you want will be on so you can record it.

kurkosdr blathered on...
If you make something that just records and doesn't play or decrypt DVDs (aka, no need for the CSS license), like the Revue and Boxee, you don't have to adhere to any "flag" (as you said, even the US retracted their silly flag mandate).


I can see that you did not read the article about the broadcast flag I linked you to carefully, if you had you would have realized that despite the law being retracted the networks still sent the flag and the PVR still obeyed it. Despite there being no legal reason to do so, the PVR software DID NOT record the show BECAUSE THE FLAG said so. Recording does not help you in that instance, does it?

kurkosdr continued to miss the point...
To recap, set top boxes like the Revue and Boxee are our gold opportunity to make devices that can record without being hampered by the flag, and we are literally throwing that opportunity out of the window. This is what makes me really sad.


LOL, see above. This is not the golden opportunity it seems like, this is Lucy holding out that #### football one more time promising us that this time she won't pull the ball out at the last minute and send us flying through the air.

No, this is the rest of the world laughing at the MAFIAA's transparent attempt to sucker us one more time and saying 'Homey don't play that.'

And the Revue is on life support itself and will continue to be so because people don't want to pay all that money for a device that streams video only to find it is youtube lite because the MAFIAA keeps blocking it from accessing sites like Hulu and capping Internet connections. Maybe if there were a port of XBMC to it, things would be better but for now its dead in the water just like Boxee thanks to them trusting the snakes at Big Media to give them a fair shake.

kurkosdr declared...
Anyway, DVD recorders worked most of the time and then people abandonded them to go and download instead, that's the hard story.


Yes, people abandoned difficult to use hardware which relied on optical discs being burnt correctly the first time (LOL) for them to work, and which added Macrovision (or other DRM) to every recording in favor of something that worked much better. I simply cannot imagine why this would be the case.

kurkosdr begged...
Can we stop whining about the MAFIAA in every single semi-related post? It's getting annoying, really. If people keep voting for retards, the MAFIAA will get what they want, end off story.


Wait, what? You think that voting does anything at all? Seriously, the fix is in and has been in place for several decades now at least in the United States, probably longer come to think about it, with various "machines" in place politically to ensure that no matter who the candidates are the Status Quo is king. The only votes that count these days are dollars and only if they come from corporate persons. You and I are serfs sharecropping on the estates of the elite.


kurkosdr begged more...
Please no more MAFIAA-whining.


It isn't whining, it is pointing out to the world the cause of our pain. These people want to break the Internet and so deserve to be named and shamed at every corner. Then mocked and treated as the trash they are.

You want to pretend that recording is a workaround for the issues we have, but not to tell others the source of those issues or why they must be worked around? Doesn't make much sense to me.

kurkosdr blathered on...
And unfortunately downloading isn't always the solution. Not all shows are on the torrents. For example, many non-US shows aren't on the torrents.

PS: Europe isn't just the UK.


Sure, that's true but I seem to get by alright. I only mentioned the UK because so many of their BBC shows are worth watching IMHO. Have been a huge fan of the Hustle since I started watching it. Hotel Babylon wasn't too bad either. I also dabble a bit with k-dramas such as Coffee Prince and j-dramas like Hana-Kimi.

I'd love to dip my feet in a bit for some Bollywood but unfortunately I wouldn't even know where to begin. (I was fortunate enough to be exposed to music videos (song and dance numbers from films) while in Chicago some years ago, but then that station went off the air.) I've seen some really fantastic French films, but wouldn't even know where to begin finding television from them, much the same as the Bollywood situation mentioned above.

Of course the biggest issue isn't just finding out what is available, it is also finding out where to get it--you see I'm not considered a viable market for any of the above shows so they're not available to me in the USA. They know this because their spreadsheets told them so. Meanwhile downloading works just fine, better in fact because usually the people who uploaded it are passionate about the show or film and can be relied on to give a brief summary and recommend similar shows if you like this one.

To recap, overall downloading simply works better and XBMC is one of the best media centers for organizing your downloads to fully enjoy your media. Boxee is a bastard fork of XBMC that will quickly die a well deserved death in the next year or so having bet the farm on streaming video when downloading simply works better for most people on slow connections managed by MAFIAA partners capping to preserve their cable television monopoly.

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2