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Free Media Center Software which enables users to easily view online content

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Cancel your Cable, it's Boxee time!

  • Dec 2, 2009
  • by
Boxee is hands down, the best media software that you can possibly have on your computer. It will enable you to save hundreds of dollars in cable bills every month and you will finally get all the programming that your cable provider promised you.
Boxee is free software that transforms your computer into a home theater which can actually aggregate all of the content you can imagine. You want to watch your favorite show on ABC, CBS, or NBC (Hulu)? Boxee provides easily navigable menu links to all of them. You want to watch movies on your Netflix or from PirateBay, Youtube, Comedy Central, BBC, Flickr, ESPN, CNN, HBO, Showtime? Boxee provides. Any radio station, television station, or cable station that shares or streams content on the internet is bundled up for you.
It’s like Happy Birthday, forever.
Of course, it can be overwhelming to have all of this content at your fingertips, but thankfully you don’t have to navigate these waters all by yourself. Boxee provides a social networking element that enables users to share information on all new content.
Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I was at my friend’s apartment and was able to have a first-hand Boxee experience!  I watched episodes of “It’s Always Sunny…” in perfect resolution on a large HDTV. My friend has the VGA to HDMI cable that enables the best picture from his laptop (an essential component to attain great resolution).  But of course, each computer and television is different. It also helps to have a fast processor with plenty of memory (unless you have an external hard drive to store hi-def movies). Boxee was originally released on Linux (which my friend runs on his computer), but toward the end of 2009 Boxee released beta versions for Macs and PCs available at boxee.tv (thanks MichaelN).
So go ahead and partition your hard drive if you don’t already have Linux and download Boxee before your next cable bill arrives in the mail. It’s nice to see a new tech product that will actually save you money.

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September 09, 2011
OMG Bethany! I'm now canceling my weekend plans since the future just started and I now officially never need to leave my laptop! Thanks for the heads-up! :-)
July 10, 2011
This sounds like an idea whose time has come.
December 30, 2009
Bethany, I've had Boxee for awhile now, BUT, I can't find the HBO and Showtime you've mentioned above. Where in the interface would I find those shows? Thanks!
January 13, 2010
If you have Netflix, there are HBO and Showtime shows available to watch instantly on your computer and it does not impact the number of DVDs you receive in the mail per month. HBO also launched a beta site, hbogo.com, which enables you to watch HBO content on your computer if you have an HBO subscription (it's useless if you don't). The PirateBay site I mentioned in the review allows you to view any show that another user is "seeding" (or providing on the internet to share). It is a torrent site, which means you'll have to download utorrent or something like it to use it properly. And, because any media on your computer can be viewed using the boxee interface, any media you download will be viewable. Hope this helps.
December 08, 2009
Thank you for this, Bethany! I need to fire my cable company and My computer's video card does have 1210p (yep, not 1080p) This would rock my living room! can you send me the link you downloaded it from please?
December 08, 2009
I know, it's awesome! Did you get it set up?
December 09, 2009
I downloaded it but I need to buy a DVI to HDMI cable. It looks awesome on my computer monitor in the meantime. Thanks for this!
December 03, 2009
Suddenly I have the urge to get Linux....
December 03, 2009
Thanks for reminding me about this. I have been signed up and waiting for a Windows beta forever and I just read that they are due for a big announcement soon. You *can* get the alpha's now, but I'll wait. I am a new DirecTV subscriber so I'll have to wait, plus most of what I watch is premium (HBO/Showtime) shows and those aren't streamed so they likely won't be a part of Boxee. I can only hope that they or another company can offer premium content like that and we could all just pay for what we want to watch.
December 03, 2009
Boxee is awesome. They are announcing a new "Beta" version on December 7th along with the introduction of a "Stand Alone" device.  I can't wait. Even their iPhone App is cool. Check out my review of the Boxee iPhone app to see a short video of Boxee in action.  Thanks for the review.  I've been meaning to post something for a while.  My plan for 2010 is to see how far I can go without DirecTV and Boxee will play a huge role in that.
December 03, 2009
Thanks for this great info. I don't think you need to be "invited" to get it. It seems you should be able to download it at the link http://www.boxee.tv/homepage/
December 08, 2009
Thanks, Michael! downloading it right now! I love this site!!
December 08, 2009
Cool. Thanks for the update!
December 08, 2009
There is a big article in The New York Times today about Boxee. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/technology/internet/08boxee.html?th&emc=th
December 09, 2009
Thank you Thank you!
December 03, 2009
Wow! The technology just keeps getting better and better. Never heard of this. Thanks for the extremely interesting review!
December 08, 2009
Thanks! It's amazing how many new technology options are being developed everyday. It's certainly fun to explore.
December 03, 2009
I am really glad that I discovered your post here on Lunch as a friend mentioned Boxee to me about a month ago. I forgot to check it out. My only thing is that I love watching flicks on the huge flat screen TV. Is this still possible with Boxee?
December 08, 2009
Yes, you can definitely watch movies on your TV. You're basically connecting your computer to your TV (instead of your cable box). You'll want to check to see if your computer has a media output and your TV has a media input. Then get the appropriate cord and you should be good to go. Let me know if you try it!
1 2 Next
More Boxee reviews
Quick Tip by . April 20, 2011
The Boxee Bookmarklet is like Instapaper for online videos. If you see a video you want to check out later, just hit the Boxee Bookmarklet in your browser, and then next time you login to your Boxee software, your videos will be queue'd up for you. I generally prefer the XBMC experience over Boxee, but this feature is helping turn the tide back towards Boxee. Now I can queue up all my geek tech talks for viewing at home!   http://www.boxee.tv/watchlater
Quick Tip by . April 14, 2010
Boxee is the online video foray into social media. Find out what your friends are watching and share what you're watching.
About the reviewer
Bethany ()
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Hello Lunchers!      I am a contributing writer foran onlinelife and style website that highlights hot-spots in Minneapolis and Chicago. As such, I frequent many new boutiques, restaurants, … more
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Boxee is a cross-platform freeware media center software with a 10-foot user interface and social networking features designed for the living-room TV. Boxee is a fork of the free and open source XBMC media center software which Boxee uses as an application framework for its GUI and media player core platform, together with some custom and proprietary additions. Marketed as the first ever "Social Media Center", Boxee enables its users to view, rate and recommend content to their friends through many interactive social networking features.

 Boxee is still under development and is currently only available as alpha releases for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, as well as Apple TV, for computers with x86 architecture processors. The first public alpha of Boxee was made available on the 16 June 2008 for Mac OS X.


Boxee has expressed interest developing a dedicated set-top box (hardware) for Boxee;[8][9] the company is also interested in licensing the Boxee media center software and its social networking service as a third-party software component to other companies for them to use the Boxee software in their hardware, such as game-consoles, set-top boxes from cable-TV companies, Blu-ray Disc and DVD players, or embedded computers built-in directly into Television sets. Boxee has also stated that their goal is to have Boxee run on as many third-party hardware platforms and operating systems as possible.


Boxee media center software is being developed ...

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