Boxee updates iPad app to version 1.2, adds global Spotify support

It’s only been a couple of months since Boxee unleashed its much anticipated iPad app, but the company has already come out with that much needed update to version 1.2. With the upgrade, users will be able to navigate across content sent to their Boxee Boxes using a remote control interface that’s now located at the bottom right corner of the app. iPad owners can also pause video sent to their Box and pick up later where they left off, using the Boxee Media Manager. And, as expected, AirPlay sessions can now run in the background, giving you one less thing to worry about while lazing on the couch. On a related note, Spotify users can now use Boxee to access their accounts from anywhere in the world (previously, access was only granted in countries where Spotify is available). To get your app up to speed, check out the coverage link, below.

Boxee updates iPad app to version 1.2, adds global Spotify support originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 17:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Boxee Box adds music streaming from Spotify, just press play

Today the Boxee Box becomes the next media streamer in the US (after the WDTV Live and Live Hub) to add support for Spotify’s streaming music library. Assuming you have a premium subscription at the ready (free and unlimited passes won’t cut it, consider this the same as access on a smartphone) all you need do is log in and your personally curated selections from the company’s catalog of sounds is available in your home theater. We gave it a quick try on our own system and found it synced our favorites with no problem, however if you don’t have playlists set up there’s no way to search or pull in songs from different sources. Still, considering how difficult it is to throw a party with more than one participant around your laptop, this should be the perfect way to take your dubstep playlist to the big speakers. And maybe invite some other people.

Boxee Box adds music streaming from Spotify, just press play originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 14 Oct 2011 13:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Intel may be giving up on smart TVs, ceding market to ARM

Intel Atom CE4100Well, it looks like Intel is throwing in the smart TV towel. As originally reported by AnandTech, and now confirmed by the company itself, Chipzilla is closing down its Digital Home Group and folding the team and resources into its tablet division. Its CE processors, which are found in the Boxee Box and the Logitech Revue, will continue to be sold, but it sounds like the focus will shift away from consumer-facing products. Obviously, that leaves the door wide open for ARM to sweep in. We already know that Google TV will be making the move to ARM-based hardware soon and the Boxee Box started life on Tegra before making the move to an Atom CE4100 (not to mention the A4-sporting Apple TV), so this isn’t entirely new ground for the big players. Still, we’re a little shocked to see Intel abandon the market just as it seems to be picking up steam.

Intel may be giving up on smart TVs, ceding market to ARM originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 12 Oct 2011 13:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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DVBLogic’s Boxee app brings live TV streaming to the Box

If online video streams and locally stored media aren’t providing enough functionality for your Boxee Box, now you can watch regular TV on it too. The Digital Lifestyle mentions DVBLogic has released a new version of its DVBLink client for the device that lets you browse the program guide and watch live TV, provided you also have a home server set up with its software and a tuner. If you’re not familiar with the software, it lets you turn most any UPnP-compatible device into an extender capable of caching live streams, with clients available for iPad / iPhone already, plus Android and WP7 on the way. You’ll need the latest release candidate version of DVBLink Connect! server software to make it all go, then point your Boxee Box browser to the company’s repository to download the client software and let us know how it all works out.

DVBLogic’s Boxee app brings live TV streaming to the Box originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 27 Sep 2011 14:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Roku announces Disney partnership, YouTube channel in the works

Roku has been charming the pants off Google and the suspenders off Mickey. The media streaming company has shed light on both the development of a YouTube channel and a partnership with Disney. After an unofficial attempt at viral video stardom was quickly squashed by Google, Roku has confirmed via Facebook plans for a new YouTube channel. In another win for Roku addicts, the company launched a Disney channel where fans of the cartoon crew can ingest short form content from, including animated shorts, movie trailers and music videos. As the first connected device to offer content from the Magic Kingdom, the friendship gives Roku some serious leverage over its competitors, just in time for the holiday spending spree.

Continue reading Roku announces Disney partnership, YouTube channel in the works

Roku announces Disney partnership, YouTube channel in the works originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 21 Sep 2011 16:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Iomega’s TV with Boxee (Box) hitting Europe by ‘by mid-October,’ or so it says

Forgive our skepticism, but when your product has missed its original ship date by over half a year, we aren’t believing anything until we see it. Or, should we say, our colleagues in Europe see it. Iomega’s Olivier D’Eternod — Head of Product Marketing for EMEA — was recently on-hand at IBC in Amsterdam, and he was quoted over at Intel’s blog as saying that the ‘TV with Boxee’ would be “available in Europe by mid-October.” For those who can’t remember last week (let alone January), here’s a bit of a refresher — the company actually demoed its own version of the Boxee Box at CES, and promised then that it’d be out in February. Since? Radio silence. If all goes as planned, though, consumers in Germany, UK, Sweden, Spain and France should see it in around four weeks, with Holland, Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland and Portugal in line behind ’em. He also hinted at a future where “access to premium content” was available, but smartly suggested that the company “bring this one to market first” before looking too far forward. Smart man.

Continue reading Iomega’s TV with Boxee (Box) hitting Europe by ‘by mid-October,’ or so it says

Iomega’s TV with Boxee (Box) hitting Europe by ‘by mid-October,’ or so it says originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 19 Sep 2011 04:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Smart-TV Space May Never Take Off as Predicted

Viewsonic has, for now, abandoned plans to integrate Boxee into a smart TV. Photo: Jon Snyder/

Internet-connected TVs, often referred to as smart TVs, were supposed to be the Next Big Thing. But so far, they’re more promise than reality.

A combination of factors, including a lousy economy, lackluster products and consumers more than a little hesitant to buy yet another gadget, have conspired to stall the adoption of smart TVs. The technology is faltering so badly that many electronics firms are reining in plans to offer it.

Viewsonic, for instance, just nixed plans for a Boxee-powered smart TV set and says we won’t see it anytime soon. The company showed off a 46-inch set earlier this year at CES and said we’d have them by the second quarter. But now the company says in a statement:

“’Smart TV’ has not achieved the consumer acceptance or market expectation… that was forecasted over the last couple years. In addition, consumer spending for Smart TV’s in general has experienced a significant slow down as the economy has slowed. Our current strategy is to stay involved with the various technology developments and consider them in the future as they become available.”

Viewsonic’s wake-up call is hardly unusual. Pretty much everyone is discovering consumers aren’t terribly interested in smart TVs.

“What’s happening in the connected TV space is it’s not really about what consumers want, it’s about what manufacturers are making,” Forrester principal analyst James McQuivey says. “Simply having a connected TV doesn’t mean you’ll actually use it.”

Other analysts share a similar sentiment.

“In most cases consumers are buying a television with Internet connectivity as insurance. In other words, they are buying them just in case they need it in the future,” says Van Baker, a vice-president at the research firm Gartner. “Less than half of Internet connected televisions actually get connected to the Internet so clearly consumers don’t yet see this capability as a must have feature.”

Smart TVs, as well as various smart TV set-top boxes like Boxee, Roku and Google TV, once had rosy outlooks.

“Over the next few years, connected TV will become a mainstream consumer technology. Its widespread adoption will not only be disruptive to the entertainment industry; it will also heavily impact the global advertising and marketing industries,” read a May press release outlining projected global shipments of connected TVs. By 2015, 43 million homes in the US are expected to have at least one connected TV.

But so far, evidence of a disruption is hard to come by. Logitech, for example, recently drop the price of its Google TV set top box, the Revue, from $299 to $99 to better reflect consumers’ perceived value of the product after customers returned them in droves.

Apple may be a notable exception to the trend, as there are persistent rumors that some sort of Apple TV set is in the works.

Many blame the lackluster economy for the slow adoption rate of connected TV sets. McQuivey blames the devices. He’s still bullish on the technology, but says the current crop of smart TVs are actually pretty stupid, lacking enough power to make them a truly relevant, transformative technology. Many people buy smart TVs, take them home, and then never utilize the connected features of the set.

The people buying these TVs tend to buy them because they are the best TVs on the market — not because they are connected. The people who actually use Internet connectivity capability do so for only a handful of tasks, like accessing Netflix, watching YouTube videos and maybe checking out photos on services like Facebook or Picasa.

“Nobody has designed these devices to be inviting, to work quickly,” McQuivey says, noting that Google is at least trying to fix that in the software space. The situation is entirely different from another product that debuted around the same time as the smart TV: the iPad. “We’ve found there are at least ten activities that 50 percent or more people do on their iPad, which is very unusual. The iPad beckons you to try these things.” And Internet connected TVs? Well, it’s a TV, so you mostly just sit there and… watch the TV.

And what about that Apple television rumor?

“I am 100 percent convinced that Apple rumor is true,” McQuivey says. “I’m also convinced Apple may never bring this product to market. If we don’t see one, it’s not because the rumor wasn’t true, it’s because Apple is convinced it’s too broken a market to enter.”

Apple would need to add something new in order for their smart TV to possibly succeed, and its options are to provide additional content (like when Netflix was added to Apple TV’s streaming abilities), or add apps. If they can convince major developers to create apps for the experience, McQuivey says, it may succeed.

It looks like Viewsonic may revisit the space when production become more affordable, citing ” future cost reduction of processing solutions” and “advancements as to the performance of streaming and decoding of digital media and cost” as technological developments they were working on in the meantime.

But there’s no point in pursuing smart TV development further if nobody’s adopting it.

“This will end up being one of the most successful flops in the history of consumer tech adoption,” McQuivey says.

Viewsonic abandons plans for Boxee-powered TV

You may have suspected that something was up after Viewsonic failed to meet its promised “early Q2” ship date for the Boxee-powered TV it showed off at CES, and you would have suspected correctly. GigaOM is now reporting that Viewsonic has indeed ditched its plans for the device, apparently due to a combination of high costs and a lack of interest in Smart TVs from customers. It is still keeping its options open for further down the road, however, noting that it will “stay involved with the various technology developments and consider them in the future as they become available.”

Viewsonic abandons plans for Boxee-powered TV originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 08 Sep 2011 14:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MOG brings its music streaming magic to Boxee

Do you own a Boxee Box and have an account with a little streaming music service called MOG? Well, soon enough you’ll be able to pick and choose from the company’s 11.5 million song strong library right on your TV. That’s 320kbps audio and album art in 1080p that you can peruse using your double-sided Boxee remote and a welcome expansion of the media box’s music repertoire — which currently includes Last.FM and Pandora. You can try MOG for 14-days for free, but after that you’ll have to sign up for either a $4.99-a-month basic account or a $9.99-per-month Primo account if you want to keep enjoying its streaming audio selection. Check out the PR after the break.

Update: We just got word that MOG should be live on Boxee around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, so get ready to crank those speakers and wake up the neighbors.

Continue reading MOG brings its music streaming magic to Boxee

MOG brings its music streaming magic to Boxee originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Boxee Comes to the iPad


Boxee brings easy and stylish movie streaming to your iPad

Boxee is now available as an iPad app. Like the Boxee set-top box and the Boxee software for Mac, Linux and PC, the app lets you watch both streamed media from the Internet and local movies you have already. Unlike the set-top box, you can’t stream from Netflix or add other sources.

Fire it up and log in to your Boxee account, and then to your social networks. Boxee will then make playlists of any movies shared by your contacts on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. You can also add a bookmarklet to your browser and use it to save movies for watching later, kind of like an Instapaper for video.

Once my feeds start to fill up, then this social section might become useful. Otherwise I’m left with the usual junk in the “Featured” section and my own media. This is where things get interesting.

You can use the Boxee app to stream movies direct from a computer on the same Wi-Fi network. You’ll need to run a companion app on the machine, and tell it where to find your movies. The Mac version defaults to your “Movies” folder, so most people won’t have to touch the setup.

This companion app takes care of converting pretty much any format to work on the iPad. All you have to do is browse using Boxee’s slick side-to-side navigation, which works great with multi-touch.

There is no subtitle support, but Airplay works for both video and audio. And the killer part is that you can also stream your content to a Boxee box connected to your TV. If you already have a Boxee, then this free app is pretty much a must-have, just for this.

For everyone else, adding in Boxee media-streaming means yet another server app running on your computer. Then again, the social parts may prove invaluable. There’s certainly a lot in here, and the interface is as slick and intuitive as you’d like (try the pull-to-refresh gesture on the home screen, only sideways, and you’ll see the level of polish). And hey, did I mention that it’s free?

Boxee for iPad [iTunes]

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