The Boxee box or Google TV?

The Boxee box or Google TV?

You should be familiar with both Boxee Box and Google TV by now. If you are not, click both links and inform yourself.

Basically, they both offer a single graphical user interface (GUI) to search the internet for streaming video content. They both have additional features, and some that do not overlap, but that is the driving feature for both. They are both priced under $200.

The Boxee Box is built by D-Link, and comes with the Boxee freeware installed. It was supposed to be available now, but the release has been moved back to November. Boxee is unique as it also integrates social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz.

[vimeo 2010794]

Google TV doesn’t have a whole lot of information available yet, but there will be both set-top boxes and integrated TVs. Logitech will have the first Google TV box, and they will announce its availability this fall. It is built on an Android platform, so it also includes Android apps – though I wouldn’t necessarily blame certain manufacturers from disabling this feature. The killer feature Google TV provides is the ability to connect a cable or satellite DVR so the GUI will also index television programs. The first partner is Dish Network; this would connect to the DVR and allow Google searches for live programs, and programs stored on the DVR.

[youtube vS0la9SmqWA]

There are, of course, competing boxes on the market – and one could also convert any PC into a Boxee Box at will – but these two seem to be the most promising solutions coming down the pipe.

It seems at $200, the Boxee could conceivably replace your existing cable DVR, and you would be saving money on cable service in under 2 months. On the other hand, there is still live programming and certain television serials unavailable on the internet still, so the Google TV would be a great compliment to Dish Network.

My question for you is, which box would you like in your home entertainment system?

About Steven Kippel

Steven Kippel has worked as a systems designer for a leading high-end audio/video custom integrator in Southern California since 2003. He is responsible for researching new technologies and integrating them into existing systems and new construction projects. He has designed several high-profile systems for discriminating clients on the cutting-edge of technology. When he is not hard at work, Steven is spending time with his wife, playing with his band or promoting concerts and bands in the Inland Empire. His favorite bands include The Cure, U2, Eisley, Living Sacrifice and DragonForce.

View all posts by Steven Kippel →

12 Comments on “The Boxee box or Google TV?”

  1. Ohh you’re going to have to re-post this after this Wednesday!!
    There is rumor that Apple is about to take on the TV world as well.

    Sure the Apple TV has been around for some time now, but that product has always been considered more of a hobby and was never priced correctly.

    I currently use Boxee on my Windows 7 Machine, and though I’d say it does a pretty decent job of pulling everything together, it often crashes and makes my system unstable. On top of that, Hulu keeps breaking the streaming for Boxee in random intervals.

    I’ve been using Boxee since it was in early alpha, but I’m finding that their concentration on the D-link unit has caused them to lose sight of the DIY enthusiasts that brought their product into the lime light in the first place.

    I’ve Seen the Google Product with thousands of other developers at the Google I/O conference. It was rough around the edges, but it had the underlying Android code in place.

    It was impressive even in this state, but I could see a lot of frustration for people that don’t have an Android phone. It’s designed for the Geeks among us, not for our less tech savvy friends and family. Sure they will eventually learn how to use it, but I see a lot of Bitching and moaning along the way. Maybe we should get all our friends/family Android phones so that they feel comfortable with the TV once it get’s upgraded.

    I’m looking forward to Apple’s offer. Not because I’m a Apple Fan-boy, but because it’s arrival will cement the TV as the next battle ground for our wallets. With the competition and demand spiraling up, the customers win; no matter who they choose.

    My rather long and complicated spin on it all.

    I’ll probably buy all three Products in some revision of their life cycles.

    Oliver Baddeley

  2. I agree that the competition is great and that the rumored Apple iTV should be added to the equation (although it hasn’t been announced yet).

    As far as Google TV and the Boxee box are concerned, I’m probably more looking forward to the Boxee box, until we can see more and learn about everything that Google TV can do at least.

    “their concentration on the D-link unit has caused them to lose sight of the DIY enthusiasts that brought their product into the lime light in the first place.”

    I would argue that the Boxee software has never really been in the limelight and that the Boxee box is what is really going to bring Boxee into the mainstream.

  3. Neither. I don’t see the majority of folks – even geeks leaving broadcast TV any time soon. DVRs will continue to be here for a long time. And Apple isn’t going to change that either – if they have DVR support okay, but otherwise it’s just another set top box to add to the pile.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Oliver. Very informative!

    I heard the rumor about the Apple TV product, but I just do see them doing it yet. I think the announcement is going to have something to do with Lala’s closing in May.

  5. I’ve been Running on nothing but Hulu, Netflix and Boxee for almost three years now.
    I also use Playon for short time spurts, and recommend it for anyone that wants house guests to stay off your computer and use an Xbox or playstation for “TV” viewing instead.
    Most of my House guests become addicts of both services and it’s soon very hard to get them to do anything else!

    These boxes will just be extensions of what we already have adapted into our own lives.(Us, being the people that have already taken cable out of our viewing equations) They’ll just bypass the requirements of dedicated computers in each room.

    The DVRs will be around for sure; for those that don’t cut the cable; but these boxes aren’t here to replace the DVRs either.
    Take Google TV for instance, it works with Dish’s DVR to schedule recordings and work in internet content on top of live TV. It will simply act as a friendlier interface (If you like Android that is) than the terrible interface that Dish chooses to thrust onto us.

    In essence it makes your TV more reactive to you and less reactive to the time tables of the Cable companies. This works whether you still choose to pay large amounts to greedy bastards or not.

  6. I’m using Boxee now and like it OK. But since I’m Dish subscriber and Android hacker, I’m sure Google TV will free up that extra PC. 😉

  7. Color me unimpressed with the new Apple TV. They made it smaller, and added a bunch of social media services. Congratulations, Apple is innovating last year’s products.

    Everything the new Apple TV has is already a feature in most new HDTVs. you can get it from numerous black boxes, including the Roku box for $59.

    I’m also surprised they ditched movie purchases. Since it access content from a computer, I would think they would have downloaded the content there.

  8. This seems to be a robot comment, but it does have real questions.

    The law is a bit unclear on the issue. While judges have determined that it is legal to make backup copies for your personal use, there have been other cases where the act of breaking the encryption is found to be illegal.

    The bottom line is that you can make copies for your personal use, but you cannot sell commercial software which breaks the encryption. You will notice most of this software is from countries where that isn’t the law.

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