Boxee, headquarted in Tel Aviv and New York City, offers a free, open-source platform for multiple operating systems which integrates social networking with Internet media streams and personal video libraries for playback via any type of desktop or laptop computer. As of now, that meant watching content via the computer or by connecting a PC to a TV using an array of adapters, which for some has proved inconvenient, and for others has kept them from making Boxee anything but an online novelty to catch up on missed shows and other fare that’s fine for PC viewing. Boxee is introducing a set-top box made by D-Link that will stream a variety of content (movies, TV shows, music, and social
Streaming media is proving to be exactly what consumers want on their mobile devices, and with the release last year of an expanded MLB.com app capable of streaming live games the floodgates for mobile streaming were opened on the iPhone. Streaming video, whether live or stored content, has always been the great dream of 3G proponents, but it’s been viewed as more of a novelty for other devices capable of streaming short video clips, some TV shows and other content suitable for small screens. The rise of the iPhone changed that considerably.
Though the iPhone has had some streaming apps for well over a year now, they weren’t exactly what the public was clamoring for (Livestation’s Al Jazeera app, for instance, or the very weak NetTV or TVUplayer apps that brought some streaming of international broadcasts). Now the true movers and shakers of the nascent streaming media industry are coming out to play. The bonafide Netflix app has been a huge success for the newly released iPad and is now expected soon for the iPhone and other advanced mobile devices that have followed in Apple’s wake. While some players have already jumped in to produced user-friendly apps for Apple’s popular mobile platform thus far they’ve been minor league apps like Joost, JustinTV and, most recently, MobiTV. While a few of the apps are free, it’s often buyer beware as app-heads discover certain ones like MobiTV cost additional fees to make them do anything except take up home screen space.
Along comes Netflix, and whereas AT&T used to say it couldn’t be done (unless you have the clout of Major League Baseball behind you *cough*), fantastic looking streaming media over 3G networks for iPhone is pretty much a reality, though Wi-Fi will continue to be the champ when you want a higher-definition picture such as the MLB.com app is capable of producing. All it took was a few big players to push AT&T toward permitting streaming over it’s 3G network and now iPad users are already experiencing ABC TV and Netflix with iPhone users to soon get the same types of streaming services. It’s easy to see why Boxee feels “Box”ed-in suddenly, and why they’re now rushing to hire Objective-C code warriors savvy in their understanding of Apple’s development standards while also putting word out to Android devs that their skills are also highly desired.
With GoogleTV on the horizon, Google (in partnership with Intel and Sony) is putting itself direct competition with companies like Roku and Boxee. Ronen probably figures the time is right to branch out and gain attention beyond the crowded home-theater market and after playing around with his own iPad he understands that people want to take their service wherever they may roam (on land or sea or foam)— whether in the kitchen, in bed or in the john— it’s a smart move by a company seeking to dominate the streaming media industry.
Now, if they could just solve that damn Hulu problem they have…
Hulu is still the go-to word in streaming for many people. Well known for allowing access to content from Disney/ABC, NBC, Fox TV and cable shows as well as movies (licensed or in the public domain), Hulu went
Much like Netflix, Hulu and other online streaming companies, Boxee also faces the vexing question of what to do about Adobe Flash. Boxee’s current program for desk- or laptop computers reflects its basis as a social media browser