Why I’m Dropping Boxee for XBMC



The Boxee platform had so much promise. Since releasing the Boxee Box in November 2010, Boxee has absolutely abandoned the PC users who brought the platform to prominence. Having waited since November for Boxee 1.0, PC Boxee users (including me) are now in open revolt

I've been a huge proponent of the platform since the Alpha in October of 2008. The developers have done a great job building a product on top of XBMC, adding streaming capabilities from popular sources such as Netflix and Hulu. The product, overall, is a great idea.

Since the Boxee Box release, the PC version of Boxee has been left derelict and is just an afterthought at this point. Hulu content is inaccessible (from what I understand largely due to Hulu) and the other web-content is near-unwatchable due to the idiosyncrasies of each web player and how Boxee displays them. It is only with frequent updates to correct these glaring problems that Boxee has any type of value over XBMC and other home media software.

The problem is, I suspect, that they do not think that there is a way to monetize the build-your-own-HTPC crowd. They would be wrong, however. With proper integration with a payment system (what happened to Boxee Payments?) you have an army of faithful, media consuming techies ready and willing to shell out for shows on Hulu, Amazon Video on Demand, and other sources. I don't want another box next to my PC, I want my existing equipment (Acer Revo) to serve out all my TV and video.

With their monetization stream in flux, it seems that they are pouring their energy into the Boxee box. I feel that this is shortsighted as the hardware game is too competitive, and that their best bet for a lasting product is to focus on Boxee as a platform instead of a hardware product. That means updating and supporting Boxee across all devices, not just the Boxee box. 

Boxee, it was awesome while it lasted, but you leave me no choice to switch. With options such as XBMC DharmaQVIVORoku and network-connected blu-ray players and TVs, your time is now limited. I sincerely hope you turn around and start to support the PC users who held you in such high esteem just a year ago.

For me, the last straw was when I got a new TV and Boxee couldn't handle the high def movies at the new 1080p resolution. XBMC handles them with no problems. So, that being said, XBMC Dharma is my new media platform of choice. Here's to hoping that Boxee can get back on the right track and fully supports their product as a platform and not just as a locked-down hardware device

  • Tim

    Why not just use the free Win 7 Media Center? Handles blue ray, 1080p, etc…

  • Ash

    Shush, Tim.