Boxee Gets Vudu–on the Box, PCs, and Macs

By  |  Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 6:00 am

The next chapter in the great Internet TV Box wars of 2010 will come next month, when D-Link ships the $199.99 Boxee Box, the long-awaited gadget which will compete with Apple TV, Google TV devices such as Logitech’s Revue, and Roku. Despite the fact that it’s almost here, it hasn’t been completely revealed–neither D-Link nor the Boxee folks have told all about the content services that’ll be available on it.

But here’s one piece of news: Vudu, the neat movie rental and purchase service which started out on its own hardware but has more recently shifted its strategy to being a streaming service available on devices such as Blu-Ray players and HDTVs, will also be on Boxee. And it won’t just be on Boxee’s box: You’ll be able to get Vudu content via Boxee’s software for PCs and Macs as well.

Like Amazon’s Video on Demand, Vudu will let you buy a movie or TV show once, then stream it to any computer or other gizmo you own that supports the Vudu service, giving you a video collection in the sky. As always, its specialty is content presented in as high-quality a form as possible: On the Boxee Box, it’ll is available in 1080p high definition with Dolby Digital+ sound. Sadly, though, only standard-definition content will be available on PCs and Macs, although Vudu’s best SD looks better than some “HD” I’ve seen.

Given that Google TV is so disappointing in its initial form, I’m more curious than ever about the Boxee Box. No word yet about other services it may have lined up–Netflix Watch Instantly and/or Hulu Plus would complement Vudu nicely.

(Full disclosure: My fianc√©e is employed by Vudu’s public relations agency.)


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. dholyer Says:

    I'm looking at possible going for a Google TV box from Dish for $40 less than the Boxee. But this news gives the Boxee some good points.

    Right now a Boxee is in a close second play behind Google. I'll try to keep up on all the news before I choose one this spring..

  2. Harry McCracken Says:

    Waiting a bit sounds like a good idea (for one thing, Google TV could get a LOT better through software updates).


  3. matt Says:

    1) I love me some Boxee. It is my primary method of viewing content next to OTA TV (no cable here.) The Boxee box looks amazing, and the remote is ingenious. Hopefully it is patented well because they deserve to make some coin off the remote at least.

    2) I wish that content provides would hurry up and accept online subscriptions as a medium. I want to support something good. I really do.

    3) No Vulu support for Boxee on Ubuntu? DAAH! BTW, I think that HD on cable/sat is despicable. Because I cut my cord 3 years ago, I only see HD in Blueray and OTA. I notice when the HD is coming over cable. Football really loses a lot in compression. Why waste bandwidth on 1080 signals if you are just going to ruin them to fit down a 720p pipeline?

  4. Brian Says:

    "No Vulu support for Boxee on Ubuntu?" (I assume you meant "Vudu")

    Somehow, I missed it. Where was that explicitly stated?

  5. dholyer Says:

    If like most HDTV owners you bought your HD set to watch football in detail. And most over the airwave football games come as 720p or 1080i, which carry about the same image detail. 1080i may look a little better but that is mainly due to the persistence of vision that the human eye has. This is why tube TV's are the interlaced image, this to lower the bandwidth needed for RF TV. And also has been used in Film movies for about a century. Even my auto up-converting to 1080p is nice on my LCD TV at 120 fps. The interlaced or progressive is not a problem until you freeze frame the video, then your brain has time to prosees the image content. The optical nerve bundle going from your eyes to your brain can only handel so much data. This means that detail will be redused to a rate that the body can process, and the brain will fill in the missing data by guessing at what the missing data was going to be.

    When TV reaches the 4x rate that is being developed in Japan and elsewhere the data qanity in the image detail will start to overload the visual processing limits of the human brain. The only way to over come this is to create a higher bandwidth optic nerve from the eye to the brain. Then you may start needing to over clock the brains processing speed to view the detail you can now view.

    Does this mean we will have to create a quantum powered brain converting humanity into cyborgs making us all become Borg's (aka ST:TNG).