Sunday, December 4, 2011

Boxee Live TV: Game-Changer? Or the next Google-TV?

http://www.boxee.tv/live

So Boxee has been around for a while, but this new device seems revolutionary. Boxee has long been known as an alternative form of media/entertainment delivery, connecting the internet to your TV and allowing you to utilize the hard drive space of your computer as a DVR to record shows online and watch later. But with Boxee Live TV, you actually bypass the internet and can record HD-quality TV from an HD-antenna, connected directly from the antenna to your Boxee Box through this USB device.

The one thing this device falls short on in terms of completely cutting the cable cord is sports entertainment. While the device would allow the recording of over-the-air sports in HD, which is huge, it still doesn't offer access to ESPN and other premium sports networks, which currently are available only through cable subscriptions (with the exception of ESPN3.com, which is available to certain cable internet subscribers). In my experience with GoogleTV, and I think this is true for Boxee Box (Linux , ESPN3.com blocks the browsers on those devices, based either on the browser's user agent or the lack of a flash player. For sports fans, the Boxee LiveTV doesn't provide an answer, but if you don't care about sports, this is an intriguing value proposition.

Unfortunately the USB device ($49) looks like it's only compatible with the Boxee Box by D-Link, which runs about $179, but for a total of $230 you could cut your cable bill and still get HD-quality shows, saving hundreds of dollars in the long run. It's certainly making me rethink my recent purchase of a $249 HD laptop as an entertainment center to stream current network content, although the sports viewing aspect is still a big one for me. Thankfully Costco has a 90-day return policy on their electronics, in case I change my mind. :)

We all know the cable cord-cutting revolution has begun, in my opinion this device is a game-changer.

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