The Boxee team has been getting quite a bit more attention that it’s used to lately, with the release of the Boxee box in the USA at the start of this week, and the UK release now just a day away.
We gave you all the juicy details about the Boxee Box yesterday, with a look at both the hardware and the software. I noted that the Boxee box ships with a brand new version of Boxee, 1.0, which has seen a number of changes made to the user interface to tailor it better for the big screen. With these changes already present in the box, I was wondering when we’d see the same hardware hit the PC and Mac. Fortunately, we have a few answers and a few surprises to share too!
Boxee 1.0 Release Information
After discussing the update with Andrew Kippen, who is VP of marketing at Boxee, I was told that version 1.0 of their software for the PC and Mac would be released “early next year”, so if you’re in love with the software but don’t want to dish out on a Boxee Box itself (shame on you, have you seen the thing?!) then you won’t have to wait too long before getting in on the action.
I think that we can assume that this means we will be able to download 1.0 just after the holidays, when many people may be tempted to buy a Boxee Box. It wouldn’t make too much sense for the Boxee team to keep their customer base waiting too long for their latest and greatest, after all without the initial support and user base they wouldn’t be where they are today.
It actually does makes sense for Boxee to do this from a marketing point of view, however, as people who like the look of 1.0 over the beta version currently available for Mac and PC may be more tempted to buy a Boxee Box than they otherwise would have been if the latest version was released for our personal computers simultaneously with the Box.
UK On-Demand Services
During our look at the Boxee Box, we also told you that users on the other side of the pond will be able to take advantage of several on-demand video services to keep them entertained. This list includes Vudu, which allows users to stream movies in 1080p quality with high quality audio; Netflix, the popular on demand movie service, and Hulu Plus, which is joining the party a little late, but better late than never, right?
What services do we currently have available on the UK launch? Well, not too much actually. There’s a third party iPlayer application which can be a little temperamental, and not much else to boot.
With a bit of luck though, this could be changing soon. I was told by Andrew Kippen that Boxee is “already in talks with a number of UK providers to bring their services to the the device – would love to be able to bring on everyone immediately but we’re still a small team of about 33 so it’s a matter of time & resources.”
He went on to say that “you’ll see us put a big focus on Europe (and UK in particular) next year so stay tuned”.
Fingers crossed, this means good news for those of us in the UK. Could we be looking at a possible integration with LoveFilm, or TV catchup services such as TVCatchup.com? Only time will tell, but we can all dream!