Boxee for Windows alpha coming June 23

The test version will finally expand the popular video-viewing platform beyond AppleTV, Mac and Linux

The alpha test version of Boxee's online multimedia software for Windows PCs will be released to the public on June 23, Boxee founder Avner Ronen said Thursday.

At that point, anyone will be able to download the alpha, which currently is being distributed by invitation only.

Boxee is a free application that lets users access a wide variety of multimedia content in one interface and view it on their TVs or stereos. It is currently available only for the AppleTV device and Mac and Ubuntu Linux computers. It lets users choose among videos from YouTube, Hulu and other sources, as well as other content such as music and Flickr photos.

Through a recently released API (application programming interface), content companies such as NetFlix and music service Pandora have introduced applications to work with Boxee.

At the Connections digital entertainment conference on Wednesday, Ronen said he thinks television is going the way of the Internet and all today's tech giants can do is get out of the way and let it happen.

Boxee is addressing the same general problem as other vendors at Connections, trying to build a multimedia delivery platform that satisfies the changing desires of consumers. But the company is going about it from a different angle from most, being neither a content, hardware, nor service provider.

The key to Boxee's success is consumer choice, and those who can deliver that will win in the emerging video market, Ronen said during a panel discussion at the conference.

"Users just want freedom in their living room," Ronen said. With Boxee, they can hook an AppleTV or Mac or Ubuntu Linux computer up to the TV and choose among videos from YouTube, Hulu, network TV Web sites and other sources, as well as other content such as music and Flickr photos.

Boxee has ruffled some feathers with this approach, but Ronen believes its strategy will prevail much as the Internet's did.

"If it's going to be the cable carrier, or the set-top box maker, or the chipmaker, or the box maker that decides what experience you get in your living room, it's going to be a fail," Ronen said. "The reason the Internet works is because it's open."

Established vendors such as Intel and Cisco Systems need to create an online video environment that's open enough for anyone to innovate, because the innovation will come from elsewhere, he said.

Boxee has opened itself up to outside developers, recently releasing an API for writing software that enhances the user's experience. Those applications are distributed free at a Boxee application store.

For example, there are applications that let users queue up shows to watch later and to share their own personal videos and photos with their friends.

Speaking on a panel discussion at Connections, Ronen brushed off questions about revenue for the moment. The moderator, Parks Associates analyst Harry Wang, noted that Boxee had won the Consumer Electronics Association's i-stage competition in October 2008.

"We won a CEA competition," Ronen said. "We won [US]$50,000. That was our total revenue for last year. We actually beat our numbers by $50,000."

"This year we have the same goal, with a zero-dollar revenue by the end of the year. We're making it so far, I think we're going to beat it by a few shekels," Ronen said.

The venture-capital-backed Boxee does have some ideas about making money, Ronen said in an interview Thursday.

It could collect money from content providers for drawing traffic to their shows through the Boxee interface and social-networking functions, he said.

Another option would be to let software developers charge for applications on Boxee's application store, and collect a portion of the revenue for itself. One more option would be to charge device makers to license Boxee's technology for inclusion on platforms such as game consoles or network-capable TVs.

The company is drawing a lot of interest from hardware makers but believes it will license its technology to them for free, Ronen said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags televisionPVRdigital tvBoxee

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?