Boxee Updated to Version 1.5, Final Version for Desktops

Boxee 1.5

Team Boxee has announced that version 1.5 of Boxee is now available for PC/MAC/Ubuntu and is being tested by Early Access users on the Boxee Box. Unfortunately, Team Boxee is also announcing that Boxee 1.5 for Desktops will be last version released for computers. Going forward, all of Team Boxee’s attention will be devoted to the Boxee Box. As if to emphasize the point, the blog post in which the news was delivered indicates that Boxee 1.5 for Desktops will only be available on the Boxee site through the end of January. Hopefully there are plans to let other sites host the download in the future.

Boxee 1.5 for Desktops will include all the interface polishing that the Boxee Box version will receive and reportedly brings the PC client up to about 85% of the functionality of the Boxee Box, but will not support any apps that require DRM or certification such as Netflix or Pandora, and also will not support Boxee Live TV.

This 1.5 release will be the last version of Boxee for PC/Mac/Ubuntu. It will be available on Boxee.tv through the end of January.

We believe the future of TV will be driven by devices such as the Boxee Box, Connected TVs / Blu-Rays and 2nd screen devices such as tablets and phones. While there are still many users who have computers connected to their TVs, we believe this use case is likely to decline as users find better alternatives.

Boxee Blog

While Boxee for Desktops users will be happy to finally receive an update, this is still disheartening news, particularly given that Avner Ronen’s June post about the fall update coming to PCs seemed to suggest that the plan was to not only continue PC support, but keep it more in line with Boxee Box releases. Is Team Boxee right that there is not a place for software like Boxee on PCs in the future?

 

–Release Notes after the break–

Boxee 1.5 for Desktops bridges the gap from the previous desktop version (version 0.9) and enables various features on the PC that have so far been available only on connected devices.

New Features on the Desktop client
  • New user interface
    • Main Menu
    • Home Screen
    • Browse Screens (Movies, TV Shows) – Now includes filtering options
    • Watch Later including filtering
    • Action/Info Menu
    • New On Screen Display (OSD) and settings
    • Library and Play action
    • Rotten Tomato rating integration into movie info
    • Ability to filter local content by source (USB, Network, SD)
    • Added alphabetical scrollbar for local content
    • Enhanced sorting options in browse screens (A-Z, Z-A, most popular, newest/oldest…)
    • Main menu supports additional filter options
    • Mark items as watched/unwatched from the Action menu
    • Added option for hourly scan of local libraries enabling user flavor selection (online/local inclination) during first login and via Settings > Defaults
  • Search functionality
  • New HTML5 WebKit based browser allows browsing many popular web sites as well as sites designed for TVs
    • Faster Page Launch & Loading Speed
    • Added ability to “Favorite” web sites for quick access
    • New “Favorites” section in the browser
    • New “History” section for browsing previously visited web pages
    • Current URL is now displayed in the address bar
  • Support for HTTP Live Streaming protocol
  • Multilingual support (17 languages)
  • Networking & File Playback
    • Enhanced support for SMB/CIFS
    • Added support for Boxee Media Manager
    • Consolidated network shares under the server name
  • Settings
    • Weather – full integration with Accuweather
    • Added setting to disable full network scan of SMB sources.
Supported platforms
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit)
  • Mac OS X 10.6 and higher (Intel only)
  • Linux Ubuntu 11.10 (32 bit only)
App Compatibility

While we have tried to maintain app compatibility between the Boxee Box and the desktop client versions, there are some cases of incompatibilities caused by either security restrictions or by unique platform behavior. Some apps work on one platform but not on other.

Limitations of the Desktop client vs. Boxee Devices
  • General
    • Live TV is not available on the desktop clients
    • Some apps are specific to the Boxee Box, such as: Netflix, Vudu, Spotify, Pandora and more
    • When changing language, a restart is required for the changes to take effect.
  • Known issues  – Mac OS X
    • Connecting to social network from within the Boxee client does not work. 
      You can still connect from boxee.tv.
    • Unable to access shares protected machine via SMB
    • Playback of some videos creates inconsistent volume level
    • Resolving of media files with NFO fails (they do not resolve automatically 
      and crash on manual resolve)
    • Full screen on browser is not supported; activation can yield unexpected results
  • Known issues  – Windows
    • Connecting to social network from within the Boxee client does not work. 
    • You can still connect from boxee.tv.
    • Full screen on browser is not supported; activation can yield unexpected results
  • Known issues  – Linux
    • Connecting to social network from within the Boxee client does not work. 
    • You can still connect from boxee.tv.
    • Full screen on browser is not supported; activation can yield unexpected results

  • That’s unfortunate, but TBH I

    That’s unfortunate, but TBH I think it makes sense given where the platform is going.

  • Too bad about the removal of

    Too bad about the removal of Pandora because I really like 1.5’s polished interface.

  • millpub wrote:–Release Notes

    [quote=millpub]

    –Release Notes after the break–

    [/quote]

    Oh no.  Don’t turn MR into engadget.  LOL!  I don’t think MR implemented commercials.  😉

    More on topic…  I agree that this makes sense from a business perspective, since the masses prefer multiple boxes and remotes that work 99% of the time over a single box to do (nearly) everything, but requires more maintenance and knowledge to operate.  I wish that wasn’t the case, but it’s reality.

    • Sorry to disappoint, George.

      Sorry to disappoint, George. If I was trying to turn MR into Engadget, I would have posted the entire blog post and called it a press release. I simply thought the release notes would be interesting for people interested in seeing what the last version of Boxee for Desktops is going to provide. Think of it more as a self-referencing eulogy.

      • millpub wrote:Sorry to

        [quote=millpub]

        Sorry to disappoint, George. If I was trying to turn MR into Engadget, I would have posted the entire blog post and called it a press release.

        [/quote]

        LMAO!  Damn good point.  Laughing

  • i think it’s a shame but i

    i think it’s a shame but i understand the limitations they have trying to convey rights ownerships to content owners, but again it’s just another crappy hand for HTPC users who might’ve switched to Boxee. Reminds me of the past with SageTV, Meedio, etc. And folks wonder why i stick with Win7 Media Center–knock it all you want, it’s still around for the past 10 years.