Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


Tag: Boxee

Will GoogleTV Be The Winner In The Long Run?

Posted by Alan at 3:40 PM on October 14, 2010

The recent introduction of GoogleTV by Logitech and Sony has generated a lot of hype.  At the moment I am not so sure that it deserves it.  It’s nice and it looks useful, but I can do more with my HTPC and I don’t necessarily think it’s better than Roku or the upcoming Boxee Box.  And the Logitech box is pricey at $299 and Sony’s TV’s are going to be pricey as well.

But, I wonder about it down the road if Google chooses to really pursue it.  Let’s face it, they do drop things all the time as if they just lost interest.  But I doubt that GoogleTV will go that way.  There are too many partners and too much at stake.  All of the talk these days surrounds online TV and cord-cutting.  This is the future of entertainment and there are a lot of companies who want to control it – and none is more powerful than Google.

What I find interesting about Google’s play here is that, while companies like Roku build a box with apps, Google is creating a platform.  They aren’t building a box.  They created a platform to power everyone else’s boxes and other types of devices.  Logitech can make a box and Sony can make TV’s and Blu-Ray players, and Dish can make a box and they can all use Google’s platform.

One interesting thing I noticed was GoogleTV’s lack of support for tuner cards.  At first glance I thought it was an oversight or that maybe they were still working on it and it would come in an update.  But, after further thought, I am not so sure of that.  Do they want to try and force the revolt from traditional delivery?  Force the content to go online so that the cord becomes obsolete?  Maybe.  After all, why else would they not support tuners?  It would seem a no-brainer to try and get into cable company DVR’s.  But I can’t find anything that suggests the support will be coming.  And they have to realize that, while the crowd who visits sites like this may not mind having a DVR and separate box like GoogleTV, a large portion of the population doesn’t want two boxes and many won’t even understand the need.  Obsoleting DVR’s and forcing everyone online where everything will be on-demand certainly would be good for Google’s business…

Prices drop, sometimes quickly, once a new technology is out, so the initial prices of these offerings from Logitech and Sony aren’t a real concern to me.  For now I am happy with my current setup.  But I know big changes in media consumption are coming and I think building a platform may be the smarter bet in the long run.  The battle for our living rooms is heating up and it’s going to be fun to watch this fight unfold.

GNC-2010-10-01 #615 All Sorts of Fired Up!

Posted by geeknews at 12:59 AM on October 1, 2010

Had a live viewer ask why I do not watch the chat room during the show their really is two words, “Task Saturation” as much as I would love to hang and chat it is real hard to cover all of the content, and monitor the chat at the same time. Key is if you have comments on the content, email and the hotline are the best feedback mechanisms. Let your voice be heard. Wow this show had one zinger after the other and Bryan entertains us at the end of the show.

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Listener / Viewer Links:
They are out there!
Facebook open to Discovery.
$10,000 Student Blogger Scholarship!
Homemade Spacecraft!
Segway Videos
Government Monitoring?

Show Links:
Boxee Press Photos
OTT Tsunami.
TechCrunch by AOL
CNET Slams Apple TV!
New Earth?
Net Neutrality Bill RIP?
Apple TV Hack Possible!
NASA Gets new Marching Orders!
Google Maps Antarctica Style.
Battles over Magnets?
Aliens on our own Planet!
How Ink is Made.
Gmail Conversation View Options.
Windows Life Essentials.
Closed Captioning for all Net Video coming?
Cisco Consumer Video.
Pirate Bay Emails Revealed.
Pirate Bay Appeal in Progress.
Firefox 4 Sneak Peak.
Lessons of Xmarks.
Time Warner lives in Fantasy Land.
Android Apps calling home to Mommy!
Electrons and advances in flow science!
Facebook High Resolution Images allowed.
East Coast getting wet!
Distribution killing App developers!
Great Story by Dave read whole thing!
Google TV in 5 more Days!
Windows Live Spaces RIP.
Google URL Shortner Why?

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Boxee And Hulu Integration In Media Center

Posted by angelo at 6:30 PM on September 15, 2010

If you’re a Windows Media Center user then you, no doubt, are disappointed by Hulu‘s snubbing of the platform.  You probably also have waited for Boxee to arrive.  After all, Netflix jumped on board about a year ago.  Why not the other major players?

Netflix is always quick to jump into whatever platform they can get themselves on.  They get it.  I’m not saying Hulu doesn’t get it, because I think they do.  But, they are handcuffed by NBC and Fox.  With the recent release of Hulu Plus came the announcements of the platforms they are now available on.  After avoiding it for the first couple of years, they are no longer afraid of getting on actual living room TV’s.  Well, they told themselves they were avoiding it, but every geek in the world was already watching them on the TV.  So where is the deal with the biggest computer company in the world?  With the recent release of Media Center embedded and the first set-top boxes starting to leak out this could be a major cash-cow for Hulu.  Think if they made Hulu Plus a part Media Center and Media Center embedded!

Boxee, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same strict, old-fashioned bosses that are behind Hulu.  They jumped straight onto the AppleTV platform, but beyond that and PC’s they didn’t seem to seek out partners anywhere.  And, of course, they didn’t actually partner with Apple – it was a hack that Boxee pushed.

So, Netflix seems to be the only forward-thinking company in this space.  Maybe Amazon, since they have partnered with a few set-top boxes and Blu-ray players, but they also have not jumped onto Media Center.  Now all of these are available in Media Center via pretty simple hacks and plug-ins.  You can find instructions for Hulu here, Boxee here and Amazon Unbox here.  I use the Hulu plugin and Amazon hack on my own HTPC.  I expect that, sooner or later, both Hulu and Amazon will come to Media Center, but with the soon-to-be-released Boxee Box, I am not sure they will be looking to partner with anyone.

GNC-2010-09-14 #610 Nooooooooooooooooooo!

Posted by geeknews at 1:15 AM on September 14, 2010

I share with you early on in the show, why I screamed no over the weekend some of you had troubles downloading the last show and that was part of it. Watch your ears at the end as I share a special audio No :).. This one is packed to the rim folks with lots of tech and assorted goodies. The new news links you all have been providing are dangerous. Thanks to all of the Ohana that keep this show at the top of their listen list. I am very grateful.

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Insider / Ohana Links:
Is their Political waggling on Net Neutrality.
You would love this Internet!
Artificial Skin.
www.nooooooooooooooo.com
Stunning Image!
Where’s the Beef comments at end of Show!

The Geek’s Show Links:
Chattanooga Rules
Walmart Phone Plans Dirt Cheap but not Data!
Apple TV, Roku, Boxee, Google TV go head to head.
Super Mario Brothers at 25!
You no longer own your Software.
Craiglist reports to Congress.
Moscow uses Microsoft Piracy Ploy as Gov’t Action.
Oprah gives away Androids.
Burnbit.
Coach Potatoes Unite in Fitness.
Energizer Inductive Charger.
LeechPack file Sharing.
Introducing the Morning Show!
Boxee goes Intel Inside.
Google Powermeter.
YouTube Live.
Locking out Technology in College?
Broadcaster Advice.
Ivi TV if real could be something!
Programming History Infographic.
Smart Finger measuring device.
Kindle kicks sand on iPad!
Clearwire 4G coming to LA and NYC!
ISS gets supplies from Progress!
Google TV Launch Date 10-17!
Intel Sandy Bridge Chipset Pt 1
Intel Sandy Bridge Chipset Pt 2
TiVo Pay as You Go!
FCC Approves White Space!
Don’t email the President when Drunk!
Does Streaming Video work well Enough?
News Consumption up!
No RSS is not Dead!
Yes RSS is dead Stupid!
Let’s Reboot RSS.

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GNC-2010-09-10 #609 Morning Tech Show to Launch!

Posted by geeknews at 12:41 AM on September 10, 2010

The Morning Tech Show launches on Saturday with guest Rob Greenlee, Podcast Director at Zune & Andy McCaskey of SDR News. We will start at 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern for a variety of topics, some surrounding tech and other topics of interest. Join me here at GeekNewsCentral.com We will have a variety of guest on week to week.

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Insider / Ohana Links:
iRig Iphone Guitar Interface.
Miners get Fiber.
Tractor Beams!
IE9 UI Video (Leaked)

The Geek’s Show Links:
Listener Science Feed.
Listener Tech Feed.
Listener Website Feed.
Scoble reveals sons diagnosis.
Google Instant an SEO.
Twitter Comments on Google Instant.
Don Dodge on Google Instant.
Playstation at 15.
AT&T tries new ploy on Net Neturality.
TSA has lost their minds.
Brain Scans for Kids.
Apple gets jacked by FTC?
Adobe back on Apple Devices?
Did Apple Blink?
Bird + Target + iPod = Disaster
Boxee has new Browser.
Intel CEO spills some beans on Google TV.
Need to unrar a rar?
Justin Bieber has Server bank dedicated to him.
BitTorrent Apps.
ZuneInsider.
8 Web Annotation Tools.
Amazon Micro Instances.
Jupiter gets Wacked Hard.
Discovery to Pad for Last Flight!
NASA Rover Opportunity Update.
New GoDaddy Codes.
Encoding.com rip off on Bandwidth.
Seesmic Aggregator.
Facebook Like Enhanced.
More Security Breaches.
Patch Tuesday.
Email Worm.

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GNC-2010-07-20 #594 Post Show Insider Recorded

Posted by geeknews at 1:45 AM on July 20, 2010

A new insider is recorded will be getting that pushed here in the next 24 hours. Want to be an insider see the link below. Also I am looking for a fan to run the shows facebook page interested email me. Huge pile of tech tonight, so much so that their are some links below that I skipped as I ran out of time to cover it all.

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Open Mesh Product of the Day.
Netflix Streaming coming to Canada.
Personal Power Energy Device.

The Geek’s Show Links:
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eBooks selling more than Hardcover Books.
iTunes Update.
3Qi Display.
ASUS 3d Monitor.
Streaming Netflix to Canada in November
Virgin Atlantic first Crewed Flight.
Verizon LTE Coming Soon!
Charge your batteries by shaking them?
Windows Phone 7 vs Android.
Gizmodo State of Apps.
Redbox next step.
How close to sun can you get?
VAD.
KATA Blow up Camera Bag.
Laser Shoots down Aircraft.
Tech news Burnout?
US Continues to Slip in Broadband.
Facebook Fan Page Tips.
Apple versus Microsoft Earnings.
Apple responds to Tracking Inquiry.
Apple Verus AT&T Wired Expose.
70,000 blogs shut down.
Can your Router be Hacked?
Time Warner Greed Exposed!
Movie Lawsuits Coming in Torrents.
Windows Zero Day Exploit!
Bogus reviewers is now a big Issues.
Pain Relief by iPhone.
Honda and Green Car Updates.
Boxee Production Box Introduction.
GPS Map Issues?
6 Cores from Intel.
Nokia buys Motorola Wireless?
Thankless Job.
Times in London only 15k Subscribers.
Patch or Shot?

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Pursuit Of The Ultimate Media Extender

Posted by tomwiles at 5:05 PM on June 29, 2010

Hacked Apple TVFor some time now I’ve been experimenting with different ways of getting Internet-based video to my widescreen LCD HD televisions.

Often people think, why not simply hook up a regular desktop computer up to the TV. A desktop computer can be set up to play back virtually any video file type. The problem is, desktop and laptop computers are optimized for use on a desktop, not from a living room chair.

Is the ultimate media extender a set top box of some sort? The trouble with most set top boxes is that they are either walled gardens, or they miss the boat in very important ways.

A media extender should be able to play files stored on a home network, as well as be able to easily stream from services such as Netflix, Hulu, etc. Once set up, everything should be accessible through a simple remote control. Also, for my purposes, I’m willing to pay up to $250 for a box for each television in my house. It should also be able to play ripped DVD collection files that have been ripped to a central home server or network attached storage device.

I’ve hit on an interesting combination that seems to do everything I want it to that involves hacking a standard Apple TV and adding Playon TV server software to another computer on my home network. Playon TV software sells for $39.99.

Recently I purchased a commercial Apple TV hack called ATV Flash, which sells for $49.95. You download either the Windows or Mac version and install it on your computer. When you run the program it will ask you to insert an empty USB memory stick that it will write the installation files to. Then you plug the USB memory stick into your Apple TV and power it up. It will upgrade the Apple TV to be able to play a much wider variety of files, as well as adding Boxee and XMBC playback. It also retains all of the standard Apple TV functionality.

Next, I added the Playon TV software to my HP Windows Home Server. It could have easily been any other computer on my home network that meets the software’s minimum performance requirements. Once Playon TV was installed, I added my credentials for my Netflix account, as well as my Hulu account.

Finally, on my hacked Apple TV I simply start the XBMC application and navigate to UpNP devices on my home network, where Playon TV shows up. I now have access to Hulu and Netflix right on my Apple TV.

The Apple TV itself does not have enough processor horsepower to play back Netflix or Hulu Flash streaming without stuttering and freezing. However, playing it through the Playon TV software causes much of the processing to take place on my Windows Home Server machine, which has plenty of horsepower. Playon TV works by converting the Hulu and Netflix Flash streams into UpNP streams that the hacked Apple TV running XMBC can easily play without stuttering.

So, with this setup I’ve got access to all of my regular iTunes material, including HD and SD video podcasts, as well as a wide variety of streaming material from popular services such as Netflix and Hulu. It would be easy for me to buy additional Apple TV units, apply the ATV Flash hack to them, and attach them to other HDTV’s in my house.

Should Google Buy Blockbuster? Why Not?

Posted by J Powers at 2:58 PM on May 15, 2010
Google Blockbuster

Google Blockbuster

The once-king of movie rentals is now losing on market share big. Their online rental system is non-existent, thanks to a patent battle win by Netflix in 2006. So how can Blockbuster cure part of their problems? Maybe sell to Google?

Back in 1985, David Cook put together the first Blockbuster store in Dallas, Texas. Scott Beck, John Melk and Wayne Huizenga took it to franchise – which would then be bought by Viacom.

From there, it was pretty much opening stores and gobbling up others like a Pac-Man game. I remember a local company called Doorstep video that was acquired by Blockbuster by 1990. By 2000, Blockbuster was the dominant movie rental chain.

Enter the Online Movie Revolution

Once the Internet began to infiltrate, the ability to order movies at home caused concern to the rental industry. The only thing to do is join the revolution. Blockbuster and Netflix show up with rental business models. What a great idea – Rent a movie from the computer and wait a week for a disc, watch it, then wait another 2 weeks for the next disc.

Of course within time, that model would get better. No late fees, return at any time. They even found it worked on a gaming model with Gamefly.

Blockbuster sweetened the pot with the option to return to their stores and get more movies while they wait for the next titles. Add no late fees – It looked like a great option. Netflix went a different route. They went the online way – Movies from your computer right now. Through the web or through a set-top box.

Movies on Demand – Netflix on everything

Netflix’s model seemed to be more powerful than Blockbuster’s. Of course, you could only get Blockbuster on limited devices. Netflix is on the web, through your Boxee, Roku, TiVo and more. Last year, Netflix subscriber base grew and Blockbuster lost share. They closed stores, but that was not enough to keep up with Netflix and now emerging Red Box locations – where you can rent movies in the grocery store (which you have to go to anyway).

Lawsuits

Franchise owners sued Blockbuster for their “Total Access” feature. Netflix sued Blockbuster for copying their online model. Blockbuster was also investigated for their “No Late Fee” claim. The issue was over it possibly being misleading. Blockbuster would charge a “restocking fee” for any movie 30 days late, as well as charge the renter the full price of the video if it also was over 30 days late.

It’s probably a good thing they didn’t buy Circuit City in 2008. Blockbuster might not have been around today if that acquisition came through.

So why should Google buy Blockbuster

After all that, you may be wondering why I think Google should buy Blockbuster. It seems like the company is a failing business model, but that’s not completely true. It’s just disorganized.

Blockbuster needs to enter the on demand market the same way Netflix has – ASAP. What a better way than through Google.

YouTube by Blockbuster

YouTube has struggled to get their online rental model going. Distribution companies like Paramount and Universal try to limit the on-demand option by at least 30 days. On Demand rentals turn into a “let’s watch this movie while we wait for the new stuff”. Hopefully you can find something in the sea of B-movies.

With Blockbuster’s online rental, along with brick and mortar stores and YouTube’s on-demand models, it might be a great marriage. Add to that, YouTube has reach on Boxee, Roku and TiVo already, along with a host of other devices. For $14.95 a month, you could get the best of both worlds.

How moving Google on the block would change Blockbuster

There is still something to be said about the store on the corner. Google could definitely take advantage of the older business model. Just look at how popular the Apple store is.

Google Blockbuster stores could not only have movie and game rentals, but also be the place to try out the Android OS. Maybe play with a Android tablet or phone. You could buy some Blogger wear and get expert advice on Google Adsense or maybe how to make a good YouTube video.

Get in on the Gaming

Oh, yeah – we didn’t even touch game rentals. Of course, Google would enter in a new market. They would compete with Game Fly for rentals and Best Buy for purchases. The “games on demand” market is in it’s infancy. When it explodes, Google will be right there to cash in.

Win-Win?

Google would get local exposure, while Blockbuster’s model would grow dramatically. YouTube would get a boost on their online movie rentals, Android might get a home and Google would get into the gaming market at the right time – when it is low.

One should expect that to change when people start spending again, because there is still a great predicted growth in this market.

Blockbuster is trying to cut costs to keep investors happy. Their stock price is bordering on losing their filing. They have put their international assets on the market and will be closing stores in the next quarter to compensate. Google stepping in and paying a modest price including stock buyout would keep the company from going under.

Of course, this is only a suggestion. Other companies would also profit from getting Blockbuster – Best Buy and Walmart for example. Even Apple could see great advantage to incorporate what Blockbuster has. It’s just a question of who’s gonna do it.

Media Distribution via Boxee and Roku!

Posted by geeknews at 9:17 AM on April 8, 2010

Geek News Central Podcast via the Tech Podcast Network is now available on Boxee through a custom application, and in the coming weeks through the Roku Set Top Box. Which is very exciting, but it gets much better than that.

My Team at RawVoice is focusing this year on distribution and making it easier for audience members like mine to consume content on devices that you have hooked up to your television.

We all love our mobile devices and like to take the content with us, but sometimes it is nice to have it available via your television on the Xbox, Wii, PS3, Popbox, Nuu, Vudu etc..

With the release of the App on the Boxee and the pending release of the Blubrry Channel on the Roku this is the first step in building out new distribution channels for all of the shows that work with RawVoice.

To see more about our vision and how we will be able to build custom channels for our content creators, check out the press release we put out today.

Make sure you order a Roku or try Boxee today!

GNC-2010-03-15 #559 My SXSW Wrap up!

Posted by geeknews at 10:42 PM on March 15, 2010

I spend some time talking about the SXSW and my experience there. I give you a small sound bite from Cuban and Avner debate which was really good. SXSW was a interesting experience, while pretty good for networking, the evening parties was not the places to do business.

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Show Links:
Cuban vs Rosen
P2P in Spain Legal!
Microsoft Phone App Lock Down!
Knife Block!
Can we kill Asteroids?
Website Usability Testing!
Hacker News Banned Search Engine Indexing!
Future of the Internet.
30 Months for Recording Sportscaster!
Microsoft Employees and iPhones!
Digg Redesign!
Gowalla versus Foursquare!
China Rail!
.com at 25yrs!
The First .com’s
Admin NASA Plans Disaster?
FCC wants 120mhz!
FCC Broadband Plan!
TV Search!
Mobile Phone Ad Rates.
Twitter Announcement a Bust?
More iPad Features!
ISS to 2020!
Wearable Computing.
Sputnik Insanity.
China Warns Google Partners!
40% Want to Switch to iPhones!

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