Boxee Brings Family Together to Share Media Experiences
Just days after a chic evening at gdgt in NYC, there is a Boxee at my door and I am all too thrilled to invite him in. He is small, sleek and edgy with his square lime-green monkey-face and he is a media magician, bringing all that I love about my smart devices and social-networking onto my TV. With the wave of my wand; the boxee remote or my iPhone with a free Boxee Remote App from iTunes, I am off to ride a media wave of my own design. So, what's a Boxee? It's a device made by D-Link that gives you access to all of your favorite internet television and movies, subscription services, RSS feeds and social media through your TV. Boxee allows you to set up multiple users and parental controls so each family member has a profile unique to their age and likes. Boxee can store or stream your music and media library to your TV. There is no monthly fee. None.
I usually dread anything that requires me to touch the intricate wiring of my TV, Wii, Router, Modem mesh but the Boxee’s promises of content on demand brought out the daring darling in me. And it was too easy to be true. I just unboxed the Boxee and connected it to the TV with an HDMI cable and to the wall with the power cord. Voila! With a push of a button on the Boxee and on the TV, Boxee was guiding me through a painless setup to calibrate the screen, find my Wi-Fi network and set up my Boxee account. With my PC on hand, I had my Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, YouTube, Mube and Play.me accounts linked in minutes and then I turned my attention to downloading the Boxee App onto my phone.
Within 15 minutes of breaking the seal, Boxee was at home in my entertainment center and streaming my favorite youtube video, My Little Dyslexic World, Isabella Ramos, a student of The Child School whom I have never met but who is one of my heros. This video always makes me teary-eyed and inspired on my phone, on my computer but wow was it impressive to see it consume my living room with her message of hope and tolerance. Then I was off to home videos, Pandora and other content I didn’t even know was available…I will be exploring for weeks.
New apps are constantly becoming available as Internet TV explodes through connected devices. Slingbox will be offering the SlingPlayer for connected devices including the Boxee, through public beta next month. The player launches and feels similar to the SlingPlayer mobile apps, as demonstrated at the gdgt event. If you are interested, then sign up at Slingbox
If you don’t want to buy a Boxee, you can make one and Boxee tells you how. Download Boxee’s free software and install it on any computer capable of being connected to a TV. Add a cable (which one depends on your TV and computer) and use an iPhone or Android to control your Boxee (or buy a PC remote).
Boxee brings a family together to share media experiences usually relegated to personal devices like computers or smart phones. With Boxee, I am able to share video clips from family and friends, from Facebook and Youtube with my children in our living room. We can enjoy our music collection as a family and access the internet together. Profiles allow us to have individual and shared experiences and regulate content for each family member. Boxee belongs in my home.