Boxee Trying to Make AppleTV a Better Hobby
I wrote about Boxee earlier this month and indicated how I was Intrigued with AppleTV for the first time. Today, I read over at MacRumors.com, that to sweeten the pot, the folks at Boxee have now announced they have added more content to their application that runs on AppleTV that includes Hulu, CBS and Comedy Central. Now I still haven’t gone out and bought my AppleTV yet, (remember, I said I was “intrigued”, not quite “convinced”) so I’m probably not the most qualified to comment knowledgeably about this system, but it seems to me that Boxee has really stumbled onto what many people have hoped AppleTV would provide all along. The only thing that is missing at this point is the ability to record live broadcasts from a cable or antenna feed (TV tuner + DVR/Tivo), but that’s what your cable-supplied DVR or Tivo is probably already doing. Would it make sense for Apple to include a TV tuner and DVR capability into the AppleTV? While I’m sure this would appeal to many people, Apple seems to have good reasons for not including these—at least yet.
I’m sure this has to make broadband providers more than a little nervous because this would mean a complete bypass of your need for their content delivery and in many ways, it already does. Just think, all you would need to pay for is the internet access (which is all we do currently anyway) and there would be no need for the myriad choices of cable content—it’s all there on your AppleTV. This is still the “intriguing” part for me. My only problem is that I’m actually looking for ways to cut down on my media distractions and am trying to think through if the AppleTV would fit that paradigm. So far, I’m thinking more nay than yay.
We currently have opted out of the normal cable content offerings as well as the brick and mortar video rentals and have been enjoying Netflix and the occasional iTunes purchase. So far, this has given as the most control over our media viewing without becoming the central fixture of our lifestyle. While I realize this bucks against the direction content providers would like us to blindly follow (and consume), it is important to me, that we make the best choices of our time together as a family and being able to view what we want, when we want on demand is definitely intriguing.
For some better analysis of what Apple is doing with AppleTV, check out Daniel Eran Dilger’s blog, Roughly Drafted Magazine. While I don’t agree with his regular insertion of his liberal-left views into his technology reviews, there is probably no better analyst on Apple’s thinking and overall strategy—especially regarding the AppleTV market. In an article he wrote back in May, 2008, Daniel succinctly provides some interesting commentary on Apple’s hobby and what may be up their sleeve for AppleTV and what is currently holding it back from full adoption. I’m looking forward to a new, updated post regarding his thoughts on AppleTV specifically in regard to Steve Jobs’ comments during Apple’s fourth quarter results conference call yesterday regarding the ongoing status of AppleTV and the industry in general as still a “hobby.” It will be interesting to see how much Boxee will influence the adoption of this “hobby” into a full-blown industry.