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We Scare The Hell Out Of ______.
24 February 2010 by Rob Spectre

Amen!

Boxee “The Storm” [Canon 7D] from Kristopher Knight on Vimeo.

New Release – Auto-Tune The News 1.9
18 February 2010 by Rob Spectre

On 2 July last year, fresh from Boxee’s Developer Contest held in San Francisco, I submitted my very first Boxee application.  Auto-Tune The News first got me hooked on developing on Boxee as I originally wanted to be able to watch The Daily Show, Colbert Report and a couple of my favorite web series on my TV instead of at my desk.  Now seven months, seventeen more apps, twenty-five total releases, that move of dorkly convenience has become my full-time job for half a year.  Making television software has become a strong passion, and it is with great pride that I release a new revision for the app that started me down this road.

Same content, just a better look and feel – everything sounds better auto-tuned!

Cuban vs. Ronen – The Tale of the Tape
17 February 2010 by Rob Spectre

Boxee CEO Avner Ronen just announced he is squaring off against HDNet chairman, Dallas Mavericks owner, and sometime-dancer Mark Cuban in a public debate on the future of television at this year’s SXSW.  The bout is the first matchup of the pair since an online exchange from last year where Cuban was critical of Boxee’s open approach to IPTV in favor of the cable industry’s TV Everywhere initiative:

The TV Anywhere solution is the best solution out there. Its the best of both worlds , you just have to subscribe to cable/sat/telco video to get it. Which in fact most people already do. So for most of the US, broadband consuming world, it will be the path of least resistance.

The live rematch will no doubt be a fan favorite pitting veteran blowhard against startup darling, entrenched business models against new technology, and the way things are against the way they should be.  Texas is Cuban’s home turf, but SXSW is an audience heavily favored to Ronen – this bout could easily go either way.

Ronen is willfully accepting the status of underdog for this fight, but how do these two TV warriors measure up on paper?

Let’s look at the tale of the tape…

The fight for the future of television.

Place your bets now!

New Release – Peter Coffin
10 February 2010 by Rob Spectre

Dead excited to announce the latest member of the Gonzee family: Internet comedian Peter Coffin.  I always jump at the chance to bring more indie comedy to Boxee and Peter delivers that with a unique voice, pro production value and gutbusting timing.  Laughs by the pantload for web-conscious pop culture fans, tweaked with just enough twist to appeal to the casually demented.

If you dig on his video work, you should definitely check out his blog, subscribe to his YouTube channel, follow him on Twitter, and grab some quality Peter Coffin gear.  In that order!

BANANAPHONE!

New Release – Ad Blitz 2010
6 February 2010 by Rob Spectre

IAll the commercials from the big game on Boxeet is the biggest athletic contest of the year for America.  Seats start at five grand, networks fight over the rights years in advance, and millions tune in worldwide as the top two teams in professional football face off after a blistering post season.  With all the hype and attention comes unparalleled advertising budgets, making the Super Bowl the showcase for television commercials of the year.

Want a replay of a particularly funny ad after the game is over? Go no further than Boxee with the latest Gonzee app release – Ad Blitz 2010.  Now available on Boxee, Ad Blitz 2010 will have every commercial aired during the big game available to watch immediately following an resolutely crushing defeat to the hated and hideous Indianapolis Colts.

Before the big game, the app is seeded with preview content a-plenty, featuring analysis on the two teams, how-to’s on executing a perfect Super Sunday party and the troubling story of a man auctioning off something very valuable to get a ticket to the game.

All available now in the Boxee App Library.

The best commercials for the biggest game of the year.

The Latest Fans on the Boxee Bandwagon: The United States Congress
4 February 2010 by Rob Spectre

We have some new members of the Boxee community who divulged their fandom in the most unlikely of settings: a Congressional hearing.  Testifying before a House inquiry about the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal merger, NBC chief Jeff Zucker was asked a question about the ongoing Boxee / Hulu controversy by Representative Rick Boucher (D-VA):

Mr. Boucher: The second key question that I have is this: what about Boxee?  Did Hulu block the Boxee users from access to the Hulu programs?

Mr. Zucker: This was a decision made by the Hulu management, uh, to, uh… What Boxee was doing was illegally taking the content that was on Hulu without any business deal.  And, you know, all… We have several distributors, actually many distributors of the Hulu content that we have legal distribution deals with.  So we don’t preclude distribution deals; what we preclude is those that illegally take that content.

Mr. Boucher: Would you be open to negotiations with Boxee or whatever it was?

Mr. Zucker: We have always said that we are open to negotiations.

Did a Congressman just tell Hulu to play nice with Boxee?

Here’s the video:

Update: Boxee CEO Avner Ronen just posted a response to Jeff Zucker’s testimony arguing the accuracy of Zucker’s claim.

Boxee uses a web browser to access Hulu’s content – just like Firefox or Internet Explorer. Boxee users click on a link to Hulu’s website and the video within that page plays. We don’t “take” the video. We don’t copy it. We don’t put ads on top of it. The video and the ads play like they do on other browsers or on Hulu Desktop. And it certainly is legal to do so.

Mr. Zucker says they always said they are open to negotiations. That has not been our experience, but at this point, we will take Mr. Zucker’s offer at face value and will contact him. We are eager to work with both Comcast and NBCU to bring more content on more devices to our users. We believe the Internet represents a great opportunity for content owners and we hope that current artificial barriers put on distribution over the Internet will be taken down.

Does this mean the Hulu experience on Boxee is about to get better? Who knows, but the incident further highlights Boxee’s growing disruption in the IPTV space, a Wild West environment that is turning television on it’s head.

See Avner’s response in its entirety here.

Hello World – In Video!
3 February 2010 by Rob Spectre

Mark Tucker over at shazaml.com has put together a great six minute screencast showing how to develop a quick “Hello World” app on Boxee.  Mark’s video is very detailed and pro-quality, showing how to create a test app on Windows.  Great work here.

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