R.I.P. Boxee Box: 2010-2013

Jan 27, 2013
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[Updated Jul 10, 2013] — When Boxee announced its new Boxee TV product last October, it also stated that the original Boxee Box, which had already ceased being manufactured, would soon transition into “maintenance mode.” Additionally, the company promised one last firmware update, which would “update the Flash player and fix some key bugs.”

In an Oct. 16, 2012 post on Boxee’s blog, CEO Avner Ronen laid out the company’s plans for discontinuing its proactive support for the Boxee Box. Quoting from Ronen’s blog post…


The Boxee Box launched in Nov. 2010, and it was an exciting milestone for us. Since Boxee started, we wanted to see it running on a dedicated device and our partnership with D-Link made it happen.

Over the past couple of years we have released several major updates, numerous minor updates and added hundreds of apps. Earlier this year we launched Boxee Live TV [DeviceGuru story], which added the ability to access over-the-air broadcast and the basic tier of cable (Clear QAM) in North America.

Our small team has poured our hearts and souls into the Boxee Box and it has been great to meet users from all over the globe. Some loved it, some wanted more features, others complained, but everyone was passionate. We hope you have enjoyed it and will continue to use it in your living rooms, dens, bedrooms or wherever else you set it up (I met one guy who installed it in his yacht!).

If you are living in the US, we would love for you to continue our journey with us and order Boxee TV when it comes out.

 

On Oct. 31, Andrew Kippen, Boxee’s chief marketing executive, clarified Boxee’s plans for the Boxee Box in a followup blog post. Quoting from Kippen’s blog post…


Based on this month’s earlier announcement, many have asked us what that means for the original Boxee Box. We’re here to give you an update on what you can expect moving forward as a Boxee Box owner.

  • The Boxee Box will continue to work exactly as it has for the past two years – you’ll be able to login, use the apps, use the web browser, download artwork for video files, all of the key back-end that powers the Boxee Box will remain up and running for the foreseeable future.
  • We will be releasing an updated Flash player for Boxee in the next few months. It should improve the browser experience and add some important content back to the TV show library. We will post an update in November which will let you know when to expect the release of the updated Flash player.
  • We cannot open root access to the device. We had to make a decision between releasing a box that was hackable and one that was commercially viable with premium content. We would have loved for the Boxee Box to be open to other software, but in the end we’re bound by agreements with our content providers to ensure the security of their content.
  • Netflix will not be available on Boxee Boxes outside the USA and Canada. Netflix requires version 3.1 or later of their application outside the USA and Canada. The Boxee Box runs version 3.0. Unfortunately, Intel no longer supports this chipset for consumer products and the version of the Intel firmware for the Boxee Box cannot run version 3.1. We would have loved to enable this for users in the UK, Brazil, Sweden, Denmark, etc. but technically speaking it’s simply not possible.
  • The Boxee Box will still be supported. D-Link and Boxee have our regular support teams working around the clock to answer any questions that come up. The forums and support sites are still up and full of answers to basic and advanced questions. We will continue to do our best to clearly resolve issues in those venues.

 

As noted by Kippen, existing Boxee Box owners can continue making use of the Boxee Box discussion forum and the Boxee Box support site, and the infrastructure that underpins the Boxee Box’s default apps will continue indefinitely. Additionally, many third party repositories continue to support the Boxee Box. Moreover, according to Boxee’s developer page, “the Boxee Box will continue to function as it does today. TV show and movie library, artwork look-up, channel listings data for Live TV users, etc. will all continue to be provided by Boxee. While new applications will no longer be released for the Boxee Box, we still encourage third party developers to keep their creative juices flowing and continue to release quality apps within their own repositories.”
 

Second generation Boxee box: “Boxee TV”

In contrast with the company’s pioneering Boxee Box, the new “Boxee TV” product will feature a limited set of apps for streaming from the most popular Internet-based sources and local network shares, integrates dual digital TV tuners, and provides a DVR function backed by cloud-based storage and watch-anywhere services.

Boxee began shipping Boxee TV in November, priced at $99, but with DVR features limited to a handful of major U.S. population centers. The company plans to phase in DVR features in other U.S. markets throughout 2013. For further info, read our introduction to Boxee TV and visit Boxee’s website.
 

Boxee Sells itself to Samsung,
shuts down cloud DVR

“Boxee, the Israeli startup that achieved fame first as the developer of an innovative, free, media-streaming software platform, and later through its partnership with D-Link around the iconic Linux-powered Boxee Box device, has been acquired by Samsung. According to reports by Haaretz and the New York Times, the company’s selling price was less than the $28.5 million it raked in from optimistic investors over the past six years….”

Read the complete story in this DeviceGuru post

 



PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

18 Responses to “R.I.P. Boxee Box: 2010-2013”

  1. db says:

    I own 2 boxee boxes. Why on earth would I buy a boxee tv when I now know how dlink supports their products! All boxee owners should be given a significant trade-in deal for boxee tv (if it does what boxee box does!)

    • Jared says:

      Agreed!!! Why would I buy another one of your damned products when you put my 1 and a half year old box on the disabled list.

      Stupid move people. If I’m going to have to buy a new damned box every other year, I may as well buy a PC.

  2. Chickenhead says:

    That’s funny, I just posted a Requiem for a Boxee Box on my own site just yesterday..and I was not nearly as kind as you. The Boxee has been a long road of broken promises and missed opportunities. It is now almost February 2013 and we STILL have not gotten the so-called “final” update for the Boxee. Most of the “content” links going to sites like CBS have been broken for a VERY long time because of Flash not being updated, and are STILL broken while they flounder with their maligned Boxee PVR.

    And I do not for a minute buy what they are saying about rooting the Boxee. There’s no good reason why they can’t hand us the keys with the requirement that we wipe the “content” stuff (that largely doesn’t work anymore anyway). What they don’t want is the competition from XBMC, which has recently been ported and released for Android.

    It’s really a pity. I LIKE the Boxee Box. I don’t like the team behind it. The Box has lots of potential that has been shrinking away to nothing, and if you look at the extremely limited features on the BoxeeTV it’s obvious this was deliberate.

    Oh well. XBMC on Android is the gamechanger and Boxee will be buried by it.

    • Wayne says:

      For me one of the killer features of the Boxee Box is that little gem of a remote. Having a micro qwerty keyboard right on the back of it makes web-browsing a pleasure when compared to the virtual-keyboard-on-screen typical alternative. If I could find a small low-power box like the ASUS eeepc that had such a remote I would load it up with XBMC and be well happy…

      • DeviceGuru says:

        @Wayne: I ceased using the Boxee Box over a year ago, and substituted the original DeviceGuru “DIY Boxee Box,” which now runs Windows 7 now and is renamed to “TVPC.” The TVPC does most of its business through the browser, including Hulu’s quite decent web interface. It also has XBMC for streaming from a DLNA server, and both Plex and Playon servers for streaming A/V to some Roku boxes, Android tablets, and an iPad 2.

        I’ve tried substituting two Mini-ITX x86 systems (described in this this DeviceGuru post) for the larger TVPC, but the Mini-ITX systems didn’t stream smoothly enough, even though they’re based on Intel’s “Atom” and AMD’s “APU” multimedia-oriented processors. Perhaps newer Mini-ITX boards based on today’s faster multimedia oriented low-power x86 processors from Intel, AMD, or Via would do the trick.

        Incidentally, I use the TVPC with a compact wireless keyboard that has built-in trackball mouse functions. It works well enough that I only prefer the Roku box for watching Netflix, and on rare occasions for Playon or Plex.

        In terms of possible successors to the Boxee Box, the Vizio Co-Star Google TV box (see this DeviceGuru review) shows a lot of promise. Unfortunately, quite a few Android video playing apps (e.g. XBMC, Hulu+, PlayOn) currently force crash on it, but hopefully that situation will improve over time. On the other hand, it has excellent Netflix and YouTube apps, streams local multimedia well, has a fully functional AirPlay renderer app (AirTight), an excellent PodCast downloader/player app (BeyondPod), and lots of other capabilities (e.g. Navi-X).

      • ExBoxee says:

        Sony has an internet player w/ qwerty now.

  3. Nathen says:

    I will now sell my BOXEE BOX as I have had enough of this CRAP , and move on to an Android based Media box . It is open and the way to go.

    So long Boxee you had your chance and now you kicked you customers onto the curb.
    Hope you will learn an IMPORTANT lesson from this.

    Adios.

    • Cozi Que says:

      Ditto!! My spouse WORKS FOR D-Link and we are fed up with the crap Boxee has pulled with this product … but don’t be too fast blaming D-Link, they (and I’ve met the PM’s for this product) feel like that ass Avner screwed them on this too. He left them with a huge inventory and the promise of bug fixes for “The Box” were never given the urgency by Avner’s people as he had promised for the product. All D-Link was responsible for was making “The Box” and supporting hardware failures; Boxee was totally responsible for the software behind it, and they screwed the pooch. Personally, i hope that jerk Avner burns in (you know where) and his company goes down the drain with him losing everything too.

  4. JohnnyK says:

    Hi There,
    I’m trying to play catch up to the early adopters of web-based alternatives to cable. My kids are on the web all the time so we are switching to an unlimited bandwidth plan and am totally sold on Netflix, etc.

    I just bought BoxeeBox 2 weeks ago and in doing research on functionality I see there are reasons to return it to Bestbuy…what would a reasonably priced alternative hardware option be?
    Back in the days of Direct TV in Canada the community of pioneers were seeking good content, great quality at no cost. SEEMS TO ME that all the alternatives to a $60+ cable bill now require several $10- $15 per month items such as Netflix, private proxy services and now cloud-based DVR options in a few select cities (availble in Canada probably by 2040). As a result the options offer a little better content essentially on demand.

    Is there a recommended device to stream internet and Netflix, access U.S. Cable shows from the U.S. Websites ( probably through a US private proxy ). My wife uses her ipad to mirror using AppleTV, but Im looking for a non-Apple alternative. The built-in functions of Boxeebox were very appealing, but am I better to just get another AppleTV?

  5. Peter says:

    I bought 2 boxes and know I can just throw them in a bin as there will be no feature updates. THANKS BOXEE. I can tell you one thing. 1) I will NEVER BUY anything Boxee related again. 2) I will tell all my friends and relations to never buy anything from Boxee again. When they scr3w us, we should pay them back!

  6. Magnus33 says:

    To add further insult to the already slap in the face from boxee the so called update to fix flash and bugs is lie.
    According to boxee they are updating flash to to standards today but there a big problem with this.
    Adobe the makers of flash stopped making it for embedded platforms like boxee box back in 2012.
    When no flash exist its rather hard to make a update containing it.
    There not going to hack some other version in because this would get them in a great deal of trouble with adobe for doing this on a commercial product

    Of course this update keeps getting delayed over and over to the point its a on running joke..big surprise that.

    Boxee merely waiting tell its obligations to netflicks and others are up and they can get away with killing the server without too much fuss.

    It all sounds like doom and gloom but when it comes to boxee lies and broken promises are the norm.

  7. william says:

    I have owned Boxee Box for a year and very recently Netflix stopped working. The Netflix app seems to have dissapeared. Is there any way to add Netflix app back?

    In terms of buying the new boxee, I must say I’m really reluctant because I feel short changed by the de-support of my current unit. It’s really poor form!!!

    • Michiel says:

      Hi Willian,

      Did you find the solution for this problem? I can’t find the app either….

      Hope to hear from you.

      Thanks.

      M

  8. ExBoxee says:

    Will the boxee tv still have restrictions on youtube videos like the boxee box? I can’t watch half the videos anymore. My daughter has a sony internet player with a qwerty remote and it plays everything available on youtube.

  9. Neil says:

    Does anyone know if its possible to get a replacement remote control for Boxee Box? I was very hopeful going in, but after reading all of these posts, I’m loosing faith… My remote has completely stopped working, I did all of the required trouble shooting to no avail. I contacted the support line and the guy on the line didn’t know if a replacement remote was even possible- he is supposed to be calling me back today. He suggested downloading the Boxee remote app, which I will do. I never did link my Boxee to the home network as we were using it exclusively for playing downloaded things on external hard drives. Problem is, without a working remote control, I cannot link up my Boxee to my home network…