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Boxee: A New Competitor For MythTV?

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  • Boxee: A New Competitor For MythTV?

    Phoronix: Boxee: A New Competitor For MythTV?

    For years MythTV has been regarded as the best media center application for the Linux platform and is extremely popular with HTPC enthusiasts. MythTV is open-source and serves as a digital video recorder with support for reading TV listings and it supports a variety of TV tuners. In addition, through various modules the functionality of MythTV can be extended to be an online photo gallery manager, serve as a music player, RSS newsreader, fetch weather forecasts, and provide quite a bit of other functionality. However, MythTV now has a new competitor and that is Boxee. Boxee is a "social media center" that is based upon the Xbox Media Center (XBMC) with versions for Linux, Windows, and MacOS X. What the Boxee developers have added, however, is a social media aspect to media playback. Whenever you are watching something through Boxee, it will record that information and share it with your friends using Boxee and the user also has the ability to recommend the media they are listening to or watching with their friends. Oh yes, it is also open-source.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=12680

  • #2
    UI looks nice. can't say much more based on screenshots alone.

    i wonder how does it compare to mythtv, which i never used.

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    • #3
      I use MythTV quite a lot. It's the only way we watch TV in this household. While I'm sure Boxee is very nice, it doesn't appear to have the TV functionality that MythTV is really all about. All those extra features are really just that - extras. I don't currently use any of that stuff. If Boxee adds DVB TV functionality in the future, then I'll be checking it out!

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      • #4
        Errr maybe I'm missing something, but the most important feature of MythTV is the ability to, you know, record TV...

        MythTV grabs guides, schedules, records, detects commercials, transcodes... Well, you get the idea.

        I think Boxee has a long ways to go before MythTV starts to feel threatened. About the only thing I saw on the brief peruse of the Boxee site that MythTV genuinely lacks is the social aspect. I think integration with online video services may be a bit weak/difficult in MythTV too, but someone will eventually scratch that itch as a usable plugin.

        Far more likely would be a MythTV plugin for Boxee. MythTV does the heavy lifting and Boxee acts as the frontend. However, there is already one slick in-development frontend for MythTV called Gloss, and there was discussion amongst the Elisa devs about using MythTV this way too. Both of those use a GL toolkit (Clutter and Pigment) for slick looking interfaces.

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        • #5
          boxee is an alternative to FrontRow, MediaCenter rather than MythTV

          i think the title of the post may be a bit misleading. boxee does not try to replace MythTV, it is an alternative to Apple TV and Microsoft Media Center.

          we built boxee because we were spending less and less time with broadcast TV and more and more time downloading and streaming music and video (we may build a plug-in for MythTV down the road. right now the focus is to turn Linux machines into a real alternative to Apple TV).

          avner [at] boxee d0t tv

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          • #6
            Great

            As someone who has been using MythTV for quite some time and been using XBMC since it was started and XBMP before the fork I can say that this is a good thing. I'm not sure about the social aspect of it though.

            MythTV's functionality is good. MythWeb is awesome. But the mythfrontend interface sucks and so does playing music, video, and looking at pictures. XBMC has the best interface ever, hands down. With XBMC you can browse samba shares. With MythTV, it puts everything into a database and you need to keep refreshing every time you add a file to a directory...very lame. Also, setting up music and video queues in XBMC is awesome, you can go and edit them, move things around....awesome for parties.

            I remember once I wanted to watch a football game that wasn't broadcast in my area. I found some p2p internet tv link for it and I was able to watch it in Windows run under VirtualBox on Linux. The first commercial break I got it playing natively on Linux with some command line tool that creates a stream which mplayer could play. The next commercial break I made a playlist file which linked to the stream and accessed it through Xbox Media Center on my HDTV. The point of this anecdote is that XBMC will play anything you throw at it. Simply amazing.

            Last I played with the XBMC for Linux the audio was okay but the Video was lacking. I'm not sure about boxee, I think all they needed to do was keep MythTV the way it was and just replace mythfrontend with XBMC, but we'll see how this does.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by eric.frederich View Post
              As someone who has been using MythTV for quite some time and been using XBMC since it was started and XBMP before the fork I can say that this is a good thing. I'm not sure about the social aspect of it though.

              MythTV's functionality is good. MythWeb is awesome. But the mythfrontend interface sucks and so does playing music, video, and looking at pictures. XBMC has the best interface ever, hands down. With XBMC you can browse samba shares. With MythTV, it puts everything into a database and you need to keep refreshing every time you add a file to a directory...very lame. Also, setting up music and video queues in XBMC is awesome, you can go and edit them, move things around....awesome for parties.

              I remember once I wanted to watch a football game that wasn't broadcast in my area. I found some p2p internet tv link for it and I was able to watch it in Windows run under VirtualBox on Linux. The first commercial break I got it playing natively on Linux with some command line tool that creates a stream which mplayer could play. The next commercial break I made a playlist file which linked to the stream and accessed it through Xbox Media Center on my HDTV. The point of this anecdote is that XBMC will play anything you throw at it. Simply amazing.

              Last I played with the XBMC for Linux the audio was okay but the Video was lacking. I'm not sure about boxee, I think all they needed to do was keep MythTV the way it was and just replace mythfrontend with XBMC, but we'll see how this does.
              there is work being done in xbmc to serve as a frontend for mythtv, can't wait to see it in action

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              • #8
                Imagine my disappointment when I misread "A New Competitor for MythTV" as "A New Computer for MythTV" and opened up the article...

                That said, new FOSS is always welcome.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by aaaantoine View Post
                  Imagine my disappointment when I misread "A New Competitor for MythTV" as "A New Computer for MythTV" and opened up the article...

                  That said, new FOSS is always welcome.
                  sorry to disappoint.. but if you're looking for new hardware for MythTV/boxee you can try the new Dell Studio stuff. looks promising

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                  • #10
                    XBMC for Linux

                    You guys do know that XBMC is available for Linux as well right? (over 12-months now)
                    http://xbmc.org/download

                    ...and XBMC has officially been renamed to only "XBMC" since a while back, after it went cross-platform.
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBMC
                    http://xbmc.org/about/

                    PS! Know that XBMC/Boxee has a built-in screenshot function (PrtSc) so why take screenshots with a digital camera of your TV/monitor?

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                    • #11
                      Boxee looks like it's operating okay. The interface, while very sleek looking, is pretty cumbersome to use. So far, none of the internet videos have worked out for me. I tried playing the Dark Knight trailer which took a while to load and buffered a long time to show a few seconds of footage. The CNET prizefight video did not load at all. Maybe that's internet connection issues though.

                      I did play local videos which worked pretty okay. Definitely a good first step but there's a long road ahead.

                      Question, what does pressing x on the keyboard do? It seems to freeze Boxee for me. Is it the freeze key? lol.

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                      • #12
                        Boxee turns out to be the perfect media center.It fetches album art "video art", lyrics and many info about my media.
                        The interface and the mouse integration needs a little more work but boxee is alpha so I'm confident they will fix it.


                        Great program guys
                        Thanks Michael for the invite.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by niniendowarrior View Post
                          Boxee looks like it's operating okay. The interface, while very sleek looking, is pretty cumbersome to use. So far, none of the internet videos have worked out for me. I tried playing the Dark Knight trailer which took a while to load and buffered a long time to show a few seconds of footage. The CNET prizefight video did not load at all. Maybe that's internet connection issues though.

                          I did play local videos which worked pretty okay. Definitely a good first step but there's a long road ahead.

                          Question, what does pressing x on the keyboard do? It seems to freeze Boxee for me. Is it the freeze key? lol.
                          sorry it is slow for you. probably the Internet connection.

                          'x' on the keyboard stops the currently playing media.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by avneron View Post
                            sorry it is slow for you. probably the Internet connection.

                            'x' on the keyboard stops the currently playing media.
                            No worries. It's alpha software anyway. I wonder if there's a document we can read that lists down all the commands. I'd want to know more about them. Pretty good software, that's for sure.

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                            • #15
                              I for one welcome boxee. I've been a myth user for a while but I have no interest in the TV aspect of it. My HTPC is basically used for serving media. Having the addition of online media is great. Recently of been noticing that on a lazy Saturday night, me and my wife would be more inclined to sit by the computer and spend a few hours on Funny or Die than we would be to channel surf. It's a paradigm shift in my viewing habits that I've been long hoping for and I'm glad boxee will let me bring it to the comfort of my couch (instead of the relative discomfort of my desk).

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