Remember the scrappy media center startup Boxee.tv? They’ve come a long way from the early days of social television sharing and developed a powerful, clean interface for watching video content (and more!) on your televisions. The free ride ends tonight, however, as the company is cutting the PC client in order to focus strictly on their hardware side.
When we spoke to Boxee back at CES, the company was bullish about its prospects for a post-PC version of Boxee. Their biggest reason for the change? Supporting multiple platforms is hard work for a smaller startup, and they expect that cutting out the versions of Boxee for Windows, OS X and Linux will save them both time and money.
It’ll also them to leverage a greater degree of focus upon the Boxee Box, which is suffering strong competition from the likes of Western Digital’s WD TV Live Players, the Apple TV, the upcoming Google TV push, and the rise of the in-built smart television. Boxee’s VP of Marketing took to their blog to talk about the change last month, noting, “While there are still many users who have computers connected to their TVs, we believe this use case is likely to decline as users find better alternatives.”
That’s a sentiment we’ll wholeheartedly agree with, as these days, even computer enthusiasts are finding the idea of hooking up a home theater PC to their television is just too much trouble to really be worth it. Not everyone is in agreement, however, as some of those same enthusiasts are crying foul of the young company, claiming that they’re turning their backs on the community that gave them their support in the first place.
It’s a tough accusation for Boxee to defend, though for their part they’ve turned the computer-based Boxee clients into relatively polished, open-source projects. And it’s all right for a company to want to make money on the fruits of their labor – but all of this is getting away from the problem at hand: Boxee is ridding their servers of the Boxee software over the next day, so if you want to get in with an official download, you can do it right here: http://www.boxee.tv/download – just be quick.
In the coming days, we’ll talk about the various software options and replacements you have if you’re fed up with Boxee, but want to keep the HTPC in your HT, so stay tuned.