Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Transform Your AppleTV with Boxee

Have an AppleTV and don’t want to wait any longer for Apple to add new features?  Well your day has arrived because the team at Boxee has a nice Media Player User Interface that you can install on your AppleTV and transform the user interface and add new features.
Boxee Menu
Boxee is a project based on the xbmc (XBox Media Center) open-source project.  Boxee was developed to be a “social” media center program that plays media from your home network and the internet and also allows you to stream or download movies, tv shows, music and photos.  While Boxee is new to the AppleTV, it is also in alpha testing for Mac OSX 10.5 and Ubuntu with plans to release a Windows version soon.

Boxee’s latest move has been to use a USB drive (Intel-based Mac & 512MB minimum flash drive required) to inject/patch the new UI into the AppleTV.

The aim of the Boxee/AppleTV project is to “fill in those gaps” left by Apple for new feaures, video formats and non-Apple internet streaming.  Already AVI, Matroska (MKV), Ogg Vorbis and ISO images are all added file formats that aren’t supported natively by AppleTV.  Boxee adds the ability to stream from BBC, CNN, CNET, Revision3 and Last.fm with plans to add Hulu support by the end of this year.  Note that 1080p is currently not supported since Boxee doesn’t take advantage of the GPU.

Boxee also adds a “friend system” that gives your friends a look at content they’ve played and the ability to recommend content to others.  You can also export recent playback history to friendfeed, tumblr & Twitter.

After installing & you restart the the AppleTV, it will have two new menu items and the rest of the system is intact.  Below is a quick highlight of the installation and user interface:

Read more about Boxee at their website