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There'a a million media streamer boxes (WD TV, Xtreamer, Asus O!Play, Patriot Box Office, etc.), but they're lacking any sort of uniformity in bringing all the content together, and they usually lack web content but are great at streaming your local content. Also their GUI is almost always awful.
The Boxee box, on the other hand, brings everything together:
- a unified search: search your local content, online web channels, broadcast/cable channels that offer streaming content (SyFy, Hulu, CBS, ABC, NBC, etc)
- playback of your local or networked content (up to 1080p without breaking a sweat) in just about any video/audio format
- scrapes your content for metadata (poster thumbnails, actor, year, summary, etc)
- social integration (among your other Boxee friends, but also Twitter and Facebook. If any of the people you're following posts a video via Twitter or Facebook, it'll show up on your home screen to play)
- apps for everything. if there's a site that has video content and there isn't an app for it, make one
In comparison to Google TV, it has a "Boxee browser" which is geared for browsing sites that feature web content and not so much a full browser experience.. but it's based on Webkit so they could easily make something like that.
As I posted in another thread, the only thing that sucks about the Boxee box is the unknown of Netflix (since it's Linux based and Silverlight runs on Mac and PC and isn't currently implemented in the Linux software version of Boxee). I'm hoping they use Moonlight (the open-source, Microsoft-approved version of Silverlight) to get it up and running.
And if you look at all of my posts recently in these Google TV threads, you'd think I worked for Boxee.. sadly, I don't. I'm just a big fan and have been using it forever.