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Hardware Hacking Media Television

Build a BoxeeBox and Wean Yourself From Cable 335

Since I've been having serious problems with satellite all week, DeviceGuru's submission was really interesting to me. He says "Inspired by Roku's awesome Netflix video download box and impressed with Boxee's free A/V media center platform, it was merely a matter of time before DeviceGuru blogger Rick Lehrbaum would create the BoxeeBox, an Ubuntu-powered HTPC with Boxee serving as its primary media center UI. Based on a 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, the BoxeeBox has the look and feel of consumer A/V equipment and packs 2GB RAM, 1TB HDD, CD/DVD drive, USB, Firewire, HDMI, DVI-D, RGB, and 8-channel surround sound audio."
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Build a BoxeeBox and Wean Yourself From Cable

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  • slight difference (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @09:59AM (#26811647)
    "Inspired" by this little $100 box, I decided to make a clone that's 30x bigger and only cost me $600.
  • by modf ( 213273 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @10:13AM (#26811831) Homepage

    It's back up for me, but here is a cached version just in case:

  • Re:Sub $500? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Striikerr ( 798526 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @10:17AM (#26811885)

    Why? The point of Roku is that you can get netflix content. The BoxeeBox is not going to do that.

    Umm, yes the Boxee Box WILL get NetFlix streaming content. It can connect into your NetFlix account and it displays all of the Streamable content presently in your queue. It will also let you browse other streamable content. I have used Boxee to access my NetFlix streamable content on my Mac connected to my TV. It is an amazing application!

  • by keithpreston ( 865880 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:27PM (#26813973)
    Depending on you ISP. ESPN360 pretty much has all ESPN live sports content except ESPNU (bastards want you to buy a premium sports tier) between this and my antenna, I can see 95% of my Kansas Jayhawk Basketball.
  • by ubercam ( 1025540 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:37PM (#26814161)

    That's not the firmware version, it's the "version number" of the motherboard given by the scene/community to differentiate between the different boards as they were revised/changed/made cheaper over time. It's not official Microsoft version numbering. Also, no matter which board you end up with, there are mod chips available. Divineo still sells them, whether you're in Canada, US or Europe. I'm sure you could find some on Ebay/Kijiji/Craigslist or even at a game shop in your area.

    I bought mine in 2002. It's a 1.0 board. I started with XBMP and kept up with XBMC development over the years.

    If you were planning on running Linux, I'd have to ask why? It's no problem with a mod chip, but keep in mind that XBMC runs _natively_ on a modded bios (Xecuter, Evox, etc). Running GentooX, or whatever Linux distro on a free/open bios, and XBMC for Linux on top is 100% redundantly redundant. Just make XBMC your default dashboard and forget about the rest of that garbage.

  • by wagnerrp ( 1305589 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:41PM (#26814261)

    Boxee looks interesting...are there any comparisons out there between it, Freevo and MythTV?

    There is no comparison that can be made between it, Freevo, and MythTV. Freevo and MythTV are DVRs. They record TV. Boxee is simply a media player (if perhaps a very fancy one).

  • by MaXMC ( 138127 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @12:51PM (#26814443) Homepage

    So boxee is pretty much useless if you don't live in the United States (or have a proxy there)...

    A Xbox360 would be nice too but Netflix doesn't exist here... neither does the Video store on my PS3... WTF! Even Sony produced movies aren't rented out in the PSN Store because of f-ing licensing issues

    Lucky for us Swedes we still have Piratebay ;)

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:07PM (#26814775)

    >> Getting any pc to do decent tv-out is a nightmare (Modeline Hell as he calls it).

    This sounds like you're trying to use some horrible analog interconnect like S-video or something. Last time I remember modelines was on my Amiga.

    Funny how connecting my PC to my TV has never ever been a problem for me. But then I have always used newer (nVidia) videocards, and have a TV that also supports DVI.

    If you really want decent TV-out then upgrade to 1990's tech and get a video card and a TV that supports DVI or HDMI and use that instead. All your modeline problems will go away too.

    I don't know if you're one of them, but the number of friends I see still using legacy analog interconnections rather than digital even though their TV and other boxes already have digital connectors is frustrating.

  • by powerlord ( 28156 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:33PM (#26815241) Journal

    Hulu is good in that its free.
    1) Hulu works with OSX, Windows, Linux, PS3, and some other Set Top Boxes.

    If you don't mind paying a few dollars to watch a program or movie:
    2) Amazon Video has a lot. They work with OS X, Windows and TiVo.
    3) iTunes has a lot. They work with OS X, Windows and AppleTV.
    4) PlayStationNetwork Store has a lot of Video content. Works with PS3/PSP.
    5) MicroSoft's MarketPlace has a few programs that you can download to XBox 360s.
    6) NetFlix streams video to subscribers and works with OS X, Windows, TiVo, and some other Set Top Boxes.

    Depending on which programs are "must see" for you, you can pay for some of the programs and still spend a lot less money than you would have on cable. If most of what you watch is free (OTA or Hulu), then the savings become even more pronounced.

    If you don't care about being a season or so behind, wait for the boxed sets at the end of each season and pick those up (probably about the same cost as buying them), or get through a NetFlix subscription for substantial savings over buying either individual episodes ala'cart (through iTunes/Amazon/PSN Store/MS Marketplace), or buying the Season Boxed Set.

    There are LOTS of options for delivery. The only thing I haven't figured out how to get are those cheesy SciFi Original Movies. some of them are fun and I'll miss them when I give up cable, but it'll probably keep my brain from rotting (any more). :)

  • by stickyc ( 38756 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:14PM (#26815895) Homepage
    The wins with Boxee are:
    • It's got a fairly high WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) in that the UI is pretty easy to use (certainly much easier than Finder/Explorer).
    • It's a "social" media player. In that it has a "friends" system like most other social sites. You can see what your friends are watching (opt-in, of course) and use that as a tool to find new content.
  • by AncientPC ( 951874 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:26PM (#26816091)

    Try []

    They even offer RSS feeds so you can subscribe to them with your torrent client and download automatically.

  • Old xbox with plugin (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @02:57PM (#26816669)

    I use an old xbox, costs 50 bucks from game stop, soft mod it, install xbmc, installed the hulu plugin, south park studios plugin, mtv plugin, and have it networked with my computer that has 2 tb of storage, and stream movies and music to my tv from my computer. with all the plugins, i can watch anything on hulu, watch any music video on mtv, and watch every single southpark episode. Cable sucks, I have an on demand setup that cost me fifty bucks, also xbmc will play almost anything.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"