Our Team Blog

The Boxee Beta

We are very excited to unveil the Boxee Beta. It is a big step in the evolution of Boxee, but rather than bore you with sentimental prose about how the path we took to get here, I wanted to dive right into what’s new with the Beta release.

Home Screen:


We’ve completely re-designed the home screen to make it easier to navigate to your favorite content. We’ve pulled the menu out from the side and put it front and center. Below is your hub for recommendations and content; See recommendations from friends on boxee, Facebook or Twitter (Feed), recommendations from Boxee’s staff and partners (Featured) and the latest episodes from your favorite shows or things you’ve saved for later (Queue).

Global Menu:


This is one of our favorite additions to the Beta - the global menu. This menu makes it easy to access helpful resources (TOP - Logout, Settings, Queue, Feed, History), the main menu (MIDDLE - Photos, Music, Movies, Home, TV Shows, Apps, Files) and shortcuts (BOTTOM) to your favorite Apps, TV Shows, Movies, or folders.

TV Shows & Movies:




We overhauled Movies and TV shows to include both Internet and local content; If you know what it is you want to watch, we’ll show you where you can find it and start playing it immediately - no need to go through an App. Not sure what you’re in the mood for, we’ve made it easy to browse a ton of popular movies from the Internet by selecting the Movie library.

We’ve put a special focus on TV Shows to better organize what you can watch. Boxee now organizes TV shows by season and episode, and let’s you filter by whether freely available or not, so once you’ve seen all the free episodes you can decide if that DVD is worth it.



The Boxee Queue is a list that you control and manage. You can put almost anything into your Queue, a movie, a TV show episode, an Internet stream, a local file. In addition, if you added your favorite TV shows into My Shows then new episodes will automatically be added to your Queue. Unwatched items will appear in bold, white font.



We have made it easy for you to find and test new apps. You can sort by popularity or browse the newest additions to the Boxee App Library. Clicking on App will let you choose whether you’d like to run it, add it to My Apps (the list of your favorite apps) or add it as a Shortcut. We also made it easier to add and browse 3rd party App repositories.




We have made it easier to share what you are watching and also let you put your own custom message, which will be sent to your Boxee, Twitter and Facebook followers.

Getting the best out of your Windows machine:


As part of the Beta we also changed the underlying graphic library on Windows from OpenGL to DirectX, and we’re now taking advantage of DXVA, which means Boxee for Windows just got faster and can play 1080p without your CPU breaking a sweat. There is now a long list of affordable Windows-based devices that can turn into a kick-ass media center (e.g. Acer Revo, Dell Zino, HP Mini)

Lots and lots of other stuff:

  • Bug fixes
  • Performance improvements
  • Official support for Snow Leopard and Ubuntu Karmic

We plan to open up the Beta to the public on Jan 7th (at CES). Over the next 4 weeks we will gradually release invitations to our early access users (you can add your name to the early access list here) and then to existing alpha users. We hope your testing will help us identify any major issues and resolve them by the time of our public release. Thank you all for your on going support!!

December 7, 2009 at 8:10 pm

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