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Summary:

Boxee recently announced that it won’t add any more third-party apps to its legacy Boxee Box anymore, as it is looking to focus its resources on Boxee TV instead. But that doesn’t stop enthusiasts, some of which have begun to hack the box.

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Boxee is phasing out support for third-party apps on its legacy Boxee Box device, the company recently announced on its developer blog. This step is part of a bigger shift towards the new Boxee TV, which comes with a much smaller number of apps and instead emphasizes live TV and Boxee’s new cloud DVR service. But some Boxee Box enthusiasts seem ready to be filling the void, and have begun to hack the device to add improvements.

Boxee said last week that it will only accept new apps for the Boxee Box until mid-December. After that, only bug fixes for existing apps will be accepted. “We don’t have the resources to do quality assurance on major app updates,” explained Boxee lead app developer Shawn Rieger.

However, that doesn’t mean that developers won’t have access to the Boxee Box anymore. The device has always supported so-called third-party repositories, which are essentially app stores hosted and maintained by outside developers. Some of the existing repositories only feature a single app, while others offer access to hundreds of apps. “Some of our most popular apps are hosted in repositories,” wrote Rieger.

Some enthusiasts are now taking that spirit of third-party development even further. A new project dubbed Boxee+ aims to add missing features to the Boxee Box. Hackers recently discovered that they can get the device to run custom code loaded onto an external USB drive. One of the first releases of Boxee+ adds a music tab to the home screen as well as custom art to the device’s movie section. Of course, using this exploit will most definitely void one’s warranty, and could possibly even damage the device, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Boxee has said that it will continue to support the Box for end users, but that there won’t be any more major software updates to it, safe for an update to Adobe’s Flash player. It is instead focusing all of its resources on Boxee TV, a device that is being sold exclusively at Walmart.

Check out Boxee TV unboxing video below:

  1. I just don’t get it. first drop support for PC app, then drop support for the dang box entirely. Come on 2 guys working out of a garage would do better than this. More like 2 CEO’s working in a garage. I was a diehard Boxee user on the PC from beta, I didn’t know how I was going to function without it, but XBMC has done well so far.

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  2. You would have to be a fool to trust Boxee to deliver anything that they promise. They have proven to be untrustworthy, but there is always a fool that will want to part with his money, don’t say you weren’t warn.

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  3. I purchased a Boxee Box about a year ago, after reading some good reviews. In general, I’m hapoy with the box, but completely pissed at DLink for abandoning 2 year old technology with an installed user base. I’m hopeful that the Boxee+ group mentioned above will have success – looking forward to downloading and trying out the hack! In future though, I’ll be building my own HTPC and installing XBMC on it. Lesson learned – stick with open source solutions!

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  4. james mcmullan Sunday, December 9, 2012

    what a roadmap of how to NOT run a business…..

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  5. I have one of the 1st BoxeeBox’s and it has worked well in spite of the lax support it has received from Boxee. I do love the Box for being the best all around media streamer out there, so I am happy to have installed BoxeeBox+ and gotten a lot of the improvements we have waited for since day one from Boxee. If you have a boxeebox gathering dust in the closet then get it out and install Boxee+, you will be happy you did. The Hacker community will do a MUCH better job of improving the box than Boxee ever did.

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  6. I’m already reading Boxee t.v. customers are being duped . Tons of bugs and NO customer support.

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  7. I actually had purchased this unit.. here’s the thing. If you use cable.. it works fine.. except for the fact that the numbering system of channels is very strange.. like 22.3 for fox.. or 76.5 for syfy.. if you can live with this fine. I didn’t care for it because I had to learn where the channels were that I wanted to watch.. plus.. the dvr function.. at the time I bought it.. would only work if you used an external antenna.. not with cable. The supplied antenna – was able to get 1 (one) channel to pull in to watch (and mind you I live close to Houston).. and another antenna I owned which normally could draw in about 22 channels.. was only able to get about 2 channels using the tuner. I was very disappointed that a company could make such rubbish. First thing, out of the box was an update which wasn’t terribly bad but still.. I would have thought it might have improved the service this thing provided. So, needless to say.. I re-visited wal-mart and enjoyed wasting my money on something else..

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  8. Paulie Walnuts Friday, December 28, 2012

    Boxee Box has always been a piece of garbage. NO customer support (that excludes non paid moderators aiding Boxee customers out of the goodness of their hearts) and tons of bugs. I downloaded the hack install. It’a a hell of a lot better. Now all I look forward to is a class action suit by current and former Boxee customers because of failure of promised service.

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  9. Boxee has just caved in to the manipulations of the content industry: make it impossible to use outside the United States. Done. Lock down the ecosystem to prevent external manipulation and man int he middle hacks. Done. Make it so unattractive to the original user base and try to market high technology to mouth-breathing middle America. Fail (done). — A very p-d off European 1st edition Boxee Box owner

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  10. After a month of monitoring chats i added boxee plus. So far so good. Works great and no issues. The guys running it actually offer support unlike boxee. I wish boxee would grant them full access so they can really get the box running full throttle instead of a back door hack

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