Living in a post-boxee america
December 27, 2011 5:15 AM   Subscribe

Boxee is leaving the PC platform (Mac / Linux / OSX) after the current release (which drops a bunch of features). What should I migrate to?

Boxee just announced they are withdrawing support for their PC platforms after the 1.5 version (OS/X, Windows, Linux). This latest version apparently doesn't support Pandora and Netflix, which we use all the time. I use an intel core2 duo Mac Mini attached to my TV as a boxee box- looks like I need to switch. Should I switch to Plex or XBMC? What are the pros and cons of each? Is there another option out there?
posted by jenkinsEar to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I use Plex and have no complaints. Much like Boxee, Plex is built off of XMBC - so it provides the more polished XBMC experience that Boxee has.
posted by unexpected at 5:50 AM on December 27, 2011

I have a WD HDTV Live+ attached to each of my TVs. They play Pandora, Netflix, and local media just fine.

A friend of mine has bought into the Apple ecosystem, and it works extremely well. The downside is that you kind of have to buy into the whole Apple ecosystem. The upside is that it's impressively seamless.
posted by krisak at 5:56 AM on December 27, 2011

Roku supports Pandora and Netflix. You have to buy the device, but $79 for plug and play functionality isn't the worst deal in the world.
posted by COD at 7:00 AM on December 27, 2011

Response by poster: To be clear- I'm not looking to replace my Mac Mini with yet more gear, I'm looking to replace the boxee software running on it with something that has a bit more forward momentum. I'm mostly interested in looking at Plex vs vanilla XBMC, but would love to know if there is any other software out there that offers similar functionality.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:35 AM on December 27, 2011

Best answer: Another vote for Plex. I have the server running on a PC (server available for PC, Mac, and Linux) in the basement with an external drive with all my media (video, pictures, music) on it, and clients all over the place: there's an app for Samsung TV's with SmartHub, an app for iOS and one for Android, an app for Roku, and a desktop client on an HTPC (Mac, Windows).

They all work beautifully. Looks like there are apps for GoogleTV, AppleTV, some LG devices, and it looks like there is an XBMC plugin even, if you want to go that route. Poke around the forums for more info on those.

As for Netflix and Pandora, there are plug-ins available, but to be honest, I've never used them. Pretty much every device I use has separate apps for them that work well, so I just use those.

One other thing that I use is Serviio to serve to DLNA devices (Xbox 360, Sony Blu-Ray player). You end up with whatever interface the device offers, but it is functional for serving your own media to even more devices if you need.
posted by hankscorpio83 at 7:57 AM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've used Plex since it was called OSXMBC and haven't had a reason to change, despite checking out the competition.
posted by geoff. at 9:00 AM on December 27, 2011

Can the people making recommendations specifically address the concern that is motivating the OP to look for a Boxee alternative: The loss of Netflix and Pandora support?

When I last looked at Netflix on XBMC, the Netflix plugin options weren't great, and seemed unlikely to get better because it was a proprietary, DRMed service that didn't attract the attention of the type of people who liked to hack on XBMC.

As for Plex, it looks like support for the netflix plugin isn't necessarily very strong either.

For my own part, I got tired of looking for a low-hassle, easy-to-use option for Hulu and Netflix, and just popped for a low-end Roku. Its not perfect, but it was reasonably cheap and works reasonably well. The options for playing back local media aren't great, but the truth is, I have had almost no desire to watch anything from my DVD collection since I ripped it onto my server a year ago.
posted by Good Brain at 11:05 PM on December 27, 2011

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