Boxee On Apple TV 2.3: Some Hoops, But A Bonus
I put off updating my Apple TV to version 2.3 for one key reason: Boxee. Upgrading from Apple TV 2.2 to 2.3 wipes out any hacks.
So I waited until last week until a new version of both Boxee and the ATV USB creator were released. After updating to Apple TV 2.3, yes, as expected, all my hacks including Boxee were wiped out. To reinstall Boxee, I created another USB patchstick using ATV USB creator v10. I then hit another snag, which was Boxee hanging on a black screen upon launch, and no response from the remote.
Digging around on the Boxee forums exposed a tip: ssh into the Apple TV and run:
rm -rf /Users/frontrow/Library/Application\ Support/BOXEE/UserData
…which essentially wipes out your user settings. After doing so, I was able to launch Boxee. I had to reenter my login and pass.
But today, yet another bonus: Boxee released a new version for the Apple TV. The desktop client adds Netflix “Watch Instantly” support, which is sadly absent on the Apple TV version. I just upgraded via the Apple TV it and it’s working great.
- Lots of interface tweaks. Lists are easier to read. Each content provider has its own look and feel, which makes the navigation feel less “deep.”
- The Hulu interface is much easier to navigate, with a long list of shows instead of thumbnails for each. The landing page has a cool scroller through some of the content.
- WB is new. The video was pretty choppy however.
- Apple Movie Trailers is new. The trailers look great (why can’t all the networks use QuickTime?).
- CBS: The videos play just fine, which I wasn’t able to do before.
Although it was a while in coming, this new Boxee version is great stuff. The more I play with it, I further “get” its appeal. As Google Reader pulls in RSS feeds from everywhere, and FriendFeed is an aggregator that pulls in social media content from all kinds of Web 2.0 sites, Boxee is essentially doing the same thing with video content directly on the Apple TV. I may yet achieve digital video nirvana in this lifetime.