The Media Player war just got hotter

To be honest when ever I see my friends Popcorn Hour box, I can’t help but laugh a little. The interface to the Popcorn Hour Box is just hellish and although it does technically provide a experience close to XBMC and others, it was never a real runner. It always felt like it had been beaten with a truly ugly stick then left out to die. Even the name Popcorn Hour Media Tank, conjured ideas of something ugly as sin.

Well finally the design message has gotten through and Popcorn Hour has now spawned off the PopBox, which actually to me looks like a direct rip from Boxee Alpha to tell the truth, but looks far better than its previous outings.

The Popbox also now supports Apps (is there anyone who doesn’t) But instead of adopting someone elses approach, they have decided to build there own platform called DAVID. Hummm, sounds like a bad idea personally. Anyway the Popbox is going to be closer to 100 dollars that Boxee Box which is 200 dollars.

How ever thats not where it ends. I heard today that not only is the Boxee box coming out in maybe March but also you can buy the RF remote by its self. Which means someone like myself who has a custom box running boxee or xbmc can also benefit from the slick Boxee remote.

Nice you say, but there more. Up till now theres been this category of media players who just do streaming and nothing else. Roku is one and a popular other is Vudu. You connect them up and pay a subscription for like a VOD experience over your internet. Well Boxee just announced support for paid content. If content producers can make this revenue model work, it would be great. I do wonder however if that means we’ll see DRM content in Boxee soon? Really hope not…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.