Boxee beta unveiled: Cross-platform media player gets a major facelift
Boxee has been in private alpha testing for a while, but at an event in New York the Boxee team showed off the new beta version of the software.
The new beta features a completely overhauled user interface which is designed to make it easier to find the content you're looking for, whether it's online or stored on your desktop. The Windows version also moves from OpenGL to DirectX for graphics as well as support for DXVA-enabled video cards.
There are also a few new features including the Global Menu which lets you access Boxee settings (queue, history, logout, etc) as well as media and other apps, TV shows, movies, or folders.
Probably the biggest change is that it's much easier to find content in the TV Shows & Movies section. Previously, you had to figure out which app to fire up to find a video. Was it on Hulu, Joost, YouTube, or something else? Now you can search by title instead of web site/Boxee app. Movies are arranged by title, while free TV shows are arranged by season and episode.
There's also a Boxee Queue that lets you mark programs that you want to watch later. You can use the queue screen to arrange the list, sort of like your Netflix queue.
Boxee will be sending out invitations to users that signed up to test the new beta over the next four weeks.
Oh yeah, Boxee has also been pushing its software as a platform that could run on set-top boxes, DVD and Blu-Ray players, and other media devices. Today Boxee unveiled its first hardware partner. D-Link unveiled the Boxee Box, which 4.7" x 4.7" x 4.7" device that certainly qualifies as a box, albeit a slightly lopsided one. There's not a lot of information about the specs, but we do know the box is designed to run Boxee, and it features an HDMI port, S/PDIF and composite audio, 2 USB ports, and and SD card slot. It's due out in Q2, 2010 and it's expected to sell for about $200.
You can find images of the D-Link Boxee Box and a few more pictures of the Boxee beta user interface in the gallery after the break.