Press for Boxee

Last month, an interesting fight broke out concerning the cable companies' desire to block out competing set top boxes. The simplified version is that the cable companies asked the FCC for a waiver to allow them to encrypt basic cable signals -- something they're currently forbidden from doing. The cable companies insist they need to do this to "stop piracy" (of course). But, the reality is that this is an end run to lock people into specific cable company set top boxes (for which they hope to charge you) and away from newer, more innovative solutions. At the center of this fight has been Boxee, the maker of an innovative device for making your TV better, by letting you access and watch internet video via the device. It recently launched a new product that lets users add live local network TV to their Boxee -- but that could be cut off if the waiver goes through, since those channels would then be encrypted.

Want to run Boxee on your PC or Mac? Then hurry up; Boxee is removing all copies of its PC-based app from its servers by the end of the day Tuesday to fully concentrate on the Boxee Box.

Boxee just reinvented the box. The Boxee Box is no longer just a media streamer, thanks to the just-released Boxee Live TV. The little USB ATSC tuner integrates OTA HDTV and basic cable seamlessly into the Boxee Box’s menu system, and I found it’s as wonderful as it sounds. The little box is now the cord cutter’s best friend (if it wasn’t already).

Boxee describes itself as, “the one box your TV needs.” Just a year ago, the company announced a content partnership with CBS and an iPad app, an announcement that now seems dull compared to what the New York-based company announced at CES this year.