This review should, in hindsight, be more of an obituary. As you are probably aware, Apple is planning to ditch Front Row from its latest release of Mac OS X, Lion. Why is anyone’s guess, but the fact that the last update for it was released in November 2009, I think we could all see it coming.
In comparison to other applications, Front Row is very basic and only offers a limited number of functions. Apple may want people to switch to the Apple TV, a small digital media receiver which did borrow heavily from Front Row, or maybe it ditched Front Row because of the rise of other, third-party media applications.
Boxee is one of these. Although the whole app and its interface had larger TVs in mind, it can still be used on desktops without too much trouble. Boxee has been around for a little while now – the public beta was released in January 2010 – however the application is still in its beta stage of development. It does boast a neat interface and some handy in-built features so even if you don’t have a large TV, you can still gain some use out of it on your computer.
Boxee is, in my opinion, the final nail in the coffin for Front Row. Read on to find out why.
Today we’re continuing our series on setting up a Mac Media Centre, taking a look at the different software options available for watching TV shows, movies, music and photos on your television. Applications covered include Plex, Boxee, Hulu, Front Row, iTheater, CenterStage and MediaCentral.
You can also take a look at the other articles in our three part series:
Tivo revolutionized television watching, bringing in the flood of Digital Video Recorders that allowed TV enthusiasts to skip commercials at lightning speed, pause and rewind live TV as well as controlling when they watched their favorite shows.
Now there is another revolution stirring: online television. We all remember having to either purchase TV shows through iTunes or, if we wanted to watch them for free, we were sent on a wild goose chase through various network websites.
This is where Hulu steps in. Hulu’s new Mac desktop offers a simple way to stream television shows online. This review will take an in-depth look at Hulu Desktop, investigating whether it sets a new standard in TV streaming, or whether we’ll still be turning to Boxee for the best desktop experience.