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HDTV Gets Social with New Xbox Dashboard Update and Upcoming Boxee Box

November 13, 2009

Xbox LIVE Update < Dashboard Updates | XBox.comSocial Networking on your big screen HDTV will be made possible to XBox 360 owners as soon as next week, thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Dashboard update.

The topic du jour was all about TV, but this morning at NewTeeVee Live – an industry conference that explores the future of television – Xbox LIVE general manager Marc Whitten confirmed the next wave of social entertainment is coming to Xbox LIVE on November 17. Starting next week, Facebook, Twitter, and instant on HD video from Zune will be available on Xbox 360 consoles, transforming Xbox LIVE into the largest social network connected to the TV with exclusive features custom-designed for the living room. | Dashboard Updates: New Xbox Experience

In addition to social networking features of twitter and Facebook, the update also includes Zune streaming 1080p HD video.  Coincidentally enough, the same day as Microsoft released this news to the press, there was news from YouTube that they will begin offering that high-resolution format next week.

And the news wire didn’t stop clicking there.

Popular as it may be, not everyone is into XBox or game consoles for that matter (sorry PS3 and Wii).  If you fall into that camp and are not the do-it-yourself over-the-top (OTT) ready home theater PC type, then Thursday’s news from Boxee is for you:

I am very happy to announce we have signed our first partnership with a CE company. At this point we can not say more about the partner or the specs of the device, but we can tell you we are working closely with them to make sure we deliver a great Boxee experience on it.

Boxee Blog » a Boxee Box is coming!

EngadgeHD Boxee Box

Boxee is firmly rooted in providing

  • OTT content from multiple sources
  • open source development tools to content owners and aggregators
  • ease of entry to its community using existing social networks

Again, coincidence or not, Boxee can trace its start to an open source project originally developed for the XBox.  Did Microsoft miss the boat or merely wait for the ecosystem to mature?

The “Boxee-Box” is first in a series of appliances, or so Boxee hopes,  running its software application.  Netflix found success with this model, after seeding the market with its Roku player.

If you’ll recall, we actually heard that the outfit was mulling the production of its own set-top-box back in January, and now it looks like Roku, Apple TV and a host of other mini PCs will have yet another formidable rival vying for space underneath the tele. The firm isn’t spilling any details whatsoever on the so-called “Boxee Box,” but we are told that mockups and the like will be presented at the Boxee Beta Unveiling on December 7th.

Boxee inks deal with first hardware partner: a ‘Boxee Box’ is coming

What Roku and AppleTV have to concern themselves with is the internet capable HDTV and BD players that are popping up all over the place.  Today, from one manufacturer or another, they support

Boxee can at least target the BD players.   Microsoft?  They could always add a BD drive to the XBox, right?

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Xbox 360 Getting Blue-Ray (Gizmodo Interview)
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