TV and the Box are one. Boxee began shipping Live TV adapters on Tuesday, uniting cable TV and over-the-air signals as it promised to do in November. The $49 Live TV tuner connects to the Boxee Box via USB and overlays some Boxee functionality atop a basic cable or OTA digital signal piped in via coaxial. Live TV includes social channel elements, sharing via Facebook and Twitter, and the ability to hide/rename channels for easy browsing. The Live TV interface and regular Boxee interface are one and the same, so there's no awkward switchover from live content to web TV.
The Boxee Blog also mentions the possibility of DVR functionality being added to Live TV in the future. If they figure out how to add that in, the Box will be one hell of a cord-cutting solution. Live TV launches alongside version 1.5 of Boxee, which is free for all and overhauls the UI, search and libraries. The update will be rolling out to Boxes for the next 72 hours; full details are after the break.
We've added links to the standard menu to launch the Browser and Live TV (once you've attached the dongle). We also gave the featured section a small facelift.
The Menu is now more accessible, popping up as an overlay that lets you quickly navigate between different sections or search. we also optimized search to minimize the number of clicks.
We updated the layout of Movies and TV Shows for easier navigation by Genre and Source as well as providing quick access to trailers.
There is also a new Movie details screen with extended synopsis and cast & crew information. For TV Shows it is now much easier to jump between seasons and see which episodes you already watched.
We expanded the thumbnails in Watch Later & Friends sections and now let you filter between clips, TV Shows and Movies.
Sad news for Boxee HTPC users: update 1.5 will be the last Boxee software release for PC, Mac and Ubuntu. This year Boxee is entirely moving away from the community that helped it grow to focus on the Boxee Box and whatever products it releases in the future. We'll be interested to see if the Boxee community leaves in droves to install Plex or XBMC, or if they splinter off their own development of Boxee to keep the PC dream alive.