Boxee is betting that consumers accustomed to the freedom of the Internet will not be interested in a dribble of online services on their televisions but will want more comprehensive access to Web video.
“Consumers and developers aren’t going to put up with the idea of one piece of hardware talking to only a few services,” said Bijan Sabet, a partner at Spark Capital, one of two East Coast venture capital firms that invested a total of $4 million in Boxee last year. “It would be like getting a Verizon phone you can only use to call other Verizon subscribers. It’s not a natural thing.”
Boxee appears to be generating a tremendous amount of buzz. For good reason too.
The people behind Boxee appear to "get it", as is evident by the above quote.
In a world where anyone has access to anything via the internet the game has changed for television and media as well.
It's no longer enough to have some or "most" of media on your TV.
It's no longer enough to have access to some prepackaged set of channels from a cable provider.
It's no longer enough to have access to the popular stuff... or the stuff in english.. or the stuff on youtube.
The television of the future will be able to play any video from anywhere in the world through the internet.
Everyone will have equal access to not only watch but also to publish and share media with everyone else in the world.
No longer will what's on TV be constrained by a cable company like Comcast, a hardware company like Apple, or even the latest greatest kid on the block, Youtube.
The TV of the future must be completely content, language and geography agnostic.
If you want to watch the first landing on the moon... videos from China in a local dialect... a video your sister posted yesterday of her kids making a snowman... you should and you will be able to watch it on your TV.
Wether this content be personal home movies, niche content of any type in any part of the world or any language, or mainstream popular media, whatever your hearts content you should and one day you will be able to watch it on your TV with simply the flip of a button on the remote.
That is the big picture, and until now there has not been any one piece of software or one company that could get you there.
With youtube and a thousand other existing web services are serving every type of content imaginable around the world,
with high-speed bandwidth becoming more ubiquitous everyday,
and finally with the revolutionary bittorrent protocol allowing anyone with even a shred of bandwidth to serve a video to millions...
...the media world is at the cusp of making two more great leaps.
One leap for media will be mobile.
The other leap will be to the living room.
For the next step in revolutionizing media we need piece of software that is Mosaic or Firefox of the internet for media for the TV.
Boxee is the first thing I've seen that *may* very well fit that bill.