Happy Thanksgiving! I'm super thankful that I have been able to spend the last 13 months blogging for TUAW and interacting with all of you. On a more superficial note, I am also thankful for my Macs and all the cool stuff Apple products enable me to do.
The newest member of my Apple family is the Apple TV. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk to Avner and Andrew from boxee, the company behind the social media player of the same name. Boxee released an update earlier this week, but the next big version is set for December 4, 2008. Avner and Andrew were nice enough to answer my questions, share some details about the future of boxee and best of all, provide a link so that TUAW readers can join in the fun! If you want to try boxee on your Mac or Apple TV, enter your e-mail address at http://boxee.tv/tuaw and you should get an invite within 24 hours.
In the comments, on Twitter and via e-mail, many of you have asked questions about boxee, its limitations and its future. I took these questions and comments to Avner and Andrew, and here's what I got back.
On .MKV support for Apple TV
Boxee supports the .MKV container and if you are using a Mac mini, MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro, boxee can play back 1080p .mkv files without a problem. Apple TV is limited by its processor and GPU, and it maxes out playing back 420p and 720p .MKV content. I don't usually deal with .MKV, but a quick Google search turned up a lot of information about programs that can be used to convert files. Apparently, the PS3 has this same limitation.
A number of users have complained about the quality of boxee's Hulu playback. I also noticed a decrease in quality after the latest update. The update on December 4 is going to address this. The big problem, for Apple TV owners, is once again the limitations of the hardware. Seeing as Apple TV's can stream HD content from iTunes (when downloading anyway), I think this is something that can be greatly improved, but it might take some time. Boxee is still in alpha and the goal is to enter beta sometime next year, so while I think the fact that Hulu is supported at all is fantastic, the Apple TV experience might take some time to fully evolve. If you are using a Mac for boxee playback, your performance will be much better.