The open source media centre program Boxee was made available to Windows users this week.
If you haven’t heard of it before then check out this video.
In a nutshell it is an application that allows you to stream content from the web and also convert the existing media on your computer so you can watch it on a monitor or TV.
Previously only available for Mac and Linux users, it will be interesting to see how many people sign up for it.
The latest version streamlines the left-hand interface, so that you can choose between web-based sources (‘Applications’) and the files on your hard drive (‘Local Files’).
It is all very slick and I don’t think it is too much to suggest that programs like this are the future of home entertainment.
As it stands the current distribution models are split between optical discs (DVD and Blu-ray), pay TV (satellite or cable) and online (iTunes & Amazon etc).
I’ve long felt that the killer app would be the piece of software that allows you to easily find and download what you want to watch on either your TV or computer.
There have already been well-documented problems with media companies like Hulu, who are concerned about rights and platforms.
Despite these issues, Boxee still looks like the most promising step towards what watching films and TV at home will be like in the not-too-distant future.