You can now find the TechStars.tv application on Boxee. Just run Boxee, then look under “Applications” and install the TechStars.tv application. You’ll then find everything you see on the TechStars.tv web site inside Boxee as well.
I’ve been running Boxee at home on my TV using a Mac Mini for about a month now, and it’s an awesome internet video experience. There’s a photo of my TV running Boxee at the bottom of this post. I even have it working with my Harmony remote, so I can control it in the same way as you’re used to with a TV. I like to think of it as a DVR pre-loaded with organized videos from all over the web. What’s so great is that niche content can be easily organized and distributed. In effect, anyone can create a TV channel and make it available on Boxee. It’s just one more step in the demise of one way controlled media.
Besides TechStars.tv, I like to watch TED Talks and Open Courseware all the time. Another favorite of mine on Boxee is Boxqueue, which gives me a browser bookmarklet that automatically queues any video I’m looking at on the web so that I can easily watch it later at home on Boxee.
I thought I’d take a second and tell you how we built TechStars.tv, because I think the solutions we’re using rock.
The TechStars.tv web site is powered by VodSpot, which is one of the services available from Vodpod, a popular video bookmarking service. VodSpot gives you a flexible, branded, fully-skinned way to display any given collection of videos from around the web. It supports all the popular sites like YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Your VodSpot doesn’t host your videos, it just organizes videos that already exist elsewhere on the web. It’s simple, intuitive, and it works flawlessly. When you are looking at TechStars.tv, you’re looking at an example of VodSpot, plain and simple. We’ve just skinned it to look like the TechStars web site using CSS. Our collection of videos simply includes our original content such as our new weekly documentary series “The Founders” as well as other relevant content from our great mentors from around the web.
Once we had this working, it seemed like the natural thing to do was to enable the content within Boxee. I dropped a note to the guys at VodPod, and they quickly turned around and gave me a video RSS feed that was compatible with Boxee. I then tweeted to see if anybody in our community might want to hack together a Boxee app out of that feed. Michael Sitarzewski stepped up and spent one late night figuring it out. It’s pretty simple (basic instructions here) and Michael had the finished up completed in two or three days. Of course, he rocks, so it might take normal people longer. Michael runs a startup called Callisto.fm which is a new way to discover and listen to podcasts. If you dig the Boxee app he helped create, please give him some feedback on Callisto.fm – I’m sure he’d appreciate it.
So there you have it – TechStars.tv is now live on Boxee. Thanks to VodPod and Michael of Callisto.fm for their help in making it happen.