Boxee has a built-in socializing tool, via Twitter, Facebook, Buzz and Tumblr.
The sure route to making money these days is through apps for the iPad and iPhone. But money for whom? Many companies are discovering Apple's "revenue sharing" rules for app makers leaves those makers with far less revenue.
So several companies have opted to go app-less, sticking it to the biggest company (albeit temporarily) by going direct to market, using the web browser to conduct transactions with customers.
Amazon is trying it - though that company likely just has a beef with Apple. Roku and Boxee are likely trying to hang onto their nascent revenue streams.
Amazon's new Kindle Cloud Reader uses HTML5 to skirt the Store -- and streaming-video companies Vudu and Roku have gone straight to iPad with their own HTML5 workarounds. Of course, they all land on the iPad. And that's the genius of Apple's ecosystem at work: you can go around us, but we're still going to be there.
Movie rental service Vudu just optimized its web service so you can watch on iPad. Vudu is already pre-loaded on newer, web-enabled TVs and Blu-Ray players. It streams SD, HD and HDX formats, replete with that sweet THX audio test (crank it up, right?!). The releases are same-day as DVD, so on Tuesdays there's a fresh raft of movie goodness. That outpaces Netflix's waiting period.
Boxee -- a set-top box -- takes things a step farther than Vudu with its new app: users can store movies on the iPad for later viewing, there's a social networking component built in and you can in-home network your streams between PCs and your tablet.
The bigger -- and revenue-er -- the App Store gets, the more companies will continue to go direct-to-market.
-- Press:Here host Scott McGrew contributed to this report.