Boxee Box owners will soon be able to tune into live TV via their funny shaped device. The discovery was made by GigaOm who got its paws on an unreleased build of the Boxee 1.5 software update.
The new feature will work in tandem with a USB tuner dongle that will presumably pick up free-to-air digital TV signals.
Your first question is probably: "Why?" After all, you can already already pick up free-to-air channels using a number of different (and usually free) methods. The obvious answer to that is convenience. If you're a big Boxee Box fan and spend a lot of time with the system booted up and displayed on your big screen TV then it just makes it easier to switch to live TV without having to scroll through your TV's source list.
It would also cut down on wires, if you have just one box that can provide you with all your IPTV, VOD and live TV needs.
But it goes a step further than that. GigaOm's trial run uncovered text within the UI that stated the option could allow Boxee Box owners to enjoy their "favourite broadcast TV stations through Boxee’s unique social interface" and also an option for "sharing viewership data with friends".
So it's clear that Boxee's live TV aims come with a heavy dose of social networking built in. You'd never miss the shows that your buddies were watching and you wouldn't need to take to your phone to tweet about Frankie Cocozza and the rest of the X-Factor numpteys, you could do it directly on your TV screen.
There's no word on when Boxee live TV may go live, we've approached the company for comment and will let you know if we hear anything back.
In the meantime, check out our Boxee Box review