Boxee and Hulu are very popular, however there was no way to access them from within Windows Media Center 7. A bit back I tweeted about the Hulu & Boxee Integrators from Tekno Webworks. I decided to give them a test drive to see how they performed.
The integrators are very simple, they add a Hulu and Boxee button into the WMC start menu. When one of them is pressed it will close down WMC and open Boxee of Hulu Desktop. When you close Boxee or Hulu Desktop it will relaunch WMC. This is extremely convenient on a HTPC so you don't have to grab a mouse and you can just use your WMC remote. These integrators obviously don't work on extenders since they actually close WMC.
They look just fine inside of WMC, however I would have liked it if they weren't their own separate items and were grouped together like other items on the start menu. It would have been nice to have them under Extras or have them in their own category incase there might be any other integrators that come out. Here is what they look like:
I spent some time going back and forth between both of the applications and it seemed to work almost perfect. There were a few times that the Boxee switch left the Windows Taskbar as the focus so you would have to get up and click the mouse on Boxee to gain control. This didn't happen very often though and overall it was just fine. After closing Hulu or Boxee you are returned to your Desktop for about 5 to 10 seconds and you can see a command prompt which has been watching for those applications to close. After those few seconds Windows Media Center is relaunched and you are good to go again.
One other nice thing is that the integrators also put the applications into the Extras Library. This means if you want to hide them from the start menu you can. I chose to do this since I don't want to clutter up my WMC start menu. I did however find a bug inside of the Boxee Integrator that wasn't automatically adding the application to the Extras Library. I added a Registry Key to fix this. If you start up "regedit" from windows search and go to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE->Software->Microsoft->Windows->Current Version->Media Center->Extensibility->Categories->More Programs" and add the following Key as shown in this screen shot (click for full size):
After you do this and restart WMC you will now see it inside of the Extras Library:
Overall these applications work great and if you are using WMC and have Hulu Desktop or Boxee installed on your computer I would recommend you install these integrators for easy access.