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I need to install Boxee. I’ve been putting it off, but it needs to happen — like tomorrow. You see, the media center solution startup has a fairly straightforward way of getting content from providers like Hulu (the NBC and Fox-backed online video streaming site) to your Apple TV. This will allow me to eradicate cable — done deal.

But even for those without an Apple TV, Boxee offers a rich and interesting Apple TV (or Apple Front Row)-like experience for your computer. I’ve been testing the computer version for a while in its Alpha stage, and while it’s been buggy at times, it is definitely on the right track.

And now they’ve got the funding to continue on that track, thanks to a $4 million first round from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. This money will be used not only to entice current and future content providers such as Hulu, CBS, Netflix and BBC to put their goods on the service, it’ll also provide the means to persuade the increasingly important set-top box manufacturers to include the Boxee software.

One could easily imagine Boxee running on something like the Roku box (which is currently looking for partners beyond Netflix) or maybe even something like the Vudu box. Of course, if Boxee could convince cable box manufacturers and cable companies to use the software, that would be a win for everyone.

Cable box software in general offers an experience so pathetic that it’s almost hard to get angry about it. It’s obvious that if these guys don’t get their acts together soon, someone (Boxee, perhaps) is going to come along with an Internet-connected device and put them out of their misery.

Boxee previously got seed money from friends and family. Read more about the new funding on Fred Wilson’s blog (Union Square Ventures), Bijan Sabet’s blog (Spark Capital) and the Boxee blog.

quick intro to boxee from boxee on Vimeo.

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