The Boxee Box is finally available to pre-order, with the actual product shipping in November. But does this streaming set-top box have any hopes of competing with Apple TV, Google TV, and the other connected platforms all vying for this crowded space?
Boxee is a company best-known for its cross-platform, open-source media center for all. Available on PC, Mac, and Linux, this is a media center designed to fill the gap between your TV and your computer, and many people use and love it.
However, in December 2009 Boxee announced it was entering the set-top box arena with an offering developed by D-Link. The Boxee Box (pictured above) is the result, and although it’s been delayed it’s now finally available to pre-order.
The Boxee Box
The Boxee Box was first scheduled to be released in the middle of the year, but in June the company announced a delay until November.
That target is still on course to be met, but the Boxee Box is available to pre-order two months before its official launch. It’s an Amazon.com exclusive and will set you back a hefty $200. I say hefty in relation to the $99 price tag attached to the all-new Apple TV.
The only thing that seems to have been altered over the past nine months is the processor powering the Boxee Box, with an Intel CE4100 Atom replacing the NVIDIA Tegra 2 that was originally the heart of the device.
The change was reportedly made as the Tegra 2 chipset didn’t support the number of video formats Boxee wants to offer. And the shifting from one processor to another was also the reason for the months-long delay.
Apple TV and Google TV
This delay could prove costly to Boxee, because although the product is almost with us, so are other similar devices. Including the cheap and very mainstream Apple TV, and the dark horse that is Google TV.
The Boxee Box has a lot going for it, and is sure to sell well to those who have grown to love the Boxee media center in recent years. But it’s not cheap, and I’d suggest anyone other than geeks will stick to what they know. Which is Apple and Google, both household names people trust and, in many cases, love.
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