D-Link is shipping the Boxee Box. The network Web sites will presumably block it, but it has Vudu, is going to get Netflix and Hulu Plus, and has a ton of other features.
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What a difference a year makes. When Boxee and D-Link unveiled the Boxee Box in late 2009, things were pretty quiet on the Internet-TV-in-the-living-room front. Now, after a bit of a delay, the companies are getting ready to ship the Box in November. And it’ll compete against the all-new Apple TV, set-top boxes and TVs based on Google TV, the first devices that support Hulu Plus, and a bevy of other methods of getting video off the Internet and onto an HDTV. Little Boxee, in other words, will face daunting competition from some pretty formidable rivals.
I met with Boxee CEO Avner Ronen and D-Link Director of Consumer Marketing Brent Collins this weekend to get a sneak peek of a nearly-final Boxee Box. And you know what? Despite the avalanche of competition it’ll face, it still looks pretty cool.
The Boxee Box, the Internet TV gizmo that D-Link will be demoing at CES this week, has a remote control with a QWERTY keyboard on its backside. Makes perfect sense. Actually, come to think of it, isn’t it kind of bizarre that there are so many TV boxes today that expect us to laboriously click our way through on-screen keyboards to enter alphanumeric information?
A rowdy crowd of 650 gathered at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn for Boxee’s highly anticipated unveiling of its set top box tonight.
Boxee creates open source software that brings on-demand content from the Internet and home networks to TVs, and while the software has just reached beta, it is enlisting hardware partners to embed it on their devices. (Until now, it’s been available for OS X, Windows, Linux, and as a hack for Apple TV.) The $200 Boxee Box is the company’s first branded hardware device, manufactured by D-Link. It will become available in the second quarter of next year.