With all of the hype surrounding the impending war of Google TV and Apple TV, there’s an underdog to support that could be exactly what many feature-hungry customers have been waiting for. Boxee, who previously only dealt in open-source software for media servers and media PCs, is releasing a piece of hardware called the Boxee Box. The Boxee Box will be made by D-Link and will feature the Intel Atom CE4100 platform for graphics processing. According to NewTeeVee, this graphics decision was the main reason for a delayed release from its original release date of June 2010; it was supposed to feature the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform, but that chipset was abandoned due to lack of support for certain media formats. Along with the hardware, the software will be upgraded to 1.0, and will be HTML5 capable with webkit-based browsers.
At a $199 price tag, and a severe lack of retail presence compared to its seemingly enormous competition, Boxee will certainly be fighting an uphill battle with this one. However, that’s somewhat par for the course for Boxee. They have fallen as of late to the ever-present pressure from content-providers to limit distribution of content by tightly controlling content outlets like Hulu. Hulu, once a headline feature of Boxee, was pulled from Boxee’s lineup, and the Boxee Box is CEO Avner Ronen’s chance to get back on his feet.
Boxee is relying on D-Link at this point for retail presence. By leveraging the company’s standing in the home networking world, Boxee hopes to penetrate the market where Apple and Google don’t really have a foothold yet. At $199 and featuring a staggering amount of media features, Boxee could could be an attractive buy for consumers this holiday season.
The Boxee Box is available now for preorder at Amazon.com, and will be released in North America in November 2010.