the Boxee Box by D-Link itself was announced way back in January at CES. But a platform switch from NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chip to Intel’s Atom-based CE4100 platform cost Boxee and D-Link valuable time, while the Boxee software went through a dramatic UI transformation from the beta to 1.0. There’s also 1GB of flash storage inside, as well as 1GB of RAM.
The Boxee has been built with a simple goal in mind. Its creators say that “a lot of your favorite shows and movies are already available on the Internet. Boxee is a device that finds them and puts them on your TV. It’s easy to use and even better, there’s no monthly fee”. That’s the phrase that can be found on Boxee’s homepage. Boxee has been an early player that has generated a lot of buzz in the “Media Center” circle.
Although it is built on a hardware that is very similar to the Logitech Revue Google TV, the Boxee Box reacts faster and the web browser is much more responsive. But even then, you should think of this box as a Netbook with 1080p video decoding from a performance standpoint. The difference of speed between Google TV and Boxee comes down to the software. Google’s stuff is simply not as optimized.
# Intel Atom Platform
# RF QWERTY remote included
# 802.11n Wireless built-in
# Extensive file format support
# Plays all sorts of media file formats
# Beautiful interface
# Works with online content
# Sluggish at times
# A major feature set could be disabled by media companies
The Boxee box is remarkable in many ways from its design to its overall performance, it is a device that holds a lot of potential. It has a nicely designed user interface, it can be extended by apps/channels and it plays a ton of popular file formats.
Boxee Box isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot more polished than Google TV and I can’t find any deal breakers or even significant downsides to delay your purchase. However, current Boxee or even XBMC users should probably wait a bit to see if the software matures to the same point as the desktop version.