Boxee Box internet HDTV companion delayed until November

Boxee founder Avner Ronen recently published a blog post confirming a delay on the release of the Boxee Box, with a November release date now targeted.

The Boxee Box, which is manufactured by D-Link, includes Boxee’s Web software that features high-definition video support, Internet browsing, and Adobe Flash support.

Boxee Box internet HDTV companion delayed until November

“Our vision is to make the Boxee experience on a set top box as good as (and where we can, better than) the one you already know on a PC,” Ronen said in the blog post.  “The goal is to play HD videos from the web or a local network in 1080p and use hardware acceleration whenever possible. And to provide a TV browser experience that can handle almost everything you throw at it, including Flash 10.1.”

Boxee and D-Link planned to release the box sometime during Q2, but confirmed a delay up to five months.  The delay comes at the same time Boxee is facing pressure to develop partnerships with movie studios and copyright holders.  Current partners include the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Netflix, and others — but the NHL, MLB, and other sports leagues also have contracts with other services.

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The device is still expected to cost around $200.

The first report of the Boxee Box was last December, when Boxee and D-Link announced Boxee Box development.  During CES 2010 in January, we were able to get a hands on Boxee box demo and we were very impressed with the initial platform.

The Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 both have contract agreements with content providers, with Roku and others also working on custom deals.

Boxee will also face pressure from Google TV, a software package that merges TV and internet using the Linux-based Android OS.  On the hardware front, game consoles, set-top-boxes, select Blu-ray players, and TVs also offer access to DVR and streaming content.

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It’s true that customers don’t want multiple boxes and cables all over the place, but Roku and Boxee hope to try to consolidate all services into a single solution.  Boxee has the advantage there, with access to ALL internet content, not just channels built for its particular platform, which is how Roku works. Video game consoles are also bringing these same features into the living room, so the battle of the set-tops and internet video devices will continue throughout the coming years.

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