We knew it was coming (it was semi-announced in December) but now more details of the Boxee set-top box have been unveiled. Most interesting is the price point – $200 – and the way Boxee and hardware partner D-Link are pitching the device. From the press release:
D-Link made lots of geeks and early adopters happy today by introducing the revolutionary Boxee Box by D-Link, winner of the CES Best of Innovations award in the Home Entertainment category.
The Boxee Box by D-Link reinterprets what TV should be. The Boxee Box delivers movies, TV shows, music, and photos from a user’s computer, home network, and the Internet to their HDTV with no PC needed. Additionally, Boxee’s core social features make it easy for friends to discover new content from each other through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and more.
Note the “geeks” and “early adpoters” reference, perhaps admission that the set-top box is a niche device and isn’t expected to sell in the bucket load. Instead, it could still be that Boxee’s living room future lies not in consumer facing set-top boxes – the Boxee Box itself or competitor offerings such as those from Roku or the newly announced Popbox – but in licensing its software to existing cable and telco companies B2B style. Or perhaps bypassing the set-top box altogether and building Boxee into Internet-connected TVs, although again that’s a direct consumer play and faces similar challenges as a consumer facing set-top.