Boxee Box to Hit Store Shelves This November – Has Its Eye on Google TV

Avner Ronen has posted a blog entry stating that the Boxee Box from D-Link will be available this November. He attributes the delay to wanting to provide 1080p HD video playback from the web and local network shares, hardware acceleration support via Flash 10.1, and new to the mix… a TV web browser (most likely in an effort to compete with Google TV). Target price: “just under $200.”

I recently wrote a report in May for a strategy partner working with Boxee (who I’ll leave unnamed) on what they need to do to compete with Google TV. I came to the conclusion that the Boxee Box, in its current form, can’t compete effectively with Google TV. From my point of view, Google TV is entirely a different beast since it works as a TV overlay on the same A/V source (you’ll have to switch video sources to use the Boxee Box), ties into a user’s cable set-top box with Logitech’s companion box (or is integrated into hardware like in Sony’s upcoming Internet TV — Google TV will also be coming to Blu-ray players and TV STBs some time in 2011), and is able to use HTML5 Web Apps in addition to native and Android apps.

Nonetheless, I suggested that the Boxee Box could still offer users a full web browser like the Mozilla-based Kylo TV web browser (or improve their anemic Boxee Browser) to access the Internet and embrace the open web. I also suggested integrating unified search capabilities to locate and pull media in from different sources — similar to what Vuze just announced today with Project Leap. I guess we’ll have to wait to see how much different the Boxee Box experience is over its PC-based version. If were up to me, though, I would have pushed the Boxee Box out as soon as hardware accelerated Flash 10.1 was ready (which turns out was this week). All the other bells and whistles not included in the current Boxee software could be added later.

FYI, Logitech’s Google TV box has a “Fall 2010” launch scheduled. Which will you buy?

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Filed in: Software, Streaming Media Devices