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altCES1.jpgOne of the CES hardware announcements that looks interesting to us is D-Link’s Boxee Box, a media player built around the open/closed source Boxee application (Boxee is a “fork” of the open source XBMC media center software, with some closed, proprietary code bolted on). The Boxee Box will play Adobe Flash 10.1, H.264 (MKV, MOV), MPEG-4, Xvid, Divx, and other video formats, and will feature built-in 802.11n wireless. The Box can play 1080p video from locally-stored content and stream HD video content over the net. It has one HDMI connector, two USB 2.0, Ethernet, plus composite audio, and S/PDIF output. There is no internal hard drive(!) but there is an SD card slot.

Announced today is the fact that the Boxee Box uses the NVIDIA Tegra 2 (T20) system-on-a-chip. The T20 is built around a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU which can hopefully deliver some of the graphics power for which NVIDIA is known. A lot of people have installed the Boxee software on other computers and media player hardware, and have developed plug-ins for the software. It’ll be interesting to see what they’ll do with the Boxee Box, which is allegedly going to sell for under $200.

(And, BTW: You have NOT skipped a dose of your medication. The Boxee Box really does look like it’s melting into the shelf it sits on. Hey, who said that boxes have to be rectilinear? Not really sure what to make of it. It’s different, I’ll give it that…)

The Boxee Box from D-Link

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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