Boxee is a partially open-source freeware software media player that integrates local stored media with Internet streaming media, along with social networking features. Boxee was originally a fork of the free and open source (GPL) XBMC software media player which Boxee now uses as its framework. Boxee’s social networking component allows users to share information about what they are watching or listening to with other Boxee users or friends on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, etc. The developers of Boxee have stated that their goal is to have Boxee run on as many third-party hardware platforms and operating systems as possible. They have co-developed a dedicated set-top box called the “Boxee Box” in co-operation with D-Link.
I was so looking forward to seeing the D-Link Boxee Box that I pre-orded one. Its got an Intel Atom CE4110 processor (which is “nearly identical” to the CE4150 found in Google TV devices), 1GB of flash storage and 1GB of RAM. There’s a card reader on the side and on the back it has Ethernet, HDMI, two USB ports, optical and composite audio out and a power socket. The design of the box itself is definitely different, it’s a cube sliced diagonally across the bottom and has a very glossy finish. Its remote is superbly finished and has a full qwerty keyboard on the reverse. Its a wireless remote, meaning You don’t have to point it at the box and you can even hide the Boxee Box away behind the TV or in a cabinet.
The Boxee Box will stream from any hardware, whether it’s a network-attached PC or Mac, or a NAS drive. As Boxee is based on XBMC the codec support is amazing, it plays absolutely everything, it can even playback 1080p full HD without any problems. It comes preloaded with a large variety of different apps so you can view content from a variety of sources straight on Your TV, Youtube, BBC, TED, College Humor, FHM, but lots of these are regionally blocked to us here in Ireland. The browser app even has the ability to play back Flash video.