D-Link today officially announced the Boxee Box, which is slated to sell for less than $200 during the first half of 2010. As part of the announcement, the hardware maker shared a few previously unannounced specs. The box will be able to play Adobe Flash 10.1, H.264 (MKV, MOV), MPEG-4, Xvid, Divx and other formats, and will feature built-in 802.11n.
This isn’t exactly the first time the Boxee Box has been announced. Boxee CEO Avner Ronen stopped by NewTeeVee Live in November to announce that the company had been cooperating with a hardware vendor on a set top-box. The company later shared a few more details at a launch event for the beta version of its client. D-Link and Boxee are still keeping mum about hardware specs of the device, but Andrew Kippen, Boxee’s VP of Marketing, was able to confirm to us that the Boxee Box will in fact support full 1080p HD streaming — and it will also play all your favorite Hulu videos.
D-Link’s Boxee Box, which also goes by the much less sexy name DSM-380, is a little less than 5 inches (12 centimeters, to be exact) tall, wide and deep, and it comes in a somewhat odd, pyramid-like shape. The device features, as previously reported, one HDMI connector, two USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, plus composite audio and S/PDIF out. It also has a SD card slot, but no internal hard drive.
Details about the amount of RAM and the chipset used are still unknown, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it included something like an NVIDIA GPU. Boxee started to support hardware video acceleration for NVIDIA chipsets under Linux last summer, and it only makes sense to utilize this for a low-cost Linux device like the Boxee Box as well.
So how will the Boxee Box software look? Pretty much like the beta version of the company’s PC-based client, which is slated to be opened up to the public this Thursday as well. Kippen told me that the goal was to offer the same experience on many different platforms, which includes access to content from “all over the web.” Users of the Boxee Box will be able to install various apps to access programming like Netflix, Flickr and Facebook, but they’ll also have a browser at their disposal to access additional sites, including TV show repository Hulu.com.
Boxee and Hulu have a bit of a history together. Hulu cut off access to its site for Boxee users early on, which was met by a work-around by Boxee, which in turn was disabled by Hulu soon after. Boxee has been using a browser to access Hulu ever since, and the video site has kept quiet about this in recent months. One has to wonder whether adding Hulu playback capability to a set-top box will reignite the feud.