19 Comments

Summary:

Boxee’s set-top box was scheduled to go on sale this month, but the device won’t actually hit stores until November, the company has announced. Boxee CEO Avner Ronen told us that there were delays in the software production schedule, but he didn’t want to point fingers.

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D-Link’s Boxee Box won’t be available until November, Boxee just announced on its blog. The set-top box was scheduled to come to market this month, but delays in the production schedule have led both companies to postpone its launch until the holiday season, Boxee CEO Avner Ronen told me by phone. “We didn’t want to release something that would compromise the quality of the software,” he said, adding that the company is nonetheless making “very good progress.”

Development of the software took longer than expected, Ronen said, stressing how important it was to get things like Flash 10.1 including Flash hardware acceleration as well playback of 1080p HD content in a variety of codecs right. And while it involved multiple parties, including chip vendors, DRM makers and the Boxee team itself, he didn’t want to say who’d fallen behind schedule. “I don’t want to put the blame on anyone specifically,” Ronen told me.

However, it’s not hard to find at least one possible culprit. The Boxee Box is based on NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chip set, which has been a no-show at the CTIA and Computex shows. NVIDIA denied in April that it was behind schedule on the delivery of Tegra 2, but the company’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang reportedly said two weeks ago that first Tegra 2 devices wouldn’t come to market until this fall, asking reporters for “patience.”

The delay means that Boxee and D-Link will have to compete directly with Logitech’s and Sony’s Google TV devices, which are also slated to be released this fall, and which will likely be benefiting from a combined marketing effort by Google and the CE makers. Ronen dismissed the idea that this could mean trouble for his company’s devices, however, saying that “Google TV looks and behaves very different.”

He also reiterated that Boxee is already working on implementing its software on other devices and said that consumers will see a number of Boxee-powered TV sets, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes in 2011.

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  1. Jeremy Campbell Friday, June 11, 2010

    Boxee has a tough road ahead with Google and Apple looking like the long term big scale winners in this space, but look forward to seeing Boxee innovations for years to come.

  2. I agree that Boxee is very different than what Google TV is supposed to be. Isn’t Google TV really just about watching TV shows and searching?

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  4. Ramon B. Nuez Jr. Saturday, June 12, 2010

    I like Boxee — I hope it has a great deal of success. Unfortunately, we must deal with the reality of the space. Google TV and the rumored new Apple TV will make adoption of the Boxee Box a tough move.

    We are still not entirely certain what these two media giants are doing but one thing is for certain they have very deep pockets. In the case of Google TV — this is a partnership of Google, Intel, Logitec and Sony. This is an improbable win for the Boxee Box. Its best move might be to license the Boxee software.

  5. Where’s the argument of “nobody wants another set top box”? You mention two set top boxes in the article but that straw man was never raised.

  6. @mediadventurer Monday, June 14, 2010

    So Boxee has delayed their Boxee Box until the end of the year…Hmmm…if I were a speculator then perhaps we are missing the obvious…

    …maybe the delay has nothing to do with production issues at all…

    …Maybe Avner et al have made the move of the next decade and have struck a deal with Google or Apple to put their platform into the Boxee Box itself…think about it – A Boxee Box running Google TV…yep ok, maybe one step too far and too soon…maybe not.

    Whatever the outcome, the next 6 months will be interesting for them and us.

    1. Yes, that would complete the vortex of vaporware. Each one of these companies is taking a page out of IBM’s “me too” handbook: Do a press release on something hip and trendy, crank out a few prototypes and say you are in the game. You troll the market for big fish and scare away any little fish. If someone bites, you go into production. If no one bites, you’re not that much further behind.

      Originally, when I heard of the Boxee box and that they were linking up with D-Link I thought Avner was a genius: Let the hardware company do all the R&D and front the cost of development and production and Boxee lends its name and software to it. Low risk and very low cost to entry for Boxee. Now it is looking like they are in to the hardware development more than they should be and that the success of their software is becoming increasingly dependent on D-Link’s ever delayed hardware. Avner’s not looking like such a genius anymore…

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