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Boxee will be showing off a prototype of its widely anticipated standalone set-top box at next year’s Consumer Electronics Show, according to a source close to the company who asked not to be named, with commercial deployment slated for sometime in the first half of 2010.
Despite announcing just last week at NewTeeVee Live that it was still working with a consumer electronics partner on creating the so-called Boxee Box, our source says that the company will have it ready for demos at the industry trade show in early January.
The onus isn’t exactly on Boxee to deliver it — it’ll be up to an unnamed CE partner to build and manufacture the set-top box, for which Boxee is just providing the software. Even so, the kind of turnaround with which Boxee is expected to go to market is practically unheard of in the CE industry, and suggests that the company has been working on this project for an especially long time.
Boxee wouldn’t comment for this article, but promised more details and a timeline for deployment at its Dec. 7 event in New York. There, the company is expected to have mockups of the device, as well as more info about its features and maybe even final pricing details. CEO Avner Ronen told NewTeeVee that he hopes to price the box for less than $200, but given the cost of hardware involved, Boxee probably won’t be able to reach the $100 price point that Roku has for its IP video set-top box.
Also at the event, the company will be showing off the beta version of its media center, giving users a preview of the software before it’s officially released in January.