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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