Last week the team at 33Digital gave me an overview of the Boxee Box. For £199.99 you get an IP TV device that delivers television over your broadband connection and wireless network. The hardware has a quirky design, being a cube with the corner chopped off! Connectivity to your TV is via the usual HDMI interface and the Box is controlled via a simple remote control, which rather neatly has a qwerty keypad on the back!
Boxee is seeking to tap into key themes in the developing television market; increasingly personalised content and community.
Boxee has started with a reasonable range of content which will grow over time. Currently there are 877 TV shows and 1215 movies available to watch in the UK with no additional charges. Not surprisingly the content available in the US is more extensive. There are also 142 apps which include Flickr, the BBC iPlayer, Wired and the Boxee Browser for web access. Anyone can write new apps and submit them to Boxee, however unlike Apple, apps are available to other Boxee users prior to approval via a unique URL.
Watch Later is a nice feature – it allows you to send online videos to your Boxee Box from any web browser, for later viewing.
The Boxee Box also allows wireless access to content stored on other PCs or storage devices on your network. So photos, music and movies can be played on the Boxee Box. When you create your Boxee account at Boxee.tv you can add your Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz accounts so you can share your Boxee viewing experiences with your social media connected friends.
The Boxee Box is initially only available online and is sold by several UK online retailers.
I’m looking forward to comparing Boxee with Apple TV and sharing my thoughts here.