Our Team Blog

Step 1: Make a Boxee Box (no need to cut a hole)

First and foremost thanks to everyone who came out to the Music Hall of Williamsburg Monday night - it was a great event and was fun to see so many users, partners, and press in person. We posted the details of the Beta Monday night, and if you haven’t done so yet, register on our pre-release list to get an invite to the Beta over the coming weeks.

So there’s been a lot of talk about the Boxee Box over the past 36 hours and we wanted to give you the “official” version.

The Boxee Box Front

It was designed by Astro Studios, the team who crafted designs for the Xbox 360, watches from Nike, Alienware PCs. It’s being built by D-Link, the leading networking company for homes & small businesses. Working with D-Link means that we’ll be able to design, build, and release a Boxee Box at a low cost to a ton of etail and retail outlets.

As the title indicates, this is step 1. Soon, every device in your living room will connect to the Internet, and we hope Boxee will be the software that runs on them. For now though, the Boxee Box is the easiest way to get Boxee onto that huge HDTV in your living room. Here’s how you can make that connection happen…

Boxee Back

  • HDMI - one inexpensive HDMI cable to connect The Boxee Box to your TV
  • SPDIF - hi-definition digital audio that will pass through Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound and DTS to your A/V Receiver
  • Stereo Audio (RCA) - red & white cables from the 80’s, 90’s and today
  • 2 x USB ports - add devices like external hard drives and more
  • Wireless 802.11n & Wired Ethernet - Cords if you got ‘em, wireless if you don’t
  • RF Remote Control - control playback from anywhere

And although the above pictures look really classy, they don’t give you an idea of the size of the box. Here’s a preliminary image to give you an idea of scale.

Boxee Badunkadunk + Coke Can

Rest assured the Boxee Box will fit into your entertainment center. If the look doesn’t quite fit with your decor, not to worry. The RF remote means you can place the box out of sight and still control it. Of course, the Boxee Box prefers being on top : )

We’ll reveal more about the Boxee Box by D-Link at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but if you’d like to see a little more, check out the new page for the Box on our completely re-designed website.

- Andrew

Tags: , ,
December 9, 2009 at 9:00 am

151 Responses to “Step 1: Make a Boxee Box (no need to cut a hole)”

  1. Tripps says:

    Congrats team boxee. Not only its a liberating feeling to get rid of the cable box, but frankly, it didn't fit into a modern day living room. Am just curious how this dedicated box from D-link would improve the experience over an existing mac-mini.

  2. nick says:

    About the outputs… I really cannot understand where there is analog audio (RCA's) and S/PDIF but no other video than HDMI? How many people use HDMI for video but will opt to use the other audio outs? Extremely few, I would think, approaching zero. On the other hand, there are literally millions of people-in the U.S. alone-who do not yet have HDMI in their living room. What's up with that?

    Also, another vote in preference of a flat square device like a Mac Mini, and eSATA or FW800! Sorry, but in the long run USB is still a joke compared to SATA or FW800. It works well when conditions are perfect, but fill up that drive and max out the streaming and you'll be wishing for eSATA or FW800.

    Curious about why there is not a USB port on the front. SD is nice but it's not ubiquitous as is USB. And not all cameras use SD; there's CF, memory stick, etc…

    • O-dawg says:

      Actually, I use hdmi for video, but use s/pdif for audio. And trust me, I know a lot of people doing that. It's simply because my surround sound receiver does not have hdmi inputs. (Even if it did, my video card doesn't support ac3 over hdmi anyway, it only does stereo)(and even if my video card did support it, I guess boxee box does in this case, my tv cannot pass through ac3) Basically, I am forced to use s/pdif to send ac3 to my receiver.

      If you are trying to say "who would use hdmi for video, but composite for audio" I am sure there are lots of people who do it as well for various reasons like the ones I mentioned above.

      • Mal says:

        Yea, I use HDMI and then SPDIF for audio. Kinda arrogant to say that nobody does it without any sort of facts etc. Not everyone routes their video through their audio receiver, or their audo through their tv…

    • Martin says:

      Me too, HDMI for picture to the plasma and then SPDIF to my amp (which is non-HDMI) for 5.1 audio.

      Mal what other Video outputs are you suggesting here?

      DVI? - Can't really see someone who has a monitor (and then presumably an adjacent computer) needing a Boxee box.

      VGA? Ditto the last comment.

      S-Video/component? At the risk of sounding elitist I just don't think they're targeting the box at the type of person that owns a CRT, they simply wouldn't be interested in this kind of product. (i.e. most people would upgrade their screen before they'd consider spending money on something like this).

      I do however agree that the box could use some more card-reader options, one of those 8 in 1 jobbies wouldn't go amiss. Also E-SATA would definitely be nice.

      And yes a front mounted USB port (or two) wouldn't go amiss either but if I had to hazard a guess I'd imagine they thought it would spoil the styling, which I have to say I love.

      Coupled with all that let's not forget that they're almost certainly trying to keep costs to a minimum.

      Not sure how much they'll be but if it's less than $200 I'll definitely buy one.

      • Steve says:

        Ok, I'm one of those people that still owns a CRT and have no interest in parting with a big wad of cash for a new HD set. Yet I am interested in the Boxee Box. We don't do TV but we do do internet video and other media. My old TV works just fine for our needs and it is unfortunate Boxee won't support our setup. Call me a dinosaur if you want.

        • Christopher says:

          Steve-

          You're not alone. TV is not important enough in my house to shell out $1,000+, but yet I want the option of using this setup for my Internet video.

          Call me dinosaur number two. Rawr!

  3. Marcelo says:

    Consider IR. RF won't work with universal remotes like my Harmony One (http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/remotes/universal_remotes/devices/6441&cl=us,en)

    • RF sux says:

      BUMP!! Universal Remotes are not up to snuff with RF, please support IR as well so that we don't need yet ANOTHER remote.

      • t says:

        Being up to snuff is exactly how I would describe IR.

        Harmony makes RF remotes, RF is inarguably better than IR.

        Don't listen to these people Boxee - go with the better protocol!

  4. dualie says:

    Yah HDMI only is a deal breaker for me and my no-HDMI Hi-Def set. I'll have to use a Mac Mini instead.

  5. Steven Sullivan says:

    HDMI can pass lossless 5.1 audio as well as video (whereas SPDIF can only pass 5.1 as lossy DTS or Dolby Digital). Please allow Boxee to use the full capabilities of HDMI, thanks.

  6. Dave says:

    I'll be at CES this year…. I don't suppose I'll be able to buy one there?

  7. BoxeeRox says:

    To those complaining about the shape….um guys…it's under 5 inches by 5 inches by 5 inches…tiny. Those complaining about component video and composite…. welcome to 2010.

  8. Glenn says:

    please say it has netflix.

    SAY IT!!!

  9. Tony says:

    I would be glad to get the make and model of specific LCD flatscreens that have built-in WiFi?

    Yo estaría agradecido de conseguir la marca y modelo específicos de pantallas planas LCD que se han incorporado WiFi?

    Jag skulle bli glad att få märke och modell av särskilda LCD flatscreens som har inbyggd WiFi?

    Thank you,

    Tony

  10. Chris says:

    So no infrared for remotes? I like the idea of RF for hiding purposes but what about us folks who are comfortable with our logitech harmonys without RF extenders.. :-( I'll gladly pay the extra 2 dollars in hardware to retain IR in addition to RF

  11. Marshalleq says:

    Wow, what a lot of moaning! I think it looks like a great little box, maybe it isn't perfect for everyone, but hey, it's about the best thing released by anyone so far. Congrats!

  12. Red Foreman says:

    What a dumb-ass with the cut & paste for 2 days. Dude grow up & or get a life.