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Boxee Box switches from Tegra 2 to Atom, up for pre-sale

updated 11:15 am EDT, Mon September 13, 2010

Boxee Box to use Atom CE4100 chip

Boxee on Monday revealed that it's switching the Boxee Box away from the NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform to Intel's Atom CE4100 processor. The switch was described to Electronista as a form of future proofing; the company wants to guarantee 1080p HD streaming for the future as well as today, Boxee said. NVIDIA's hardware can handle 1080p, but only in VC-1 and not the more popular H.264 format.

Swapping components doesn't require a significant change in software but bumps the official price up to $229, although Amazon and retail may still carry it for the originally promised $199. The device is already available for pre-order at Amazon and should ship to North America in November.

The move is one in the opposite direction of Apple, which switched to ARM from Intel for the new Apple TV. Either company is taking a distinctly opposing approach to networked media hubs. Boxee intends its service to be an open platform useful for as much Internet video as possible and has even jumped to an HTML5-friendly WebKit browser to support the web standard as it evolves. Apple still sees the Apple TV primarily as a hub for iTunes services but has also stressed that price, simplicity and size are important factors.

The D-Link-backed startup may nonetheless face competitive trouble. It has argued that Apple is leaving a competitive space but, with a $30 higher price, may have a more difficult time luring viewers.

Original version on show; the production model is slightly different



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    -3

    There should be enough market share space

    for two companies without one having to compete directly with another. Choices are good. They both have their good points. Apple just intends to keep its customer base from straying from the fold which would seem to be a practical business model. I doubt that either business model will be wildly successful.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    but

    There should be enough market share space for two companies without one having to compete directly with another.

    How do you go after the same market share without actually competing with each other?

    Oh, and Apple switched the AppleTV to the A4, which is not from Intel.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +1

    Video now, iTunes App Store next.

    Boxee's days are numbered. Sure, Apple TV is rental-only and yes, your choice of TV shows to rent is currently limited. But Apple TV runs iOS. And that means the App Store could reach your HDTV at any moment.

    Apple will leverage their huge App Store catalog, including thousands of great games, as soon as they can (maybe in iOS 4.2 in November for the holiday sales season.) The current iOS display resolution is 960x640, and HDTV "1080" resolution is 1920x 1080. Exactly twice the horizontal resolution, accomplished with an easy line-double until apps can be written natively at 1080 resolution. Controlling the games will be different than on a hand-held multi-touch device, but I'm sure Apple has already designed the remote multi-touch gestures and devices.

    Oh, and there's one more thing. Never underestimate the power of the low purchase price. Dropping the price of iPhone drastically increased its sales, even though AT&T's iPhone data plan remained as expensive as ever. Apple TV is only $99, so you need to change the wording of your article from "with a $30 higher price" to "with a $130 higher price".

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Re: Video now, iTunes App Store next.

    Boxee's days are numbered. Sure, Apple TV is rental-only and yes, your choice of TV shows to rent is currently limited.

    It's rental only if you insist on doing everything from your appleTV. From your computer, you can buy or rent.

    But Apple TV runs iOS. And that means the App Store could reach your HDTV at any moment.

    Oh, the excitement of it all. All those games designed for the small screen being upscaled to your big screen. Yeah, sounds great. h***, OS X looks like c*** on my big screen TV.

    Apple will leverage their huge App Store catalog, including thousands of great games, as soon as they can (maybe in iOS 4.2 in November for the holiday sales season.) The current iOS display resolution is 960x640, and HDTV "1080" resolution is 1920x 1080. Exactly twice the horizontal resolution, accomplished with an easy line-double until apps can be written natively at 1080 resolution.

    Yeah, and that's why everyone just loves running those iPhone apps on the iPad. Oh, wait, they don't!

    And I don't know where you're coming up with these grand time tables. Must be that wishful thinking world. Apple released the iPad with iOS 3.2 on it, because they couldn't get v4 to work with it in time for release. It won't be until 4.2 that iOS gets 4.0 support. You think Apple is going to just, at the same time, slap together added AppleTV support into it as well? Keep dreaming.

    Controlling the games will be different than on a hand-held multi-touch device, but I'm sure Apple has already designed the remote multi-touch gestures and devices.

    Well, they've only designed it if they're planning on doing this.

    But how does one use all these "great" apps meant for direct interaction on a device that you have to use indirect interaction? Am I going to see those on-screen controls on my screen when they are needed on the device I'm touching? Are they going to add a mouse pointer back to the screen since you're basically going to need to see where your finger is on the screen before you actually tap?

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    0

    might be decent


    I'm not a big fan of Boxee per say, I mean really its Xbox Media Center with a custom skin and plugins but I'm curious to see where they go with this.

    Personally the best setup I have found for media playback and streaming is a mac mini running Plex with a Logitech harmony 1100 remote. Its a flat out awesome setup, albeit much more expensive than this product.

  1. graxspoo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    0

    Amazon streaming

    There are basically three video streams that I need for my current viewing habits:
    1) New releases
    2) Netflix streaming
    3) Video files on my home network

    I have an AppleTV with Boxee installed on it. That covers 1 & 3.
    I have a DVD player that covers 2.
    I'd like to buy the Boxee Box, and replace the AppleTV, but I'd need some way to view "New Releases."

    If Boxee would add Amazon streaming video to their lineup, it would fill the gap.

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000

    +1

    win some lose some

    I like what Apple did with the new AppleTV. It only does 720p though, and until it can stream from DVDs I insert into my computer, and stream from my connected eyeTV, it'll never be a replacement for my current setup.

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