updated 11:15 am EDT, Wed October 20, 2010
Boxee Box ships preorders Nov 10, stores Nov 17
Boxee today locked down ship dates for the Boxee Box. The media hub will ship November 10 for those who've pre-ordered through either Amazon in the US (above) or Best Buy and Future Shop in Canada. A much wider range of online and retail shops should get the Boxee Box on November 17.
Both types of customers have been given an official $229 price, but Boxee has already anticipated a $199 street price that's already in evidence at Amazon and some other stores.
The cube may be one of the most direct competitors to the new Apple TV as it also focuses almost exclusively on streaming, both from local Macs and PCs as well as Internet services. It can view both Flash and HTML5 through a new WebKit browser and also has direct access to common video sources in the form of channels, such as mainstream sources like the MLB and YouTube as well as alternatives like College Humor and Revision3. It also has access to radio streaming and photo services as well as a layer of social networking through Facebook and Twitter.
The remote itself is unique and has a simple touchpad on the front with a QWERTY keyboard on the flip side.
Boxee has gone in the opposite direction of Apple for hardware as well, choosing to switch from ARM to an Atom chip to get 1080p video support while also supporting expansion through its two USB ports. Apple has been content to remain with 720p but also charges half as much for its smaller device.