A few years ago Boxee was simply a piece of software. At one point the company had hoped to license their interface to major TV manufacturers. Needless to say that never came to fruition. Instead, Boxee partnered with D-Link to produce the Boxee Box. It was a mild success, and was designed, or intended to serve as an alternative to attaching a computer to your home’s big screen.
Fast forward two years, which brings us to today, and Boxee has now ditched the oddly shaped cubed and opted for a more traditional looking set top box. But don’t let your eyes fool you; the no Boxee TV is no slouch. Boxee (and D-Link), have done away with the hundreds of apps, and instead plans to ship their initial units with just a few apps (Netflix, VUDU, YouTube and Vimeo). Surely this will prove a shortcoming to devout Boxee fans, but that hardly seems Boxee’s target with this piece of kit. Why?
The new Boxxe Box, called the Boxee TV, has a DVR feature that can record unlimited shows. Yes, you read that correctly. Instead of utilizing a built-in hard drive to store content, the Boxee TV sends all shows directly to the cloud, which can be accessed via the web on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Unfortunately, it’s not Cable Card ready, so you’ll only be able to record unencrypted shows. That said, we’re not sure how it will play with a service provider’s set top box, but it’s worth a shot. Though something tells us that Boxee is being mindful of this approach, and perhaps they have some how locked down the ability to record and publish certain content to their cloud storage.
Unlike the Boxee Box, the Boxee TV will include a much more simplified remote; no QWERTY keyboard. As already mentioned the amount of apps is very limited, though you can probably expect that number to expand as time goes on – Pandora will also ship with it. For now, the Boxee TV, which requires a $15 a month fee, will roll out to 8 markets; New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia and D.C. Expect other areas to come online in 2013.
The Boxee TV ships this November for $99.