Boxee Box now available for pre-order

Maybe you looked at Apple’s new Apple TV and decided against it because it didn’t support third-party content outside of Netflix. Maybe you weren’t a fan of its lack of 1080p video support. Heck, maybe you thought, “It’s just too square for my liking.” The forthcoming Boxee Box could address all of those counts, and it’s now available for pre-order in several countries, and with a couple of new tweaks.

A set-top box that handles a variety of content, including video, music, and photos, the D-Link-built Boxee Box runs the popular media software of the same name. An HDMI port lets you connect the device to your HDTV, while ethernet and Wi-Fi allow you to retrieve content from the Internet and your home computers. The device will also include a remote control with a full QWERTY keypad for navigating your media.

Boxee announced on Monday that it had replaced some of the guts of the box, switching from Nvidia’s Tegra 2 platform to an Intel Atom processor that Boxee says will provide betteer support for HD playback of high-profile H.264 files. The device can play HD content at a resolution of 1080p, higher than the Apple TV’s 720p (whether or not you can tell such a difference depends on your TV set and your eyes, of course).

In addition, Boxee said that when the box launches in November, it will be available in several countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia, and more than two dozen European nations including the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and others.

Currently available for pre-order from Amazon, the Boxee Box costs for $200. Those pre-ordering in the U.S. will receive their devices prior to it going on sale anywhere else, though Boxee hasn’t provided an exact ship date.

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    The stylish Boxee Box by D-Link does a great job of making video from diverse sources accessible, and will be even greater when bugs are fixed and new content deals signed.

    Pros

    • Stylish set-top box delivers a huge selection of free and paid Web and network content
    • Simple, handsome user interface; cool two-sided remote with QWERTY keyboard

    Cons

    • Integrated browser can't deliver desktop experience; somewhat buggy and crash-prone at launch
    • Premium services not available at launch; some sites are blocking video content
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