Boxee Drops NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 Chip for the Boxee Box, Swaps in Intel’s Atom CE4100 SoC


boxee box by dlink

As Scooby would say, “Ruh-roh, Raggy.” Boxee has opted to swap architecture platforms at the last minute from ARM to x86. No longer will Boxee Box be providing the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip Boxee promised to ship at launch. Reason for the change? Engadget has quoted Boxee’s Avner Ronen as saying: “The major problem we had with the Tegra 2 was support for high-profile HD playback. You can do high-profile VC-1 with Tegra 2, but not H.264.” Really? NVIDIA’s Tegra product page says different. Under Specifications > Full High Definition Multimedia > you’ll see “1080p H.264/VC-1/MPEG-4 Video Decode” — though there’s no mention of frame rates, which Avner (or the Engadget reporter — it’s unclear) says the Intel CE4100 chip can do 60fps for 1080p H.264 (specs below, again, say otherwise). I’m thinking there’s more to this story than we’re being lead to believe. For the record, I’m not saying the CE4100 is a bad choice — it’s a powerful 1.2GHz dual-core processor. In any case, the Boxee Box is available for pre-order at Amazon for $199.99. MSRP is set at $229.99.

Related Boxee Blog post (1/7/2010): Boxee Box internals revealed. NVIDIA Tegra 2 FTW

Quick thoughts on the chip switch: I think there’s a good chance that Boxee is getting some kind of subsidy from Intel to use their chips in the Boxee Box. What’s more, the strategic partnership will most likely help Boxee get loaded on other Intel CE4100-powered connected HDTVs, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes in the near future. I’m expecting we’ll hear some announcements in 2011.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 4.6″
  • Language Support: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Network Protocol Support: IPV4, ARP, TCP, UDP, ICMP, DHCP Client, DNS Client, DDNS Client, HTTP Server, Samba Client, RTP/RTMP, VPN: PPTP, DLNA 1.5 (DMP)
  • Wireless: 802.11n/g/b
  • Ports: HDMI 1.3, 10/100 Fast Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, Optical Audio (S/PDIF), Analog Audio (RCA L/R)
  • Memory Card Support: SD, SDHC up to 32GB, MMC
  • Audio Formats: MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AIF/AIFF, AC3/AAC, OGG, FLAC, DTS, Dolby Digital/Dolby True HD
  • Video Formats: Adobe Flash 10.1, FLV/On2 VP6 (FLV/FV4/M4V), H.264 AVC (TS/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MP4), VC-1 (TS/AVI/MKV/WMV), MPEG-1 (DAT/MPG/MPEG), MPEG-2 (MPG/MPEG/VOB/TS/TP/ISO/IFO), MPEG-4 (MP4/AVI/MOV), DivX 3/4/5/6 (AVI/MKV), Xvid (AVI/MKV), WMV9 (WMV/ASF/DVR-MS)
  • Image Formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF
  • Playlist Formats: M3U, PLS, WPL
  • Subtitle Formats: SRT, SUB, SSA, SMI, ASS
  • Supported Resolutions: H.264: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps; WMV9/VC-1: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps; MPEG4: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps; MPEG2: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps
  • Two-Sided RF Remote: with 4-way navigation and full QWERTY keypad

What’s In the Box

  • The Boxee Box by D-Link
  • 1x HDMI Cable
  • 1x AC Power Adapter
  • Remote Control with Full QWERTY keypad

The Boxee Box by D-Link, Now with the Intel® Atom™ Processor Inside

D-Link Selects the Intel® Atom™ Processor CE4100 to Power the Boxee Box

San Francisco, Calif., Sep 13, 2010 – Today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), D-Link and Boxee announced the upcoming Boxee Box by D-Link is now powered by the Intel® Atom™ processor CE4100. Additionally, starting today, US customers will be able to pre-order the Boxee Box by D-Link exclusively through Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/boxeeboxbydlink. Units will begin shipping in November 2010 in the US, Canada, EU and Australia.

The award winning Boxee Box by D-Link, first released in December 2009, received critical acclaim from the industry and is highly anticipated by consumers. The product is the first media device capable of delivering both free and premium TV shows and movies, videos, music, and photos from the Internet with support for full 1080p high-definition (HD) and 5.1 surround sound for popular digital media formats.

“Three years ago when we started Boxee, nothing like this existed,” said Avner Ronen, CEO of Boxee. “We wanted to watch video in a way that was only available on a PC. Today we’re taking a big step towards TV for an Internet generation with D-Link and Intel.”

The Boxee Box uses the Intel Atom CE4100, Intel’s system-on-a-chip designed for TV and Internet integration. It provides performance, audio visual and graphic capabilities to enable Internet-driven applications, video, personal media, advanced user interfaces and electronic program guides. The new chip lets the Boxee Box deliver a wide range of applications and ensures support for 1080p content, no matter the source.

“Consumers are ready for the smart TV experience, bringing Internet-based applications and services into the living room,” said Wilfred Martis, General Manager of Retail CE, Intel Digital Home Group. “Taking advantage of the advanced performance and media capabilities of the Intel Atom CE4100, the Boxee Box by D-Link is poised to make a major impact on smart TV.”

With its powerful Intel-based hardware, an open source software platform, and tens-of-thousands of movies, shows and apps already available, the Boxee Box gives users unparalleled access to on-demand entertainment and new found control over their TV:

TV on Your Schedule. Nearly 40,000 TV episodes available from your favorite networks, ready to watch any time you want.

Huge Movie Library. Enjoy tens-of-thousands of free movies and new releases in stunning HD from premium movie services.

Plays All Your Digital Stuff. Access videos, music, or pictures from your computer or home network.

Tailored to Your Couch. Internet TV should be more than just Internet on your TV. The Boxee Box and two-faced QWERTY remote are designed to transform the Internet into something you’ll love watching on your HDTV from the couch.

See What Your Friends Are Watching. Follow what your Facebook and Twitter friends are watching, and share your favorites too.

Give Your Wallet a Break. Why pay for stuff you don’t watch? The Boxee Box lets you watch a vast range of popular TV shows and movies – you choose what you pay for!

Try Boxee Now. Since its launch two years ago, Boxee has added well over one million users. The service is available for free and you can use it now! When you want to shift the viewing experience from your PC to your HDTV, the Boxee Box by D-Link automatically imports your account, bringing your favorite TV shows, apps, and friends with you.

“This represents long overdue innovation to the entertainment experience that D-Link will help consumers quickly deploy throughout their home network. These exciting new capabilities align closely with Intel’s commitment to improving how people access and enjoy digital content on their TV,” said Brent Collins, Director of Consumer Marketing for D-Link. “We are leading a revolution that will offer tremendous new possibilities in the home.”

Pricing and Availability

The Boxee Box is expected to be available in November 2010 at an average street price of $199 in North America. Prices may vary in other regions.

About The Boxee Box

The award-winning Boxee Box by D-Link streams your favorite movies, shows and videos from the Internet, and plays your home videos, music collection, or digital pictures on your HDTV — letting you enjoy free entertainment at your convenience from the comfort of your couch. It also gives your TV a social life, letting you watch crazy stuff your friends are sharing on Facebook and Twitter. Visit http://www.dlink.com/boxeebox to transform your home entertainment experience.

About D-Link

D-Link is the global leader in connectivity for consumer electronics and an award-winning designer, developer and manufacturer of networking, broadband, storage, home automation, security, and entertainment solutions for the digital home. With millions of networking and connectivity products manufactured and shipped, D-Link is a dominant market participant and price/performance leader in the networking and communications market. For more information visit http://www.dlink.com.

About Boxee

Boxee is changing the way people experience home entertainment by bringing TV shows, movies, videos, and music from the Internet to the TV. Boxee’s software can be easily downloaded for free to any computer or embedded in living room devices. Boxee has quickly established itself as the best way to bring entertainment from different sources into one place – anything from a local collection of movies, TV shows, music, and photos, to streaming content from websites like MLB.TV, Pandora, Last.fm, and flickr. Users can also discover new entertainment from their friends and share recommendations with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. More than a million people use Boxee to enjoy their entertainment. Learn how you can join them at http://www.boxee.tv.




Tags: , , , , , ,
Filed in: Industry Buzz, Streaming Media Devices


  • andrewmclaughlin

    I'll be awaiting formal reviews with eager anticipation. Interesting that they also acknowledged that Hulu could shut them down. And most likely will. Too bad. I suspect the inclusion of a webkit browser should make for some interesting Hulu wars.

  • andrewmclaughlin

    Also, I wish they would just come out with a slim looking form factor. I applaud the neat-o design, but would ratherhave something neat and tidy rather than an odd box that will be hard to fit in a cabinet. That said, I applaud the RF remote over IR. This is a big deal. I like these guys.

  • http://twitter.com/agrundner Alexander Grundner

    Most likely there's Hulu Plus app in development as we speak.

  • http://twitter.com/academik Andrew Kippen

    Andrew from Boxee here – the platform switch was pretty straightforward. The Tegra chip is absolutely awesome and for mobile platforms like the Zune and tons of smartphones it's killer. We were trying to extend it a little further than it's reach though – keep in mind our audience extends from a very techy lot that demand full 1080p high-profile HD content (read 60Mbp/s and up) to someone who just wants to get Internet “stuff” on their TV.

    We felt like the videophiles among our users would be disappointed with a box that couldn't handle as wide a variety of formats, bit-rates, and profiles as possible. For a good, albeit complicated, explanation of the differences in formats and encoding, check out the tables at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC

  • http://twitter.com/academik Andrew Kippen

    there will be other Boxee-enabled devices next year, but we wanted to make sure the first one stood out :) Plus it's got an RF remote so if you don't like the look, you can hide it somewhere out of site.

  • http://twitter.com/agrundner Alexander Grundner

    Hmmm, there's some conflicting info. Amazon's Boxee Box page lists the specs at “H.264: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps.” In fact, no matter which codec is used 1080p can only hit 30fps not 60. It's true the CE4100 chip can do 1080p@60fps, but can the Boxee Box actually perform at those levels? Seems we need some clarification or a correction to the public statements that cite that chip's ability to allow the Boxee Box to do 1080p@60fps.

    Intel CE4100 product brief – PDF http://bit.ly/cNau3z