Report: Boxee adds over-the-air TV, DVR to new set-top box

boxee home screen

Covered in detail by The Verge earlier today, the creators of the Boxee Box are preparing a new version of Boxee hardware that’s possibly called the Boxee TV. Developed by D-Link, the Boxee TV hardware includes the ability to attach an antenna to watch live television in addition to digital video recording functions and mobile capabilities. Distinctly different from the original Boxee Box, the new design of the hardware forgoes the memorable wedge shape for a traditional set-top box look. Between the two devices, the only similarity between the hardware is the matching lime green and black color scheme. 

boxee tv packagingOn the front and top of the hardware, a new Boxee TV owner will be able to spot the Boxee branding. Beyond the coaxial input for an antenna connection, the user will also find a HDMI output, Ethernet port, two USB ports and the power input on the back of the device.

According to the packaging, the HDMI cable isn’t included in the retail box. However, a small antenna is included to get the user started if they don’t have an indoor or outdoor antenna already. In addition, the Boxee TV hardware works over Wi-Fi if the position of the home theater isn’t located next to a router or wall port for a wired connection. 

For those familiar with the remote that came with the original hardware, the remote with the Boxee TV doesn’t include a QWERTY keyboard on the rear anymore. Instead, the remote control is similar to the remote that comes with a Roku 2 set-top box. The simple design includes a directional pad, select button, play / pause button, back button, home button, an info button and two color coded buttons. However, users can also download a mobile application on their smartphone or tablet in order to control the user interface in addition to browsing the channel guide to view what’s currently on television.

boxee tv hardwareAt this time, the report indicates that Boxee is still beta testing the hardware with a small group of Boxee users and will continue to revise the software over the coming weeks prior to making an official announcement.

While it would certainly be timely to release the product prior to the holiday shopping season, it’s possible that Boxee could hold off on announcing the product until next year’s Consumer Electronics Show during January. During November 2011, Boxee announced the launch of the Boxee Live TV dongle that allows Boxee Box owners to connect their TV antenna in order to watch high definition network programming. 

A new version of the Boxee hardware that’s tailored specifically to cord cutters would likely be more successful than the original Boxee Box. According to a Twitter post during April 2012, the company had approximately two million users of the Boxee software, but only ten percent of those users were utilizing the Boxee Box hardware. The price point may be a significant issue for people looking to invest in a set-top box solution. While 1080p-capable Roku 2 hardware starts at $79.99 and a 1080p-capable Apple TV retails for $99, the Boxee Box hardware is priced at approximately $175 on a retailer like Amazon.

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