Thursday, September 23, 2010

Boxee Box by D-Link, Apple TV - Have to ask Why?

So I'm hitting up my favorite online shopping mall the other day, and I come across the Boxee Box from D-Link. Being a complete techno nerd I say to myself, "Whats this?" and click on the information. 
As I'm scrolling through the 'features' I just had to start shaking my head and wondering why an excellent manufacturer of routers (I currently have a D-Link Wireless N rocket ship) be pulling themselves into this market? I just don't understand the timing or the reasoning behind this. 
Let's dive into what is says it does; It streams movies, TV shows and your home movies and pictures to your computer wirelessly. It connects to your TV via HDMI. It claims to have "free movies" AND "new releases."  To me that means the free movies are ones nobody watches and the new releases you need to pay for. Perhaps I'm wrong? I could be, it's not out just yet. 
As many who are technical will know, there are many options for media content available online from free to $7.99 a month for Netflix. (Just available in Canada) The price of the Boxee from D-Link is targeted for $199.99 in Canada. I noticed this product a couple weeks after Steve Jobs big announcement that the Apple TV offering has been revamped and resized and repriced and will be available soon.  In typical Steve Jobs fashion he's pretty impressed with this little product and wanted to tell the world about it. Now, I'll admit, the Apple TV like many of Apple's current products really does have a cool factor. It's tiny, comes with a slick little remote, and has the HDMI output to your TV that the Boxee Box offers. We are talking about two very similar uses for two different looking products, and well, two different price points.  Apple is really looking to make money through it's iTunes platform and it wouldn't surprise me if the little Apple TV somehow manages to not play some of the free content on the web, and some may really dislike that.  They also may dislike iTunes in general, the new Ping product, and the Boxee Box may do a better job with that type of "user experience."  The fact of the matter is, the Apple TV is scheduled to be a lot less money. Apple TV - Best Buy 
Xbox 360 4GB Console
Xbox 360 Slim
My big problem with these two products?  Well, there are two big problems in my mind. They would be simply, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360.  Both these products have been on the market for a number of years now, and both of these products will do exactly what the Boxee Box and Apple TV do. In fact, they do more. Much more.  I can stream HD movies to both my X360 and PS3, I can play games with both, I can surf the internet with both, I even have Blu Ray capability on my PS3, which just recently updated itself in order to read 3D Blu Ray discs. That's right, no upgrade needed for me (other than the TV), Sony just handed me 3D capabilities via firmware update online for free, just this week. 
Cost of Xbox 360 Slim, with 4GB HD and built in Wireless N : $199.99
Xbox 360 4GB Console
Cost of Playstation 3 120Gb Console : @299.99
PlayStation 3 120 GB
Don't let the cost of the PS3 scare you away.  If you just bought an Xbox you'd then have to go buy a Blu Ray player, or a 3D Blu Ray player if that ever catches on with cheaper TV costs, so you're probably in a big savings right there if you take that into consideration.  The PS3 also allows you to play games online without additional costs, where the Xbox charges you for Gold membership to Xbox Live to do so.  They are both capable machines, and you get a lot more for your money with either of them then the first two products mentioned. 
I really don't get the D-Link product, and why they would go here. I guess the jury is out and I'm judging something before it's hit the market, but I sense a failure coming here.  I'll give the Apple unit some credit based on it's size and price point alone. It will allow someone not wanting to have a larger item next to their TV, or spend the extra $70. (Although you and your kids would love the games). 

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