D-Link Boxee Box: Network Companies Bring Media Home
Media center startup Boxee and networking veteran D-link have teamed up to launch the Boxee Box, a home media center. But they’re not alone; interestingly enough, there’s been a lot of interest in big corporate networking companies trying to break in the the home, so to speak. Here’s the latest on some interesting offerings.
The Boxee Box is nearly a work of art. It features an oddly off-center chopped off cube and a smart new remote. Basic controls on one side, An entire QWERTY thumb keyboard on the other.
For the uninitiated, Boxee started off as an off shoot to the popular XBMC (XBox Media Center) and eventually became a more multi-media friendly media center by including plugins for watching Hulu, Youtube, along with a revamped browser and social networking aspects. Boxee has traditionally be offered on Linux, PCs and Macs — including the AppleTV — but this new device has the potential to compete directly with the AppleTV. CES 2010 reviews floating around have favorable reviews.
Now here’s a key twist: For D-Link to team up with the start up seems odd, but maybe not that much. A device that thrives on home networking and internet media might need an engineering boost from someone who knows a thing or two.
The Consumerization of IT
If this sounds a little familiar, you might remember TheVARGuy’s story in August 2009, detail some interesting Lenovo offerings in the home networking field. Lenovo had been positioning some tiered level home servers that were designed to be either a home file share server for photos and videos, or a HTPC designed to be always on and connected for your content on demand. The VAR Guy also noted that Cisco was offering a 1U rack-mount unit that ArsTechnica reported as
“[The] Media Experience Engine (MXE) 3000, a 1U rack system designed to convert content so as to be playable on any device. The MXE 3000 is being advertised as delivering real-time post production/processing, watermarking, and audio/video editing capabilities [both to the consumer and the business market]”
If you thought that was a bit much, January 2009 saw the introduction of the Cisco Wireless N Home Audio Music Player. A bit expensive for someone streaming Internet and computer music around the home, but it was Cisco’s addition to the consumer electronic work, none the less.
Berry Easy Backup?
If your home wasn’t already well connected, there’s yet another way to beef up and impress(?) your friends. CloudBerry has come along an introduced an add-on for your Windows Home Server that automatically backups your data to the Amazon S3 cloud (that is, assuming you have an account.) The wonderful thing is that you can sync your data to the Windows Home Server, and then set the add-on to sync to the Simple Storage Service (S3) account after-hours so it doesn’t bog down your browsing.
So what’s the deal? Maybe networking companies are trying to leverage their technology in the consumer market to make some more profits, but maybe, just maybe, their expertise is something that can be blended to provide some incredibly useful products. As an AppleTV owner, I’m deeply interested in the Boxee Box. And as I fill up 500GB drives, I start to think about setting up a home media server. Maybe Cisco, and D-Link are getting on the ground floor before things get big and go up.