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Boxee unveils prototype 'Boxee Box'

The company maps out plans to bring its aggregated online media app to a dedicated hardware device.

Boxee Box (front)

Boxee unveiled its first dedicated hardware product this evening at a media event in Brooklyn. The so-called "Boxee Box" will be a tiny set-top box produced by D-Link. It's scheduled to be released in the second quarter of 2010, and will cost about $200.

Details of the Boxee Box came at the end of a long presentation that also featured a walk-through of the beta version of the company's Windows and Mac software that lets users access a variety of Web-based media content through a single easy-to-use interface. (See Rafe Needleman's detailed hands-on preview of the Boxee Beta.) Company representatives have also indicated that the Boxee software may be embedded in other hardware devices that will be appearing in 2010.

Boxee Box (rear)

The product has the unique look of a "submerged cube" with a flat bottom and one corner pointing upward. Its AV output connections are limited to HDMI and analog RCA audio, so it'll need to be connected to an HDTV. An Ethernet port provides network connectivity, and Boxee CEO Avner Rosen hinted that the box will also have Wi-Fi. The box will ship with an RF remote control. It also has two USB ports on the back panel and the SD slot on its front gives you an idea of the device's small size.

The product page on Boxee's Web site states that the device can play "any" non-DRM media files, in addition to being able to access Boxee's online service.

The box will be demoed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.