Boxee Arrives on New NAS Box – And It’s Not Ugly!

Iomega has just partnered with media center software maker Boxee on a new Network Attached Storage (NAS) device running the Boxee software. Boxee, which is available both as a downloadable application and as a low-cost hardware solution called the “Boxee Box” running that same software, lets you stream Internet content like YouTube, Netflix, Flickr, Facebook and Pandora plus movies and TV shows to any HDTV.

The new NAS devices include the same features as the original Boxee Box, but also lets you store your own personal media collection, providing you with easy access to the best of both worlds – local media and Web-based content.

Boxee’s Newest Box

The Iomega product will be available in 3 different hardware configurations: diskless, 1 TB and 2 TB. The diskless version is $229, the 1 TB is $299 and 2 TB is $349.

Since the diskless version costs significantly more than the original Boxee Box ($199) and doesn’t provide a hard drive for storing content, it’s unclear why someone would choose to pay more for the Iomega device – dubbed “Iomega TV with Boxee” – instead of the more affordable original hardware.

Of course, it’s because you don’t want a bizarrely-shaped object – whoa, what is that thing? – cluttering up your previously attractive home media center.

The Original Boxee Box

You either loved or hated its looks!

The Iomega Boxee Box

Now, you can get a more traditional looking, black box device which better fits into most homes’ design aesthetic.

Just the Specs

Both models of the Iomega TV with Boxee offer HDMI ports, composite video and audio outputs, Wi-Fi (802.11n), 2 USB ports for additional storage and are DLNA-compatible. As always, Boxee is capable of streaming a number of different file types and codecs in 1080p, including H.264, WMV, MKV and others.

The devices use an Intel Atom processor CE4100, run a TV browser, play Adobe Flash 10.1 content and run EMC’s LifeLine operating system, a suite of applications that provide storage and security technologies. LifeLine supports Mac, Windows and Linux.

The content offerings provided by the Boxee service remain the same – Internet content, as mentioned above, as well as TV shows and movies from sources including CBS, NBC, Comedy Central, HGTV, Cartoon Network and VUDU, a previously hardware-only provider of HD movie rentals which partnered with Boxee earlier this fall.

The Iomega products will be available Q1 2011.

Time to Cut the Cord?

According to recent data from JP Morgan’s Imran Khan’s 2011 forecast, 28% of consumers said they would consider switching from Cable to Broadband Video – like the that which Boxee provides – while 72% said no. Interestingly, the potential cord-cutters include the 16% of folks who aren’t unhappy with their current cable provider. They just want to save a little money. While the numbers are still low, and the language (“consider”) is soft, the figures are probably high enough to scare both content providers and cable companies alike.

Solutions like Boxee make cord-cuttiing that much easier.

As we noted yesterday, Internet TV solutions is one of the major trends expected from this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2011) in Las Vegas. Last year, Boxee was just getting off the ground – will this year be their time to shine?

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