By Harry McCracken | Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 6:00 am
The next chapter in the great Internet TV Box wars of 2010 will come next month, when D-Link ships the $199.99 Boxee Box, the long-awaited gadget which will compete with Apple TV, Google TV devices such as Logitech’s Revue, and Roku. Despite the fact that it’s almost here, it hasn’t been completely revealed–neither D-Link nor the Boxee folks have told all about the content services that’ll be available on it.
But here’s one piece of news: Vudu, the neat movie rental and purchase service which started out on its own hardware but has more recently shifted its strategy to being a streaming service available on devices such as Blu-Ray players and HDTVs, will also be on Boxee. And it won’t just be on Boxee’s box: You’ll be able to get Vudu content via Boxee’s software for PCs and Macs as well.
Like Amazon’s Video on Demand, Vudu will let you buy a movie or TV show once, then stream it to any computer or other gizmo you own that supports the Vudu service, giving you a video collection in the sky. As always, its specialty is content presented in as high-quality a form as possible: On the Boxee Box, it’ll is available in 1080p high definition with Dolby Digital+ sound. Sadly, though, only standard-definition content will be available on PCs and Macs, although Vudu’s best SD looks better than some “HD” I’ve seen.
Given that Google TV is so disappointing in its initial form, I’m more curious than ever about the Boxee Box. No word yet about other services it may have lined up–Netflix Watch Instantly and/or Hulu Plus would complement Vudu nicely.
(Full disclosure: My fiancée is employed by Vudu’s public relations agency.)