Boxee have announced that they intend to add payments support to their media center platform, allowing users to purchase pay-per-view and subscription content from the company's media partners. Expected to roll out over the Summer, the payments system will work in tandem with the existing free content, with media owners able to charge for none, some or all of their offerings.
ASUS' Eee Box EB1501 was already standing out as a potentially decent HTPC, and the company have added another feather in its metaphorical cap by apparently introducing a Blu-ray version. Announced back in October 2009 with Intel's Atom 330 CPU, NVIDIA Ion graphics and a slot-loading DVD burner, the new Eee Box EB1501-Bo367 with Blu-ray is now showing up with several European online retailers.
D-Link and Boxee have officially announced their Boxee Box at CES 2010, the set-top box that will deliver streaming media in a more plug-and-play than traditional Boxee installs. What the press release doesn't mention, however, is the clever new remote they've developed, which has a full QWERTY keyboard for easy text-entry.
VIA have announced a new Pico-ITX board, together with a Fanless IPC which uses it, and together they add up to the most powerful and most compact system in the industry. The VIA AMOS-3001 is the first model to use the VIA EPIA-P820 Pico-ITX board, which measures 10 x 7.2 cm and squeezes in a 1.2GHz VIA Nano CPU, 2GB of memory and the all-in-one VIA VX855 Media System Processor, good for 1080p HD video.
ASUS' Ion-packing Eee Box, the EB1501, has finally gone up for pre-order in the US. Priced at $479 at Amazon, the compact nettop uses Intel's dual-core Atom 330 processor along with 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard-drive, WiFi b/g/n and an HDMI output. Unlike most other nettops we've seen, the EB1501 also squeezes in a slot-loading DVD burner.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and weren't too shopped out yesterday! If you still have shopping to do for Christmas, we have some seen some cool gear over the last week that might be worth a look. The Sony Ericsson Kurara has been reviewed and the verdict is that the device needs to be cheap to succeed. We reviewed the Nokia Booklet 3G this week. The final verdict was that the machine is underpowered and outperformed by first generation netbooks.
Boxee has long been the darling of the homebrew DVR crowd, turning the Apple TV into a far more capable - and less iTunes-centric - media system and brightening DIY HTPCs no end. Now the company has announced its plans for an off-the-shelf Boxee Box, which will deliver the same sort of experience but without the need to build it youself.
One of the big problems I have had with the HTPC computers that I have tried and tested over the years is that there is not typically a good way to control all of the media from across the room. You can use a keyboard and mouse, but in cramped spaces that can be challenging, especially for the mouse. Glide TV has a new HTPC media controller that is way cool called the GlideTV Navigator.
NES console mods are cool, HTPCs are pretty cool, and nettops with NVIDIA Ion graphics are darned cool too, so when you put all three elements together you've got a recipe for something with a whole lot of cool potential. Modder drumboog has been video documenting his work transforming a NES into an Atom 330 based Blu-ray HTPC with GeForce 9400M graphics, and while it's not quite complete yet, it's certainly 99-percent awesome.
Video after the cut