The Boxee Box: What The Hell Were They Thinking?

Social media center software maker Boxee has announced a new deal with D-Link to launch the “Boxee Box” next year.

The new Boxee Box will take the Boxee software experience to the lounge room through a dedicated box ala the Apple TV and similar, and will be available for the very tidy sum of around $200.

I’ve been a fan of Boxee for the first time I saw it demoed at Gnomedex in 2008 (well, the business plan I wasn’t sure on.) Visually Boxee is UI porn, and although the social features perhaps only work best with a big circle of friends, the way it’s all meshed together is very cool indeed.

So what the hell were they thinking with the design of the Boxee Box. The picture above is what it looks like.

Now I’m all for interesting industrial design, and the design of the Boxee Box comes from the same guy who designed the XBox 360. But there’s a flaw that strikes you like a hot iron thrown by an irate ex: the angles (for lack of a better term.)

I can’t find online yet the actual measurements for the Boxee Box, but one thing is clear: this isn’t a traditional rectangular box. No, instead its an attempt to be trendy that will immediately limit the box in practicality because unless its the size of a small book (in height at least), it isn’t going to fit into 95% of home TV/ entertainment units. Seriously: right angle pointy bits? WTF?

Another thing that personally I don’t find inspiring (besides the form factor) is that it’s been manufactured by D-Link, the maker of the worst piece of hardware I’ve ever owned (and I still own because I felt too embarrassed to sell the piece of sh*t ADSL modem router with VOIP I paid $500 for on eBay because it was that bad.) Boxee better hope that D-Link has got its act together, because if my experience with their quality (and I’m not the only one) if reflective of their ability to deliver, Boxee’s name could quickly become mud.