The Boxee Box is one of the best media streamers we’ve seen, and now it’s possible to replicate – or at least approximate – its abilities at a fraction of its £180 cost. How? Well, it’s all down to a dirt cheap computer called the Raspberry Pi.
The Raspberry Pi will cost around $35 (£22) when it launches. It’s a tiny thing with a Linux-based custom operating system and ARM processor. It doesn’t even come with a case (it’s just a mainboard, so you’ll have to find your own case to put it in), and features only a handful of inputs and outputs – but crucially it’s powerful enough to chuck out 1080p video and run XBMC.
XBMC is media centre software that works in a very similar way to the Boxee Box (in fact, Boxee branched out from XBMC several years ago), and something called Raspbmc, being worked on right now, will allow you to install it on the Raspberry Pi with the help of a Windows, Mac or Linux computer. Hey presto, you’ve got yourself a media streamer for the price of a few pints at the pub. Take a look at this video to see XBMC in action on the Pi: