The full technical specifications won't be announced until CES, where it has already won a "Best of Innovations" award, but looking at the pictures we can tell video comes out through an HDMI connector and users can pick either SPDIF optical or RCA analog for audio output. The device connects to the Internet through 802.11n Wi-Fi or Ethernet and can take expansion through an SD card slot on the front as well as two USB ports on the back.
In conjunction with the hardware announcement, Boxee also showed off a redesigned and much cleaner user interface as part of the new beta -- which is still in private testing. The service's main menu is now displayed prominently across the top of home screen as opposed to the side, and three separate columns directly below show recommendations and activity from Boxee friends, featured videos and your play queue.
There's also a new search feature which lets users find videos on Boxee and networked hard drives by typing into a single box. Last but not least, the company announced three new content partners: Escapist, Suicide Girls and TV Guide to the Web. Boxee Beta will be available to the general public on January 7th, 2010.