Tag - Boxee
(Update: Samsung shutting down Boxee service) Samsung has purchased streaming set-top box manufacturer Boxee, according to reports. The acquisition, said to be in the in the region of $30 million, will allow Samsung to potentially incorporate some of the Israeli start-up's software and services into its own smart TV and streaming media device offerings in the future.
Amazon is planning to extend its range of tablets and ebook readers by selling a set-top box, according to a report. The device, said to be coming out sometime in the fall, will provide streaming content, such as movies and TV shows to the user from the company's Instant Video catalog as well as Prime Instant Video.
Boxee has unveiled a new free offering for its cloud-based digital video recorder. A rebranded Boxee TV, now called the Boxee Cloud DVR, provides five hours of DVR playback per month on a new free plan for users of the hardware. Unlimited, indefinite storage remains available for purchasers of a paid tier.
As expected, the Boxee TV is now available for purchase at Walmart. The big box store chain is the only retail location to purchase the device, with online purchasing at Boxee's site the other option. The $98 piece of hardware includes a digital antenna, and word is buyers will get a three-month trial period to the No Limits DVR service.
Walmart will begin stocking the Boxee TV at 3,000 of its locations across the US starting on November 1, the two revealed. The device will sell for $98 and Walmart will set up displays just for the device along with dedicated marketing materials. Other than streaming Netflix and YouTube content, the device can also pick up free over the air content in HD.
Boxee will start the promotion of its upcoming Boxee TV set-top box by giving away free units. A number of customers that have registered on the Boxee website and completed a survey have been e-mailed, offering the device at no charge before its expected release date of mid to late November.
Boxee, which traditionally made products that focused on streaming multimedia content from local storage and the web, has now introduced the aptly named Boxee TV. It will let users watch live TV content from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and other channels in high definition. It also doubles as a DVR and bring Internet Apps to a connected HDTV.
Boxee may be planning on introducing a subscription-based DVR service for its recently introduced Live TV tuner. This is suggested by a survey the company sent out this weekend, asking users how much they would be willing to pay for the ability to record 300 hours of TV per month. The options range from $5 to $15, though a Not Interested option is present as well.
Boxee in a direct criticism contended that cable companies were being anti-competitive in lobbying to drop a requirement that basic cable stay unencrypted. The Boxee Box designer argued that the request, which would let a TV provider require a set-top box or slot-in card to get any signal at all, was only meant to shut out free alternatives and force customers to buy or more often rent equipment. Company chief Avner Ronen argued that it would block devices like the Boxee Live TV add-on and that there was no real upside.
As expected, Boxee is set to cease offering desktop apps for Mac, Windows and Linux. The company late last year released its last update for the desktop software, bringing a revamped interface and search improvements, however the utilities will be removed from download servers by the end of the day.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE