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.