Israeli-American company Boxee has unveiled a new product, called Boxee TV, a digital set-top box which incorporates cloud-based DVR capabilities with online video content from Netflix, Youtube and VUDU, and online musical content from providers such as Spotify and Pandora.
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Boxee TV has a $99 price tag, similar to Apple TV and other internet-TV providers. One of Boxee TV’s prominent advantages over its competitors is the internal digital antenna, which enables TV reception, such as the Israeli “Idan+” system. Boxee TV also has the processing power of two digital converters, one for streaming content and the other for recording content while watching, similar to what you would find in standard DVRs such as Tivo or the Israeli Yes MAX.
Unlike regular DVR devices, content is not stored locally on the actual unit, but on Boxee’s digital storage. The cloud storage is available for Boxee Tv owners for a monthly fee of $15 and has no storage limit. Users can stream their stored content onto any device that has internet connectiion, including tablets and smartphones – not unlike services offered by Amazon, Google and Apple.
“I like comparing it to the transition from film cameras to digital ones,” says Boxee CEO Avner Ronen. “You don’t need to overthink it. If, for instance, you wish to save six seasons of Seinfeld, go for it,” Ronen added in in an interview with technology blog The Verge.
The Boxee TV is based on the company’s experience with its previous streamer, the Boxee Box, which was commercially unsuccessful. In Ronen’s opinion, the cause for the commercial downfall was due to the fact that they did not have an understanding of business moves done behind the scenes of the content industry. For that reason, he believes that the television industry saw Boxee as a device to be used for streaming content downloaded illegally.
“We didn’t understand the ploys and interests [back then], today we are much more sophisticated,” says Ronen, “I believe that internet providers will love us now, since we give them a reason to offer their customers more bandwidth,” he says with a smile.